Coun­cil needs fund­ing in­crease

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY - Alex Treacy alex.treacy@cnbtimes.com.au

EIDSVOLD is a town di­vided.

On one side is where most of the res­i­dents live.

On the other is where most of their fa­cil­i­ties are—the skate park, football fields, the RM Wil­liams Bush Learn­ing Cen­tre and Eidsvold Show­grounds.

The key link be­tween the two, the foot­bridge over Hark­ness Bound­ary Creek, is so de­cayed it vis­i­bly sags un­der­foot in places.

Coun­cil can’t af­ford to fix it with­out slug­ging ratepay­ers.

Who is to blame? Although the foot­bridge is their re­spon­si­bil­ity, I don’t be­lieve it is coun­cil.

In its 2018/19 bud­get sub­mis­sion to then-trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son, the Aus­tralian Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion made an im­pas­sioned plea for more Fed­eral fund­ing to trickle down to the coun­cil level.

The sub­mis­sion noted that a large pro­por­tion of lo­cal govern­ment bud­gets, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral and re­gional coun­cils, are de­rived from Fi­nan­cial As­sis­tance Grants, which to­talled $2.3 bil­lion in 2016.

In 1996, these grants to­talled about one per cent of Com­mon­wealth tax­a­tion rev­enue. In 2016, these grants equated to about 0.57 per cent, a rel­a­tive de­cline of 43 per cent.

Across the North Bur­nett, play­grounds and pub­lic toi­lets lie dor­mant be­hind con­struc­tion fenc­ing, wait­ing for a cash in­jec­tion for work to com­mence.

The Fed­eral Govern­ment needs to step up.

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