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Local Government Grants Commission

The South Australian Local Government Grants Commission makes recommendations to the Minister for Local Government on the distribution of untied Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants to local governing authorities in South Australia.

Grants are distributed to support councils in providing an average level of service to their communities. They are assessed by the Commission based on the differences in the costs of providing services and differences in revenue-raising capacity compared to the average across the state.  They are provided only to councils established under the Local Government Act 1999 and prescribed bodies under the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission Act 1992.

Legislative Framework

The Commission is established under the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission Act 1992.

The Commonwealth Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 governs the way in which the grants are distributed and provides for:

  • a per capita distribution (to the states) for the general financial assistance component
  • the continued separate identification of local road funding and maintenance of existing state shares for that funding
  • a national report on the operation of the Act, specifically the achievement of horizontal equalisation, the methods used by the state commissions, the performance of councils, including their efficiency, and the provision of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • a set of seven national principles governing the distribution of grants among councils (replacing the previous state-by-state principles) and providing for distribution based on horizontal fiscal equalisation (subject to the minimum grant entitlement).

National Principles

The national principles underpin the distribution methodology used by the Commission. Six of the principles apply to the distribution of general-purpose grants, and one applies to the distribution of the identified local road grants.

1.      Horizontal Equalisation

The equalisation component of the financial assistance grants will be allocated to local governing bodies, as far as practicable, on a full horizontal equalisation basis as defined by the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995. This is a basis that ensures that each local governing body in the State/Territory is able to function by reasonable effort, at a standard not lower than the average standard of other local governing bodies in the State. It takes account of differences in the expenditure required by those local governing bodies in the performance of their function and in the capacity of those local governing bodies to raise revenue

2.      Minimum Grant

The minimum general purpose grant allocation for a local governing body will be not less than the amount to which the local governing body would be entitled if 30% of the total amount of equalisation component funds for the State/Territory were allocated on a per capita basis.

3.      Effort Neutrality

An effort or policy neutral approach will be used in assessing expenditure requirements and revenue raising capacity of each local governing body. This means as far as practicable, policies of individual local governing bodies in terms of expenditure and revenue effort will not affect the grant determination.

4.      Other Grant Support

Other relevant grant support provided to local governing bodies to meet any of the expenditure needs assessed should be taken into account using an inclusion approach.

5.      Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders

Financial assistance shall be allocated to councils in a way that recognises the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within their boundaries.

6.      Council Amalgamation

Where two or more local governing bodies are amalgamated into a single body, the general purpose grant provided to the new body for each of the four years following amalgamation should be the total of the amounts that would have been provided to the former bodies in each of those years if they had remained separate entities.

7.      Identified Road Component

The identified road component of the financial assistance grants should be allocated to local governing bodies as far as practicable on the basis of the relative needs of each local governing body for roads expenditure and to preserve its road assets. In assessing roads needs relevant considerations include length, type and usage of roads in each local governing area.

Local Government Consultation

The Commission undertakes regular visits to councils to:

  • explain the background and method of operation of the Commission
  • enable the Commission to raise queries with councils about information submitted by way of annual financial statements, general information returns and submissions
  • provide a forum for discussion between the Commission and council about both the grant calculation procedures and any problems experienced by councils which might not be adequately covered within current procedures
  • inspect, if necessary,  particular physical features or structures of the area which are considered relevant to the distribution of funds.

The visits make a significant contribution to improving the relevance of the assessment process.


Annual Reports

2018-19 Annual Report (PDF 2.4 MB)
2017-18 Annual Report (PDF 1.7 MB)
2016-17 Annual Report (PDF 1.4 MB)
2015-16 Annual Report (PDF 1.2 MB) 
2014-15 Annual Report (PDF 899.4 KB)
2013-14 Annual Report (PDF 536.3 KB)
2012-13 Annual Report (PDF 980.4 KB)
2011-12 Annual Report (PDF 582.7 KB)
2010-11 Annual Report (PDF 549.2 KB)
2009-10 Annual Report (PDF 2.9 MB)
2008-09 Annual Report (PDF 575.6 KB)
2007-08 Annual Report (PDF 619.0 KB)
2006-07 Annual Report (PDF 709.5 KB)
2005-06 Annual Report (PDF (413.8 KB) 

