Advance enjoyed yet another successful year with a number of businesses recording revenue growth. Key service areas expanded or introduced new products and the stream’s commercial activities now have a collective turnover of $150 million and management of 400 staff and contractors.
Propel, one of the LGAQ’s flagship subsidiaries recorded its strongest financial results since being established in 2006, returning $1.52 million in consolidated surpluses back to its shareholders. The Services Queensland partnership with Ipswich City Council entered its 9th year of successful operations and partnerships with Mackay Regional Council and Liverpool City Council in New South Wales thrived in their second year of operations.
Propel’s shared services client base now exceeds 20 organisations.
Total Solutions registered an overall 34 per cent increase in revenue and significant growth in many business areas. Its staff trained more than 4000 council staff – twice as many as the previous financial year – and worked with all 77 councils. Online training services continued to grow, with the release of two new e-learning courses, Authorised Persons and Local Government Worker. In total, about 22,000 courses were delivered to council employees via e-learning platforms.
The Workforce team carried out 20 independent workplace investigations and 38 industrial relations audits that identified tens of millions of dollars in savings for councils.
All key areas of Local Government Infrastructure Services (LGIS) – advisory, energy and innovation – were in demand and gross income increased 90 per cent on the previous year.
LGIS made significant progress in geothermal power projects for Queensland councils, completing the detailed design and procurement of the Winton plant, concept designs for plants at Charleville and Longreach, and pre-feasibility reviews for projects in several other towns.
LGIS Business Solutions also began a detailed feasibility study into smart street-lighting on behalf of the SEQ Council of Mayors and launched the RPA (Remote Piloted Aircraft) Gateway Service, using drones to capture data, inspect assets, ensure compliance and plan operations for local government.
Our self-insurance schemes continued their outstanding value-for-money services. Between Queensland Local Government Mutual (LGM) and Local Government Workcare (LGW), about $6 million in surplus funds were returned to members.
LGM Assets had a very successful first year in operation, achieving its financial and membership objectives.
Resolute IT celebrates 20 years of continuous service to local government this year and currently provides ICT support to more than 50 councils across the state, engaging about 2500 individual users.
Three-quarters of its customers operate in remote or regional Queensland and Resolute remains a reliable source of support for disaster recovery infrastructure.
In the past 12 months, Resolute’s core service offerings have focused on the provision of cloud brokerage and systems integration services. The organisation also entered into formal partnerships with several leading technology vendors, along with a small number of niche service providers.
Once again, Local Buy returned a solid dividend back to the LGAQ and continued to develop services for local governments, other public entities and not-for-profits, including solar panels and batteries. Its probity advisory service was taken up by councils across Queensland and the Department of Transport and Main Roads for several projects.
Several key contracts were modernised to meet the needs of local government. Local Buy moved to a cloud-based platform to ensure easier access for employees based elsewhere in the state.
The following year will continue to involve structural and operational reviews of each business area to ensure we are best placed to deliver quality services to our clients.
General Manager – Business Enterprises