The Turnbull Government's 2018/19 Federal Budget has left local government funding untouched with funding in key programs such as Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) and Roads to Recovery (R2R) to continue at current levels.
The Federal Budget also delivered a continuation of the Bridges Renewal Program, the Black Spot Program, the Building Better Regions Fund and Safer Communities Fund.
The Government additionally committed $29.7 million to deliver up to 500 local community sporting infrastructure grants of up to $500,000 to improve community sporting facilities.
General overview and economic outlook:
- Global growth continues to improve
- Australia's strong links to Asian Region continue to present opportunities for businesses to export
- Momentum is building and Australia is in its 27th consecutive year of growth
- The economy is expected to grow by 2.75% in 2017-18 and 3% in 2018-19
- In 2017-18 the Budget deficit will be $18.2B less than half of what is was 2 years ago
- In 2018-19 the Budget deficit is predicted to be $14.5b with a slim surplus of $2.2b predicted for 2019-20
- Provide tax relief to encourage and reward working Australians
- Keep backing business to invest and create more jobs
- Guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on
- Keep Australia safe and
- Ensure that the Government lives within its means
Key initiatives and savings measures:
- Tax relief to middle and lower income Australians
- Infrastructure investment across a range of transport projects
- Aged Care Reform including additional home care packages
Of interest to local government:
- $1,229b in Financial Assistance Grants (noting $1.2b bought forward to 2017-18 from 2018-19) (see Fact Sheet 3 for Allocations))
- $24.5b in funding for new transport projects (see Fact Sheet 2)
- Priority for Aged Care funding and support packages – various measures
- $29.7m in 2018-19 to deliver up to 500 local community sporting infrastructure grants of up to $500,000 to improve community sporting facilities
- $50.1m over 4 years to enhance security arrangements to 64 regional airports
- $386.5m cash estimates payments for Natural Disaster and Relief Recovery Arrangements for 2018-19
- $30m over 2 years for Safer Communities Fund – open to local governments to fund crime prevention measures
- $206.5m over 4 years for Round Three of Building Better Regions Fund to support investment in community infrastructure
- $28.3m over 4 years to provide a further three funding rounds for the Remote Airstrip Upgrade component of the Regional Aviation Access Program
- $25.9m for Stronger Communities Program Round Four – small capital projects in regional Australia
- $4.8m for Improving collection of Housing Data by ABS and AIHW
- $1.2m over 4 years to the Regional Australia Institute to inquire into issues affecting regional Australia
More analysis is available on the ALGA website.