One of the most important roles for councils in the strategic planning process is to guide the community in identifying major issues, understanding how these issues may impact on the community and how these issues might be addressed. The Integrated Planning and Reporting Manual and the Councillor Guide both provide resources designed to assist councils.

Key Information

  • Strategic Planning

    This includes information, tools and tips to support councils in their strategic planning activities, incorporating the quadruple bottom line of civic leadership, social, environmental, and economic pillars.

    • Click here for links to the Community Strategic Plans developed by NSW Councils.

    Some of these publications may appear to be out of date as they relate to pre-reform legislative requirements. However, the key concepts contained within them remain valid.

    • NSW State Plan
    • Community Strategic Planning Indicators Resource – discusses what community indicators are, and how councils might apply them in the strategic planning process. This resource also considers how the Community Indicators Victoria model might be applied in the NSW context, and suggests a framework for NSW councils to utilise.
    • Environmental planning (DECCW) – provides references to environmental planning information for local government
    • Metropolitan and regional planning
  • What plans already exist for your area/region?

    Before starting any planning process it is important to identify what planning may have already occurred. Councils are required to give due regard to State and regional planning processes, which can inform local planning activities, and assist in identifying local priorities.

  • Long Term Financial Planning

    Long term financial planning is a key component of the Resourcing Strategy for councils’ community strategic plan. Included below is information, tips and tools to support councils in the following areas of their financial planning: economic development, investments, rates and revenue, loans, grants, tendering, capital expenditure, and procurement. This information is supported by the Promoting Better Practice Program

  • Economic and Business Development
  • Investments
    • Circular to Councils 08-48 – Revised Ministerial Investment Order
    • Circular to Councils 07-38 – Council Investments
    • Circular to Councils 06-70 – Investment Requirements For NSW Councils
    • Circular to Councils 96-52 – Use of Credit Unions/Building Societies for Banking Facilities and Investment
  • Rates and Revenue
    • Guidelines for the Preparation of an Application for a Special Variation to General Income 2009/10
    • Council Rating And Revenue Raising Manual – January 2007
    • Circular to Councils 09-14 – Variation of General Income 2009/10
    • Circular to Councils 09-07 – Applications for Ministerial approval for a special variation to general income
    • Circular to Councils 03-11 – Consumption Based Pricing for Council Water Supply and Sewerage Services – Guidelines for Special Variations to General Income
    • Stormwater Management Services Charge Guidelines
  • Loans
    • •Circular to Councils 09-21 – Ministerial Borrowing Orders
    • Circular to Councils 08-29 – Proposed Borrowing Return 2008/2009
  • Grants
  • Tendering
    • Tendering Guidelines for NSW Local Government
    • Circular to Councils 00-14 – Information Regarding Tendering and Other Requirements for Construction Projects
    • Circular to Councils 99-12 – Tendering – Financial Assessment of Tenderers
    • Practice Note No.8a – Code of Practice and Code of Tendering for the Construction Industry
    • Local Government (State) Award 2007
  • Partnerships
    • Guidelines on the Procedures and Processes to be followed by Local Government in Public-Private Partnerships
    • Circular to Councils 05-51 – Public Private Partnerships Legislation and Guidelines
    • Collaboration and Partnerships between Councils – A guidance paper
  • Capital Expenditure
    • Circular to Councils 10-34 – Capital Expenditure Guidelines
    • Capital Expenditure Guidelines, December 2010
  • Procurement
    • Circular to Councils 06-07 – Procurement In NSW Local Councils
  • Asset Management

    To appropriately plan for Council’s future, a clear asset management strategy and plans must be in place. The information below includes tips and tools to support councils in asset management planning and the valuation of assets at fair value.

    • Local Government Asset Accounting Manual
    • Promoting Better Practice Program – Self-Assessment Checklist: Assets & Finance
    • Stormwater Management Service Charge Guidelines
    • Best practice management of water supply and sewerage guidelines (DEUS)
    • Evaluation of integrated water cycle management scenarios (DWE)
    • Total Asset Management Services and Systems (TAMS NSW) – NSW Public Works can provide experienced professional staff, on a fee for service basis. They have particular strengths in asset management and financial modelling as well as strategic planning
    • Circular to Councils 09-09 – Recognition of certain assets at fair value
    • Circular to Councils 08-07 – Valuation Of Property, Plant & Equipment At Fair Value
    • Circular to Councils 06-49 – Guidelines for the compulsory acquisition of land by councils in NSW
    • Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting
  • Change Management

    “Change may focus on goals, structures, resources, or people – or any combination. It is rarely easy or simple but often messy, difficult and challenging.”
    (University of Luton)

    Change is inevitable, and councils are in a strong position to manage change positively for their communities. The introduction of the integrated planning and reporting framework may be a catalyst for significant change for some councils.

    • Workforce change, culture and innovation – articles
    • Change management tools
    • Managing organisational change – competency checklist
    • Managing organisational change: how to guide – Queensland Health
    • Organisational learning and change management
    • Change management – articles and case studies
  • Reporting

    Includes information, tips and tools to support councils in their annual and other reporting activities to their local community.

    • Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting
    • Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting Guidelines (with worked examples)
    • Environmental Guidelines: State of the Environment Reporting by Local Government
    • Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting information
    • Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting information
    • Quarterly Budget Review Statement for NSW Local Government
  • Risk Management

    Includes information, tips and tools to support councils to identify and manage risks that may arise during their planning and reporting processes.

    • Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting – provides information about financial risk management
    • Councillor Guide – see 2.5 for risk management information
    • Internal audit guidelines – page 52 discusses specific risks to consider during planning processes