Deadline on infrastructure bids

By Angela Dorizas

Councils have delivered their final submissions to the Federal Government’s $300 million Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP).

The federal funding was announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the inaugural meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government last November to enhance economic development in local communities.

Submissions to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government have flooded in as councils prepare to tackle their community infrastructure backlogs.

Local community infrastructure that is eligible under the scheme includes town halls, community centres, parks and playgrounds, swimming pools, sporting grounds and stadiums, walkways, bike tracks, bus shelters, footbridges, jetties and boat ramps.

Federal funding for eligible projects will be delivered by 30 June and councils have until September to spend it. The Rudd Government anticipates a quick boost to local economies.

The $250 million fund has been allocated to councils according to population growth and needs, with each council receiving a minimum payment of $100,000.

An additional $50 million in funding is available to councils for large scale community infrastructure upon application. It is only open to projects that have sought a minimum Federal contribution of $2 million.

Councils in New South Wales will receive a total of $84.9 million. The Rudd Government has allocated around $62 million for councils in Victoria, just over $40 million for Queensland councils, more than $28 million for Western Australia, around $19 million for South Australia, more than $8 million for Tasmania, around $3 million for the Northern Territory and $2 million for the Australian Capital Territory.

Brisbane City Council will use its $2.893 million — the highest grant to be recieved through the RLCIP — on rebuilding infrastructure around The Gap that was damaged by last November’s storms. Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said Council’s "number one priority" was to help the community get "back on its feet".

"This $2.8 million might only scratch the surface of what needs to be done at the Gap, but we’re throwing every resource we can at the situation," he said.

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