Don’t leave local communities behind
As Federal Election campaigning kicks off in earnest today, the Municipal Association of Victoria is reminding all parties and candidates not to leave local communities behind.
MAV President, Cr David Clark said as councils are the closest level of government to local communities, their critical role and support should not be ignore.
“This election, community issues need to be at the forefront of all candidates’ minds,” Cr Clark explained.
“Together with the Australian Local Government Association, we’ve got a number of priorities that will help see all levels of government work together for the benefit of all.
“After two years of navigating this global pandemic, councils in Victoria and across the country stand willing and ready to engage meaningfully with the next Federal Government to help ensure our nation is on the path to recovery.
“The program support we are seeking through Local Government’s right across Australia will ensure local communities don’t get left behind.”
Across five key themes, key priorities for the local government are:
- Financial Assistance Grants to be restored to at least one per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue and a once-off boost of $1.3b into the grants
Transport and Community Infrastructure:
- A $500 million per year permanent extension of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program – this would give councils more certainty to plan for projects;
- A new $300 million per year Strategic Local Roads Program to address first and last kilometre and support an efficient freight network;
- An increase in Roads to Recovery Funding to $800 million per year and Black Spot Funding to $200 million per year;
- Continuation of the Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package at $55 million over four years; and
- A new $200 million per year fund to support councils to invest in innovative affordable housing partnerships.
- A targeted disaster mitigation program of $200 million per annum for four years which will reduce the costs of response and recovery and strengthen community resilience;
- Ensuring betterment funding is included as a core element of disaster recovery funding arrangements;
- Ensuring publicly accessible and owned community infrastructure, and local government waste, water and wastewater assets, are included under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements;
- A Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years to enable planning and preparation to minimise the impacts of climate change in local communities and enable councils to achieve climate neutrality as soon as practicable; and
- $100 million per annum over four years provided directly to local governments to support the capabilities of indigenous councils and the implementation of the Closing the Gap local/regional voice.
- Councils need greater funding and support to assist in reducing waste sent to landfill and transition to a circular economy
- The MAV is calling on the federal government to implement effective product stewardship for all waste producing products
- A local government representative to be included on National Cabinet