Frontline Solutions for Australia’s Economic Recovery
With the next Federal Election just weeks away, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is calling on all parties and candidates to support an increase in Financial Assistance Grants to local government.
LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM said restoring Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue would ensure every community could participate in and benefit from Australia’s economic recovery.
“Councils have been at the forefront of supporting their communities through bushfires, the Covid-19 pandemic and frequent widespread flooding,” Cr Turley said.
“These challenges have intensified an already difficult situation for many councils, particularly in regional and rural communities where councils have large areas to service but small ratepayer bases.
“Restoring Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue will benefit councils and ensure communities aren’t left behind, especially in rural and regional areas.”
Independent analysis shows increasing Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue would also create 16,000 jobs and add about $2.37 billion a year to Australia’s GDP.
Cr Turley said councils were also calling for an immediate and once-off $1.3 billion injection of Financial Assistance Grants to boost local economies.
“This once-off injection of Financial Assistance Grants would create more than 13,000 jobs and add more than $1.9 billion a year to our GDP,” Cr Turley said.
“Financial Assistance Grants are particularly important and valuable to councils, as the funding is untied and can be spent in areas where it is most needed.
“This means having the chance to upgrade local infrastructure, invest in our workforces, support local businesses, or better prepare our communities for the increasingly recurrent and severe national disasters we have been seeing.
“It was disappointing to see that the Morrison government didn’t take the opportunity in the announcement of the Federal Budget for 2022-23 to make any significant increase to Financial Assistance Grants.
“Councils go above and beyond in providing the most effective services and quality infrastructure for their communities.
“The resilience of our communities is in jeopardy if councils aren’t given the assistance to deliver what is needed.
“The best way to ensure NSW’s economic recovery is for the government to work hand-in-hand with councils to provide resources to continue to drive a locally led recovery.”
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