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Proposed local government sustainability framework

Queensland’s local governments play a critical role in supporting the safety, liveability and prosperity of local communities right across the state.

All Councils face unique financial, service delivery and community need circumstances. The challenge of ensuring local government sustainability, is an important issue for all councils and the Queensland Government.

Over time, sustainability pressures on councils have increased, with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic adding to these challenges.

Establishing a Sustainability Framework

The implementation of the new Sustainability Framework and the new financial and asset ratios will provide both councils and the State with greater insights into the challenges faced by the sector. This will support the vision of having business ready councils – today and into the future - that enable liveable communities to grow and prosper by focusing on the principles of:


The establishment of a new sustainability framework will form the basis of the department’s monitoring of councils’ performance and sustainability and will assist the department in providing more targeted support to councils. The proposed sustainability framework underpins existing legislative requirements.


Given these challenges, the proposed Sustainability Framework has been developed to not be a one-size fits all approach but rather one that is:

  • Holistic – acknowledges that councils’ sustainability is influenced and affected by more than just financial elements
  • Tailored - councils are grouped to recognise clear structural differences that exist. It is proposed councils are grouped based on population.
  • Relevant - financial and asset sustainability ratios are expanded from three to eight and will include benchmarks that will provide councils with more relevant and council specific information.


March 2022

Stakeholder engagement on consultation outcomes.

March-May 2022

Analysis of consultation feedback and updates to the sustainability framework to address consultation outcomes.

Develop draft Sustainability Guideline.

June-July 2022

Stakeholder engagement on draft Sustainability Guideline.

August-September 2022

Finalise New Sustainability Guideline.

October-June 2023

Stakeholder engagement on implementation, guidance and readiness.

FY 2023-24

Sustainability Framework embedded in Council’s day to day operations.

Local Government Sustainability Framework Updates

The department released a discussion paper on the proposed new sustainability framework in October 2021.

Local government sustainability framework – Discussion paper ( 1.4 MB)

The discussion paper consultation results are now available.

Local government sustainability framework – Results of consultation ( 506.7 KB).

Last updated: 22 Mar 2022