A multi-million-dollar Federal Budget boost to roads, apprenticeships and community infrastructure funding has been welcomed by Queensland councils.
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson thanked Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for recognising the critical role councils can play in the economic recovery effort though funding measures announced in this week’s Budget.
“The $1 billion dollar boost to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP) over two years will ensure the pipeline of works currently underway in local communities across Queensland can continue, supporting and creating jobs and helping to sustain local supply chains,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Queensland councils are expected to share in more than $200 million in extra funding over two years under this program, in addition to the more than $101 million in LRCIP funding they received when the program was first announced in May in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Jamieson said councils would also benefit from funding through programs like Roads to Recovery, Bridges Renewal, Building Better Regions, Regional Recovery Partnerships, the Regional Connectivity program and the Transforming Australia’s Waste and Recycling Industry initiative.
“Local government can also access funding under a $1.2 billion Commonwealth program designed to fund 100,000 new apprentices,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Queensland councils are able to offer training across more than 240 occupational areas. Allowing local government to access this funding means more opportunities for young people to find work in their local community.
“Programs like the Commonwealth’s Drought Communities Program Extension have proven that councils are best placed to ensure stimulus funding is delivered where it is needed most in their communities in order to deliver the best outcome for local economies.
“We are grateful to see this work acknowledged with the creation of further partnerships with the Commonwealth through initiatives like the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.”
Mayor Jamieson said councils remained disappointed, however, with the lack of a significant increase to Financial Assistance Grants.
“The Federal Government must ensure extra FAGs funding flows in future years, so the economic sustainability of councils and their communities is maintained,” he said.
Mayor Jamieson said councils would continue to advocate for the return of FAGs funding to 1 per cent of total taxation revenue.
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Vogler, Media Executive
Local Government Association of Queensland