Central Coast Council will be able to start work on crucial new projects, following an early cash injection of almost $13m, under the Financial Assistance Grants program from the Federal Government.
Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said the Federal Government has made an early payment of 50 per cent of the 2018-19 Financial Assistance Grants funding to Central Coast Council, to help support the delivery of essential services and local infrastructure.
“Central Coast Council has already received this early instalment, with an estimated total of $26m to be received by Council through these grants for the 2018-19 financial year,” Lucy Wicks said.
“The Council can spend this estimated $26m in the way they think will serve the Central Coast best,” she said.
“This means that this untied funding can go towards priority projects for the Central Coast community, like up to 1,000 new car spots that could be built by Council at Gosford.
“If Central Coast Council sees Labor’s $15m car parking promise as a priority project for the Coast, they have at their disposal approximately $26m already being delivered by the Federal Government.
“This Federal funding for Central Coast Council’s local priority projects is real money, which is fully funded and will be delivered in full by the end of this financial year.”
Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Dr John McVeigh, said the Government’s decision to make an early payment of 50 per cent of 2018-19 Financial Assistance Grants to all 546 councils across Australia, would help fast track delivery of priority local projects.
“The Coalition Government recognises the importance of giving councils the power to determine local priorities in their region,” he said.
“These grants are therefore an extremely important means of allowing local governments to invest substantial allocations of federal funds based on local needs.
“The Coalition Government also supports local councils through a range of other targeted funding programs including Roads to Recovery, Bridges to Renewal, the Building Better Regions Fund, and Regional Growth Fund.”
Council issued a statement in response to Lucy Wicks’ announcement.
“Council has planned for this regular funding from the Federal Government’s Financial Assistance Grants within our operating budget for the 2018/19 Delivery Program and Operational Plan,” the Council statement said.
“This funding allows Council to provide services to the community, free of charge, or at a subsidised price, such as play grounds, life guards patrolling our beaches, libraries, sporting facilities, skate parks, parks and reserves,” it said.
“Council’s Operational Plan details delivery of essential services and capital works in the priority areas, which were outlined in the first Community Strategic Plan for the Central Coast.
“The priority areas the community want to see us deliver on are the road network, water and sewer service and infrastructure, protecting and enhancing the local environment, community facilities and open space and recreation.
“We are happy to work with all levels of Government to help make our commuters’ journey from home to work better.
“The 2018/19 operating budget includes an allocation for developing a car parking strategy for the whole of the Coast, because we know that moving around the coast is also important to our residents.”
Media release, Jul 10
Charlotte Bowcock, office of Lucy Wicks
Media statement, Jul 16
Central Coast Council media