The President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis, has called on leaders of the Labor Party, Liberal Party and National Party to give priority to community infrastructure funding and to honour funding commitments already made under the current Government.
First published 3 September 2013 on the ALGA website
You can read this article on the ALGA website here
ALGA called for significant funding for community infrastructure in its election plan for resourcing local community priorities released in June 2013 and Mayor Lewis wrote to political party leaders on 21 August asking them to honour funding allocations of at least $150 million and projects already identified under the existing Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).
"Funding provided under regional development programs for community infrastructure is critical to allowing councils to address deficiencies in such infrastructure which is fundamental to communities' social and economic wellbeing," Mayor Lewis said.
"The allocations made to councils under recent rounds of RDAF have been taken up by councils across Australia. But the decision to bring forward the election to 7 September meant that there was no time for the Commonwealth to finalise the funding agreements for hundreds of projects. As a consequence these vital projects are now at risk."
Mr Truss reaffirmed the Coalition's commitment to community infrastructure last week when he announced funding of $200 million a year for five years for a new National Stronger Regions Fund to be established in 2015 but there is great concern in local government that existing funding allocations will not be honoured.
"I urge all parties to support the projects which councils have already identified as community priorities under announced funding allocations and I will be seeking an early meeting with the Minster for Regional Development in the incoming government to pursue this issue," Mayor Lewis said.
Media enquiries: Megan Magill, Director Public Affairs, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) 0418 415 649