Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Councils to Tackle Debt Challenge

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Councils to Tackle Debt Challenge

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman

QUEENSLAND councils facing escalating debt levels will gather on the Sunshine Coast today for a Finance Summit to explore practical solutions to finance and sustainability challenges.

The state's 77 local authorities will reach a combined debt of $7.1billion on June 30, up from $1.8billion in 2007-08.

They will meet at Novotel Twin Waters Resort to pool their knowledge as key players in Queensland's economy in a bid to improve the productive use of ratepayer funds.

Between them, the state's councils manage $76 billion of non-financial assets, with an average of $1.8 billion of assets being added to that each year.

"The quality of assets like local roads, water and sewerage as well as community and recreational facilities impact the daily lives of all Queenslanders," Local Government Association of Queensland president Margaret de Wit said.

"With these assets contributing to both regional and state economic outcomes, maintaining and managing these assets is vital to the overall well-being of the state. …

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