Senator fights for increased funding for rural and remote councils

Senator fights for increased funding for rural and remote councils

Politics
Queensland Senator Susan McDonald with Cloncurry Shire Council Mayor Greg Campbell. Photo: supplied.

Queensland Senator Susan McDonald with Cloncurry Shire Council Mayor Greg Campbell. Photo: supplied.

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Senator Susan McDonald has welcomed a significant boost to the Morrison Government's Financial Assistance Grants program.

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Queensland Senator Susan McDonald has welcomed a significant boost to the Morrison Government's Financial Assistance Grants program for local councils while vowing to fight for even more money in remote and rural areas.

The Coalition has already boosted grants to Queensland councils by $10 million in 2019-20 to more than $250 million.

The grants also include a separate road funding component of $73.4 million.

Ms McDonald was born in Cloncurry in north west Queensland and travelled extensively through the state's rural and remote areas leading up to and during the federal election campaign.

From Mount Isa to Warwick and all towns in between, she spoke to councils that were desperate to complete crucial civic works without having to burden residents with big rates hikes.

"These towns need sewerage works, roads fixed, kerbing and channeling, public space improvements and modern amenities to attract tourists," Ms McDonald said.

"But they don't have the rates base to do it and they're finding the FAGS money is too thinly spread to really make a difference.

"I've grown up in regional Queensland and I know how hard councils work to limit rates rises without compromising service provision, so I've made it my mission to secure an increased allocation to the FAGS funding pool.

"I hope to achieve this by directly lobbying the relevant ministers and departments in Canberra.

"I think my first-hand knowledge of living in these sort of areas means I can prosecute a pretty compelling case on behalf of these councils."

The North West Star

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