Media response - federal budget
Published on 01 December 2022
Response to Fleurieu Sun.
- Can I please have a response from council regarding the federal budget? Is it positive or negative?
Comments attributed to Julia Grant, Acting CEO
The City of Onkaparinga, like local governments across the state and the country, is first and foremost looking to the federal government to support our community and businesses through the volatile economic situation Australia faces, including the rising electricity costs for our community and businesses.
The interim Budget October 2022–23 includes some welcome investments for SA and our region. In particular, the ongoing funding for building important infrastructure at a local level – from libraries to roads – is good news for local residents who value our services and may lean on them even more as inflation and unemployment rise.
We’re pleased to see the $91.1 million over six years for the Urban Rivers and Catchment Program to improve local waterways, fund activities that restore the natural habitats of aquatic species and create recreational spaces for local communities. This includes a $5 million pre-election commitment for revitalisation of the Onkaparinga River and its tributaries, Pedler Creek, which is based on a key advocacy priority for our council. We look forward to finding out the details of how this funding will be distributed.
We also support the commitment of $200 million per year for disaster mitigation from next year to support councils better protect regions from floods, fires and cyclones. As recipients of $3.5m in funding for a bushfire preparedness project from the federal government, we know the importance of preparing our for the hotter, drier conditions caused by a changing climate.
However, there is more work to be done and we support the SA LGA and ALGA’s key advocacy asks important for South Australian councils, including:
- An increase in Financial Assistance Grants, restored to at least one per cent of federal tax revenue - providing councils greater financial sustainability and certainty
- Permanent supplementary road funding for South Australia to assist councils with the maintenance and upgrade of the state's road network
- The involvement of regional SA councils in the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council
- The development of a new program that seeks to address the shortage of affordable rental housing in regional SA by offering financial incentives for property developers, not-for-profit organisations, and community housing providers – similar to the former National Rental Affordability Scheme
- A lowering of the development project value threshold for access to the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, given the smaller scale of viable residential developments in regional SA
- Climate partnership programs to enable better planning and preparation to minimise the impacts of climate change in local communities.