Newcastle City

Lake Macquarie and Newcastle City Councils to share in $300 million local infrastructure fund

Lake Macquarie City Council and Newcastle City Council will be offered crucial funding this financial year as part of the Rudd Labor Government’s $300 million community infrastructure stimulus package. Lake Macquarie City Council will be offered $2,117,000 and Newcastle City Council will be offered $1,913,000.

The funding was announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as part of the new regional and local Community Infrastructure Program at the Australian Council of Local Government in Canberra today.The Member for Charlton, Greg Combet said, “This is a win for our local community. Local Councils have the opportunity to meet urgent community needs.”

Lake Macquarie City Council will also be eligible to apply on a competitive basis for larger projects seeking a minimum Commonwealth contribution of $2 million or more. “This is some welcome relief for our communities who are feeling the pinch of the global financial crisis,” Mr. Combet said today.

This is an initial down-payment on the Australian Government’s plans to meet urgent needs in communities and create long-term infrastructure. Ongoing funding will be delivered in the May 2009 Budget following consultation with local government.

This down payment will be delivered in record time – by June 30, 2009.The $300 million will be delivered – in two parts – a $250 million fund offered to all councils and shires as well as a competitive $50 million fund for projects seeking $2 million or more.Preference will be given to local projects that can start immediately to stimulate economic development and improve the quality of life in local communities.

“This is our opportunity to get moving on those important local projects – things like our community centers, swimming pools, and sports grounds,” Mr. Combet said.

“We want to support projects that stimulate local economies in the short-term; support jobs in local communities, and provide practical community infrastructure for the long-term.”Local councils need to begin preparatory work quickly to secure funding as soon as possible. Guidelines for applications and timetables would be released shortly by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.