Glen Innes benefits from FAGS boost

Glen Innes Severn Council will receive $1.9 million as part of a federal government initiative to develop infrastructure.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, announced the funding on Thursday which is provided under the Financial Assistance Grants scheme to councils.

The Financial Assistance Grants scheme provides funding in two parts – the first is open for councils to use the funding on local priorities and the second is specifically for roads.

Mr Joyce said the initiative gives councils the freedom to fund projects the community needs the most.

“The council can spend the grant money how, when and on what they choose, including infrastructure renewal and maintenance of local roads and bridges,” Mr Joyce said.

“I want to thank Senator Fiona Nash for restoring the estimated 3.4 per cent indexation, which will provide an additional $24 million to our state’s councils.”

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the NSW Government would administer the funding to councils and added the funding will benefit a range of projects earmarked for local communities.

“Our local councils have projects on the books that they can roll with straight away, which is why it is important for them to receive this funding now.

“Investment in local infrastructure, including roads and bridges, creates jobs which is why we must continue to provide funding to assist councils to get on with the job.”

Federal Local Government Minister Senator Fiona Nash said the early distribution was part of a suite of measures aimed at benefitting regional Australia.

“This allows councils to start projects early, or earn interest on this money, or it may help them put up their contribution for grants applications for projects in their area,” Minister Nash said.

“Along with the reinstatement of indexation for Financial Assistance Grants, the Building Better Regions Fund, Roads to Recovery and Bridges to Renewal, we’re looking after local councils.”