Great South Coast councils have been dealt a surprise $1.5 million blow after a technical correction to the Australian Government financial assistance grants.
Great South Coast Group Chair Matt Makin said the six regional councils would have to find a collective $1.54 million to maintain their current service levels after a funding ‘redirection’.
“Basically, the Federal Government is clawing back this money at a time when councils have already set their 2012-13 budgets,” Cr Makin said.
“This means we will either be forced to cut promised services or or add to our debt levels.”
Cr Makin said the basis for the funding redistribution was largely in response to a technical correction to Victoria’s population figures in the wake of the 2011 Census.
He said this formula was based on consumer price movements that did not in any way reflect the increasing costs associated with local government.
“Our biggest cost is around people – paying the salaries of the people who deliver services like child care and kindergartens, home care, libraries, maternal and child health visits.
“These costs are simply not reflected in CPI movements.”
Cr Makin said the Great South Coast Group would be writing to Federal Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean to express its frustration at the funding redistribution.
“This is a huge blow for Great South Coast Councils and it comes at a time when we are already grappling with the fallout of the defined benefits superannuation issue.”
Estimated impact of the Australian Government’s financial assistance grants redistribution per Great South Coast council
|Colac Otway Shire||$180,000|
|Southern Grampians Shire||$146,000|
Great South Coast Chair and Corangamite Shire Mayor
Phone: 0427 322 282