Budget investments welcomed by Queensland councils but financial sustainability issue remains

Published: 12th May 2021

Queensland communities will be big beneficiaries of a raft of new measures and increased funding announced in last night’s Budget, though long-term financial sustainability for councils has not been addressed.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) CEO, Greg Hallam AM, said councils will welcome the Morrison Government’s 2021-2022 Budget and its recognition of essential priorities. 

“The commitments to Northern Australia, budgeted at almost $190 million, and significant funding for disaster mitigation, regional and remote communities, climate resilience and drought will be welcomed in all corners of Queensland,” Mr Hallam said. 

“The announcement last week of a $10 billion reinsurance pool for cyclone and related flood damage demonstrated that councils’ sustained advocacy has paid off, and we’re very happy to see that further supported by the $40 million allocation for cyclone risk mitigation works for strata title properties in North Queensland and a $61 million investment in improving national preparedness for and recovery from natural disasters and other hazards. 

“It’s also significant that the Regional Connectivity Program invests $68.5 million in digital connectivity for Northern Australia and remote Indigenous communities, where digital disadvantage has long been a serious barrier to growth. 

“Building and maintenance of roads remains a key responsibility of all councils and the extension of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP) from two to four years, with an additional $1 billion of funding is tremendous news.” 

In addition to LRCIP funding, Queensland will receive $299.2 million in local roads funding – a $60 million funding boost from 2020-21, including:  

  • $102.4 million for Roads to Recovery funding  
  • $27.1 million for Black Spot funding 
  • 76.4 million for Identified Local Roads Grants 
  • $23.3 million for the Bridges Renewal Program 

Mr Hallam said the LGAQ will continue to be a strong voice for a fairer share of the Federal tax take, with Queensland councils to receive $261.9 million in Federal Assistance Grants – a slight increase on the $244.2 million received in 2020-21.  

“The LGAQ has long campaigned for Federal Assistance Grants to local government to be set at 1 per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue and the 0.6 per cent in this Budget is a disappointingly long way short of that. 

“One per cent of the total tax pool would completely rewrite the book for the financial sustainability of councils and we, in league with our interstate counterparts and the Australian Local Government Association, will continue to fight for local government’s fair share.” 

For more information, please contact:
Tim Cox, Communications Advisor
Local Government Association of Queensland