The peak body for Queensland’s councils has welcomed the extra funding for First Nations councils announced by the State Government but says the money should be locked in permanently.
Local Government Association of Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Alison Smith, joined Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Leeanne Enoch, in Cairns to welcome the funding increase ahead of the LGAQ’s Indigenous Leaders Forum.
Ms Smith thanked the Minister, Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, and Treasurer, Cameron Dick, for securing the money for the state’s 16 First Nations councils who are eligible for the funding and rely on it to deliver critical services to their communities.
“This increase is a welcome move by the State Government, as is the commitment that no First Nations council will be worse off under the revised arrangements,” Ms Smith said.
“These councils cannot levy rates, so must rely on government funding to deliver critical services to their communities.
“But the challenges these councils and communities face will not be resolved in one year, so neither should this level of funding end then either. The LGAQ will continue its advocacy, with these councils, for this funding to be locked in, made permanent and indexed annually.”
Ms Smith said these 16 councils deliver critical services to some of the most remote and disadvantaged communities in Queensland, so finding further funding assistance remained important to enable them to create liveable communities.
“Queensland’s councils will be watching the coming State Budget closely and looking for it to deliver more for councils and their communities across the state.”
In today’s pre-Budget funding announcement, the State Government has combined the State Government Financial Aid, Revenue Replacement Program and Indigenous Economic Development Grant into a single Indigenous Council Funding Program and announced an extra, one-off, $25.8 million funding increase for the 2023-24 financial year, taking the total funding pool to $69.85 million.
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