Jul 7, 2009

$56 million to help WA councils deal with global economic recessions

$56 million brought forward to help WA councils deal with global economic recession

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

July 7 2009

The Rudd Labor Government has delivered more than $56 million in early Financial Assistance Grants payments to Western Australian councils to help them deal with the local impacts of the global economic recession.

Anthony Albanese, Minister for Local Government, today announced the value of the payment that had been brought forward for each of the 139 councils in Western Australia.

Details of payments are available at http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/local/assistance/pdf/WA_StateSummary_09-10.pdf

This measure builds on more than $1 billion in new funding that the Government is providing to stimulate local economies through the Community Infrastructure Program.

Local communities are feeling the impacts of the global recession with rising unemployment and slowing economies.

As a result, local councils have seen growing demand for community services and infrastructure.

The Rudd Government is taking decisive action to help local communities by bringing forward the 2009-10 first quarter Financial Assistance Grants.

Western Australian councils will be able to spend these funds on a range of priorities including local roads, parks and pools, libraries, community centres, and child care services.

The grant allocation is determined independently and is untied so that councils can spend them in accordance with local priorities.

Local councils are not only critical to maintaining vibrant local communities but make a vital contribution to the nation’s productivity.

We also understand how important the grants are for rural and regional councils, where these funds can comprise more than half of council revenue.

Grants to individual councils were recommended by the Western Australian Local Government Grants Commission, a body established under Western Australian legislation for the purpose of determining the distribution of the grants to councils in Western Australia.

The remaining 2009-10 Financial Assistance Grants payments will be made in the usual manner.