Commitment to infrastructure and roads to benefit Indi's local councils
Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the Federal government’s response to calls to increase investment in regional Australia through funding for infrastructure programs in the 2018-19 Budget.
However, Ms McGowan said the Budget had failed to address the longer-term impact on local government of the freeze on the Financial Assistance Grants that was lifted in 2017-18.
“The pressures on local government are consistent with what we have heard during the Inquiry into Regional Development and Decentralisation,” Ms McGowan said.
“There needs to be a review of local government in regional communities focused on declining income, increased stewardship responsibilities and ageing infrastructure.”
Ms McGowan noted the announcement of Round 3 of the Building Better Regions Fund and a fourth round of the Stronger Communities Programme. Initiatives that will continue include the Roads to Recovery Program, the National Black Spot Road Program and the Bridges Renewal Program.
“I met with eight Indi local councils recently in Wangaratta. Their Mayors and CEOs have all told me how important infrastructure investment from the government is,” Ms McGowan said.
Ms McGowan said the Stronger Communities Programme was a wonderful example of local councils working to benefit the whole region. Across Indi, eight LGAs have each received an equal share of the funding in each of the first three rounds.
“A number of the LGAs have made applications under the first two rounds of the Building Better Regions Fund. They will take that experience into applications they make under Round 3,” Ms McGowan said.
To have a say on the budget, complete the online survey at www.cathymcgowan.com.au.