A new, streamlined approach to grants for local government has been approved by the Palaszczuk Government to help councils continue to deliver essential infrastructure and jobs across Queensland.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the flow-on effects of the new Grants to Local Government Model would benefit every Queensland community by continuing to create and support thousands of jobs.
“The Government has a new web page that identifies local government grants programs worth more than $1.46 billion in this financial year alone across the state.
“This includes the highly-successful, signature $600 million Works for Queensland program, which targets regional and remote Queensland and will support, sustain or create more than 21,000 jobs.
“This is all part of this Government’s $12.94 billion state-wide infrastructure program, that will directly support 25,500 jobs in regional Queensland.
“Our commitment to the people of Queensland is jobs, jobs and jobs – and to that end more than 216,000 jobs have been created or supported since 2015.
“This grants model will enhance councils’ capacity to contribute to that job creation.
“To that end, we have worked with councils and industry bodies, including the Local Government Association of Queensland, Local Government Managers Australia (Queensland) and Local Government Finance Professionals.
“Their feedback has been instrumental in its development.
“By reducing red tape and introducing consistency across grant programs for local government, councils will be able to apply for and use funding with greater efficiency and deliver more cost-effective benefits and jobs for their communities.”
Benefits from the new model include:
- A single web page for grants to local government.
- Reducing the number of departments that councils deal with to five.
- More time for councils to deliver projects (minimum two years).
- Alignment of program timeframes with council budget cycles when possible.
- A single funding agreement between the state and local governments.
- Consistent and standard templates for guidelines, applications and progress reporting.
- Improved early stakeholder involvement.
- Better training and support.
Mr Hinchliffe said the model had six streams into which grant programs would be grouped based on the outcome they were trying to achieve, such as improving security of essential services including water and waste water infrastructure.
“There will be further benefits at a state level through greater collaboration, reduction of duplication and a more strategic approach to local government grant programs,” he said.
“Ultimately, this is about ensuring councils have a simple, adaptable, and coordinated system that allows them to deliver more for their communities by stretching the funding further.”
Local Government Association of Queensland chief executive Greg Hallam welcomed the announcement, saying it was a good first step towards developing a more efficient grants system.
“There is a lot of hard work still to be done to make the system less bureaucratic and more responsive to the needs of local councils,” he said.
“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure the vital job that councils perform in looking after their communities’ interests is reflected in this new approach.”
Local Government Managers Australia Queensland president Brett de Chastel said that being involved with the Minister and the Department of Local Government through the review process had been extremely fruitful.
“This is a great step in the right direction, making the grants application process easier, more streamlined and more accessible,” he said.
“Long term, we know we need to look at more improvements but this is a great start.”
The new web page can be accessed at https://www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/grantsmodel
Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe