REVEALED: How much money is Ballina council getting?
BALLINA Shire Council expects to receive more than $800,000 from the Federal Government's $500 million economic stimulus fund for councils.
A council spokesperson said all councils will be allocated funding based on a fixed formula
"Ballina Shire Council is expecting to receive $880,000," the spokesperson said.
The package announced was a new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program plus the prepayment of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payments.
The money allocated to the LCRI Program was equivalent to a year's funding from the Commonwealth's Roads to Recovery Program, administered with a similar allocation methodology.
The Ballina Shire Council spokesperson said the funding will allow the council to get some work done ahead of schedule.
"Allocating enough funds to renew our roads as needed is a constant challenge, and Ballina Shire Council welcomes the Australian Government's stimulus package," the spokesperson said.
"The funding is likely to bring forward a number of road reconstruction projects in Council's Delivery Program / Operational Plan to the upcoming financial year 2020/21."
This means that works that may have had to wait until a future financial year will possibly be completed within the next financial year.
Ballina Shire Council's Delivery Program/Operational Plan is currently on public exhibition, and community feedback is welcome online at https://ballina.nsw.gov.au/documents-on-exhibition--179.
Submissions close on Friday, June 5.
The president of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Mayor David O'Loughlin, said the announcement was an important boost for urban and regional economies battered by Covid-19 restrictions and the Black Summer bushfires.
He said estimates were that GDP in the worst bushfire-affected Local Government Areas would decline by up 23 per cent this financial year compared to last year - with GDP in tourism-dependent LGAs expected to fall by as much as 15 per cent as a result of coronavirus lockdowns.
The ALGA president said local government was the perfect partner to stimulate the economy and keep people in jobs.
"It is the level of government closet to our communities, and has partnered successfully with the Commonwealth to deliver programs like Roads to Recovery, Bridges Renewal, Road Safety Blackspots, and drought and bushfire relief for over 20 years."