Federal budget returns indexation to Financial Assistance Grants
The Federal Government has confirmed that indexation will be returned to Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) in today’s Federal Budget release.
LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson said the Government’s decision to honour its commitment to restore indexation to FAGs would be a welcome relief to Queensland Councils.
“Returning indexation to these grants has been an advocacy priority for the LGAQ and the Australian Local Government Association since the freeze on indexation in 2014. We welcome the common sense decision by the Government to return this vital funding to Queensland councils who now have some certainty in their ability to plan and invest in important infrastructure and projects in their communities”. Mayor Jamieson said.
According to the Government’s own estimates, its 2014 budget move to freeze indexation to FAGs cost local communities more than $600 million worth of services and infrastructure over the three years, with the biggest impact felt by councils in regional and remote Australia.
The 2017 Budget Papers also included an announcement to invest $8.4 billion in inland rail between Melbourne and Brisbane.The inland rail line would connect Melbourne to Brisbane via the NSW city of Parkes, where it would intersect with the Perth-Sydney line.
A further $1.34 billion has been earmarked for natural disaster payments, with more expected due to cyclone Debbie and a further $5 million will be invested to encourage tourism back to Queensland and revitalise affected communities.
President Mark Jamieson said the budget demonstrated a clear desire to invest in Queensland.
“We look forward to working with our 77 member councils and supporting them to take advantage of the investments in Queensland outlined in today’s budget¨. Mayor Jamieson said.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006