Grants delivered for 'shovel-ready' council projects
LOCAL councils across the country will share in $150 million for community infrastructure projects, including more than $100 million for regional areas.
Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese announced the grants at the Australian Local Government Association national general assembly in Canberra on Wednesday.
The funds will be delivered through round five of the Regional Development Fund and the Liveable Cities Program, for "shovel-ready" council projects.
Mr Albanese said the funds would be distributed in line with the current local government financial assistance grants, with smaller council guaranteed at least $30,000.
Councils in Queensland will share in a pool of more than $30 million, while New South Wales councils will get a total of more than $48 million.
ALGA president Felicity-ann Lewis said the funding was another signal of the need for constitutional recognition of local government, in order to enshrine direct funding in the constitution.
About 70% of the money, or $105 million, will go directly to rural and regional areas, with a further $45 million under the Liveable Cities program for urban councils.
The funds can be used to build or renew infrastructure like sports facilities, libraries, town halls and playgrounds.
Complete guidelines for the fund will be released on the Department of Regional Australia website on Friday.