News

Councils the focus of new website

Ratepayers, residents and the broader Victor Harbor community now have access to unprecedented levels of information about the City of Victor Harbor’s performance through a new Government-established website.

Minister for Planning and Local Government Vickie Chapman said Councils in Focus would help people to better understand what their council is spending money on, where that revenue comes from and how it benefits their community.

“Councils spend billions of dollars each year on a variety of services, including roads, transport, environment, recreation, economic development and libraries,” Minister Chapman said.

“This way, information on where the money comes from and where it goes will be available to the public for the first time through one simple, easy-to-access portal.

“It’ll be an invaluable resource to many South Australians and ensure a greater level of transparency and accountability in local government.”

The information available to the public includes:

  • Details on rates individual councils charge, grants they receive and other sources of funding
  • Where councils spend money and how much
  • Each council’s financial position and performance.

Ratepayers will be able to see how their council has changed over a five-year period, compare their council to similar councils, and compare their council to the State average.

Importantly, the information can also be compared by a range of different measures, such as population, number of ratepayers, or kilometres of roads, so that comparisons are meaningful across councils, despite their size or nature.

The City of Victor Harbor has also provided more context about the data, noting that the city has the largest population centre in the Fleurieu region at around 15,500 people. In the summer months, the population jumps to more than 30,000, however 40% of ratepayers don’t live in the Council area.

“Council is presented with significant challenges around securing grant funding which is generally based on permanent resident population. This does not consider the seasonal influx of residents and visitors, and the associated demand for services and supporting infrastructure” said the City of Victor Harbor on the Councils in Focus website.

“It also means that the City of Victor Harbor relies heavily on Council rates to fund the essential community services and infrastructure required to meet our community needs”

The Councils in Focus website can be found at https://councilsinfocus.sa.gov.au/