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McKew canvasses State Of WA councils.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Maxine McKew MP Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

26 August 2009 MM032/2009

McKew Canvasses State Of WA Councils

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government, Maxine McKew, met WA Minister for Local Government, John Castrilli, today in Perth to discuss the state of local government in Western Australia.

Ms McKew discussed the progress of local government reform that Minister Castrilli is leading for the WA State Government.

"I urge Councils, the WA Government, and the local government association WALGA to keep working through the issues together in a constructive fashion with the best interests of ratepayers in mind," said Ms McKew.

Mr Castrilli and Ms McKew also discussed the Rudd Government's $25 million Local Government Reform Fund that was announced by the Prime Minister at the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) in June.

The funding will be used to fast track financial and asset management planning in local government under nationally consistent guidelines and to encourage greater collaboration between local governments including shared services and planning.

Ms McKew emphasised the substantial commitment the Rudd Government is making to supporting local jobs and building community infrastructure through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP). This program now totals more than $1 billion and ensures funding is going straight to local councils for infrastructure projects they have identified as important in their local communities.

Western Australian councils are receiving $98.4 million under RLCIP for projects which will stimulate local economies and generate jobs, especially in construction work.

On top of this WA councils will also receive $225.7 million in Financial Assistance Grants from the Rudd Labor Government in 2009-10.

"I look forward to maintaining a constructive relationship with the WA Government and Minister Castrilli to ensure the sustainability of local government here in WA, and put it on a solid footing into the future," said Ms McKew.

Media Contacts

Matt Pulford ( McKew's Office ) 0434 655 781

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