Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Queensland councils’ $500m call for Federal Govt infrastructure funding

Mayors and Councillors attending the 126th Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference this week have voted unanimously to reinforce their call for the Federal Government to continue to permanently fund the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP) at $500 million a year, nationally, going forward.

LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson said the LRCIP was first introduced in May 2020 as a COVID-19 stimulus program designed to support critical local infrastructure while also supporting local jobs during the pandemic.

“That funding has proved crucial to creating liveable communities across Queensland, helping provide safe roads, footpaths and improved community facilities across the state and the country,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The importance of this program has been acknowledged by the Commonwealth with Labor committing an extra $250 million to the LRCIP during the Federal Election.”

While that commitment is appreciated, it still leaves councils $250 million short on previous funding levels, he said.

“Councils have today sent a clear message to the Federal Government that they want the LRCIP funding level maintained at $500 million a year, nationally, as well as certainty that the program will continue.”

Mayor Jamieson said councils also reinforced their call for the value of Financial Assistance Grants to be restored back to 1% of Federal taxation revenue, as it was in the 1990s.

“Councils will not back down on this request because it is too important to the sustainability of local governments and the liveability of their communities,” he said.

“Every Queensland community contributes to the social economic fabric of this state and this nation so every Queensland community deserves to be a liveable one, no matter where they are located across this great state.

“These communities need to receive their fair share and restoring FA grants back to one per cent to support local jobs, local roads and local infrastructure is critical.

“As the Federal Government prepares to hand down its Budget on Tuesday, councils want to make sure these programs, as well as many others of vital importance to local government, are front of mind,” said Mayor Jamieson.

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