To be eligible for a financial assistance grant an organisation must be either a council gazetted under the Local Government Act or a declared local governing body pursuant to section 4(2) of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 and section 19 of the Local Government Grants Commission Act.

General Purpose Grants


Grant money is distributed according to the National principles and a methodology developed in consultation with local government and approved by the Commonwealth. The funding provided to councils is untied, which means that there are no conditions on how the money is spent, but it must be included in the annual audited financial statements. Grant money is provided to ensure that each council in the Territory has the same capacity to deliver the same level of service as all other councils in the Territory.

Calculation of Grants

The final grant is calculated using assessed revenue raising capacity and expenditure needs of a council. A range of factors, such as location, dispersion, Aboriginality, regional centre recognition  and population are used to reflect differences in the costs faced by councils. The difference between the expenditure and revenue is then used to work out how to distribute the grant money.

Minimum Grant

No council receives a grant, which is less than 30% of what it would receive if all grants were allocated on a population basis.

Road Grants

In determining road grants for councils, the Grants Commission has establised a road factor equation. This equation is used to assess the cost of maintaining a council’s roads, takes into account annual and recurrent maintenance costs and the cost of reconstruction at the end of a road’s useful life.

The equation recognises the different needs of urban and rural roads and the different levels of development of these roads.

The Grants Commission has determined factors that represent cost differentials in maintaining different types of roads.

The different road types and respective weightings are:

Road Type Weighting
Sealed 27
Gravel 12
Cycle Paths 10
Formed 7
Unformed 1

Information Sources

Information from a number of sources such as the Grants Comission annual financial data return, annual roads return, Australian Bureau of Statistics, council visit’s, submissions and hearings are used in the final grant assessment for each council.

Visits, Submissions and Hearings

The Grants Commission visits all councils throughout the Territory on a three year cycle. This provides councillors, local authority and community members with a chance to show the Grants Commission what they are doing for their community.

Submissions are prepared by councils and considered by the Grants Commission prior to the final grant determination process each year. Submissions should highlight changes in your community so that the Grants Commission can assess your council’s need.