Queensland councils have unanimously voted to call on the Federal Government to restore the state’s Financial Assistance (FA) Grants to the level communities needed to survive and thrive.
The vote, taken at the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference in Gladstone today, calls for FA grants to be returned 1% of tax revenue and indexed annually.
“Councils continue to do more with less, but we cannot maintain our financial sustainability and the liveability of our communities without increased funding,” said LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson (pictured).
“Liveability and sustainability go hand in hand. Financially sustainable councils are critical to ensure economic benefits flow to communities.
“But the current allocations are too low and continuing to fall – down from 0.52% last year to 0.5% this Federal Budget.
“Not only will restoring FA Grants to at least 1% – or just an extra 23 cents per Queenslander per day – help fund the many projects and services local government provide, but it will also add $638 million to the state economy and provide 4,233 jobs for Queenslanders.”
Mayor Jamieson said funding uncertainty was also hurting communities, with the “Albanese Government’s drawn-out infrastructure review adding to costs as well as the narrowing of Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program qualifications hitting councils”.
“Communities and councils deserve fair and firm funding that will help create and guarantee liveable communities that thrive, not just survive.”
Ratepayers should not be left to shoulder the burden when other levels of government pulled back or pulled out, he said.
“We are also calling for an end to the cost-shifting that means councils are having to make choices between vital community services because they are being forced to spend ratepayer money where other levels of government have pulled back or pulled out,” Mayor Jamieson said.