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MEDIA RELEASE - Federal budget backs Glenelg

12 May 2017

The return of indexing Financial Assistance Grants by the Federal Government in this week’s annual budget will result in the return of hundreds of thousands of dollars to Glenelg Shire Council’s annual operating budget.

Mayor Anita Rank praised this week’s Federal Budget, which returned the indexation of the grants which had been frozen for the past three years stripping millions of dollars from regional councils.

Cr Rank said it would result in an estimated $200,000 additional budget spend for the Glenelg Shire for vital service delivery and maintenance of community infrastructure.

“This news to “end the freeze” is a fantastic outcome for all regional councils who can use this additional funding to get on with delivering vital council services such as road construction, offering sought after early learning centres and recreation spaces,” Cr Rank said.

“There are huge opportunities for the Glenelg Shire to benefit from this Federal Budget which provides further road funding support, early learning investment and much needed spending for rail improvements.

“Council’s advocacy efforts have been clearly recognised and acknowledged in these important regional budget allocations and we thank Member for Wannon Dan Tehan for his support.”

Cr Rank said a new $472 million Regional Growth Fund for local infrastructure and community projects would be instrumental for regional councils to focus on economy building projects, leading to further job creation.

She added that a $200 million investment in the Building Better Regions Fund would support additional community building projects, whilst investment in early learning was welcomed to improve learning outcomes.

“Support for 15 hours of kindergarten a week until the end of 2018 is excellent news for our community as it will ensure our youngest residents get the best possible start to their education,” Cr Rank said.

“This policy is consistent with council’s commitment to early education which strives to create a place where children are encouraged to play, grow and learn in safe and supportive environments ensuring they are ready for their early school years.

“Council also welcomes a $500 million investment in passenger rail, which includes improvements to the Melbourne to Warrnambool line in addition to $240 million for the Murray Basin Rail Network, an important funding injection which assist growth in agricultural exports from the Port of Portland.

“Furthermore, a $20 million investment for the Princes Highway West from Colac to the South Australian Border will improve connectivity and safety for motorists across the south west region, providing greater efficiency for business and more attractive routes for tourists to travel as they explore our region.”

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