The ASU is alarmed to learn that over $150 million in regional development grants may not be honoured by the new Federal Government. This will have a huge negative impact on the delivery of services and infrastructure to local communities.
The ASU, Australia's largest local government union, expresses our concern over any cut backs to funding of projects and infrastructure for local communities. Vital projects around the country rely on the continuity of grants funding from the Federal Government.
ASU Assistant National Secretary Greg McLean said, "Now is it local government's turn to take cuts from the new Abbott Federal Government, with communities set to be drained as a result?"
Our response comes after an announcement by Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Julie Collins, yesterday that grant money awarded by the previous Federal Government and fully funded in the last budget will now be lost:
"According to Mr Truss today, over $150 million in grants made under Round 5 of the Regional Development Fund will not be honoured," Ms Collins said.
"These grants, one to every council in Australia, were for community facilities like swimming pools and parks and generate economic activity and jobs," Ms Collins said
The ASU calls on the Federal Government to confirm whether projects will be stopped or whether local government can continue to work with the Federal Government for their local community via the provision of critical grants funding.
Grants provide the financial basis not just for services and infrastructure, but allow communities to maintain local jobs and create new ones for the future.
The ASU further calls on all sides of politics to commit their support and to work with local governments to deliver quality services and infrastructure to communities across Australia.