Burdekin Shire supports LGAQ push for federal funds

Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has announced her support for the Local Government Association of Queensland’s Federal Election Local Government Policy Plan.

Cr McLaughlin said the most important issue for the Burdekin was the reinstatement of the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs).

“These grants are a vital source of funding for shires which have a static rate base, such as the Burdekin, and help relieve the pressure on our ratepayers,” she said.

“It is vital that the Federal Government reinstates the increase for these grants as costs are continuing to rise and that burden is being shouldered by our ratepayers.

“Under the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), I also agree with LGAQ that councils should be able to use their labour for recovery and reconstruction works on council-owned essential public assets.

“Our team has found that we get better value for money when using our crews.”

Cr McLaughlin said any changes to NDRRA would directly affect Council and the community.

“If there was a reduction in the amount funded by the Federal Government then there would be a definite impact on rate increases,” she said.

“We are fortunate to have had funding support from the NDRRA over the years, but if there was improved mitigation funding for natural disasters we could do so much more.

“The Burdekin Shire has dealt with disaster events for many years and Council has had to fund mitigation works such as new drainage etc to help prevent similar events.”

The Burdekin Mayor said Council would welcome committed funds for water projects.

“We definitely need a commitment from the Federal Government on funding for the maintenance and upgrade of our key water infrastructure,” she said.

“This is vital to the Burdekin and will ensure the continued growth of our region.

“I acknowledge the funding the Federal Government has pledged for the Burdekin-Haughton scheme and Burdekin Dam, but there needs to be money available to back up projects and not just fund studies.”

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