The Albanese Government must end eight months of secrecy over how much money the Rockhampton Regional Council, Livingstone Shire Council, Mackay Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council and Whitsunday Regional Council, will receive from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.
Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry said councils are being restricted in planning their operations for 2023 due to Albanese Government secrecy and delays over grants programs.
“Labor is showing complete disrespect for all councils in Capricornia by keeping councillors in the dark about when they will receive promised funding and how much will be made available.
“Councils are trying to plan their capital works budgets for the year ahead, but they are being hampered in their ability to do so by Government secrecy.
“At the last election, Labor promised to extend a highly successful Coalition program by investing $750 million for local roads and community infrastructure, including $500 million additional funding budgeted by the former Coalition Government.
“This is a program strongly supported by local government because it provides a source of untied funding which they can use to upgrade roads or invest in other community infrastructure to help local families and businesses.
“Councils are relying on this grant being available from 1 July, but after eight months in office the Government has failed to provide any information to councils as to what amount of funding they can expect to receive, or the conditions attached to it.
Ms Landry said it makes life difficult for councils to finalise budgets and capital works plans when government refuses to say how much they will receive and on what conditions.
“Labor’s secretive approach to this program compares poorly to the Coalition’s open style, where councils were told exactly how much money they would receive within a few weeks of an extra $500 million being committed in the March 2022 Federal budget.
“In our community, the Coalition had budgeted for councils in Capricornia to receive the following:
- Rockhampton Regional Council – $1,483,455
- Livingstone Shire Council – $906,477
- Mackay Regional Council – $1,956,590
- Isaac Regional Council – $1,546,389
- Whitsunday Regional Council – $1,050,537
“It is concerning that the Department was unable to confirm whether Labor would honour this and other funding commitments, as a minimum, when interrogated at Senate Estimates in December 2022.
“The Government needs to start showing respect to all councils in Capricornia and to local communities by ending the secrecy and delays over this program.
“I call on the Government to write to all councils in Capricornia advising what funding they will receive from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to enable councillors and staff to get on with the task of improving our local area,” Ms Landry said.