27 February: Scenic Rim Regional Council has added its voice to calls for the Federal Government to restore its level of funding to Queensland councils through the Financial Assistance Grants program.
Scenic Rim Regional Council has added its voice to calls for the Federal Government to restore its level of funding to Queensland councils through the Financial Assistance Grants program.
Mayor Greg Christensen said that, as a member council of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), it was important for Scenic Rim Regional Council to publicly declare its support for the LGAQ's campaign to restore Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of the Commonwealth's total taxation revenue.
"Local councils raise just three per cent of all the taxation revenue in Australia but bear the costs of managing 33 per cent of public assets while the Federal Government collects 80 per cent of taxes and manages just 11 per cent of public assets," Cr Christensen said.
"The decline in local government's share of taxation revenue from Canberra over the past two decades, from one per cent in 1996 to just 0.55 per cent in 2018, is unsustainable."
Cr Christensen said that of the $2.4 billion allocated nationally to Financial Assistance Grants, Queensland currently receives around $480 million.
Restoration of Financial Assistance Grants to one per cent of the Commonwealth's taxation revenue would mean an additional 400 million for Queensland and an additional $2 billion nationally.
"To put this into context, a restoration of funding to one per cent would this year have provided an additional $2.46 million for our Scenic Rim communities, giving us the flexibility to bring forward our community investments in roads as well as parks, libraries and other public amenities," Cr Christensen said.
"Through the Australian taxation system, our residents and businesses contribute to the Federal Government's revenue which provides for Financial Assistance Grants.
"A return of funding for Financial Assistance Grants to one per cent would see a small amount of that revenue able to be applied directly to support the needs of their local communities."
Published: 27 February 2019