JUST 1%: A push is on by the Australian Local Government Association to have the Federal Government deliver more tax revenue to councils.
JUST 1%: A push is on by the Australian Local Government Association to have the Federal Government deliver more tax revenue to councils. Barry Leddicoat

PM aware of 'Just 1%' campaign for council funding

A PUSH is on by the Australian Local Government Association to have the Federal Government deliver more tax revenue to councils across the country.

The "Just 1%'' campaign is about restoring the quantum of Financial Assistance Grants to at least one per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue.

The campaign has widespread support, including that of Gladstone Regional Council, and is likely to become a hot topic heading into next year's federal election.

Councillor Kahn Goodluck is calling for people to get their federal members and federal candidates on board.

"Councils manage 33 per cent of the nation's infrastructure and they do it with just four per cent of total public sector tax receipts," Cr Goodluck said.

"The Federal Government gets all your income tax and the company tax you pay. State government gets all the GST and mining royalties and other levies. Council has your rates.

"Council is supported each year by the Federal Government through financial assistance grants. These grants have been around for 30 years or more.

"When they first came in they were at two per cent of total federal tax revenue. By 1996 that had slipped to just one per cent and today it is just over half a per cent (0.55 per cent).

"Councils across the nation have come together to call on the Federal Government to give back just one per cent of total federal tax revenue to councils to help reduce the burden on ratepayers.

"For Gladstone Region ratepayers this equates to approximately $6 million a year."

 

Gladstone region councillor Kahn Goodluck, mayor Matt Burnett and councillor PJ Sobhanian at the Local Government Association Queensland Conference.
Gladstone region councillor Kahn Goodluck, mayor Matt Burnett and councillor PJ Sobhanian at the Local Government Association Queensland conference. Gladstone Regional Council

Mayor Matt Burnett said he wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to mention the campaign to Prime Minister Scott Morrison when he visited Gladstone on November 7.

"The meeting with the prime minister was the first time he'd heard of it," Cr Burnett said.

"By the time I got to the acting prime minister (Michael McCormack on Monday) he was aware of it. In the time from when the prime minister was here and the acting prime minister was here, the message is starting to filter through."