Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure and Local Government, and the Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, today announced that local councils in Page are set to share over $26 million ($26,075,625) in financial assistance grants from the Rudd Labor Government.

In addition, Lismore City Council will receive the eighth-largest increase in local road grants in New South Wales.

Clarence Valley is also in the top 20 councils in the State in terms of highest local road grants and highest total grants, coming in at 3rd and 9th respectively.

All councils in Page will receive funds from the Government. Their allocations are:
• Ballina $3,122,954
• Clarence Valley $9,414,520
• Kyogle $3,357,025
• Lismore $6,013,774
• Richmond Valley $4,167,352

Mr Albanese said: “Across New South Wales, the Rudd Labor Government is delivering $597 million, an increase of 7.23 per cent since last year (2007-08).

“This is the highest level of funding ever provided to local governments in New South Wales.”

Ms Saffin said: “This is great news for local councils like Ballina who will be able to deliver roads and services for our local communities.

“Residents in Page expect good local roads, decent libraries, well-maintained parks and pools, regular garbage pick-ups, and high quality child care and other services.”

Mr Albanese said: “That’s why the Rudd Government’s grants are untied so that councils can spend the funds on local priorities.

“And it’s important to remember that the $26,075,625 is on top of the money available to councils this year from our Roads to Recovery program.”

Ms Saffin said: “The Rudd Government understands how important these grants are for rural and regional shires, where they can make up more than half of council revenue.

“About 72 per cent – or $430 million – of the grants are for rural and regional councils, which deliver jobs and services in local communities.

“Local councils received the first quarterly payment around 20 August 2008.”

Council grants were recommended by the New South Wales Local Government Grants Commission, a body established under New South Wales legislation.