Labor's Plan for Local Government

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A Shorten Labor Government will partner with local government to build better local communities and tackle some of the key challenges the sector faces. We will contribute nearly $1 billion in new funding to local government through initiatives outlined in our Local Government Plan.

This is in addition to the $9.5 billion in Financial Assistance Grants, $2 billion Roads to Recovery Funding and $419 million for the Bridges Renewal Program.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will invest in our communities to make sure they have the infrastructure and services they need, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

Local councils are on the front line of many big challenges, including climate change, waste management and meeting the expanding needs of our communities.

Labor will partner with local government to improve sports grounds, community hubs, libraries, and arts and cultural centres, all of which improve amenity and build community.

Labor has already announced more than $250 million on new spending for local government infrastructure, including community centres upgrades to parks and sporting facilities.

In addition, Labor’s new $200 million Local Community Projects Fund will provide funding to support regional development.

Labor will invest $260 million in a National Bike Path Strategy to encourage more people to ride bicycles to work or school and capitalise on the rapidly expanding cycling tourism market.

To assist with the challenge of waste management and building a circular economy, Labor will provide $15 million to establish a National Waste Commissioner to work with state governments and local government and help educate the community on solutions to waste, and work with industry to expand recycling and Product Stewardship Schemes.

Labor will also invest $60 million through our National Recycling Fund to encourage recycling, including funding for innovative waste solutions, local government recycling facilities and material processing facilities, and new approaches to tackling food waste.

Labor will provide $62 million to ensure our coastal communities are able to adapt and build their resilience to climate change. We will do this by coordinating local, state and national efforts to support climate adaptation and resilience and delivering direct support to local communities and government to restore our coasts.

To address overcrowding and create jobs in remote Indigenous communities, Labor will provide a $1.5 billion, 10-year investment in Indigenous housing, which will deliver a decade of funding certainty to the Northern Territory by committing an additional $550 million over five years from 2023-24, doubling the commitment by the Liberals. Labor will also provide $251 million in funding to Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia in 2019-20.

Labor’s City Partnerships will engage with all three levels of government through genuine collaboration, as well as with the private sector, to set out a strategic vision for our cities and linked to a renewed National Urban Policy.

Labor is committed to building the nation-building infrastructure Australia needs. We will work with state and territory governments to get projects up and running, with earlier investments in all states and territories.

Local councils have told Labor that improving communications infrastructure is a major priority for them, to help regional development and create jobs. A Shorten Labor Government will invest $245 million to address mobile black spots, improve digital literacy and fund local projects to improve connectivity in regional communities.

These commitments demonstrate that Labor has been listening to the local government sector and that Labor values the contribution of councils to our regional development agenda.

Labor shares the vision of local councils to create vibrant, liveable places across Australia that provide the social amenity and community services that underpin our national prosperity and wellbeing and is committed to working with them to achieve this.

More detail on Labor’s Plan for Local Government is available here.