Supporting local governments to plan, service, finance and build strong communities.

We understand how important local government is in Australia. They play a big role in shaping and supporting our communities today and in the future.

At SGS, we provide practical services that help local government make a real impact. We connect local knowledge to the larger strategic context at the regional, state, and national levels.

Our team is skilled at creating effective public policy covering a wide range of areas, from social issues to infrastructure and the environment.

We analyse social services, economic factors, infrastructure, and services to help local governments understand what's needed and how to manage their resources and finances wisely.

We aim to work closely with local governments to help them develop their capabilities and to contribute to making our communities great places to live in Australia.

Have a project in mind?

We provide a range of services that support the local government sector.

Land use planning

  • Housing strategies
  • Affordable housing strategies
  • Precinct studies
  • Open space plans
  • Employment studies
  • Development Contributions Plans (including Open Space)
  • Land use forecasts

Economic development

  • Employment studies
  • Economic studies
  • Town centre studies strategies
  • Industrial and retail studies
  • Economic forecasts
  • Cost benefits analysis and business cases
  • Value capture appraisals

Social planning

  • Community and open space infrastructure assessments
  • Social impact assessments
  • Gambling strategies
  • Alcohol strategies
  • Affordable housing strategies
  • Community planning and needs assessments

Governance and service planning

  • Governance models
  • Alternative incomes sources
  • Service planning & service reviews
  • Organisational strategic planning
  • Workforce planning

Project appraisal

  • Financial appraisals
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Social and economic impact assessments
  • Project appraisals
  • Business case development

Our impact

Below are projects we've worked on with local government.

Maroondah 2050 Community Vision Background Report

We updated Maroondah City Council's 2040 community vision to 2050, navigating COVID-19 impacts, technological shifts, service changes, financial constraints, and housing affordability to meet community needs within budget limits.

Electrification of city transport strategy technical report

The City of Sydney targets net-zero emissions by 2035 via transport electrification and a cleaner, more active network. Our partnership on the "Electrification of Transport in the City" plan shapes travel infrastructure, aligning with local needs to reach this goal.

Mapping future business and retail growth

In partnership with Wollongong City Council, SGS analysed the intricacies of the City's commercial landscape. Our study lays the groundwork for a balanced and prosperous urban future in Wollongong through detailed analysis of land use, growth projections, and strategic planning.

Centres and employment land study

SGS and Port Stephens Council collaborated on a strategic land use study to refocus Council's planning priorities to meet changed population and future demand pressures. The study assessed commercial and job-related land availability, identified trends, and proposed solutions to support sustainable growth by 2040.

More is more: Alternative sources of income for rural councils

In this article, we explore rural councils' challenges as they strive to diversify their income sources and overcome persistent funding issues caused by their small, scattered populations. We delve into the proposed income-generating solutions and emphasise the crucial need for substantial support from federal and state governments, including revisions to critical funding mechanisms, such as the minimum general purpose grant allocation, to ensure the financial stability of rural councils and sustain their vital community roles.

The health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries across Victoria

Research conducted for the State Library of Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria reveals that the positive impacts of public libraries on communities, including improved health and well-being, outweigh their costs by a factor of two. This research shows that Victorians who engage with public libraries report better health and well-being, with an average annual value of $73.10 per adult, resulting in a net annual benefit of $234.7 million for the community, surpassing the annual costs.

Australian local government workforce skills and capability

A 2022 national survey conducted for the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) by SGS found that 90% of Australian councils grapple with job and skills shortages, especially in engineering roles. Local governments anticipate a growing need for digital and renewable energy skills and face workforce attrition, recruitment, and diversity challenges.

Local government productivity report

SGS and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) submitted a report representing Australia's 537 local governments to the Productivity Commission's Productivity Inquiry. The report emphasised the crucial role of local government in boosting national productivity. It found that local government faces financial constraints, despite increasing demand for services, with limited investment and poor policy settings hindering their ability to contribute effectively to the economy and maintain local assets and services.

Whittlesea gender equity in employment analysis

SGS and the City of Whittlesea, partnered to identify gender inequality in local employment opportunities for women, driven by limited job options and geographical constraints. Our collaborative effort involved data analysis and consultations with external partners. This initiative aims to shape the creation of more accessible and relevant jobs, advocate for systemic change, and indirectly impact factors such as flexible work arrangements and transportation in the region.

Ballarat Creative City Strategy

SGS collaborated with the City of Ballarat to develop a Creative City Strategy and Masterplan. The strategy aims to strengthen Ballarat's identity as a creative city over the next two decades, emphasising creative industries, cultural participation, economic growth, and a world-class creative precinct. The council unanimously adopted it in May 2019 and received awards in 2019 and 2020.

Our team

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