Mayor calls for increase to financial assistance grants



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MAYORAL: Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu wants to see and increase to council financial assistance grants. Image: Newsport.

Douglas Shire Council has thrown its weight behind the Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) drive to restore the Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue.

Tabled as a Mayoral Minute at Tuesday’s Council meeting, Mayor Julia Leu said there would be considerable gains if this request was successful.

Quoting an article in Council Leader, the official publication of the LGAQ, she said the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) estimates that nationally, the additional $2 billion directed to local council if these grants were restored to one per cent, would boost the Gross Domestic Product by more than $1.4 billion and create 4,000 new jobs.

“Local government rates raise just three per cent of the Australia’s total taxation revenue, yet councils are responsible for managing 33 per cent of the nation’s public assets.

“It’s little wonder that local government need reliable, and substantial, funding transfers from other levels of the government,” said the Council Leader report.

Cr Leu said that in 1996, the funding provided under the Financial Assistance Grants Program amounted to one per cent of total Commonwealth taxation revenue.

“However, today that figure has fallen to just under 0.55 per cent and during this time frame additional responsibilities have been devolved to local government with councils now owning and managing 33 per cent of the nation’s infrastructure, including 76 per cent of the total road network,” she said.



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