Truss not budging on region's funding freeze
WARREN Truss is playing hardball on a funding freeze that is costing our region.
Gympie Regional Council is feeling the pinch as the Federal Government's three-year pause on financial assistance grants indexation enters its second year.
The Deputy Prime Minister's office told APN Newsdesk there would be no backdown on the 2014/15 budget decision that is costing many councils millions of dollars.
Mayor Mick Curran could not say how much the move was costing the region but he said the impact would be felt.
"Council's costs keep increasing so do our responsibilities and the community expectations and any reduction in funding just makes the job of council providing for the community so much harder," Cr Curran said.
In 2014/15, the council received $5,226,472 under the financial assistance grant program.
About $3,475,800 was a general purpose grant and $1,750,609 was an identified road grant.
A spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the decision would not be reversed.
"The temporary indexation pause of the grants program is necessary to repair Labor's debt and deficit disaster," the spokesman said. "All Australians are being asked to play a part in repairing our nation's financial woes, including local government."
The spokesman said the government was providing $9.45 billion under the program to councils.
"This temporary indexation pause is more than offset by increases in other Federal Government funding to councils."
ALGA president Troy Pickard said councils across the country had to make tough decisions about rates and infrastructure investment because of the decision.
"In the face of the freeze, councils are re-evaluating what services and infrastructure they can continue to provide to adjust to the reduced revenue levels," Cr Pickard said.
"It is ultimately our communities that will feel the pain of this freeze, so on their behalf ... the ALGA is renewing its call to the government to restore indexation of the grants as soon as possible."