The Opposition’s call this week to end the freeze to the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) has put the focus on the challenges being faced by local councils as a result of the Government-imposed freeze, and demonstrates that council funding must be addressed in the Federal budget in May.
The three-year freeze to FAGs indexation introduced in the 2014-15 Federal budget continues to have a significant impact on councils.
Wakefield Regional Council has joined the campaign urging the Government to honour its promise to restore indexation to FAGs payments in the 2017-18 Federal budget.
Wakefield Regional Council Mayor Rodney Reid said the funds have played an important role in helping Wakefield Regional Council provide vital services and infrastructure for the community.
“The Commonwealth’s decision in the 2014 Federal Budget to freeze indexation of this valued funding means Wakefield Regional Council has received a reduced level of FAGs for the past three years, putting a noticeable dent to our budget, in excess of $180,000 and impacting on the services we’re able to provide to our community,” Mayor Reid said.
The following services within Wakefield Regional Council equate to approximately $180,000 (FY18):
- Street lighting expenses and library expenses
- Maintaining three waste depots, maintaining public conveniences, and contributing towards insurances and maintenance for community halls
“The Australian Government committed to restore indexation in this year’s Federal Budget and the Wakefield Regional Council and community will join with other communities in holding them to their promise,” Mayor Reid said.
ALGA will continue to advocate to the highest levels for the restoration of FAGs indexation in the May Budget, but we will also need your help to strengthen our national advocacy efforts.
If you have a Twitter or a Facebook account, you can help by joining ALGA’s social media Thunderclap campaign.
The team at ALGA has also prepared a council advocacy kit – available at councils.endthefreeze.com – that includes templates, background information and talking points to assist your campaign at the local level to ensure the Government keeps its promise to restore indexation to FAGs in this year’s Federal Budget.