Feb 12, 2009

Liberals and Nationals stop $500 million for local community infrastructure

Liberals and Nationals stop $500 million for local community infrastructure

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 12 2009

Today, the Liberal and National parties have voted against the Rudd Government’s $42 billion National Building and Jobs Plan which includes $500 million for community infrastructure like sports grounds, swimming pools, community centres and town halls.

By stopping the stimulus package, the Liberals and Nationals have stopped funding to hundreds of local government-led community projects.

The Liberals and Nationals have put politics ahead of local communities.

If the legislation had passed, an extra $500 million would have flowed to local government to build local infrastructure and support jobs in local communities.

This would have built on the $300 million announced by the Prime Minister in November 2008 at the Australian Council of Local Government – bringing community infrastructure funding to $800 million over two years.

Local government was solidly behind the plan with the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program receiving 344 submissions from councils and shires – which sought more than $1.2 billion to build infrastructure and boost local economies.

The Rudd Government responded to the demand from communities by increasing funding available for local government by more than 10 times the original amount.

The Australian Local Government Association has applauded the Government’s investment. They said:

"This injection of additional funding for community facilities at the local level is without precedent and will mean a boost for jobs in local communities hit by the economic slowdown. It will also mean that projects previously unable to be afforded by councils will now be able to be delivered immediately.”

(ALGA Media Release, 3 February 2009)