Nov 13, 2008

Government to deliver $466 million to local councils

Government to deliver $466 million to local councils

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 13 2008

The Rudd Labor Government will next week (17-21 November) deliver $466 million to councils and shires across Australia – the second quarterly instalment from its $1.9 billion Financial Assistance Grants program.

These untied grants can be spent by local government on local priorities including roads, parks, pools, libraries, community centres, health and child care services, and water and sewerage utilities.

This Government also recognises that rural and regional communities are under particular financial pressure due to higher service delivery costs and difficulties raising revenue. That’s why around two-thirds of our grants will go to councils and shires serving these areas of Australia.

The Financial Assistance Grants are being delivered to individual councils based on the recommendations from local government grant commissions in each of the states and territories. This year’s annual allocation to individual council can be found at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/local/assistance.

The grant recommendations from the Northern Territory are still being assessed.

The first quarterly instalment was delivered in August 2008.

Over coming years, the Rudd Labor Government wants local government to be at the heart of its nation-building agenda. Councils and shires will not only be critical to maintaining vibrant local communities but also to lifting national productivity.

For example, local councils maintain some 657,000 kilometres of the nation’s roads.

The cornerstones of the Government’s new partnership with local government will be a seat at the national policy-making table.

On 18 November this new partnership will be put into practice when the nation’s mayors and shire presidents gather in Canberra for the inaugural meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government.

The Council will allow for the first time a direct, regular dialogue between the Commonwealth and local communities on issues of national significance, including the provision of economic and community infrastructure.