Fed­eral Govt as­sis­tance grant re­duced

Pilbara News - - Business - Court­ney Fowler

■ More than $2.5 mil­lion of Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment financial as­sis­tance funds have been al­lo­cated to the City of Kar­ratha, nearly a third less than four years ago.

While coun­cil ac­knowl­edged the fund­ing re­ceived through the Financial As­sis­tance Grants pro­gram, they ad­vo­cated for the de­ci­sion to freeze the in­dex­a­tion of the grants to be re­versed.

Pre­vi­ously the grant pro­gram, which sup­ports lo­cal roads and gen­eral-pur­pose fund­ing, was in­dexed an­nu­ally to re­flect in­fla­tion.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Pe­ter Long said the fund­ing was a small but im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­cil bud­get, and one that needed to re­main in place.

“The Fed­eral Financial As­sis­tance Grants help us to af­ford small projects through­out the year and while it isn’t the back­bone of our bud­get, it is a fund­ing stream which has been steady and re­lied upon by coun­cils all over the coun­try,” he said.

“Coun­cil be­lieves it is right for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to make a con­tri­bu­tion to all lo­cal gov­ern­ments across the na­tion and this con­tri­bu­tion should re­flect the in­creased cost pres­sures which we are fac­ing.

“Our grant amount has de­creased by around $1 mil­lion since the 2011-12 financial year and the freez­ing of in­dex­a­tion has ex­ac­er­bated this re­duc­tion.”

The Aus­tralian Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion and Western Aus­tralian Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion have launched a cam­paign to re­verse the freez­ing of financial as­sis­tance grant in­dex­a­tion, which the City of Kar­ratha sup­ports.

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