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Commonwealth funding to Queensland Councils.



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M213/2001 18 July 2001

COMMONWEALTH FUNDING TO QUEENSLAND COUNCILS

Statement by Senator Ian Macdonald Federal Minister for Local Government

I welcome the decision by the State Government to review its method of distributing the Federal Government's Financial Assistance Grants to individual Councils. The review is long overdue, but is nevertheless a welcome and positive step forward.

Although funding to Queensland Councils has increased by more than $50 million dollars since the Howard Government took office, many Councils have been confused by the Queensland Government's internal funding formula.

Many Councils felt that the Queensland recommendations for the distribution of those funds is a bit like a lucky dip and lacked transparency and was inequitable.

I have been battling for three years to get the State Government to reconsider its funding model.

Some councils have been particularly unhappy and every year we have had to go through a senseless blame game when some Councils inexplicably lost funding and others inexplicably got extra funds.

Pending the review, there will be an interim arrangement for funding this year while the long term allocation is sorted out. Virtually all Councils will receive the same or slightly more funding this year compared to last year.

I am delighted that at last the Queensland Government has accepted that the current system is complex and hard to understand and needs overhaul.

I congratulate the Queensland Minister on conceding the faults of the current State distribution formula and for the review.

Media Contact: David Moore 07 4771 3066 / 0417 774 724