What are we asking for?
An initial injection of Financial Assistance Grants to local government of $1.3 billion to support communities and jobs and resolve the current practice of bringing forward two quarterly Financial Assistance Grant payments each year.
Why is it important?
The coronavirus pandemic, coming straight after the Black Summer bushfires and years of drought in many areas, continues to put stress on local government budgets across the nation.
Despite the ongoing impacts of border closures, councils have continued to support their communities by providing targeted rate relief, modifying and introducing new services as needed, and partnering with other tiers of government on economic stimulus initiatives.
These challenges have compounded an already difficult situation for many councils, particularly in rural, regional, and remote communities with large areas to service but small ratepayer bases.
They have also exposed the financial vulnerability of many urban or tourism dependent councils where there has been a significant decline in revenue due to border closures, working-from-home directives and the mandated closure of local facilities.
As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus takes hold, clouding Australia’s economic outlook, councils will need to maintain their community and economic support efforts for the foreseeable future.
An immediate – and once off – $1.3 billion injection of Financial Assistance Grants would enable us to continue to support our communities through the pandemic, and ensure no community is left behind in Australia’s economic recovery.
How would it support our communities?
The City of Wanneroo’s Alkimos Aquatic and Recreation Centre project will deliver significant social and economic benefits to the Alkimos area and surrounding suburbs.
It was originally planned for completion in 2050, but projected population growth shows this facility needs to be built in the next two to four years.
The City Council has secured initial funding commitments of $10 million from the WA State Government and $5 million from the Federal Government. However an additional $30 million is required to ensure the city can deliver the full scope of the project and meet the needs of its community now and into the future.
Deputy Mayor Brett Treby said: “Building a public swimming pool and recreation facility in our northern coastal suburbs has been a high priority for the council for a number of years, in line with our commitment to providing opportunities for healthy, active lifestyles for our community.”