Regional councils say Federal grants are key
ROC Communique February 2019
This month's Assembly of Queensland’s Regional Organisations of Councils (ROCs) reaffirms the pressing need for Federal Financial Assistance Grants, the mechanism used to return some of the Commonwealth’s taxation revenue back to local communities, to be restored to at least 1 percent of that revenue. Thirty three percent of the nation’s public infrastructure is delivered by local councils yet through rates they are only able to access 3% of total government taxation revenue. The federal government, of both sides of politics, over the last two decades have diminished their contribution to this task.
ROCs express concern at the reluctance of both the Federal Government and Opposition to recognise the importance of a properly funded grants program to the delivery of well-maintained, well-resourced infrastructure to local communities.
We acknowledge the call to effectively double the level of untied grants under this program is a political challenge. However, we also acknowledge the need for a step change in political and policy thinking to help restore public trust in government, particularly at a federal level.
Local councils can and do partner with both federal and state governments to implement vital policy programs that create jobs, build more liveable cities, assist communities cope with drought and natural disaster, protect our unique natural assets such as the Great Barrier Reef and help Close the Gap in relation to indigenous disadvantage.
All these are admirable policy goals, but just as vital is an ongoing commitment to providing the services and infrastructure local communities cherish and use every day. Councils understand this more than any other level of government, and appeal to all parties contesting the federal election to work with them to deliver what local communities need by using just 1 percent of the total taxes Australians pay Canberra.
ROCs also express admiration for the resilience and ingenuity of regions coping with ongoing drought and recent flooding in north Queensland.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
The list content on this page is updated dynamically as articles are published.