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Local Government Financial Assistance Grants

Programme
Performance indicators

Local Government Financial Assistance Grants

Effectiveness: Local governments enabled to provide services to communities to facilitate social and economic development, including local roads.

Cost: $1,367.9 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Substantially achieved

During 2001-02 the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 was administered ffectively through the distribution of the Financial Assistance Grants as in previous years and in line with the Commonwealth Government's commitment to enabling local governments to serve their communities more efficiently.

The Financial Assistance Grants make a major contribution towards social and economic development in local governments throughout the country. Local governments are able to provide a better level of services to their communities as a result of this grants scheme. The research and monitoring role of the Territories and Local Government Division provides a basis for advice to the Minister to facilitate the delivery of services to local communities.

Grants to all local governments were provided through the States on the basis of agreed distribution methods based on the recommendations of relevant State Government Ministers. These grants are untied and aimed at social and economic development projects, in particular the provision and improvement of local roads.

To improve dispersion methods, the issue of 'greater consistency' was pursued in methodologies used by State Government Grants Commissions to meet the National Principles contained in the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.

In addition to the Financial Assistance Grants provision, to assist councils further in financing infrastructure projects involving the private sector the Department developed an infrastructure financing manual which had been requested by State local government ministers.

As part of the Department's role in facilitating the economic development of local government areas, advice was provided to the Minister on the effect on local government of increases in public liability insurance premiums and National Competition Policy developments were monitored.

Note: The Ministerial Council on Local Government and Planning was not convened in the financial year 2001-02.

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Federal Flood Mitigation Programme

Programme Performance indicators

Federal Flood Mitigation Programme

New Measure

Effectiveness: Reduce loss and damage to communities and infrastructure from the effect of flooding. The programme will have the direct effect of improving safety, reducing losses and damage, and maintaining business and economic activity in regional areas.

Quality: A reduction in the estimate of average annual damage.

Quantity: Increased number of properties protected from major flooding.

Increased number of flood forecasting and warning systems for flood-prone areas.

Increased number of flood-prone areas with structural measures in place.

Cost: $10.1 million

Location: Rural and regional Australia, and outer metropolitan areas.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

The Regional (formerly Federal) Flood Mitigation Programme (RFMP) was once more an outstanding success in reducing losses and damage to communities and their infrastructure from flooding.

The RFMP was expanded with funding for flood mitigation projects increasing to $50.8 million and an extension of the programme for a further three years to 2004-05. The RFMP's eligibility criteria were also expanded to include outer metropolitan areas.

In 2001-02, 59 new flood mitigation projects representing a Federal contribution of $8.54 million were approved under the programme. This brings to a total of 149 projects and over $20 million in Federal funds approved since the programme began three years ago. Due to slippage in the completion of projects, $3.99 million remains committed to projects previously approved. Eligible projects include structural works, property modifications, voluntary purchase of flood-prone properties, flood warning systems and community awareness schemes. A total of $12.53 million was spent in 2001-02, which is in accordance with the additional estimates funding arrangements.

Almost 80 per cent of RFMP funding has been allocated to high priority and much needed flood mitigation works and measures in New South Wales and Queensland.

Continued demand for RFMP funding has been demonstrated by the submission of some 200 expressions of interest for suitable flood mitigation projects in 2002-03.

The expansion of the RFMP, and full utilisation of available funds, reflect the Federal Government's strong commitment to reducing the social and economic cost of flooding to communities across Australia.

Benefits of Flood Mitigation in Australia (Report 106) examines the substantial economic benefits of implementing flood mitigation measures, such as land use planning, building controls, voluntary purchase of flood-prone properties, levees and road sealing. The research is a major input into the review of natural disaster and relief arrangements being undertaken by the Council of Australian Governments. (For details of this publication visit http://www.bitre.gov.au/ or contact (02) 6274 7210.)

Looking to the future, it is anticipated that the RFMP will continue to make a major contribution to the quality of life of rural and regional communities as well as outer metropolitan areas. Millions of dollars will be saved through preventative work funded by this programme.

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Lismore Levee Programme

Programme Performance indicators

Lismore Levee Programme

New Measure

Effectiveness: Acceleration of the construction of the Lismore Levee.

Quality: A reduction in average annual flood damage in Lismore.

Quantity: Increased number of properties protected from major flood events.

Cost: $4 million

Location: Lismore, New South Wales.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Through the Department, the Federal Government honoured an election commitment to provide $4 million to accelerate the construction of the Lismore Levee.

The one-off allocation will enable the levee to be constructed in approximately three years-some six years earlier than originally anticipated.

The levee will provide a safer and more secure future for the people of Lismore by protecting over 600 residential and 500 commercial properties. Without it, the town would have remained vulnerable to devastation of the sort it has endured from major flood events over recent years.

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Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements

Programme Performance indicators

Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements

Administrative Arrangements Order

Effectiveness: Reduction in financial burden on States and Territories for eligible disaster relief measures.

Quality: Stakeholder satisfaction and support of the arrangements.

Cost: $65.7 million

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Portfolio responsibility for the Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements (NDRA) was transferred from the Department of Finance and Administration under the Machinery of Government changes which occurred in December 2001.

A total of nine claims for reimbursement was paid in 2001-02, for a total of $31.1 million, to the States and Territories in accordance with conditions outlined in the NDRA Determination. Expenditure in this area is dependent upon claims made by States and Territories as a result of natural disaster damage. There were no outstanding claims at the end of 2001-02.

The arrangements are strongly supported by recipients and stakeholders.

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Natural Disaster Risk Management Studies Programme

Programme Performance indicators

Natural Disaster Risk Management Studies Programme

Administrative Arrangements Order

Effectiveness: Increased commitment by all levels of government to the mitigation of the impact of natural disasters.

Quality: Stakeholder satisfaction and support of the programmes.

Cost: $3 million

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Portfolio responsibility for the Natural Disaster Risk Management Studies Programme (NDRMSP) was transferred from the Department of Finance and Administration under the Machinery of Government changes in December 2001. The Department of Transport and Regional Services is now responsible for the NDRMSP.

In 2001-02, 167 national projects representing a Federal Government contribution of $2.27 million were approved under the NDRMSP. All eligible proposals lodged by States and Territories were funded. This brings the total Commonwealth commitment to mitigation studies under the NDRMSP to $6.44 million for 311 projects since the scheme was introduced in 1999-2000.

All three levels of Government-Federal, State and local-increased commitment to mitigating the impact of natural disasters.

The Minister and officers of the Territories and Local Government Division have received expressions of thanks from members of local councils for the programme.

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Local Government Incentive Programme

Programme
Performance indicators

Local Government Incentive Programme

Rephasing form 2000-01

Effectiveness: Enhanced capacity of local governments to contribute to the achievement of national priorities.

Quantity: 55 projects funded.

Cost: $3.3 million

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.

Results based on performance indicators

Achieved

Regional councils are encouraged under this programme to become involved in cooperative joint projects.

Eight of the 55 projects funded were completed and acquitted in 2001-02. Progress on the remaining projects is being monitored and most of them will be completed in 2002-03.

The Local Government Incentive Programme is contributing to the achievement of the national priority of cooperation between councils.

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