Local government wants seat at national

Council is backing a campaign to improve federal funding for local government in light of the significant impacts of extreme weather and natural disasters.

Cr Romola Hollywood

Cr Romola Hollywood

At the last meeting, council passed a mayoral minute supporting the "Don't leave local communities behind" campaign being run by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).

The campaign, being pushed during the federal election campaign, is seeking funding commitments for priority local projects and programs.

It also wants its seat at the national cabinet table to be reinstated.

Cr Romola Hollywood said she was pleased to see council unanimously supporting the campaign.

"A key plank of ALGA's election platform is calling on the next Federal Government to increase the financial assistance grants (FAGs) to at least one per cent of the Commonwealth's taxation revenue - at least $4.5 billion per year - across Australia.

"I think many people are unaware of the progressive decline that has occurred in commonwealth government funding to local councils through the grants. FAGs were once around 1 per cent of the overall national tax revenue. Now they have dropped by nearly half to 0.55 per cent of the nation's taxation income."

Cr Hollywood said so many local councils, including the Mountains, faced massive repair bills due to the damaging impacts of bushfires, storms and floods.

"It's more important than ever that the next federal government restores the FAGs to at least one per cent of Ccmmonwealth taxation revenue."

She said the increase was also supported by Local Government NSW, where she is a member of the executive.

Council wrote to Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman, and Macquarie candidates about the issue last month.

Ms Templeman said she supported the local government campaign, particularly the bid to return to national cabinet.

"The Liberals and Nationals have done nothing but treat local government with disrespect by removing the sector from representation at the peak ministerial council in the nation, and demoting it from a ministry to an assistant ministry.

"An Albanese Labor Government will provide a seat for local government at national cabinet, restore local government to full ministerial representation, and re-establish the Australian Council of Local Government.

"We need a federal government that will partner again with local government to build a better future."