ALGA has launched an advocacy website dedicated to the campaign to restore indexation to Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) in this year’s Federal Budget, and we urgently need your assistance.
The campaign website provides a powerful advocacy tool for all councils to contact their federal representatives and seek their support to ensure indexation is restored in the upcoming 2017-18 Federal Budget – and you can complete it in less than five minutes.
By the Government’s own estimates, the 2014-15 freeze on indexation to FAGs will see councils miss out on around $925 million in funding over the four years to 30 June 2018.
This is an issue that impacts on every council in the nation. This is funding that councils such as your own could have used to maintain local community infrastructure and fund crucial community services.
While I and the ALGA team are lobbying at the Federal level on your behalf, I urge you to get on to the campaign website – endthefreeze.com – and contact your local federal parliamentary representative. A template email has already been prepared for your use, but you can give it a local flavor by tailoring it to explain the impact the freeze has had on your community, and how much more you will be able to do if the freeze is ended in this year’s Federal Budget.
You will also find on the website – councils.endthefreeze.com – a council advocacy kit that the ALGA team has prepared to assist your campaign at the local level. The kit includes:
- A template letter for councils to send to their federal representatives
- A template media release that you can use to mobilise the issue among your local media outlets
- Talking points and background information on the campaign, and more.
Your assistance at the local level is vital to ensuring every local Federal representative is able to speak on your behalf in their respective party rooms and during budget discussions about the importance of this funding stream, its deterioration in recent years, and the fundamental need to restore indexation. Your advocacy will complement and reinforce the lobbying ALGA is doing on your behalf with the Prime Minister, senior ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, shadow ministers, party leaders and officials.
You can further amplify our national advocacy efforts by meeting with your local federal parliamentary representative to give them first hand examples about how the freeze has delayed projects, increased pressure on rates and impacted on local service levels. Give them a reason to end the freeze, from the front line of community governance – you.
The Government indicated in the 2016 Federal Budget that it would restore indexation to FAGs and, with your help, we will hold the Government to their promise. Email, write, phone or speak up. Don't let your silence be interpreted as consent.
Mayor David O’Loughlin