Councils call for clarity on federal funding cuts

COUNCILS across the country have again called for clarity around millions of dollars in regional funding in doubt under a Coalition government.

The Coalition plans to cut about $2.48 billion from the regional infrastructure fund, as well as $150 million in previously promised regional funding.

But the Australian Local Government Association has called for the government to give priority to the $150 million Labor Party promise.

While Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has said he wants to be an infrastructure PM, he has refused to confirm whether the funding will still be delivered.

The funds were allocated under the previous government, but contracts with local councils for the funds have not been executed.

ALGA president Felicity-ann Lewis last week urged the funding to be delivered to the vital projects as they were now "at risk".

While Mr Abbott has said he would fund some projects, but not all, he not said anything more about the future of the funds.

With a week before the official swearing-in of the new government, it is likely to be several days before any certainty is given to the projects.

Nationals leader Warren Truss has also refused to commit to any such Labor promises, but has announced $200 million a year for five years under a new regional infrastructure fund.

Details of how those funds will distributed are scant, but Mr Truss pledged last week the money would go to regional areas "most in need".


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