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Local communities to receive $300 million for regional and local infrastructure.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Anthony Albanese MP Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

18 November 2008 AA176/2008

Joint Media Statement

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP Prime Minister of Australia

LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO RECEIVE $300 MILLION FOR REGIONAL AND LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The Rudd Labor Government today announced a $300 million program to build local community infrastructure in all of Australia's 565 local council areas.

This $300 million Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) will boost local economic development and support jobs in communities around the country.

Today's announcement is further decisive action from the Rudd Government to stimulate the Australian economy during a severe global financial crisis.

The program is also an initial down-payment on the Government's plans to meet urgent needs in communities and create long-term infrastructure.

Funding will be delivered under the program by 30 June 2009 to ensure the stimulatory effects of this package are delivered to local economies as quickly as possible.

The Government made the formal announcement at the inaugural meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government a direct partnership between local and federal governments to undertake nation-building.

Today's infrastructure program will target projects that can be delivered promptly, providing an immediate boost to local and regional economies.

This $300 million down-payment will be delivered as follows:

Ñ $250 million

Ñ A one-off grant of $250 million allocated to councils and shires for local

community infrastructure; Ñ Each council will receive a minimum payment of $100,000;

Ñ Councils above 30,000 people in areas of high growth, as classified by the

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state and territory local government grants commissions will receive an additional $300,000 growth component; Ñ Allocations would range from $100,000 for councils with fewer than 5,000

people to $2.9 million for the largest council, based on population growth and needs; Ñ Councils would be required to submit proposals that meet the program's

guidelines in order to claim their allocation.

Ñ $50 million fund

Ñ $50 million strategic projects fund for larger-scale community

infrastructure to help deliver an additional injection of investment in communities; and Ñ This will be competitive, application-based, accountable and open to only

those projects seeking a minimum Commonwealth contribution of $2 million.

Some examples of community infrastructure that would be eligible for the $300 million funding include:

Ñ Social and cultural infrastructure, such as town halls, community centres,

libraries, parks, public squares; Ñ Sport and recreation facilities, such as sporting grounds, stadiums, pools,

walking tracks and playgrounds; Ñ Tourism infrastructure, such as walkways and tourist information centres; and

Ñ Access facilities, such as footbridges, bus shelters, jetties and boat ramps.

Smaller local projects would accelerate and encourage economic development as well as improving the quality of life in local communities.

The RLCIP builds on the Government's multi-billion dollar commitment to national infrastructure and our new partnership with local government to deliver results for communities.

In addition, it will allow local government to get on with the job of addressing their infrastructure backlogs and delivering quality facilities to communities.

The first meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government is part of the Rudd Government's commitment to establish a new relationship between the Commonwealth and local governments a framework for working together, which has not existed before.

The Government is determined to work with local government to improve the delivery of services to our communities and work towards the Government's pre-election commitment of constitutional recognition of local government.

The Australian economy is sound, but we are not immune from the global slow-down and the real possibility of a global recession.

There are no easy solutions or quick fixes, but we are taking action at the local level through the RLCIP.

This is a significant opportunity for local councils to rise to the challenge and address local infrastructure needs. Councils are encouraged to develop high quality proposals so that funding can be released as quickly as possible. .

Final guidelines and timetables will be released shortly following consultation with local government.

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URL: http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/aa/releases/2008/november/AA176_2008.htm

Ongoing funding for the RLCIP will be determined as part of the May 2009 Budget.

Media Contacts

Jeff Singleton ( Mr Albanese's Office ) 02 6277 7744 / 0410 476 890

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