$100 million for rural councils under Coalition

By Angela Dorizas

Regional and rural councils across Victoria will be given greater assistance in tackling infrastructure backlogs under a Coalition Government $100 million local government infrastructure fund, the Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and the Leader of the Nationals, Peter Ryan, has announced.

In an address to the Municipal Association of Victoria Annual Conference in Melbourne on Thursday, Mr Ryan announced that the Liberals and Nationals would provide councils with greater authority to fund community projects.

“The Local Government Infrastructure Account has the flexibility to support a range of local council initiatives including roads projects, bridges, new community assets such as halls and theatres, sporting grounds, grandstands, pools, libraries, and upgrading existing facilities,” he said.

The $100 million account would be funded through the proposed $1 billion Regional Growth fund.

Mr Ryan said it would be in addition to current government expenditure and “provide greater certainty for regional and rural councils”.

“The Local Government Infrastructure Account will be administered so as to give councils a clear understanding of the funding they are likely to receive in future years and the flexibility to allocate the money to projects that reflect local priorities,” he said.

“Allocations to individual councils will be based primarily on need and population to ensure smaller, financially struggling rural councils receive their fair share of funding.”

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