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$1.265 billion Federal funding for Local Government.



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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald

Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

 

$1.265 BILLION FEDERAL FUNDING FOR LOCAL

GOVERNMENT

 

The final allocations of $1 .265 billion in Federal funding for Australia’s councils were a nnounced today by the Federal Local Government Minister Senator Ian Macdonald.

 

The grants for New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia were approved over the weekend, with Tasmania, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory having already been approved last week.

 

Senator Macdonald said he was very pleased, despite some delays in recommendations from some individual States, that the grants approval process at the Federal level was actually quicker this year than it had been last year. The law requires that the grants ARE NOT to be made before 15 August each year and that the Federal Minister ensures that certain conditions specified by the law have been met.

 

“In most cases, the Federal department has processed these grants quicker than last year.”

 

“It is incumbent on the Commonwealth to confirm that taxpayer’s money is being allocated appropriately, and that is a very detailed process,’ Senator Macdonald said

 

“In several cases, recommendations from the State Government bodies to the Federal government were two to three weeks later than last year, yet the final approvals have still been been made within eight days of the earliest date the law allows the grants to be paid.”

 

“One State Minister’s recommendation was not even received until the 1 6th August because of a ‘go slow’ industrial dispute within that State’s department,” Senator Macdonald said.

 

Senator Macdonald said that nearly $1.3 billion was a significant contribution to local authorities to assist with the important task of delivering local services.

 

“The General Purpose grants are untied, so councils, who are in the best position to know, can allocate the resources to best meet local priorities.’

 

“As a recognition of the very important role Local Government plays in country Australia, around two thirds of this money is allocated to rural and regional councils,” Senator Macdonald said.

 

Individual Council allocations have been published on a State by State basis in separate releases.

 

M 148/99 Monday, August 23, 1999

Media Contact: David Moore 02 6277 7060 / 0417 774 724

 

 

jk  1999-08-25  09:25