Welcome to Issue 15 of the Mead Perry Group newsletter.

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Rest assured no consultants were harmed in the creation of this photograph.

In this Issue

  • What have we been doing?
  • New team member!
  • Feature Story - The system of Local Government in New Zealand
  • MPG Team - Out and About 
  • Future Conference attendance
  • Further Conferences Scheduled
  • Our Specialist Services
  • Skills Manager
  • Our Local Buy registration contract details

What have we been doing?

We have been keeping busy with a variety of specialist projects for Councils throughout Australia, including but not limited to;

  • Finance Operations support - 1 Council, 2 projects
  • Ethical Conduct Training - 1 Council
  • Plant Operation Review - 1 Council
  • Risk Management - 1 Council
  • Rate Methodology Review - 3 Councils, 4 projects
  • Delegations Register Review - 1 Council
  • Senior Office Relief - 1 Council
  • Organisational Review - 1 Council
  • Operational Planning - 1 Council
  • Corporate & Strategic Planning - 1 Council
  • Corporate Business System Procurement - 5 Councils, 1 project
  • Operations Review - 1 Council

Does your organisation need advice or assistance in any of these areas?

We can help.

MPG feel it is important to ensure good communication and networking continues to be a high priority, with both existing and new clients, to better serve needs of local governments and the issues that immediately affect you!

Can't wait for the newsletter?  Need regular MPG updates?

Check out Mead Perry Group on Facebook! Click the link below or find us at

Don't forget to 'Like' our page while you're there.


New Team Members!

We are pleased to announce that Nick Clarke has joined our team.

Nick brings almost twenty years Local Government experience to the team, with executive level positions held at both Redland and Brisbane City Councils.  He is also a former president of LGMA Queensland (2010-2012) and former Director of LGMA National (2007-2010).

Nick has special interest in mentoring and coaching executive and managerial staff, but also has an excellent understanding of how governments work at local, state and national levels.
Feature Story - The system of local government

in New Zealand

Scott and John recently had an opportunity to travel to New Zealand to expand their understanding of the Local Government Landscape and engage with practitioners and Council service providers.  They received a warm welcome in all the places they visited and the time taken by our contacts to broaden the collective knowledge of MPG was great appreciated.
Known for their innovative approach to Local Government, we were keen to have a firsthand look at what is happening now and is on the horizon in NZ and identify opportunities that may add value to our clients.  As was the aim, there was a lot learnt about the NZ system of Local Government and we thought our readers might be interested in some basic information on how things work “across the ditch”.

Local government reform in 1989 saw the regional councils replace the more than 700 boards that had formed over the previous century which dealt with roads, catchment, drainage, pest control, harbours, reserves etc.

By the numbers:

The local government sector currently consists of:
11 Regional councils
61 Territorial authorities – 11 city councils and 50 district councils
6 Unitary councils
3 year terms
1600 elected members
30,000 staff are employed by local governments.
85,000 Average council population
1.44 million Largest by population is Auckland.
600 Smallest by population is the Chatham Islands
Councillor pay levels:
$269,500 Auckland Mayor -
$105,800 Auckland Councillor -
$50,934 Chatham Islands Mayor
$13,184 Chatham Islands Councillor

Financial info:


Chatham Islands Council

($000’s ) Statement of comprehensive revenue and expense 2016/17
General Rates 283
Targeted Rates 252
Grants and Subsidies 11,217
Council Dues 265
User Pays, Fees and Charges 161
Interest 63
Other Revenue 33
Total Revenue 12,274
Depreciation and Amortisation 2,887
Employment Benefits 898
Financial Costs 32
Other Expenditure 4,191
Total Expenditure 8,008
Total Surplus/Deficit 4,266

Auckland Council

  • Key financial parameters for 16/17:
Annual Plan 2016/17 ($ million)
Total capital expenditure 1,945
Total operating expenditure 3,667
Rates revenue 1,637
Average general rates increase 2.4%
Total assets 45,715
Total borrowing 8,767
Total equity 34,057
Interest to revenue ratio 11.5%
 Source:  Page 43
  • Operating Expenditure and Funding sources for 16/17:
Operating expenditure $ million   Funding sources $ million
Staff 811   Rates 1,637
Interest 466   Fees and charges 1,228
Depreciation 885   Subsidies and grants 260
Other 1,505   Other 300
Total 3,667   Total 3,425
Source:  Page 46

Some detail about the various types of Councils:

