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Wins and losses for local communities in State budget

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The 23-24 State budget includes some wins for local government, yet challenges remain for the delivery of council services cost shared with the State Government.

What we like:

  • $1.2 billion investment in early years infrastructure
  • $12.1 million to help councils create new apprenticeships and traineeships
  • An additional $15.7 million on top of base funding for the School Crossing Supervisor program

Concerns:

  • State Government continues to underfund its share of Maternal and Child Health services, leaving councils to fill the gap
  • Significant cut to the Growing Suburbs fund – reduced from $50 million to just $10 million
  • No new initiatives in library funding and the State’s contribution has now decreased to just 17 percent
  • Only a single year commitment for School Crossing Supervisors

Statement from MAV President David Clark:

"The State Government’s 23-24 budget highlights the importance of councils as a delivery partner of community services.

Councils have less money to spend in real terms, with the budget confirming the rate cap in 22-23 was just a quarter of CPI. This means councils will have to make hard decisions about existing community infrastructure and services, let alone build for population growth into the future.

Communities will benefit from the increased kinder infrastructure expenditure, with the State Government listening to the MAV’s advocacy to match the ambitious reform commitment with much-needed funding.

The additional services added to the Maternal and Child Health program will result in the State Government falling further away from our 50/50 cost share agreement, meaning councils will remain under pressure to provide the services needed for their communities.

The announcement of additional funding for roads is welcomed, but big questions remain about the funding gap of at least $300 million to fix local roads and infrastructure.

The MAV will continue our advocacy to include betterment in flood recovery funding and to seek funds from the State Government for this.

The $12.1 million to help councils create new apprenticeships and traineeships is a good start to address skills shortages, and we will work alongside the government to further address workforce challenges.

School crossing supervisor funding will again be close to a 50/50 contribution, thanks to an additional $15.7 million on top of base funding, however the single year commitment leaves the program’s future uncertain.

Councils are concerned that the State Government’s library funding contribution continues to decrease, slipping to 17 percent.

It’s clear the many challenges councils face in the delivery of community services and infrastructure will remain after this budget."