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To advise local governments of the procedure for borrowing applications for the 2011-12 financial year.
The Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 provides that statutory bodies must have the Treasurer’s approval to obtain borrowings. Under a general approval of 23 May 2003, the Treasurer’s approval is granted for local governments to borrow from Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) subject to the approval of the Department of Local Government and Planning (DLGP).
Separate approval of the Treasurer is required for borrowings other than from QTC. The process for approval of non-QTC borrowings is not covered in this bulletin.
Key points for the borrowing program for 2011-12 are:
The department strongly encourages local governments to seek borrowing approvals as early as possible in the financial year. Early submissions will enable assessments to be undertaken and approvals issued as soon as possible.
Once borrowing approval has been granted by the department, council can actively work with QTC in order to time the draw downs.
In order to ensure that borrowing applications are processed and funds are available prior to 30 June 2012, local governments must submit completed applications prior to close of business Friday 30 September 2011. It is expected that applications received by this date will be evaluated by 31 December 2011.
Applications received after this time will continue to be processed but cannot be guaranteed to be finalised by the department before 30 June 2012.
The department requires the following information in order to assess borrowing applications:
Local governments should submit by mail the required documentation to the department in the following way:
Any applications which do not contain all of the required documentation or the completed and signed checklist will not be considered complete and returned to council for attention.
Please note that electronic applications can no longer be accepted by the department due to email size constraints.
Local governments are therefore advised not to email the forecast model to the department as may have occurred in previous years.
The borrowing application, including the financial forecast, is required to be certified by the mayor and the chief executive officer. The certification confirms that the borrowings will be used for lawful, capital purposes and that a native title risk assessment has been conducted on any relevant land.
A project that constitutes more than 50 per cent of a local government’s capital expenditure in any one year, or has a value greater than $10 million, should be identified separately in a detailed list of capital works projects as a ‘significant project’ and a brief explanation of the project should be provided.
All local governments are to use the QTC financial forecasting model for the borrowing application. The forecast model is to include five years of historical values (2006-07 to 2010-11) and ten years of forecast values (2011-12 to 2020-21). Local governments which are yet to access the forecast model should contact QTC directly on 3842 4745.
QTC can directly assist local governments with using the model and undertake an informal review of Council’s model to ensure accuracy and completeness. QTC can also assist local governments with debt structuring.
The department will assess the financial forecast to determine whether the local government has the capacity to meet its proposed loan servicing commitments. The department may request further information to assist in substantiating the forecast or the local government’s financial position.
If a local government significantly revises its financial forecast after lodgement but prior to approval, the details of the revisions should be clearly communicated to the department.
When the assessment has been completed, the department will advise the local government and QTC as to whether the borrowings have been approved. If the borrowings are approved, the local government may then contact QTC directly to arrange draw down of the borrowings up to the approved amount. All borrowings will be approved for a maximum loan term of 20 years, however a local government may choose a shorter term.
Borrowings approved in the 2011-2012 financial year will not carry forward to subsequent financial years. Borrowings which are not drawn down prior to 30 June 2012 will be unavailable to the local government in future years. Should undrawn borrowings subsequently be required in future financial years, it will be necessary for the local government to submit a new borrowing application.
Any further enquiries on this matter should be addressed to:
The department’s postal address is:
Office of Local Government
Department of Local Government and Planning
PO Box 15009
City East QLD 4002.