19.9 C
Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Coalition set to slash regional funding

Latest News

Lennox Rise development clears another hurdle

The massive new residential development planned west of Epiq in Lennox Head continued its progress towards becoming reality at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.

Other News

Da mountain

Gisela Stieglitz, Wooyung There is a perfectly good bitumen road going up a rainforest gully; it doesn’t even have potholes!...

Coal scuttle

Alan Veacock, Cumbalum After some serious arm-twisting from the rest of the sane world, led by Joe Biden, the ‘marketing...

Community bar – not

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I couldn’t believe what I was reading in The Echo: a plan to turn an ‘iconic’...

Bringing down the heat in our ‘hood

How well we survive the future depends on our vision for our towns and suburbs – and on how we bring that vision about.

Byron police assault trial could attract human rights law analysis

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault to continue facing trial.

International Women’s Day kerfuffle at Ballina

One councillor walked out of Ballina Council's recent meeting during an emotional discussion about speakers at an upcoming IWD event.

Chris Dobney

Nationals leader Warren Truss has confirmed that, if elected, the coalition will abolish the $2.5 billion Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), replacing it with a $1 billion ‘stronger regions’ fund, slashing the money available for regional development projects by almost two thirds.

Mr Truss has gone further, saying the coalition would tear up any agreements already made under round five of the RDAF if contracts had not already been let.

The announcement has prompted Local Government NSW (LGNSW), the body covering all NSW councils, to call on Tony Abbott  to honour offers made in the recent $150-million round if he is elected at tomorrow’s federal election.

The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sports had not finalised any applications received for round five of the RDAF before the caretaker period began and therefore no funding agreements have yet been signed with any council.

Joint President of Local Government NSW, Cr Ray Donald, said it was concerning that there was now uncertainty around the pledged funding for community infrastructure.

‘The department should be allowed to continue to process applications received and politics should not get in the way of vital funding for communities across Australia,’ Cr Donald said.

‘There are many community projects in NSW and across Australia that are now in limbo due to the uncertainty surrounding the RDAF funding.

‘If this funding is cancelled, it would be a major blow for councils looking to build community infrastructure.’

Joint president of Local Government NSW, Cr Keith Rhoades, said councils had applied for the grants in good faith.

‘Many councils already have tight budgets due to rate capping and cost shifting, but this funding would have enabled them to build the infrastructure their communities need,’ Cr Rhoades said.

‘These are projects which have been painstakingly put together by councils and their communities and have involved a large investment of time and resources.

‘We believe there is a moral obligation for a new government to honour the successful project applications and we call on Mr Abbott to commit to the RDAF funding if elected.’

The $150 million allocated to round five of the RDAF was announced by the then local government minister Anthony Albanese MP at the Local Government National General Assembly in June this year. Under this round of funding, $105 million was allocated to regional and rural councils and $45 million to metropolitan councils.

The RDAF was established by the Gillard government after the last election as part of its agreement with regional independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Unbelievable! Just how are the Nationals supporting regional Australia? What do they really stand for if its not country Australia? And they had the hide to level death threats to Windsor and Oakeshott. When will people wake up!

  2. The Nationals have not supported Rural Australia since they took country out of the party name. Yes you’re right it is a half party. Used to get he Liberals in Government. Will they get he trade portfolio lets wait and see if hey get any. They are not representing rural Australia. The loss of this funding is typical of how they represent us. Wait till they railroad the CSG by December. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir is there anything else I can do for you sir. That is the Nationals.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

So you think you’d like to run for Council?

Residents considering running for Tweed Council can attend briefing sessions to find out about being a councillor ahead of local government elections.

Ballina Dragons invite public to have a go

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is having a come and try day on Saturday 6 March, on the Richmond River at Ballina.

Hospital staff want to park for free while they work

It seems that Lismore Base isn’t the only hospital whose workers would like to park their cars for free while they work.

International Women’s Day kerfuffle at Ballina

One councillor walked out of Ballina Council's recent meeting during an emotional discussion about speakers at an upcoming IWD event.