Information Papers

2019-20 Information Paper (PDF 2.1 MB)
2019-20 Information Paper (Insert) (PDF 212.7 KB) 
2018-19 Information Paper (PDF 2.1 MB)
2018-19 Information Paper (Insert) (PDF 209.2 KB) 

Database Reports

Please Note: Care should be taken when comparing or interpreting the figures of individual Councils. Also, it is often not meaningful to view data without an understanding or explanation of the differing financial and asset management strategies and targets of each Council. Interested readers are encouraged to contact individual Councils for further information.

2017-18 Database Reports (PDF 375.6 KB)
2016-17 Database Reports (PDF 177.5 KB)
2015-16 Database Reports (PDF 157.3 KB)
2014-15 Database Reports (PDF 161.9 KB)
2013-14 Database Reports (PDF 154.3 KB)
2012-13 Database Reports (PDF 150.2 KB) 
2011-12 Database Reports (PDF 168.6 KB) 
2010-11 Database Reports (PDF 95.3 KB)
2009-10 Database Reports (PDF 97.9 KB) 
2008-09 Database Reports (PDF 134.8 KB)
2007-08 Database Reports (PDF 132.0 KB)
2006-07 Database Reports (PDF 128.2 KB)
2005-06 Database Reports (PDF 126.2 KB)
2004-05 Database Reports (PDF 131.5 KB) 
2003-04 Database Reports (PDF 103.3 KB) 
2002-03 Database Reports (PDF 71.1 KB)
2001-02 Database Reports (PDF 73.7 KB)
2000-01 Database Reports (PDF 70.9 KB)
1999-00 Database Reports (PDF 71.8 KB)
1998-99 Database Reports (PDF 80.1 KB)
1997-98 Database Reports (PDF 84.2 KB)
1996-97 Database Reports (PDF 77.6 KB)
1995-96 Database Reports (PDF 79.9 KB) 

Brought Forward Payments

Brought Forward Payments have been made by the Federal Government on a reasonably consistent basis since the first Brought Forward Payment of the 2009-10 Financial Assistance Grants were made in 2008-09.

There have been two financial years where Brought Forward Payments have not been made.  The 2014-15 and 2016-17 Financial Assistance Grants were not brought forward.   The first three Brought Forward Payments of the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 Financial Assistance Grants were made on the basis of an estimate of one quarter of those year’s grants. Subsequent Brought Forward Payments have been made on the basis of an estimate of two quarters (or 50%) of those year’s grants.

It should be noted that in all Brought Forward Payments, the amounts paid were estimates of the coming year’s grants and distributed on the basis of the current year’s approved recommendations.  Brought Forward Payments do not necessarily reflect the final grant outcomes for the coming financial year as they do not reflect the Commission’s approved recommendations, which are not approved by the Federal Minister until after the commencement of the year to which they relate.

Changes in relativities in the Commission’s recommendations from changes in data, changes in methodology, the Commission’s application of constraints to grant changes or Federal Government intervention (e.g. the indexation pause) can result in changes in grant outcomes that change the remainder of the grants payable for the coming year.

The schedules below provide summaries of Brought Forward Payments made to South Australian Councils (plus Aboriginal Communities and the Outback Communities Authority).  Please feel free to contact the Commission if you have any questions.

2019-20 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2018-19 (PDF 462 KB)
2018-19 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2017-18 (PDF 459 KB)
2017-18 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2016-17 (PDF 457 KB)
2015-16 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2014-15 (PDF 455 KB)
2013-14 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2012-13 (PDF 635 KB)
2012-13 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2011-12 (PDF 36 KB)
2011-12 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2010-11 (PDF 37 KB) 
2010-11 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2009-10 (PDF 38 KB)
2009-10 Financial Assistance Grants - Brought Forward Payment Paid in 2008-09 (PDF 38 KB)


The Commission is committed to continually improving the quality of our services to local governing bodies and visitors to the site. As we value your feedback, please contact us as follows:


Postal Address

GPO Box 2329


Level 3
77 Grenfell Street