LEETON Shire Council will struggle to deliver key projects unless the federal government reinstates indexation for financial assistance grants.
Mayor Paul Maytom made a heartfelt plea to federal member for Farrer Sussan Ley to reinstate the indexation to allow council to redevelop the Roxy Theatre and upgrade the town swimming pool and the CBD.“We’ve lost a few hundred thousand dollars a year and that’s put us on the backfoot,” Councillor Maytom said.
“The financial assistance grants are paramount and we have to have that indexation restored to be able to upgrade the pool, the CBD and the Roxy Theatre.
“We tried to get the indexation restored and it fell on deaf ears and I think that is unacceptable.”
He said the federal government also needed to commit to extending its additional Roads to Recovery funding.
“All councils got the extra money in Roads to Recovery and we’ll be pushing to maintain the current funding,” Cr Maytom said.
“We’re not being greedy–we’re saying if we are looking at our freight strategy and freight movements, we have to have adequate roads.”
Cr Maytom said council not only had to consider roads, it also had to ensure roads and culverts were maintained.“We can deliver and we can do things–we can do it in drips and drabs–but we simply don’t have enough money to do it (maintain the road network).”
Cr Maytom said council would also be pushing for the NBN to be rolled out in a timely manner.“The NBN appears to be off the rails,” he said.
“I think we must put pressure on the government to ensure that’s rolled out in our region and it’s adequate in our region.”
Cr Maytom said the region also needed certainty that funding for irrigators affected by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan would remain available in the future.
He said he hoped the federal government would also allocate funding for renewable energy.
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