ALGA: Don’t leave local communities behind in this year’s Federal Budget

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has used its 2022-23 Federal Pre-Budget Submission to outline a series of partnership opportunities that would help drive a strong and inclusive national recovery.

ALGA President Linda Scott said Australia’s 537 local government have the capacity for growing partnerships with the Commonwealth Government – as well as state and territory governments – to support economic and community recovery in every community, improve Australia’s transport and community infrastructure, increase local resilience to emergency events and the impacts of climate change, and help build a new circular economy.

“Only local governments can deliver a locally led recovery in every corner of our nation,” Cr Scott said.

“Our local government priorities for the Federal Budget have been independently assessed, and if funded and implemented they would contribute at least $6.65 billion per year to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product and create 44,905 new jobs.”

“Councils are offering solutions to achieve a tailored, community-focussed post-COVID economic recovery – from creating jobs to supporting local business to building new community facilities like libraries, community centres, roads, recreation trails and playgrounds.”

“Councils have an excellent track record of partnering with the Commonwealth on projects and programs that improve our communities and build better lives for all Australians.”

“Working together, we can build a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable Australia on the other side of COVID-19 and ensure that no community is left behind.”

The key funding requests in ALGA’s 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission are an initial injection of Financial Assistance Grants worth $1.3 billion to drive economic recovery across the country, and for the total value of these untied grants to be gradually restored to at least one percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue.

Other commitments sought include:

  • A four-year extension of the highly successful Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program;
  • $300 million per year to address road transport bottlenecks;
  • Expansion of the vitally important Roads to Recovery and Black Spot Programs, and permanent supplementary road funding for South Australia;
  • An additional $55 million to improve digital connectivity in regional, rural and remote communities;
  • $200 million per year to help communities mitigate against natural disaster events;
  • Establishment of a new Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund;
  • $200 million over four years for innovative affordable housing partnerships;
  • $100 million per year to increase the capacity of Indigenous councils and implement Closing the Gap initiatives;
  • A new local government place-based health and activity program;
  • Support for community arts and culture sectors impacted by COVID-19; and
  • $100 million per year to support councils to invest in circular economy waste innovation and reduce waste sent to landfill.

ALGA’s 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission can be downloaded here.