Twenty Seven councils in Grey will benefit from the Australian Government’s $2.1 billion pre-payment on next year’s Financial Assistance Grant (FAG’s) to all councils across Australia.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said this early payment will give all of our councils the flexibility to deal with the challenges we have faced over the last twelve months including flooding in some areas and the continuing drag of COVID-19.
“It is a clear signal that we believe councils are best placed to assess local needs and to respond to them,” he said.
“The Federal Government is by far the biggest contributor to local councils and never before have we seen the level of investment as is being delivered at the moment.
“Hundreds of millions have been provided to local councils through Roads to Recovery, FAGS, the Special Local Road Supplement, the Drought Communities Program and Local Roads and Infrastructure Program which was extended in the recent budget for two years.
“The bringing forward of the FAG’s payment does not mean councils have to spend the money immediately, but it does give them the chance to properly plan their programs. Take advantages of opportunities when they arise and/or stagger their works programs to deal with supply issues.
“This will provide a vital boost for our local communities, backing local jobs and economic growth while delivering lasting upgrades that will benefit residents for years to come.”
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan said pre-paying the Financial Assistance Grant means the Government is backing local councils when they need it most.
“The Government is committed to continuing its support to local governments, given their important role in delivering vital services and ensuring quality of life for Australian communities,” Mr Hogan said.
“These grants are untied in the hands of local government, allowing councils to spend the grants according to local priorities – a real shot in the arm for councils and local decision-making in these challenging times.
“I want to acknowledge the hard work of local officials – with support from our Government – in dealing with natural disasters and their aftermath at a community level.
“I have been in regular contact with mayors, councillors and other local government ministers to understand the realities on the ground, and to make sure we are all playing our part.
“A stable and effective local government sector is good for the nation and we will continue to do what is good for the nation through these crises.”
Since 1974–75, the Australian Government will have provided local governments with $64 billion in untied funding through the Financial Assistance Grant program to 2022-23.
The Commonwealth has committed $2.8 billion in funding to local government in 2022–23, 75 per cent being brought forward to be paid early to local governments for rebuilding after floods and the transition and planning of living with COVID-19.
More information is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories-regions-cities/local-government/financial-assistance-grant-local-government
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744 April 5 2022