Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) are a vital payment from the Commonwealth to local councils that make up part of the revenue base of all councils.
These untied payments are essential and allow local councils to provide a reasonable level of service to their local residents. Councils invest these funds in areas such as maintaining a range of infrastructure including local roads, bridges, parks, swimming pools, libraries and community halls as well as services to the young, the elderly and community groups.
The decision in the 2014 Federal Budget to freeze indexation of FAGs for three years was disappointing. According to the Government’s own estimates, the freeze will see councils miss out on nearly $1 billion over the four years to 30 June 2018. Councils in regional and remote Australia in particular will have felt the biggest impact.
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) welcomed the indication of a return of FAGs indexation in last year’s Budget outyears. However, to date, the local government sector has received no firm guarantee that the Government will indeed restore indexation to FAGs in the upcoming 2017-18 Federal Budget.
Through this campaign, ALGA is reminding the Commonwealth of its commitment to local government.
Here is some more information about Financial Assistance Grants.
Sharon Akinyi, Director Public Affairs, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) 0418 415 649, [email protected]
Available for interview:
Mayor David O’Loughlin, President Australian Local Government Association (high resolution head shot available at this Dropbox link)
Please also feel free to contact your local council for local media opportunities.
11/4/2017 - Southburnett.com.au - ALP backs push to unfreeze grants
11/4/2017 - ALGA - Council funding must be a budget focus
11/4/2017 - Australian Labor Party - Labor calls for boost to local economies
6/4/2017 - The Flinders News, Northern Argus - Wakefield Regional Council join the fight to make federal government drop grant freeze
4/4/2017 - Wakefield Regional Council - End the freeze on financial assistance grants
4/4/2017 - News.com.au - May Budget may lift freeze on council lifelines to fix potholes, upgrade childcare centres
31/3/2017 - Shepparton News - Unfreeze plea
30/3/2017 - The Standard - Council's call to restore indexation
30/3/2017 - The Coffs Coast Advocate - End the freeze (contribution by Coffs Harbour Mayor)
29/3/2017 - The Examiner - Federal government pressured to return indexation to council grants
29/3/2017 - Shepparton News - Restore indexation: Berrigan council
29/3/2017 - South Coast Register - Federal funds freeze eats into services, says Shoalhaven Mayor
27/3/2017 - Financial Services Career - Councils cry out for funding return
27/3/2017 - Wangaratta Chronicle - $11.8m freeze would hit hard
26/3/2017 - LGNSW - Feds must fix FAGs
22/3/2017 - The Wimmera Mail-Times, Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News - Horsham Rural City Council joins national campaign to unfreeze federal financial assistance grants
22/3/2017 - The Armidale Express - Armidale Regional Council is pushing the Federal Government to restore indexation to Financial Assistance Grants in the upcoming budget
22/3/2017 - The Standard - Council is backing a call by the MAV to lift the freeze on financial assistance grants
21/3/2017 - Bendigo Advertiser - Financial assistance grants indexation freeze cost council $1m over two years
20/3/2017 - Glen Innes Examiner - Glen Innes Severn Council is pushing the Federal Government to restore indexation to Financial Assistance Grants in the upcoming budget
19/3/2017 - MAV - End the freeze, restore indexation
16/3/2017 - The Wimmera Mail-Times - Hindmarsh hurts under freeze
13/3/2017 - The Examiner - Australian Local Government Association continue push for unfreeze of indexation of Financial Assistance Grants payments
3/3/2017 - Southburnett.com.au - Residents Urged To Join Council Campaign
28/2/2017 - Southern Highland News - Council to advocate increased Federal Assistance Grants for roads in Highlands
20/2/2017 - Southburnett.com.au - Members Hold Out Hope For Region
18/2/2017 - Southburnett.com.au - South Burnett Rates ‘Could Rise 12pc’
9/2/2017 - The Examiner - Australian Local Government Association pushes for return of the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants
23/1/2017 - ALGA - Councils call on Treasurer to deliver on promise in May budget