Redland City Councillors this week supported a call from Mayor Karen Williams to advocate to the Federal Government to restore Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue.
These grants to Local Government have been provided by the Federal Government for a number of years, helping local governments across Australia fund services and infrastructure within their communities.
Cr Williams said while the provision of the grants had been consistent, the proportion of the grant allocation relative to Commonwealth taxation revenue had reduced over the years.
“In 1996, the Commonwealth provided about one per cent of taxation revenue but over the past 20 years that has declined by about 43 per cent in relative terms, meaning councils now only receive about 0.55 per cent of Commonwealth tax revenue.
“This reduction is despite an average 3.47 per cent annual growth rate in Australia’s Gross Domestic Product between 1960 and 2017.
“In other words, Local Government is effectively receiving less of the nation’s taxation to deliver the services and infrastructure required in their communities.”
Cr Williams said Local Government, as the level of government closest to the community, was responsible for delivering much of the infrastructure and services needed by residents.
“Local Government manages 33 per cent of public assets but collects only 3 per cent of total government taxes to manage these assets,” she said.
“In contrast, the Federal Government collects 80 per cent of taxes and manages 11 per cent of public assets.
“That just isn’t equitable and this week’s decision is designed to restore the balance.
“If the current allocation remains the same, this would equate to an amount in the order of approximately $4 million for Redland City Council to help fund services and infrastructure across Redlands Coast.”
Cr Williams said she would write to the relevant Minister and that the request would be included in Council’s 2019 Federal Election Advocacy document.
“In doing so, Council will be supporting the Local Government Association of Queensland and the Australian Local Government Association advocacy plans for this year’s Federal election,” she said.