  • Eleven regional councils
    • Are required to have a chairperson (elected by fellow councillors)
    • Have between six and 14 members
    • Responsibilities include:
      • Sustainable regional well-being.
      • Managing the effects of using freshwater, land, air and coastal waters, by developing regional policy statements and the issuing of consents.
      • Managing rivers, mitigating soil erosion and flood control.
      • Regional emergency management and civil defence preparedness.
      • Regional land transport planning and contracting passenger services.
      • Harbour navigation and safety, oil spills and other marine pollution.
  • 61 Territorial authorities – 11 city councils and 50 district councils
    • Are required to have a mayor (elected by the community)
    • Have between 6 and 30 members
    • District councils serves a combination of rural and urban communities, each generally has award system of election.
    • Responsibilities include:
      • Sustainable district well-being.
      • The provision of local infrastructure, including water, sewerage, stormwater, roads.
      • Environmental safety and health, district emergency management and civil defence preparedness, building control, public health inspections and other environmental health matters.
      • Controlling the effects of land use (including hazardous substances, natural hazards and indigenous biodiversity), noise, and the effects of activities on the surface of lakes and rivers.The powers and responsibilities of city and district councils are all the same - both are territorial authorities. The only difference is that city councils serve a population of more than 50,000 in a predominantly urban area.
  • 6 unitary councils – which are territorial authorities with regional council responsibilities.  Gisbourne District, Nelson City, Tasman District, Marlborough District & Auckland.  Chatham Islands has a Council with it’s own special legislation, with powers similar to that of a regional authority.
Chief Executives are employed on fixed term contracts limited to five years, but can be re-extended for another two years following a formal performance review.  The positions must be re-advertised at the end of the negotiated period.

MPG Team - Out and About

Scott and John had an international opportunity!
As part of research for an ongoing project, Scott and John travelled to New Zealand in January to meet with potential suppliers.  A quick change of planes in Auckland, then down to Napier for a day, where they also managed a visit to the Napier Council offices (see John pictured below).  Dashing back through Auckland again, they then headed to Tauranga for another onsite visit.  A hectic few days, but some valuable information gathered!
Lew's Outback adventures....
A Cairns native, our senior consultant Lew Rojahn has had a taste of the outback life since joining MPG almost two years ago.  Here's a few of his recent experiences in the Barcoo Shire.
The famous Cooper Creek.  last point where it is a single stream before it becomes the channel country
Magnificent sunset behind a rain shower in Jundah.
FOUND IT!!! Just turn east on the Jundah-Quilpie Road.
A snapshot of our experience:
 Call us biased if you want, but here at MPG we are pretty proud of who we are and what we do.  We are especially proud of the fact that we have been in business now for 16 consecutive years - an achievement that is only possible through our relationships with our clients, who are also our friends.
Throughout those 16 years, we have worked with 40 of the 77 Queensland Councils - that's 51%!
This experience is best displayed on the below map, with highlighted areas representing an MPG client.

Standout Town - Weipa

Here at MPG, we travel. A LOT.  So, we thought we'd like to showcase some of the amazing places we get to visit, and provide you all with a snapshot!
Five Fast Facts
  • Located 850 kilometres from Cairns (but only a 1.5 hour flight!), it is the largest town on the Gulf of Carpentaria coast of the Cape York Peninsula.

  • The development of the town began in 1965 when mining began on the extensive bauxite deposits that are in the area. 

  • Now operated by Rio Tinto, it is the largest bauxite mine in the world!

  • It is referred to as the Barramundi capital of Queensland, with some truly amazing fishing opportunities to be had.  Not to mention the Weipa Fishing Classic competition held every year in June.

  • Other spots of interest - the mining museum in Lions park and the Cultural Centre which highlights the history of local Aboriginal life on the Western Cape.

Future Conference attendance

LGMA QLD Future Leaders Forum, Cairns, 18 to 19 May 2017. 

LG Professionals National Congress, Hobart, 22 to 24 May 2017. 

Western QLD Local Government Association Conference, Barcaldine, 29 to 31 May 2017. 

North QLD Local Government Association Conference, Atherton Tablelands, 26 to 28 July 2017.


Further Conferences scheduled for your information

Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
South Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia

New South Wales
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Western Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Northern Territory
Local Government Association


Ask us about our Skills Manager Software, it's a very efficient way to keep track of all your training and qualifications!

Skills Manager is a database application that has been developed by Mead Perry Group to manage and report on licences, training and skill development information where the organisation’s corporate systems are not meeting their needs.
The advantage of using a database is the improved reporting options that are available compared to Word or Excel systems.  Skills Manager utilises the Microsoft Access database.  The major aims of Skills Manager include providing reports on:


  • individual employees licences and training; and
  • licences and training held by individual employees; and
  • when training or licences have expired.

Our Specialist Services

Local Buy

Register of Pre-Qualified

Suppliers (RPQS)

Business Management


BUS 249-0515

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PO Box 142, Highfields   Qld   4352

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