Early payment of Financial Assistance Grants good news for Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Council will be able to start work on crucial new projects following an early cash injection of almost $5.6 million under the Financial Assistance Grants program from the Coalition Government.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said the Coalition Government has made an early payment of 50 per cent of the 2018-19 Financial Assistance Grants funding to councils in the region to help support the delivery of essential services and local infrastructure.

“This investment of $5.6 million is yet further proof of the fair funding deal being delivered by the Turnbull Government for the Sunshine Coast. We are making absolutely sure that the Coast is no longer left behind when it comes to Federal support. In the past two years alone we have seen $3.2 billion in Federal funding for the Bruce Highway in our region, almost $400 million for local rail upgrades, and now this fast tracked investment of $5.6 million to support the work of our local Council.”

Gympie and Somerset Regional Councils in the Federal electorate of Fairfax also benefitted from the funding, receiving almost $2.7 million and $1.75 million respectively.  

“Councils love these Federal Government grants because they can be spent on absolutely any projects they want - from parks to libraries, memorials, pools, roads, skate bowls or even projects such as developing Apps,” said Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien.

“The Sunshine Coast economy is going strong but with population growth it’s bursting at the seams and we need infrastructure that can keep pace. It doesn’t matter that the Federal Government is already delivering record money for projects like roads, rail and the airport, we’re determined to do even more and that includes assisting local Councils to deliver on their infrastructure priorities. With this early injection of money, the Sunshine Coast Council can get started on their priority projects immediately,” said Mr O’Brien.

Mr Wallace said “This funding will go a long way to support the important work the Council should be doing in transport, health, sports and recreation. I especially encourage the Mayor to set aside some of this money to allow the installation of Federally funded CCTV cameras to go ahead in Caloundra. We provided a grant of $140,000 last year for these cameras, but Council’s onerous conditions on the project have created serious doubt about whether they will ever be installed. In light of this new fast-tracked grant I call on Council to think again about the restrictive conditions they have placed on CCTV in Caloundra, and support a safer Bulcock street for all local residents.”

“We also provide assistance to Local Governments through our Roads to Recovery program, Building Better Regions Fund, Regional Growth Fund, Stronger Communities and Bridges Renewal.” added Mr O’Brien.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the Government’s decision to make an early payment of 50 per cent of 2018-19 Financial Assistance Grants to all 546 councils across Australia will help fast track delivery of priority local projects.

“The Coalition Government recognises the importance of giving councils the power to determine local priorities in their region,” he said. “These grants are therefore an extremely important means of allowing local governments to invest substantial allocations of federal funds based on local needs.

More information about the Financial Assistance Grant programme, including funding being made to individual councils across Australia, is at: www.regional.gov.au/local/assistance

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Authorised by Andrew Wallace MP, Liberal National Party, 11/10 Lake Kawana Blvd, Bokarina, QLD, 4575