About the campaign
As the Victorian member of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), the MAV helped to develop the national priorities for local government to pursue as part of the 2016 federal election.
Six priority commitments being sought from all political parties and candidates are outlined in the ALGA document Local Government's Plan for an Innovative and Prosperous Australia (PDF - 1.44MB), released on 22 April.
These commitments are:
Restore indexation for financial assistance grants
Increase the quantum of financial assistance grants to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation (a rise from $2.3 billion to at least $3.8 billion a year)
A national freight strategy, including a local government higher productivity investment plan providing $200 million a year for five years to boost productivity
Permanent doubling of Roads to Recovery funding (to at least $700 million a year) from 2017
- A community infrastructure fund providing $300 million a year for four years
- $100 million over four years to help councils implement local climate change plans.
Two additional commitments are being sought by the MAV, in partnership with Victorian councils, to secure pre-election commitments from political parties in relation to enduring Commonwealth funding for kindergartens and aged care.
These matters are particularly important to Victorian councils, families and elderly people who require certainty about the ongoing provision of preschool and aged care services that have undergone national reforms, and only had short-term Commonwealth funding committed in the past.
Kindergarten Universal Access
Unlike other states where preschools are largely integrated into the education system, Victorian councils own more than two-thirds of all kindergarten facilities, which run under a community model to deliver 1,320 preschool programs to three- and four-year old children.
A pre-election commitment has been sought for enduring operational funding to be provided by the Commonwealth to give certainty about continuation of the 15 hours kindergarten universal access program beyond December 2017, when the current National Partnership Agreement expires. There are 74,000 Victorian children and their families who currently benefit from this program.
Go to our National Kindergarten Advocacy Campaign page for more details.
Home and Community Care
As part of the rollout of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, responsibility for the home and community care program for over 65 year olds will be transferred to the Commonwealth Government from July 2016.
A tripartite agreement secured by the MAV will retain the current strengths of Victoria’s unique home and community care system, and enable ongoing block funding to councils until mid-2019.
Local government in Victoria is the largest public sector provider of home and community care programs including delivered meals, home maintenance and personal care services to more than 300,000 Victorians each year. The Commonwealth-State-local government agreement will ensure Victorian councils can continue providing preventative community care to older people in the community.
Without this agreement, and a Statement of Intent which formally recognises local government’s role as a planner, funding partner and service provider, councils would need to negotiate individually with Canberra for funding.
Ahead of the July election we are a seeking a pre-election commitment from all political parties to:
- Honour the current Tripartite Agreement, including continuation of block funding for councils until 30 June 2019
- Retain the option of continued block funding for councils beyond June 2019 to ensure the continuation of preventative community care services to large numbers of older Victorians.