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Councils offer conduit for fast, targeted stimulus with long term benefits

  • Stimulus funding for councils would support local jobs
  • Local government stands ready to partner with the Prime Minister in time of crisis

While the nation’s health experts tackle the virus crisis head on, local businesses and jobs are grinding to a halt – and Councils want to fill the gaps to keep our economy healthy too.

Rebuilding bushfire ravaged communities, creating jobs in areas of drought, accelerating investment in recycling technologies, fixing rutted roads, widening road shoulders, installing wire rope barriers, and renewing worn out community infrastructure.

“These are immediate needs, with national policy alignment, shovel ready for targeted short-term stimulus and with long term benefits to the nation. These are all areas in which local councils stand ready to partner with the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments to help keep the wheels of the economy turning in this time of national need“ said Mayor David O’Loughlin, President of the Australian Local Government Association.

“We call on the Commonwealth to immediately restore historic levels of funding through targeted local government programs such as Financial Assistance Grants, and to significantly boost funding through programs such as Roads to Recovery, Bridges Renewal, Road Safety Blackspots, Drought and Bushfire Relief programs. These are all proven pathways for distributing additional funding and stimulating local, state and the national economies.“

“Every dollar invested by the State and Commonwealth in Local Governments will yield immediate dividends in boosting local spending, keeping local businesses trading, sustaining existing jobs and creating new outdoor jobs to help relieve unprecedented pressure on indoor jobs in tourism, hospitality and discretionary retail. “

“These are not sugar hits or short term handouts – every additional dollar invested in Local Government will renew or create high value and long-lasting infrastructure, restoring communities, improving safety, and boosting productivity.“

“We want exactly what the Prime Minister wants – stability during this pandemic crisis, a rapid recovery, and a stronger economy on the other side”, said Australian Local Government Association President Mayor David O’Loughlin.

“In times of crisis people expect governments to step up. Local Government can, and will, if historic levels of funding are restored and further boosts are provided”

“The recent announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack of an increase in bridges renewal funding for bushfire affected councils is a perfect example of tying stimulus funding through local government to clear and agreed areas of need. Areas which we had already identified before the pandemic.”

Working together, quickly and relying on long-established funding pathways and established needs, Local Government can play a critical role in keeping local economies alive and building stronger communities to ensure the nation’s recovery is on a firm footing.

Available for interview:

Mayor David O’Loughlin, President, Australian Local Government Association.

Media enquiries:

Abby Carey, Executive Assistant, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), 0418 415 649, 02 6122 9422, abby.carey@alga.asn.au


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State of the Regions Report 2018-19: Trade, Jobs, Growth and Inequality

The latest report prepared by National Economics (the Australian Institute of Economic and Industry Research) brings forth the data and analysis showing a growing inequality between metropolitan and remote/outer lying regions, when looking at the indicators of population, GDP, income from work, productivity and household disposable income. 

A detailed analysis of regional performance is provided across household wealth and income, construction, industry and employment, unemployment and social security take up.

Additional commentary is provided in relation to potential vulnerabilities from Chinese trade, with both indirect and direct exports of both goods and services considered for the 67 defined regions.  Insights are also provided into the energy sector, outlining electricity generation by fuel type by SOR region from both renewable and non-renewable fuel sources.

An overview of the finance sector and its role at the SOR regional scale is also provided, asking, “what should local government be looking for as [scrutiny and changes in the finance sector] plays out?”

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