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Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Section 2: Revisions to agency outcomes and planned performance

2.1: Outcomes and performance information (continued)

Outcome 3: Strengthening the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies including through facilitating local partnerships between all levels of government and local communities; and providing grants and financial assistance.

This Outcome transferred to the Department following the Government's administrative changes made on 18 September 2013. This outcome was known as Outcome 1 of the former DRALGAS and is now Outcome 3 for this Department.

Outcome 3 Strategy

The strategy for Outcome 3 has changed from that published in the 2013–14 DRALGAS PB Statements.

The key changes include removing references to the COAG Regional Australia Standing Council; the Local Government Ministers' Forum and Northern Australian Ministerial Forum. The changes also add references to the White Paper on developing northern Australia. These modifications reflect a change in government direction.

The modified strategy is provided below.

Outcome 3 is delivered through the following programmes:

3.1 Regional development
3.2 Local government

The Department will lead and advise on national efforts to address regional and local government issues by:

  • developing and implementing policies and programmes to support economic growth and services to regional communities;
  • working across the Commonwealth and other tiers of government to ensure the needs of regional communities are taken into account in Government decisions;
  • progressing projects in regional economies in transition, including in Tasmania, Murray-Darling Basin, Latrobe Valley and northern Australia;
  • supporting the network of 55 Regional Development Australia committees, 565 local governments and state and territory governments to ensure that policy making and advice is informed by local input and priorities;
  • developing the National Stronger Regions Fund and managing regional and local government grants programmes, including the Community Development Grants, Regional Development Australia Fund, and the Community Infrastructure Grants programme which contribute to the development of local infrastructure, and the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants that support local government service delivery and infrastructure;
  • coordinating, integrating and leveraging initiatives relating to the Government's northern Australian programme. This includes supporting the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet based taskforce responsible for the White Paper process on developing northern Australia;
  • supporting effective planning and coordination across all levels of government on matters affecting local government and regional communities;
  • coordinating and working with other Commonwealth and state government agencies to develop policy which underpins sound and innovative reconstruction and recovery efforts following the national disasters in late 2010 through to early 2013, and providing secretariat support to the Australian Government Reconstruction Inspectorate;
  • managing Local Government Financial Assistance Grants that support local government service delivery and infrastructure, fostering better practice in respect of administering the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants, engaging with local government on nationally significant issues, the national awards for local governments and infrastructure funding options and responding to the review of the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants Programme; and
  • undertaking activities to support a referendum on the recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution.

Outcome 3 expense statement

Table 2.3 provides an overview of the total expenses for Outcome 3, by programme.

Table 2.3: Budgeted expenses Outcome 3

Contributions to Outcome 3

Programme 3.1: Regional development

The objective, deliverables and key performance indicators for Programme 3.1 have been modified from that published in the 2013–14 DRALGAS PB Statements.

Programme 3.1 Objective

Two of the components of the Programme 3.1 Objective have been modified.

The modified components, relating to regional and local infrastructure programmes and major regional initiatives, are provided below. These have been varied following a change in government direction.

The regional development programme contributes to Outcome 3 by strengthening the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies including through facilitating local partnerships between all levels of government and local communities; and providing grants and financial assistance. These include:

    • Regional and Local Infrastructure Programmes: develops and implements programmes to fund capital works projects to improve socio-economic circumstances, build and improve locally identified priority facilities.
    • Regional Initiatives: develops and implements measures to support economic transition in specified regions, in collaboration with state, territory and local governments.

 

Programme 3.1 Expenses
The fluctuation in expenses from one year to the next is due mainly to the changing profile of expenses for some administered items.

2012–13
Actual

$'000
2013–14
Revised
Budget1
$'000
2014–15
Forward
year 1
$'000
2015–16
Forward
year 2
$'000
2016–17
Forward
year 3
$'000
Annual administered expenses2  
Boyer Pulp Mill—Structural Assistance - 14,000 - - -
Community Development Grants Fund - 22,000 160,000 140,000 20,000
Community Infrastructure Grants3 - 44,023 11,850 - -
Latrobe Valley economic diversification3 - 2,000 3,700 1,800 -
Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program Programme - 18,990 27,998 26,024 24,683
Northern Australia Sustainable Futures - 1,399 971 - -
Regional Development Australia Committees - 10,307 19,566 19,919 20,337
Regional Development Australia Fund - 135,151 111,540 30,561 1,133
Regional Development Projects in Northern Australia - 500 4,300 - -
Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Package - 27,461 40,000 20,000 13,000
Programme support - 27,867 33,006 31,212 28,081
Total programme expenses - 303,698 412,931 269,516 107,234

Notes:

  1. Excludes actuals incurred prior to the transfer of functions from DRALGAS in the AAO of 18 September 2013.
  2. Excludes expenses relating to payments made to and through the states and territories by the Department of the Treasury for the South Australia Economic Development Programme administered items.
  3. Excludes expenses relating to payments made to and through the states and territories by the Department of the Treasury.

Programme 3.1 Deliverables

Six of the Programme 3.1 deliverables have been modified.

References to the Regional Development Australia Fund and the Community Infrastructure Grants programme have been replaced with Community Development Grants Programme and National Stronger Regions Fund respectively.

