Councils, like most other government organisations, are under pressure to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve the tangible benefits they provide to ratepayers.
A lot of this pressure comes from other levels of government through policies such as the rates peg from the state government and a freeze on financial assistance grants from the Commonwealth.
Many ratepayers would support these measures, but the state government in particular is undermining its own efforts by regularly shifting extra costs to councils.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is considering a sale of the Forestry Corporation's softwood division, which could raise $1 billion for the state government.
The opposition claims that the sale could see councils having to pick up a combined cost in the range of $17.5 million per year for thousands of kilometres of roads that are currently maintained by the corporation.
Wagga City Council could see its road network increase by 7 per cent due to the sale, which is significant considering how much of its budget goes to roads.
Snowy Valleys and Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional councils could be even worse off, with about one-third of the Forestry Corporation's road network falling within their borders.
The government has yet to respond to these claims.
Earlier this year the government retreated on charging additional money from councils to pay the Emergency Services Levy, giving an extra 12 months to pay additional costs that amounted to less than $100,000 for large regional councils.
If the opposition is correct, the Forestry Corporation could have a multimillion-dollar impact on some councils.
The state government has made significant contributions to Wagga council this year, including approval for major grants for the freight hub project and reducing finance costs through low-interest loans.
It would be a shame for some of this progress to be undone through 'cost shifting' new financial liabilities, which will likely result in higher rates, greater borrowings or reduced services in and around the city.
Rex Martinich, journalist