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The Queensland Local Government Grants Commission's (the Commission) statutory powers come under sections 230-233 of the Local Government Act 2009.

The Commission provides recommendations to the Minister responsible for local government in Queensland on the distribution of the Commonwealth Government's Financial Assistance Grant to local governing bodies in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (Commonwealth) and the national principles prescribed under the Act by the Commonwealth Minister.

The statutory powers also extend to holding inquiries and making investigations in connection with the finances of local governing bodies.

It is the Commission's responsibility to ensure the distribution of the Financial Assistance Grant is based on horizontal fiscal equalisation or relative need. The differences in each council's expenses for performance of functions, and the capacity to raise revenue, are taken into account to establish the average level of performance in revenue capacity and expenditure need. The grant allocation to the local governing body should therefore assist them to function by reasonable effort to an average standard for the state.

Under the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (Commonwealth) only local councils and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils are eligible for funding.

Commission members

Commissioners are appointed by the Governor in Council for up to three years. The current Commission was appointed on 24 March 2016.

The Local Government Act 2009 and Local Government (Finance, Plans and Reporting) Regulation 2012 requires the Commission to be comprised of six members:

  • Four persons with knowledge of local government, of which one is the Chairperson.
  • One person with knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local government.
  • An officer of the department.


This position is currently vacant.

Deputy Chair

This position is currently vacant.

Brendan McNamara

Brendan McNamara served as Flinders Shire Mayor from 1997 to 2012 and councillor from 1991 to 1997. He is a former Director and Treasurer of the Local Government Association of Queensland and was the Vice President of the North Queensland Local Government Association. He has also served on state government advisory committees. In partnership with his wife, he operates a 14,000 hectare sheep and cattle property 87 kilometres south of Hughenden. In an earlier career, Brendan qualified and worked as an accountant in Townsville.

Donna Stewart

Donna Stewart served as the Mayor of Balonne Shire from 2008 until announcing her retirement prior to the 2016 local government elections. Before council amalgamations, she also served as Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillor for the (former) Warroo Shire for more than 26 years. Ms Stewart is currently a taskforce member for the Queensland Government and has been a member of the Northern Basin Advisory Committee since 2013.

Janelle Menzies

Janelle Menzies has been the Chief Executive Officer for the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council from 2014, and was previously the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Finance Manager for Pormpauraaw Aboriginal Shire Council from 2009. With a Bachelor of Accounting from University of South Australia, Ms Menzies has held several roles as a finance manager for local councils from 1998. In 2008, Ms Menzies received the Australia Day Award for Public Service, for her work as a financial controller at Mer and Saibai Islands in the Torres Strait.

Ann Bunnell

Ann Bunnell is a former Deputy Mayor of the Townsville City Council. During her two decades as a councillor, she was the chair of many statutory committees. Ms Bunnell is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a former Fellow of the Australasian Mutual Institute. She has also served as Director for the Great Barrier Reef Council, Queensland Country Health and State and National Landcare Councils.


The Commission's statutory powers come under the Local Government Act 2009 and Local Government Regulation 2012. Chapter 10 of the regulation provides: Section 308 - 'What chapter 10 is about'

  • This chapter is about the way the grants commission performs its responsibilities as a Local Government Grants Commission under the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act.

Legislative links are provided below:

National principles

Please refer to national principles relating to the allocation of general purpose grants payable under Section 9 of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (Commonwealth) (the Act) among local governing bodies.

When is the Financial Assistance Grant paid?

How can I get a better grant?

What is the estimate of my Financial Assistance Grant for next year?

What is the difference between entitlement and cash grant?

Why is there disparity between councils regarding the allocation of funds for the Financial Assistance Grant?

What are cost adjustors and why are they used in the methodology?

What is the data collection instrument and how do I use it?