The Federal Government recently announced Douglas Shire would receive $1.097 million in Roads to Recovery funding for the 2019/20 – 2023/24 period for which Council is grateful.
That is $1.097 million spread out over 5 years.
Douglas Shire’s funding has decreased by nearly $500k.
Some have argued that the decrease from $1.595 million to $1.097 million for Douglas Shire is due to errors in data made by Council; specifically that overall roads in the Shire have decreased, population has decreased, and that Council has inappropriately included private roads in the data set.
This is not that case.
When determining funding for Roads to Recovery, the Federal authorities look at data that councils submit for Federal Assistance Grants.
This data includes items such as road length, road type and population.
Douglas Shire’s roads have increased from the previous period and our population has grown since the last program.
Douglas Shire’s Federal Assistance Grant funding has actually increased in absolute dollars as well as in proportion to many other councils.
Therefore, Council’s proportion of Roads to Recovery funding has increased relative to many other councils even if the total dollars have decreased.
The bottom line is that there have been significant cuts to the Roads to Recovery funding program across Australia.
You can see this here for all councils in Australia: https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/roads_to_recovery/
The Federal Government has argued that there have been no cuts to Roads to Recovery funding based on the initial funding announcement made in 2014.
In the previous program that ran from 2014/15 – 2018/19, Douglas was originally advised that it would receive $1.045 million over 5 years.
However, in two of the years between 2014/15 – 2018/19, additional funding was provided to the program and therefore the total amount actually received by Douglas was $1.595 million.
This is a positive outcome and one for which Council has repeatedly thanked the Government.