A large number of councils in New South Wales are in dire financial straights, with 25 per cent classified as being in a ‘weak’ or ‘very weak’ financial state according to a new report prepared by NSW TCorp for the State Government.

Based on councils’ own projections, the sector’s financial sustainability outlook is set to continue to deteriorate in the coming years, according to State Local Government Minister Don Page.

“The report’s findings serve as a clear message for the local government sector and for communities throughout the State,” Mr Page said.

“What we suspected, we now know, and while addressing these problems represents a significant challenge, I am confident it is a challenge we can meet working together with the sector’s peak body, Local Government NSW.”

The report concluded that local councils are not providing sufficient funding for the maintenance of their assets to a satisfactory standard.

Mr Page said the results varied throughout the State, highlighting the poor financial position of councils in the Western Region and the North Coast.

“The people of NSW deserve a decent level of local services, no matter where they live. Yet the results from TCorp’s analysis clearly show this is not the case. Instead, we have a system of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.”

TCorp also assessed five councils in the Sydney metropolitan area as financially ‘weak’ and 12 as ‘moderate’.

The full report can be found here