Govt commits funds for council infrastructure

Local councils to receive $466 million in grants to spend on a number of projects including road upgrades

Local councils will next week receive $466 million in grants to spend on a number of projects including road upgrades.

The funds are part of the Financial Assistance Grants program, a $1.9 billion package designed to finance roads, parks, pools, libraries, community centres, health and child care services, and water and sewerage utilities.

The majority of the funds will be given to rural and regional communities, with Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese saying they are under particular financial pressure due to higher service delivery costs and difficulties raising revenue.

"That's why around two-thirds of our grants will go to councils and shires serving these areas of Australia," Albanese says.

He says the Rudd Government plans on investing more money in local councils in the coming year to maintain communities and lift productivity.

"The cornerstones of the Government's new partnership with local government will be a seat at the national policy-making table," he says.

The funds will be allocated in the same week the Government holds its inaugural Australian Council of Local Government meeting.

Albanese says this will give councils the chance to raise significant issues with the Government, such as economic and community infrastructure.

The $466 million in funds is delivered to individual councils based on recommendations from local government grant commissions in the states and territories.

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