Local government is an integral part of Australian culture and society and its formation dates from the early years of formal governance in Australia. There is no longer a traditional definition of 'core' local government services such as 'roads, rates and rubbish'. Australian local government in the twenty first century delivers a greater range of services, broadening its focus from 'hard' infrastructure provision to include spending on social services such as health, welfare, safety and community amenities. It has roles in governance, advocacy, service delivery, land use planning, community development, regulation and business development. Local government is increasingly taking on more responsibility for social, health and environmental functions with increasing calls on available funding. In recent years, there has been intense interest in developing policies to increase private sector participation in financing for infrastructure by the local government sector in Australia.