The 2020-21 Federal Budget aims to restore consumer and business confidence and stimulate job creation in the recovery from COVID-19.
The underlying cash deficit for 2020-21 is expected to reach $213.7 billion, and approximately $625 million in South Australian road and rail transport infrastructure projects have been brought forward to stimulate employment growth. Regions also hit hard by devastating bushfires and drought have been specifically targeted through the Regional Recovery Partnerships program, including the Kangaroo Island Council area.
Under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, an extra $1 billion has been provided to the local government sector to spend (over two years) on social infrastructure projects, as well as road safety and road maintenance works.
This significant funding boost adds to the modest funding increases councils will also receive through Financial Assistance Grants, the Roads to Recovery Program, Bridges Renewal Program and the Building Better Regions Fund Program, the latter of which is particularly targeted at tourism-related infrastructure projects.
Local government agencies are also eligible to participate in the $1.2 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy scheme.
Unfortunately, the Budget Papers do not extend (or make permanent) the state’s much-needed Supplementary Local Roads Program funding, beyond 30 June 2021.
South Australia has 11% of Australia’s local roads and 7% of its population, yet receives only 5.5% of the Federal Government’s Identified Local Roads funding. The LGA will continue to advocate for a greater level of guaranteed SA local road funding.
The LGA’s response to the Federal Budget 2020-21 is available here.
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