Supporting a stronger local government sector with critical funding

Councils in every corner of the country have shared in $2.6 billion from the Federal Government over the past year to support their communities, undertake projects and boost local jobs.

The Federal Government provides billions of dollars to councils, every quarter of every year through the Financial Assistance Grants program.

Federal Local Government Minister, Mark Coulton said council coffers nationwide would be replenished by the latest Financial Assistance Grant instalment of $308 million.

“Having been a Mayor, I know first-hand how vital our local governments are in building stronger and more sustainable communities, and the Federal Government is proud to partner with them to enable them to deliver for their towns,” Minister Coulton said.

“This funding is untied, meaning councils can spend the grants according to local priorities that support jobs and communities, many of which have been impacted by drought, fire, floods and more recently COVID-19.

“Across the nation, local governments employ around 194,000 people and deliver a wide range of services in the cities, regional towns and remote areas of Australia, which is why this support is needed now more than ever to help map Australia’s economic recovery.”

Minister Coulton said in addition to delivering the final quarterly payment, an early payment of $1.32 billion from next year’s allocation will hit councils’ coffers in June 2021.

“This will ensure local governments are well supported to deliver vital services, without having to wait for next year’s quarterly payments: that is 50 per cent, upfront,” Minister Coulton said.

“Continuing this support through the Financial Assistance Grant program is key to delivering opportunities for local government to generate business, and will provide a boost to the economy and deliver critical services for their residents.

“Every dollar spent on building a stable and effective local government sector is a dollar well spent and that is at the heart of our economic plan for a more secure and resilient Australia.

“I am pleased in 2019-20, with record levels of funding in programs such as Financial Assistance Grants, Roads to Recovery, and Local Roads and Community Infrastructure, Federal Government payments to local government was more than one per cent of its available taxation revenue, and I expect this to be the case again by the end of this financial year.”

Minister Coulton said since 1974-75, the Australian Government has provided local governments with close to $60 billion in untied funding through the Financial Assistance Grants program.

Visit regional.gov.au/local/assistance/index

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