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Commonwealth grant Funding to local Government to target rural and Regional Areas

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M e d i a

R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX S O M L Y A Y MR Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government


In launching the Guidelines for the 1998/99 Local Government Development Programme (LGDP), the Commonwealth Minister for Local Government, Alex Somlyay, said that the emphasis for funding this year would be to councils in rural and regional Australia.

“The Commonwealth is looking to local government to take up the challenge of regional development and to demonstrate its innovation and entrepreneurial leadership in this task", he said.

"I intend providing approximately $2 million or about 55% of the remaining LGDP funding to councils in rural and regional Australia. It is expected that this will fund at least 20 projects nationally.

"Priority will be given to project proposals coming from councils, especially regional groupings of councils, that are suffering the greatest level of disability, such as loss of industry, reduction of services, population downturn or skills depletion," Mr Somlyay said.

I ’ve identified that regional groupings of councils are well placed to address a range of issues, including such things as:

• Meeting the challenges relating to service planning and delivery, cultural development and environmental management;

• Identifying, promoting and facilitating economic, employment and investment opportunities within a region: and

• Providing encouragement and support to existing and prospective businesses, industries and investors.

"In addition, Local Government Associations and State and Territory Departments of Local Government will be able to put forward project proposals that pursue the LGDP objectives. I would anticipate that urban councils will benefit from this funding," Mr Somlyay said.

The Commonwealth has appropriated $5.4 million for LGDP in 1998/99 of which approximately $3.7 million remains uncommitted.

Ends 14 August 1998

Contact: Graeme Hallett 0419 218 469


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