Councils Stockpile Treasure Room Of Unspent Infrastructure Funds


New research by the Property Council of Australia revealed that Sydney councils are sitting on over $1 billion in unspent infrastructure funds.

The figure was revealed in the Property Council’s latest audit of infrastructure levies – based on local government financial statements for 2015-16.

“Councils are sitting on a billion dollars in unspent funds, funds that should be spent on providing services for the local community – funding libraries, local parks, sporting grounds," Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said.

“This money is sitting in the bank earning interest, $30 million in interest over 2015/16, instead of being used for the local community. This money is provided to councils to boost local facilities but instead they are hoarding it.”

Ms Fitzgerald said the research revealed:

  • $1,091,078,000 in unspent funds across 27 councils
  • The amount of unspent funds increased by just under $115 million over the past year, a rise of 11.7 per cent
  • $594,527,000 was collected in 2015-16, but only $510,052,000 was spent
  • $30,084,000 was earned in interest over 2015/16.

  • The audit is sourced directly from the financial statements of councils across metropolitan Sydney for 2015-16 so the data is supplied by councils.
  • Data was available for 27 councils with some amalgamated councils not providing data and other councils simply not making the data public
  • The closing balance in s94 funds across 27 Sydney councils as at June 30th, 2016 was $1.091 billion.
  • The equivalent balance for the F2015 year was $976.519 million.
  • The change represents a 11.7% increase in unspent levies.
  • Councils raised $594.527 million in s94 levies during 2015-16.
  • Over the past four years, the amount of unspent levies has increased by over 40 per cent.
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