Abbott cuts funding in a double hit to Lalor commuters

The Abbott Government’s decision to cut funding to local councils is deeply concerning given the transport issues faced by Lalor residents.

Yesterday’s announcement of $2.3 billion in Financial Assistance Grants to local government confirms that councils all over the country will receive a cut in real terms this year, because of Mr Abbott’s short-sighted decision to freeze annual indexation of the grants, which are used for roads and other council spending.

Federal Member for Lalor Joanne Ryan has released new analysis today showing more than $3.36 million had been cut to Wyndham Council for local roads and other priority projects over the next three years.

“The Abbott Government’s significant cuts to local council will result in even further turmoil for local commuters who continue to battle road congestion across Lalor,” Ms Ryan said.

The Abbott Government’s own budget papers outline their attack on local road funding.

LG_grants.png

“This program makes local roads safer by improving conditions and easing congestion. This decision is placing an unreasonable burden on Wyndham Council and will severely compromise road safety standards,” Ms Ryan said.

“Wyndham Council will now have to make tough decisions about what they will cut because of the Abbott Government’s unfair Budget. That can only hurt services, roads and jobs.”

The freeze comes on top of bungling Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss’s inept failure to secure continued funding to continue the $2.1 billion Roads to Recovery scheme, which expired on June 30.

Despite bi-partisan support for Roads to Recovery, Mr Truss forgot to put legislation to the Senate allowing for the scheme’s continuation prior to the June 30 expiry date.

Wyndham Council received $3.57 million from the Labor Government under Roads to Recovery between 2009-10 and 2013-14. Future funding under this program is now uncertain.

“These Budget measures rip out vital money needed for roads and community facilities needed in this high growth area,” Ms Ryan

“The cut of one road funding program and the bungling of another proves how inept this Government is. Not only can they not get their budget right, they also can’t manage the business of the parliament right either.

“Their incompetence is costing Lalor commuters dearly.

 

Estimated Financial Assistance Grants to Wyndham City Council 2014–15 to 2016–17

 

2013–14 Budget

Labor Budget

2014–15 Budget

Liberal Budget

Difference

2014–15

 $14,304,423

 $13,821,703

-$482,720

2015–16

 $14,941,202

 $13,824,271

-$1,116,931

2016–17

 $15,590,819

 $13,829,406

-$1,761,413

TOTAL

 $44,836,444

 $41,475,379

-$3,361,064

*Compares variance for Victorian Financial assistance to local governments between 2013-14 Federal Budget and 2014-15 Federal Budget over the forward estimates.  Assumes Wyndham Council will continue to receive 2.5677% of grants to Victoria as occurred in 2013-14.

 

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