President’s Update – 20 May 2024

2024-25 Federal Budget update – Wins and more to do!

In response to ALGA’s advocacy, Australian councils will receive an additional $330 million in federal funding in 2024-25, including a $150 million increase in the Roads to Recovery program, as a result of the recent Federal Budget.

However, the Government has not delivered on their election promise of fair funding increases to Federal Assistance Grants – there has never been a more important time for you to lodge your submission to the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry we secured together, calling for an increase of at least 1% of Commonwealth Taxation Revenue to be allocated to Federal Assistance Grants.

This Budget emphasises the need for a fair and sustainable funding model, and I urge all councils to put forward a submission to the Inquiry, which closes on 31 May. ALGA has developed a guide to support you to develop your own council submissions.

ALGA strongly advocated for increased support for councils, and we were thrilled when the Government announced last November that Roads to Recovery funding would be doubled to $1 billion over the forward Budget estimates, with this commitment reflected in the Budget.

Financial Assistance Grants to councils will increase from $3.115 billion in 2023-24 to $3.27 billion ($155 million increase) next year, in line with the legislated indexation formula.

The Budget papers indicated that for Financial Assistance Grants, the Government will work with states to advance funding to councils earlier than would usually occur, and I have written to the Treasurer to seek clarity that will support you in developing your annual budgets.

ALGA applauds the intent of new housing and active transport funding however, on Budget night we highlighted that having funding only flow to local governments via state and territory governments would limit their success.  We play a key role building enabling infrastructure, as well as cycleways and footpaths, and so should be eligible to apply directly to these new programs

Local Government Conference – Last chance!

Finally, time is running out to secure your discounted tickets for our 2024 National General Assembly, with early bird registrations closing on 7 June.

This year’s NGA will again lead into the Australian Council of Local Government on Friday 5 July.

This will be my last Conference as President and, together, our last chance before the election to come together and collectively advocate to the Government and federal Ministers for the fair funding our councils and communities need.