Local governments across the nation have now received the first quarterly payment of the highest annual allocation from the Morrison McCormack Government through the Financial Assistance Grant program.
Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said a total of $2.6 billion in untied Commonwealth funding has been allocated for local governments in 2020-21, including the $1.3 billion pre-payment made in May this year.
Minister Coulton said the first quarterly payment of $309 million will give every council access to funds to help manage the cumulative impacts of drought, bushfires and now the COVID19 pandemic.
“Having been a Mayor, I know how hard our local governments work to build stronger and more sustainable communities to meet the growing needs of their residents,” Minister Coulton said.
“This funding is untied, meaning local councils can invest in their own local priorities to support jobs and communities.
“With many councils having faced years of drought, bushfires and now the harsh impacts of a global pandemic, I’ve been nothing short of amazed at the pure grit and determination our councils have shown as they continue to deliver vital services to ensure quality of life for Australian communities.
“It is vital now, more than ever, for Governments to back our local councils, which is exactly what this funding boost does.”
Minister Coulton said these grants are just one way the Federal Government supports local councils, with funding under the Coalition’s new $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program also providing funding to councils to deliver smaller projects to support jobs and stimulate regional economies and our ongoing $500 million a year through Roads to Recovery.
“Local Government remains a valued partner of our Government. I regularly meet with all State Local Government Ministers and the Australia Local Government Association, and earlier this week met with LG Professionals Australia to hear ideas on how best we can all continue to work together,” Minister Coulton said.
“A stable and effective local government sector is good for the nation and we will continue to do what is good for the nation throughout this crisis.”
Since 1974-75, the Australian Government has provided local governments with $56 billion in untied funding through the Financial Assistance Grants program.