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Financial assistance for northern Tasmania.

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Northern Tasmanian councils will benefit from more than $12 million in Commonwealth assistance grants.

Federal Member for Bass Michael Ferguson said the money will go towards funding general purpose running costs and local road maintenance across all six local government areas in the Bass electorate (see table below).

Federal Member for Bass Michael Ferguson said the money will go towards funding general running costs and to improve specific local roads across the local government areas.

“As part of the funding programme the Bass electorate will receive $6,419,029 in general purpose grants and $6,389,944 in local roads grants,” he said.

“The overall total of $12,808,973 is a five per cent increase on last year and demonstrates a real commitment to Northern Tasmania by the Federal Government.”

“At a time of escalating rate increases, the financial assistance grants will continue to take the pressure off ratepayers.

“I am particularly pleased with the amount allocated for roads funding. This is the Australian Government spending money on roads which it has no responsibilities for, but have been identified as desperately needing repair.

“Tasmania is the only state in Australia where the state government spends less on state roads than the federal government.”

Mr Ferguson said that the Local Government Fina ncial Assistance Grants programme is providing real help for councils in Tasmania.

The estimated entitlement for Tasmania in 2005-06 is $53.1 million which is an increase of 3.78 per cent on the last financial year. The general purpose grant entitlement has increased to $26.8 million (up $0.9 million) and the identified local road funding has increased to $26.3 million (up $1 million).