Financial Assistance Grants to benefit NSW councils

Media Release

WT258/2015

18 August 2015

Local Governments across NSW will receive $712.2 million from the Australian Government to support local projects and services as part of the Coalition's $2.3 billion local government Financial Assistance Grant programme for 2015–16.

This distribution includes $355.6 million already paid to New South Wales to ensure councils had early access to their grants to support local priorities.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said that the $712.2 million comes with no strings attached—meaning councils are free to spend their allocation according to local priorities, be it for infrastructure, health, recreation, environment or employment projects.

“The first quarterly payment under the Financial Assistance Grant programme for 2015–16 of $89.1 million was made to the New South Wales Government yesterday and councils can expect to receive their funding shortly,” Mr Truss said.

“This vital cash injection to meet local needs is in addition to the Government's $3.2 billion Roads to Recovery programme, $1.45 billion more than the previous government provided under their programme.

“We have also ensured the extra Roads to Recovery money will be distributed to councils with no requirement for them to match the extra money. We have also made the programme permanent—something Labor failed to do when they were in Government.

“Round Two of the federal Coalition Government's $300 million Bridges Renewal Programme will be available exclusively to local government. This Round of up to $100 million will be provided for the repair and replacement of local bridges to deliver better transport links for their communities and industries.

“Applications for Round Two close on 31 August.

“The Government has also committed $200 million under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme, providing funding for important local infrastructure over five years from 2014–15.”

Mr Truss said an additional $200 million has been committed by the Australian Government over the next two years under the Black Spot Programme to further reduce crashes on Australian roads.

“The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring local councils and the communities they serve get the funding they need to deliver the infrastructure and services of the 21st century,” Mr Truss said.

“Over the four-years of the Financial Assistance Grant programme (2015–16–2018–19), the Coalition has committed $9.45 billion to local governments to deliver services and build community infrastructure.”

Details of the allocations to councils under the Financial Assistance Grant programme are available online at: www.regional.gov.au/local/assistance/index.aspx