2017 Media Releases

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Unfreezing of Financial Assistance Grants a major win for Mitchell

12 May 2017

Mitchell Shire Council has welcomed a number of funding opportunities in the 2017/18 Federal Budget, including unfreezing of the Financial Assistance Grants.

The grants, provided to local governments across Australia to fund crucial community services, have been frozen since 2014.

But in the 2017/18 Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday night, the government resumed indexation on the grants, meaning they will rise annually in line with population growth and inflation.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said it was a major win for local councils.

“This grant money is vital to councils, especially those that are experiencing major population growth like Mitchell Shire,” Cr Sanderson said.

“Council will be able to invest this extra money into facilities and services that will benefit our growing community.”

Other features of the Federal Budget welcomed by Council include:

• $472 million for a Regional Growth Fund, including $200 million for the Building Better Regions Program which fund things such as sporting facilities and roads

• $8.4 billion for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project, which would run through Seymour

• $500 million for rail in Victoria, including a study on the Shepparton line

• The Roads to Recovery program being extended for another two years

• Funding to support 15 hours of kindergarten a week until the end of 2018

However, Cr Sanderson said there were other projects the Council would have liked to have seen funded.

“Council is disappointed there was no new money in the Budget to fix mobile blackspots, and there doesn’t seem to be any specific money allocated for local roads, which is a shame,” Cr Sanderson said.