Oct 9, 2009

Rudd Government moves ahead with $25 million local government reform fund

Rudd Government moves ahead with $25 million local government reform fund

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 9 2009

Local government reform has moved a step closer with the release of guidelines and operating arrangements for the Rudd Labor Government’s $25 million Local Government Reform Fund.

This announcement was made as part of the Local Government and Planning Ministers’ Council meeting in Darwin today.

For the first time in more than a decade, the federal government is working in partnership with local, state and territory governments to improve the way that councils and shires deliver infrastructure and services to their communities.

The Fund will focus on improving infrastructure asset management and planning and build the sustainability and capacity of local governments to meet community needs.

All states and territories will have until 30 November 2009 to submit initial project proposals for funding.

These proposals will need to be developed in partnership with state and territory local government associations.

The Government is seeking practical and innovative projects which will deliver long-term benefits for local communities and improve the capacity and sustainability of the local government sector.

We expect to support projects in areas such as asset and financial management, workforce planning, adapting to demographic change, climate change adaptation, and increasing capacity and resilience of the sector.

The types of activities to be funded are expected to include:

  • Training programs, development of best-practice guides, technical assistance and software for IT systems to implement and improve asset management programs and integrate these with strategic financial plans; and
  • Collaborative projects between groups of local governments, including regional organisations of councils, to provide shared service delivery, such as joint purchasing, workforce improvements, planning for climate change at the local and regional level, and other long term challenges.

The newly established Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) will support successful reform projects by providing technical assistance and resources, as well as promoting best practice.

Project proposals will be reviewed by the Government, with support from ACELG.

The $25 million Local Government Reform Fund was announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the second meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government meeting in June this year.

Further information and funding guidelines are available at: http://infrastructure.gov.au/local/25million.aspx