Councils want budget cooperation
WA councils say they want to work with the State Government to help repair the state budget without suffering too much.
The WA Local Government Association (WALGA) has published a budget submission for consideration by the WA Government.
WALGA President Cr Lynne Craigie says there is an urgent need to improve the state budget position and ensure that spending is directed to priority areas.
The WALGA submission identified several priorities, which include the Country Local Government Fund, crime prevention initiatives, funding support for mental health and community resource centres.
It also outlined a number of areas which should be refocussed to deliver better value for money.
“The State Government has called on all sectors to share in the responsibility for budget repair and Local Government believes that can be achieved by working collaboratively to find solutions,” Cr Craigie said.
“We hope our submission will provide a starting point for discussions with the State Government to find a balance between the needs of communities and redressing the financial challenges facing the State.”
Cr Craigie said it is critical the essential funding for the sector is not reduced further, as this will impact on the sector’s ability to deliver important community services and infrastructure.
“Any efforts to address excessive levels of State Government spending should deliver genuine savings and not merely shift costs onto Local Government, the not-for-profit or private sectors,” she said.
“The sector’s financial position has come under pressure from the weaker economy and policy decisions at other spheres of government which have reduced funding to Local Government.
“The sector needs access to predictable, long-term funding support from the State Government to assist with the provision of key services to the community.
“WALGA looks forward to working in partnership with the State Government to support the growth of the economy and the delivery of sustained improvements in the quality of life for all Western Australians.”
The 2018/2019 WALGA State Budget Submission is accessible here.