Council receives $3 million

COOMA-MONARO Shire Council will receive more than $3 million as part of the Federal Governments Financial Assistance Grant (FAG) Program.

The Member for Eden Monaro Peter Hendy announced the funding last week as a boost to Eden Monaro.

Councils in the electorate of Eden-Monaro will share a total of $32,679,929 this financial year with Cooma-Monaro Shire receiving $3,596,217.

Local government financial assistance grants are general purpose grants paid to local councils, which has complete autonomy in deciding how the funds should be spent.

Member for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy said he was looking forward to seeing how councils targeted local priorities with the funding.

"Councils are free to spend this untied grant funding according to local priorities, including infrastructure, health, recreation, environment, employment and roads projects," he said.

"I am looking forward to seeing our local councils target local priorities with this funding, along with additional funding provided by the Federal Government under the Roads to Recovery, Black Spot and Bridges Renewal programmes."

However, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) says NSW councils face a $30 million pothole due to the Federal Government grant freeze.

President of LGNSW, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM, said the Australian Government's decision to freeze the Financial Assistance Grants in the last budget means NSW councils have been left with a $30 million shortfall in the 2014/15 financial year.

"Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Over the next four years, NSW councils are facing a projected shortfall of $288 million," he said.

"While the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Warren Truss MP, is out spruiking the Financial Assistance Grants as a "vital cash injection" for local communities, councils are trying figure out how to plug the hole in their budgets left by the freeze on the grant scheme.

"What's more, the communities hardest hit by the freeze will be those in rural and regional council areas, which rely more heavily on Financial Assistance Grants due to their small rate bases and extensive road networks."

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