The NSW Nationals in the federal government have announced a $2.1 billion pre-payment on next year’s Financial Assistance Grant to all councils across Australia.
This early payment will give every council access to funds to help manage the cumulative impacts of the floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nationals Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan said pre-paying the Financial Assistance Grant means the federal government is backing local government when it needs it most.
“The government is committed to continuing its support to local governments, given their important role in delivering vital services and ensuring quality of life for Australian communities,” Mr Hogan said.
“These grants are untied in the hands of local government, allowing councils to spend the grants according to local priorities – a real shot in the arm for councils and local decision-making in these challenging times.
“I want to acknowledge the hard work of local officials – with support from our government – in dealing with natural disasters and their aftermath at a community level.
“I have been in regular contact with Mayors, Councillors and other local government ministers to understand the realities on the ground, and to make sure we are all playing our part.
“A stable and effective local government sector is good for the nation and we will continue to do what is good for the nation through these crises.”
Since 1974–75, the Australian government has provided local governments with $64 billion in untied funding through the Financial Assistance Grant program.
The Commonwealth has committed $2.8 billion in funding to local government in 2022–23 – 75 per cent being brought forward to be paid early to local governments for rebuilding after floods and the transition and planning of living with COVID-19.
More information is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories-regions-cities/local-government/financial-assistance-grant-local-government.