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About the Data

Councils in Focus uses data from the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission as it has the most comprehensive long-term information about councils’ finances and functions that is available—and it is also sourced directly from councils.

The Grants Commission provides instructions to councils on how to provide this data to it. However, those instructions provide councils with some discretion in the way this information is captured and reported, which may lead to differences between each council’s data. Care should therefore be taken when comparing or interpreting the data. If you have any questions about why your council’s data may look different to the data of other councils in these reports, particularly to other similar councils, please contact your council to discuss further.

Council Income

A council’s revenue is all the sources of funding it has available to spend. Most councils in South Australia receive the majority of their revenue through their council rates.

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Council Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure is money councils spend on their fixed assets (such as roads, footpaths and buildings). This can be through acquiring, upgrading or renewing assets.

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Council Operating Expenses

Operating expenses are day-to-day council spending on maintaining existing services and assets. It includes things like staffing and the costs of running and maintaining vehicles and equipment.

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Council Financial Performance

Councils in Focus includes three key financial indicators that are often referenced to determine if a council is ‘financially sustainable’.

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Similar Councils

In Councils in Focus you can compare your council to similar council averages in South Australia and to State-wide averages.

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Council Says

'Council Says' enables each council to provide comments about the information in each of their reports.

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Using the data

Councils in Focus lets you access consistent information about local councils across South Australia.

You can find out how local governments are raising, spending and managing their money.

To give this information more context, you can also compare various measures, such as population, number of ratepayers and kilometres of roads.

When looking at your council’s performance, you might have questions about what your council is doing. Contact details for all councils are included on the site so you can put your questions and comments directly to them.

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