Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured talking to Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Mathew Dickerson this week.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is calling on the Labor Government to release the funding details for the next phase of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program, to provide certainty to local councils as they plan their capital works budgets for the year.
In the 2022-23 October Budget, Labor committed an additional $250 million on top of the $500 million previously budgeted by the former Coalition Government, bringing the total to $750 million for Phase 4 of the LRCI program.
However, local councils are still waiting to find out the amount of funding they can expect to receive, and the conditions attached to it, under Phase 4.
“The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program was implemented by the former Coalition Government in 2020 – when I was the Minister for Local Government – to stimulate local economies during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Coulton said.
“It has proven to be one of the most beneficial programs for local councils 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.
“When I travel throughout the Parkes electorate, I can see the direct and indirect benefits the LRCI program has brought to our communities and every time I meet with one of our mayors, I am constantly reminded of the difference this funding has made, enabling our councils to complete projects they otherwise wouldn’t have the capacity to undertake.
“Councils are now trying to plan their capital works budgets for the year ahead, but they are being hampered in their ability to do so as they still have not received information about the funding or guidelines for Phase 4.
“I am calling on the Labor Government to release these details immediately, to provide certainty ahead of the grant being made available from 1 July.”
Mr Coulton said when the Coalition was in government, councils were told exactly how much money they would receive within a few weeks of the extra $500 million being committed in the March 2022 Federal budget.
“The Coalition had budgeted for councils in the Parkes electorate to receive more than $21 million in funding under a Phase 3 extension to upgrade roads or social infrastructure projects such as new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community and sporting facilities, and picnic shelters at parks,” Mr Coulton said.
- Bogan Shire Council – $911,524
- Bourke Shire Council – $1,199,903
- Brewarrina Shire Council – $820,558
- Broken Hill City Council – $310,580
- Central Darling Shire Council – $1,001,818
- Cobar Shire Council – $1,085,211
- Coonamble Shire Council – $929,818
- Dubbo Regional Council – $2,146,498
- Gilgandra Shire Council – $878,444
- Gunnedah Shire Council – $1,007,220
- Gwydir Shire Council – $1,182,224
- Lachlan Shire Council – $2,128,508
- Moree Plains Shire Council – $1,814,888
- Narrabri Shire Council – $1,475,176
- Narromine Shire Council – $909,690
- Walgett Shire Council – $1,235,615
- Warren Shire Council – $655,258
- Warrumbungle Shire Council – $1,553,366
“Our councils will be even more reliant on this funding this year as they face millions of dollars in repair bills to fix local roads that have been damaged by the relentless rain and flooding,” Mr Coulton said.
“Councils need transparency from the Government so they can plan ahead.
“I call on the Labor Government to write to every council advising exactly 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 their communities.”