Councils nervous at delay to infrastructure Bill


Budget cuts to indexation of grants already have local government toey

Councils nervous at delay to infrastructure Bill
Councils a concerned about Roads to Recovery funding

 

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has expressed dismay that the Land Transport Infrastructure Bill 2014which includes the extension of the Roads to Recovery (R2R) program did not proceed through Senate.

At a time when the Federal Government has sought Budget savings from removing indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), local governments have raised concerns about their ability to fund road and other freight infrastructure maintenance

"It is clear that both sides of politics are completely committed to extending Roads to Recovery to 2019, but it is also clear that there is disagreement between them on other issues included in the Bill before Parliament," ALGA states, adding that its president, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis, has previously sought and received assurances from the Government and the Opposition that they both support the extension of the Roads to Recovery program beyond June 30. 

"Without passing any comment on those other matters, ALGA is absolutely of the view that nothing should be done by either party to imperil the extension of the R2R program, which is universally lauded for its objectives and achievements in helping to address the needs of local communities across Australia," the Association says.

"It is expected that the Bill will now be considered by the new Senate."

Meetings in Canberra to discuss the issues are ongoing, the latest with the prime minister’s office.

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