Catherine King is today calling on the Turnbull Government to provide local councils in the Ballarat region with a one-off boost to their funding by bringing forward one quarter of Financial Assistance Grants funding from 2018-19 into 2017-18.
“This funding boost will provide important cash flow for all our local councils and support local jobs,” Ms King said.
“On the basis of 2016-17 funding amounts, Ballarat Council would receive an additional $3,094,754 which would be a significant boost for the region.”
“Our other local councils of Moorabool, Golden Plans and Hepburn would receive over $1,000,000 each.”
“This funding would be particularly important for our smaller, more regional councils that are heavily dependent on Financial Assistance Grants. These councils will be free to undertake new projects and fund much needed maintenance works”.
“This will provide the local economy with a shot in the arm which will mean more local jobs and more investment.”
Labor has always strongly backed local government and has condemned the Turnbull Government’s freeze on the three year indexation of Financial Assistance Grants that has seen nearly $1 billion stripped away.
Federal Labor understands that local government needs the capacity to plan for the future and make strategic decisions about infrastructure and growing service priorities.
That is why at the 2016 Federal Election, Labor pledged to end the indexation freeze after 2016-17.
The Turnbull Government continues to refuse to provide assurances that they will lift the freeze.
Across Australia around 560 local councils employ nearly 189,000 Australians and these councils are at the frontline of services to their communities.
Freezing the indexation of funding to local government has meant local councils across Australia have been forced to reduce the services they provide to their communities, including: community care, library opening hours, waste transfer station operations, childcare availability and increase fees such as kindergarten fees.
The impact of this lost funding on infrastructure maintenance and repair budgets is also significant, and will have a lasting impact.
“You cannot claim to stand for regional Australia and at the same time strip funding away from the local councils that the community rely on.”
April 11th 2017