NSW Budget strengthens local government with record investment
Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said that the 2015-16 NSW Budget highlights the NSW Government’s commitment to strengthen local government.
A record $119.5 million will support councils to meet growing community needs both now and in the future. This is an overall increase of $2.9 million, up from $116.6 million in the 2014-15 Budget.
Mr Toole said the NSW Government is providing the necessary support to deliver stronger local government for local communities to ensure councils can deliver lower rates, better services and more infrastructure.
“This year’s Budget also provides support for councils exercising their ongoing responsibilities from tackling the billion dollar infrastructure backlog through to supporting pensioners and encouraging responsible pet ownership,” Mr Toole said.
The local government budget includes:
- $11.8 million for the Fit for the Future reforms package which will result in significant benefits for residents and ratepayers;
- $16.2 million for the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS), which is unlocking up to $1 billion in infrastructure investment through the provision of $120 million in interest rate subsidies for infrastructure renewal up to 2025. To date 166 council projects have been approved for an interest subsidy through the scheme;
- $78.5 million to help seniors and pensions with the cost of living under the Pensioner Rebate Scheme, which provides a subsidy to help pensioners and seniors pay council rates and charges;
- $1 million each year to introduce a 50 per cent discount on registration fees for cats and dogs purchased from a pound or shelter, which will reduce the overpopulation of cats and dogs across NSW;
- $300,000 for the redesign and rebuild of the Companion Animals Register, which will introduce a new online registration system to replace the current paper-based two stage process.
“The spending commitment in this year’s NSW Budget shows that the Government is serious about supporting councils in providing the best services possible to NSW communities both now and in the future,” Mr Toole said.