2023-24 Budget delivers transparency, accountability and financial security to councils
Ron Hoenig – Minister for Local Government
Tuesday, 19 September 2023
The Minns Labor Government is delivering on a core election commitment to ensure greater transparency and accountability to NSW councils.
The 2023-24 NSW Budget invests an additional $4.5 million to bolster the capacity of the Office of Local Government, develop a new code of conduct framework and improve the fiscal responsibility of councils.
The funding provides financial security to the NSW Government agency dedicated to the sustainability, integrity and accountability of councils across NSW giving ratepayers confidence that councils will be held to their obligations to their communities.
This Budget also guarantees funding for next year’s local government elections, giving councils security after the former government left them underfunded.
$102 million in funding has been approved for the NSW Electoral Commission, to ensure local government elections go ahead, with the necessary funding provided through the Special Minister of State.
A new Regional Emergency Road Repairs Fund (RERRF) will put $390 million directly into the hands of regional and rural councils for urgent road and pothole repairs, to ensure the roads people and our freight industry rely on are reliable, safe and efficient.
The fairer structure means funding will be shared across all 95 eligible regional councils and authorities, supporting councils to prioritise works based on the needs of their own communities, particularly those hit by natural disasters.
This begins to address the inequity of the former Government’s Regional and Local Roads Repair Program which saw urban councils receiving five times more funding for flood recovery compared to regional, rural and remote councils.
The Budget also continues to directly assist pensioners with cost-of-living pressures, continuing to fund council rate concessions with $78.5 million in 2023-24.
While the NSW Government puts our people first, we are not neglecting our pets. The NSW Pet Registry will be modernised and integrated with the Service NSW app. In addition, $6.3 million in existing funding from the Companion Animals Fund will help councils improve education and care for registered dogs and cats.
The 2023-24 Budget outlines how this government is making better choices to rebuild essential services and ensure the people of NSW receive the support and services they need.
MEDIA: Clare Dowswell | Minister Hoenig | 0448 540 073