Councils secure billions for our communities

Australia’s 537 councils have secured billions of dollars in additional funding for Australian communities in the lead-up to this year’s Federal Election.

ALGA President Linda Scott said these funding commitments from the Coalition and Labor will see more federal funding provided to every Australian suburb, town and region.

“We often see election commitments targeted to marginal electorates, but the funding local government has secured will flow through to every council and community,” Cr Scott said.

“This includes a $500 million commitment from the Coalition – and a $750 million commitment from Labor – to extend the $2.5 billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.”

“This extra funding means we can continue to build and upgrade local libraries, skate parks, playgrounds, sporting facilities, bike paths and roads right across our country.”

“We have also received commitments from both parties to continue to increase the untied Financial Assistance Grants that all councils receive.”

“Financial Assistance Grants need to be restored to at least one percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue to ensure the sustainability of Australian councils and the livability of Australian communities, and we appreciate the support we’ve received on this issue from independent candidates who may hold the balance of power in the next Parliament.”

Cr Scott said local government advocacy had also delivered a $200 million per year commitment from Labor to invest in disaster mitigation and resilience.

“The flooding along our eastern seaboard this year has shown Australia is failing to properly prepare for natural disasters,” Cr Scott said.

“Councils have been calling for a $200 million per year disaster mitigation fund – as recommended by the Productivity Commission – and we are pleased Labor has responded with their proposed Disaster Ready Fund.”

“Strong advocacy from local government has also helped deliver commitments from both major parties to address mobile black spots and lagging regional internet services.”

“Finally, we are thrilled that Labor has committed to restoring local government representation to National Cabinet if elected, supporting stronger partnerships between all three tiers of government.”

Cr Scott thanked councils that have worked with ALGA and their state and territory local government associations to secure these funding commitments.

“Right across the country, councils have endorsed our funding priorities and lobbied their local members and candidates for a better deal for our communities,” Cr Scott said.

“By supporting this campaign, these councils have helped deliver commitments that will benefit not just their local residents, but communities right across our nation.”