Also, references to the Tasmanian Economic Diversification Package and the Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement have been replaced with the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan and the Government's Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania respectively.

Activities relating to northern Australia have been modified, as well as removing the word ‘Major’ from Regional Initiatives to reflect changes in the government's direction.

The deliverable relating to the Queensland Flood Recovery has been modified to refer to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

The modified deliverables are provided below.

Regional and Local Infrastructure Programmes

  • Support needed infrastructure that promotes stable, secure and viable local and regional economies through the Community Development Grants Programme.
  • Establish the National Stronger Regions Fund which will invest in local capital works projects to improve local communities across Australia.

Northern Australia Sustainable Futures

  • Provide advice to the Government concerning northern Australia issues including long term options for the development of the region such as through the beef industry, water, resources and Indigenous economic development.

Regional Initiatives

  • Develop and implement the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan as a part of the Government's Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania.
  • Support the Latrobe Valley region of Victoria through the Latrobe Valley Economic Diversification Programme.
  • Implement the Murray Darling Regional Economic Diversification Programme to strengthen and diversify Murray Darling Basin communities that may be affected by the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
  • Support the development of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

National Disaster Recovery Taskforce

  • Provide responsive support to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Australian Government Reconstruction Inspectorate.
  • Assure the Commonwealth that public funding of reconstruction efforts represents value for money.

Programme 3.1 Key performance indicators

Four of the Programme 3.1 key performance indicators have been modified.

Indicators relating to the Regional Development Australia Fund (the Fund) have been modified to include references to the new Community Development Grants Programme which will replace the Fund when related activities are completed.

One new key performance indicator has been added relating to the establishment of the National Stronger Regions Fund.

Reference to the Northern Australian Ministerial Forum has been removed.

The word ‘Major’ from the Regional Initiatives section has been removed and Tasmania added as a priority area, to reflect changes in the government's direction.

The modified key performance indicators are provided below.

Regional and Local Infrastructure Programmes

  • Community Development Grants projects are implemented and support and strengthen regions.
  • Provide timely advice to the Minister for the delivery of regional infrastructure funds including the Community Development Grants, Regional Development Australia Fund and the Community Infrastructure Grants.
  • Establish the National Stronger Regions Fund.

Northern Australia Sustainable Futures

  • Delivery of programmes to support the sustainable development of Northern Australia.

Regional Initiatives

  • Implementation of initiatives developed for key priority areas including those related to Murray-Darling Basin, Latrobe Valley, Tasmania and Northern Australia.

 

Programme 3.2: Local government

The deliverables and key performance indicators for Programme 3.2 have been modified. The Programme 3.2 objective remains unchanged from that published in the 2013–14 DRALGAS PB Statements.

Programme 3.2 Expenses
The increase in expenses from 2013–14 to 2014–15 is due to the bring forward of funds from 2013–14 to 2012–13 for the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants administered item.

2012–13
Actual

$'000
2013–14
Revised
Budget1
$'000
2014–15
Forward
year 1
$'000
2015–16
Forward
year 2
$'000
2016–17
Forward
year 3
$'000
Annual administered expenses  
Local Government Reform Fund2 - 1,180 - - -
Referendum on the recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution - 6 - - -
Supplementary funding to South Australian councils for local roads - 13,361 - - -
Special Appropriation expenses  
Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 - 853,199 2,360,747 2,461,315 2,566,413
Programme support - 1,882 2,004 1,731 1,654
Total programme expenses - 869,628 2,362,751 2,463,046 2,568,067

Notes:

  1. Excludes actuals incurred prior to the transfer of functions from DRALGAS in the AAO of 18 September 2013.
  2. Excludes expenses relating to payments made to and through the states and territories by the Department of the Treasury.

Programme 3.2 Deliverables

The Programme 3.2 deliverables have been modified from those published in the 2013–14 DRALGAS PB Statements, as outlined below.

Three deliverables have been removed. These relate to the referendum on the recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution, the Local Government Ministerial Forum and the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG), and infrastructure financing by local government.

The deliverable relating to the review of the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants programme has been modified to more accurately reflect the role of the Department.

Two new deliverables have been included and relate to the Local Government National Report and the National Awards for Local Government.

The modified and new deliverables are provided below.

Local Government

  • Build capacity in local government, including through the ongoing operation of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government.
  • Respond to the review of the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants programme in conjunction with state, territory and local governments.
  • Administer the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.
  • Administer supplementary funding to South Australian councils for local roads.
  • Prepare the annual Local Government National Report.
  • Conduct the National Awards for Local Government.

Programme 3.2 Key performance indicators

The Programme 3.2 key performance indicators have been modified except for one from those published in the 2013–14 DRALGAS PB Statements.

Three key performance indicators have been removed. These relate to infrastructure financing by local government, a referendum on the recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution and the Australian Council of Local Government.

The indicators relating to the review of the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants programme and the National Awards for local Government have been modified to more accurately reflect the role of the Department.

The modified and new key performance indicators are provided below.

Local Government

  • Local Government Financial Assistance Grants programme review responded to.
  • Participation in National Awards for Local Government is used as a tool for promoting innovation and best-practice service delivery.
  • Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government contributes to innovative ideas for local government.

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