ALGA wants Federal Budget to focus on infrastructure

The rebuilding of infrastructure in flood-ravaged areas shouldn't overshadow the need for ongoing funding in the Federal Budget, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has said.

ALGA president Genia McCaffery said local government was at the forefront of the recovery.

“The flooding will cost Queensland councils up to $2 billion alone,” she said.

“I welcome the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday of an 'upfront' payment of $2 billion to Queensland and ongoing support for the reconstruction and recovery of flood-affected communities.”

However, given the extent of the 2011 natural disaster, it is likely that a number of councils will not be in a position to adequately fund the restoration of local infrastructure, Cr McCafferey claimed.

“There is also a strong argument for a separate local government disaster mitigation program as the current Disaster Resilience Australia package is likely to be drained by the heavy demands of state governments," she said.

At a broader level, ALGA's Budget submission calls for a review of the support local government gets from the Commonwealth, Cr McCaffery said.

These issues are raised in ALGA's Federal Budget submission and include support to reduce the backlog of local government infrastructure spending.

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