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Local Government continues to deliver : National Report released.



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M48/2001 6 March 2001

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO DELIVER - NATIONAL REPORT RELEASED

Latest figures released today indicate that Australia’s local government sector is in a strong financial position with a net worth of $130 billion.

Releasing the 1998-99 Local Government National Report, Federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald, said the Federal Government was providing over $1.3 billion to councils this year under the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act to support the sector’s pivotal role in local communities.

“Local government encompasses a great diversity in size, population and economic prospects and undertake essential work at the local level in response to their communities’ priorities,” Senator Macdonald said today.

“The Federal Government works in partnership with councils to provide vital local services.”

“And the particular challenges faced by local governments in rural and remote Australia are not forgotten, particularly their need to provide the services that their metropolitan counterparts can sometimes take for granted.”

In addition to local road funding, the Federal Government provided councils approximately $14 per person in general purpose grants in urban areas and up to $4,500 per person for those in more remote areas.  Over and above that, Councils will receive $1.2 billion over four years from the Federal Government Roads to Recovery package.

Senator Macdonald said transparency and accountability were key factors in the distribution of Federal Government grants to Councils across Australia.

“The report provides a comparison of formulas used by the respective State Grants Commissions for the distribution of substantial Federal funding to individual councils.”

“The Federal Government has engaged the Commonwealth Grants Commission to review the operation of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act in order to make any improvements to the current system.  The Commission is due to report later this year.”

Copies of the Local Government National Report will be distributed to all Councils and Local Governing bodies across Australia.  Additional copies are available by calling 1800 065 113 or from the web site at www.nolg.gov.au

 

Media inquiries:  David Moore 0417 774 724

 

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Friday, 09 March 2001