Data

  • Where does the data come from?

    Data for this website has been sourced from councils’ financial statements, annual reports and a number of council returns. The website also refers to data from a number of agencies and entities.

    The Data page on the website provides additional information as to where the data has been sourced from.

    If you would like further details about a council’s financial position, please refer to the council’s individual website. All councils are required to publish their annual audited financial statements within their annual reports. This information is available on individual council websites.

    Members of the community are encouraged to contact their council directly for any further details or explanations regarding individual council results.

  • The data for my council is not accurate – member of the public

    The accuracy of this website is largely dependent upon the accuracy and completeness of data returns lodged by councils.

    The financial statements of all NSW councils are audited by the Audit Office of NSW. The Office of Local Government (OLG) does not separately audit the data provided by councils, but we do conduct extensive testing for validity and reasonableness.

    Members of the community are encouraged to contact their council directly for any further details or explanations regarding individual council results.

  • The data for my council is not accurate – council staff member

    The accuracy of this website is largely dependent upon the accuracy and completeness of data returns lodged by councils. The primary data return used is the annual Financial Data Return.

    OLG does not separately audit the data, but we do conduct extensive testing for validity and reasonableness.

    OLG compiled the information for this website from the annual Financial Data Return which is provided by councils to OLG each year. This information is formatted into the annual Time Series Data and, in March 2020, OLG sought feedback on the accuracy of the data from each council.

    If you would like the data for your council to be revised, please email OLG at olg@olg.nsw.gov.au.

  • The Building and Infrastructure Renewal Ratio for my council is not correct

    Within the 2018 19 Financial Statements, most councils included expenditure related to work-in-progress (WIP) when calculating the Building and Infrastructure Ratio.

    The Office of Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting states that WIP should not be included and therefore, for comparative reporting purposes, WIP has been removed from the calculation within this website.

  • Where has the data from other agencies been sourced from?

    The Data page on the website provides additional information as to where the data has been sourced from.

    Most of the data included in the report has been released by other agencies and is publicly available, therefore OLG does not intend to amend or change it.

    Where possible, the Data page provides links to the websites of those other agencies.

  • How can I print out a copy of the data from the website?

    You can print out a copy of the current year information for each individual council, into a PDF formatted report by clicking on the “download the council report” button on the bottom of each of the individual council pages.

    This button is found at the bottom of each of the “At a Glance”, “Finances”, “Community Leadership”, “Assets” and “Services” pages, as follows:

    A copy of previous financial year information for all councils is available in Microsoft Excel format, from the OLG website:

Performance Measures

OLG Groups and Comparisons

  • How have councils been classified as metropolitan, regional or rural?

    Council results have been compared, where possible, with the group average. OLG Groups are based on councils of a similar size and population density, based on the Australian Classification of Local Governments (ACLG) determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    NSW councils have been condensed from 22 Australian Classification of Local Government categories into 11 groups, to better reflect the councils in NSW.

    OLG has also classified councils by type into large rural, metropolitan, metropolitan fringe, regional town/city and rural.

    The groupings are based on broad demographic variables. There are often large differences between councils in the same group and, as a result, this information should not be used as a basis for individual council policy changes.

    Definitions and details on the Australian Classification of Local Government categories, OLG groups and classifications is provided on the Data page of the website.

  • I am concerned about my council’s results compared to other councils in the same group

    When used on their own, the key performance measures on this website do not give a full picture of a council’s performance. Although they show differences between councils across selected activity areas, they do not explain why these differences have arisen.

    Local circumstances can influence how well a council provides its services. Councils work with their communities to make decisions about whether to provide lower or higher levels of service, depending on local needs and priorities.

    If you would like any further details or explanations regarding individual council results, you are encouraged to contact your council directly.

  • How have the comparative/OLG groups been selected or defined?

    Council results have been compared, where possible, with the OLG group average. OLG Groups are based on councils of a similar size and population density, based on the Australian Classification of Local Governments (ACLG) determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    NSW councils have been condensed from 22 Australian Classification of Local Government categories into 11 groups, to better reflect the councils in NSW.

    The groupings are based on broad demographic variables. There are often large differences between councils in the same group and, as a result, this information should not be used as a basis for individual council policy changes.

    Definitions and details on the Australian Classification of Local Government categories, OLG groups and classifications is provided on the Data page of the website.

Previous Financial Yea Information

  • Where can I find similar information for earlier financial years?

    Performance data has been collected from councils since 1994. This information is available in Microsoft Excel format on the OLG website. The information is called the time series data.

    You can access the time series data from the Data page of the Your Council website as well as on the OLG website (www.olg.nsw.gov.au) by navigating to the Your Council Report page.

    Previous comparative reports are also available on the OLG website, at the same location.

    In addition, all councils are required to publish their annual audited financial statements within their annual reports. This information is available on individual council websites.

    Members of the community are encouraged to contact their council directly for any further details or explanations regarding individual council results.

Mapping

  • The maps on the website do not show my council

    You can find your council a number of ways on both the Your Council and Compare Councils pages, by either:

    • Sliding the map around by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse;
    • Zooming the map in or out with the toggle buttons on the bottom right of the screen;
    • Clicking on your council on the map to drill through to the comparative information. To show Sydney Metro Councils, click on the radio button; or
    • Using the "Select your council" drop down menu.

    Map of NSW for FAQs

Photos of Councils

Enhancements to and Feedback on the Website

County Councils