Federal Assistance Grants
Mr Paul Bell AM visited Gayndah Wednesday 1 June. Mr Bell is the Chairperson of the Queensland Local Government Grants Commission. He had a conversation with Council regarding Federal Assistance Grants; the methodology for allocation of grants amongst Queensland’s seventy-seven local government organisations, and he explained why Council will receive a smaller grant allocation during 2022/23 and for subsequent years. Mr Bell stated that the grant funding was designed to ensure that all Local Government organisations can deliver equitable services.
Council highlighted our unique circumstances which disadvantage our communities, when grant allocations occur. Our small population of 10,702, as well as our road network comprising 829 kilometres of sealed and 3318 kilometres of unsealed roads means that Council will receive less funds. Council has limited opportunities to increase revenue capability beyond our general rating structure and service charges. Also, it is prohibitive for Council to raise rates to the cover the grant shortfall. Any rates increase should be reflective of actual and reasonable expenses including fuel hikes, as well as the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Council intends to take this matter further with both the Queensland Government and the Australian Government. We need to make sure that relevant decision makers are aware of our plight. We ultimately seek to ensure that Council receives a more fair and equitable grant allocation, so that we can continue to deliver quality programs and services across the region. We have devised a notice of motion for the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly, which in part states that “This National General Assembly calls on the Australian Government to restore untied Local Government Financial Assistance Grants to a level equal to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue and distribute funds more equitably across Local Government communities who have limited capacity to raise or increase own source revenue outside current rating streams”. Queensland regional Councils also “call on the Australian Government to provide Local Government communities classified as rural or remote who have limited capacity to raise or increase own source revenue outside current rating streams, to have access to Federal grant funding with a co-contribution of 10% or less for capital works projects including planning/scoping of these works”.
Local Disaster Management Group chair and deputy chair appointments
During the Ordinary meeting, Wednesday 25 May, it was resolved that Councillor Melinda Jones be formally appointed as the ongoing Chairperson of the Local Disaster Management Group and Councillor Dael Giddens be appointed Deputy Chair. The Local Disaster Management Group is the group which undertakes disaster preparedness and mitigation, disaster management, as well as disaster response and recovery, with a range of relevant stakeholders and agencies, to ensure safety and wellbeing throughout our greater region and upholds the Disaster Management Act 2003 provisions. Special thanks is extended to all LDMG agency members and sub-group contributors, including staff, particularly after recent severe rain and flooding events.
Wandering livestock on roadways
North Burnett Regional Council is aware that there have been instances of wandering livestock on local roads, during recent days. Council strenuously recommends that all motorists take extreme care and caution on the roads. Council also reminds people with cattle and horses to regularly check their fencing and that all stock are suitably contained.
Large numbers of mice are infesting the North Burnett and Council acknowledges that people are currently faced with the inconvenience of managing the problem in their homes, businesses, as well as on farms. We believe the mice infestation is due to the recent favourable season, that has boosted plant and groundcover growth, creating ideal conditions for the hungry rodents to reproduce exponentially.
Mice are not a declared pest under the Rural Lands Protection Act 1985 so there is no legal requirement that they be controlled. NBRC has a Biosecurity Plan to deal with invasive plants and animals – mice are not included in the plan. Council encourages residents to take steps to rodent proof their home and property and to seek individual advice regarding the control of rodents from pest control professionals.
As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly on 0458 696 272 or firstname.lastname@example.org or your divisional councillor if you would like to address any concerns. Our contact details can be found on Council’s website www.northburnett.qld.gov.au/meet-your-councillors
1300 696 272 | email@example.com