Following comments on local radio made by Dorset Mayor Greg Howard about declining Federal Government assistance to Local Government, Federal Member for Bass Ross Hart can reveal new figures which show that Council’s in Bass have lost $3.4 million in funding.

“In 2013, the Federal Liberal Government imposed a three year freeze on the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants,” Mr Hart said.

“This indexation freeze, which was imposed on local government without any analysis or consultation by the Morrison Government, saw $925 million cut from their budgets.

“Labor’s analysis of this freeze showed that around two-thirds, or $680 million, was borne by regional communities who can least afford it.

“The impact of the freeze is ongoing and is still being felt by councils today.

“These sort of cuts put a squeeze on the ability of local councils to provide essential community services and ultimately force ratepayers to contribute more,” Mr Hart said.

Labor knows that Financial Assistance Grants funding are the bedrock of local councils financial capacity.

Around $50 billion in Financial Assistance Grants has been provided by the Commonwealth to Local Government since the Whitlam Government introduced these in 1974–75.

This program acknowledges the important contribution of local government to our civic life: a contribution that is not equally matched by your ability to raise revenue.

Breakdown of the $3.4 million:

Dorset – $873,446
Flinders Island – $330,158
Launceston City – $1,058,219
George Town – $449,470
West Tamar – $700,876

Labor opposed the indexation freeze to Financial Assistance Grants and is committed to working with local government to help them support their communities.

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra

Ross Hart MP is member for Bass