JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Muswellbrook and Singleton councils will benefit from the Australian Government’s pre-payment on next year’s Financial Assistance Grant to all councils across Australia.
Senator for New South Wales, Perin Davey, said this early payment will give these councils access to funds to help manage the cumulative impacts of the floods and COVID-19.
“Almost $26 million will be distributed across the four councils in untied funding which means they can determine on what, how and where to spend their money,” Senator Davey said.
“The funding will target the council’s priorities and will ensure the needs of the local communities are met.
“This will provide a vital boost for local communities, backing local jobs and economic stimulus whilst delivering lasting upgrades that will benefit residents for years to come.”
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Assistant Minister for Local Government, Kevin Hogan, said pre-paying the Financial Assistance Grant means the Government is backing local councils when they need it most.
“The Government is committed to continuing its support to local Governments, given their important role in delivering vital services and ensuring quality of life for Australian communities,” Mr Hogan said.
“These grants are untied in the hands of local Government, allowing councils to spend the grants according to local priorities – a real shot in the arm for councils and local decision-making in these challenging times.
“I want to acknowledge the hard work of local officials – with support from our Government – in dealing with natural disasters and their aftermath at a community level.
“I have been in regular contact with mayors, councillors and other local Government Ministers to understand the realities on the ground, and to make sure we are all playing our part.
“A stable and effective local Government sector is good for the nation and we will continue to do what is good for the nation through these crises.”
In this round of Financial Assistance Grants, Cessnock City Council will receive $6,114,730 in funding, along with Lake Macquarie with $13,402,343, Muswellbrook Shire Council $3,115,017, and Singleton Council with $3,302,190.
Since 1974–75, the Australian Government will have provided local Governments with $64 billion in untied funding through the Financial Assistance Grant program to 2022-23.
The Commonwealth has committed $2.8 billion in funding to local Government in 2022–23, 75 per cent being brought forward to be paid early to local Governments for rebuilding after floods and the transition and planning of living with COVID-19.
More information is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories-regions-cities/local-government/financial-assistance-grant-local-government.