The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the state election. Minimal updates will be made to this site until after the election results are declared.

Skip links and keyboard navigation

Local Governments seeking borrowings for capital projects and/or a Working Capital Facility can submit an application to the Department.

Please refer to the Application Guidelines (PDF, 169kB) for further information about this process, including the key dates and required documentation for the current financial year’s Local Government Borrowing Program.

Separate approval of the Treasurer is required for borrowings and facilities not sourced from QTC. The approval process of non-QTC borrowings and facilities is not covered here. Please email any queries on this issue to Finance&This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Local Government Debt Refinancing Program

The Queensland Government has announced the Local Government Debt Refinancing Program to allow councils to refinance and extend the loan term on some or all of their existing fixed debt with Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) to take advantage of historically low interest rates. This will provide councils with an opportunity to free up additional cashflow through reduced loan repayments during challenging economic circumstances.

Participating councils have the option to borrow or to use cash reserves to cover the break costs (early payment adjustment) associated with refinancing existing loans.

Eligibility

This program is open to all councils with existing QTC fixed debt.

Councils can choose to refinance all or part of their existing QTC fixed debt.

Please note there is no economic value in refinancing to the same term.

Objectives

The primary goals of this program are to allow participating councils to:

  • unlock annual operating cashflows which councils are encouraged to re-invest in ways that will stimulate economic activity, deliver projects, and/or support jobs
  • lock in for an extended period historically low interest rates on long-term debt; and
  • support a sustainable local government sector.

Program term and timeframes

This program will initially run for the 2020-21 financial year only, with applications for refinancing closing COB Friday, 26 February 2021.

Application process

Stage 1 – Investigation
Prior to applying for refinancing, interested councils should contact QTC to identify the potential cashflow which could be unlocked by refinancing their existing QTC debt. Part of this engagement with QTC will assist councils with identifying opportunities to effectively reinvest the unlocked cashflows.

QTC can be contacted via Robyn Usher on 07 3017 6341 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Stage 2 – Application
Councils wishing to refinance must submit an application to the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs using the current Local Government Borrowing Program Application Guidelines 2020-21 (PDF, 170KB).

A refinancing application is to be considered in conjunction with other proposed borrowings for 2020-21. The proposed refinancing amounts and extended term are to be entered in the Specific Purpose borrowings section in Part A of the guidelines checklist (PDF, 180KB), with the refinancing program noted in the Details of borrowing purpose column.

The application must include an updated Local Government Forecast Model, inclusive of all proposed new borrowings and refinancings, as well as an attachment detailing the loans to be refinanced and whether the early payment adjustment is to be capitalised.

As part of the application, councils are also requested to identify the purpose for which any unlocked cashflow will be used (for example, investment in infrastructure or maintenance of critical infrastructure) and the expected benefits (including infrastructure, economic or employment benefits) to Council and/or the community.

Councils who intend to refinance should ensure their current debt policy is updated to reflect changes to new borrowings, repayments and loan terms.

Stage 3 – Assessment
All applications to refinance debt will be assessed by QTC to determine a council’s ability to service the proposed amount.

The Department will decide whether to approve the requested borrowings following receipt of QTC’s recommendation. Following an approval of the refinancing application, QTC will work with the council to facilitate the refinancing process.

Additional information

Additional information about the program can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (login required) section of the QTC website.

For any queries about the program, please contact the Department by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone on 3452 6719.