$1.436 Billion Federal Assistance To Local Government
14th May 2002
Local Government will receive around $1.436 billion in Local Government Assistance Grants in the 2002-03 Federal Budget, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Wilson Tuckey, said today.
This represents an increase of 3.59 per cent, or almost $50 million, over last year and an increase of $271 million since the Howard Government came to office.
"Of the $1.436 billion, $994.7 million is for general purpose grants and $441.4 million is for local roads grants," Mr Tuckey said.
"Councils are responsible for the bulk of the nation's road network (by length) and these grants contribute significantly towards maintaining these roads and other services provided by councils."
The grants are provided annually by the Federal Government to local councils and are in addition to the $1.2 billion provided over four calendar years under the Roads to Recovery Programme.
The Roads to Recovery Programme is a partnership between the Commonwealth and Local Government in the rejuvenation of essential transport infrastructure supporting the economic and social aspirations of people in city and regional Australia.
Details of the allocation of Local Government Financial Assistance Grants by States and Territories for 2002-03 are:
NB: Differences in totals due to rounding.
"The Federal Government is aware of the importance of these financial assistance grants to councils, particularly councils in rural and regional Australia," Mr Tuckey said.
"A cornerstone of our arrangements is that councils which, through no fault of their own have relatively higher costs in providing services or relatively lower ability to raise revenue, should receive relatively higher grants.
An additional $11.4 million will be paid to councils in 2002-03 because of the adjustment applied to the 2001-02 grants. Adjustments to the previous year's grants occur each year.*
"The Howard Government has demonstrated its commitment to providing strong financial assistance to Local Government.
"As a further demonstration of this commitment, I intend to move quickly to implement our election commitment to review cost shifting by State Governments onto the Local Government sector," Mr Tuckey said.
*Note: Adjustments arise because the total grants pool is estimated before the start of the grant year using expected increases in CPI and population for the coming year. At the end of the grant year, once the actual movements in CPI and population are known, the total grants pool is recalculated. Any adjustment to the total grants pool is made by adjusting payments to councils in the following year. The adjustment to the 2001-02 grants arose because the CPI increase for 2001-02 is greater than was expected at the time of the 2000-01 Budget.
Media contact: Graeme Hallett 0419 688 4400