Redlands community and sporting groups are bracing themselves for the severe impact of funding cuts as a result of actions taken by the Federal Labor Government.
Three critical grant programs, which have been instrumental in delivering federal funding to the local level, have all fallen victim to the chopping block.
These programs facing cuts are the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure, the Stronger Communities Program, and Building Better Regions program.
Member for Bowman, Henry Pike said “While fiscal discipline is understood, it is crucial to acknowledge that these programs offer exceptional value for money and represent some of the most beneficial expenditures within the entire Commonwealth Budget.”
“The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program has played a pivotal role in supporting numerous projects in the area, including vital installations such as CCTV at Victoria Point Reserve, drainage upgrades in Birkdale and Ziegenfusz Road, and widening at Starkey Street in Wellington Point,” Mr Pike said.
“This year's allocation for the Redlands City Council will be $716,000 less than what was provided in the last Coalition Budget. Furthermore, this critical funding will not be renewed beyond this allocation.”
The Stronger Communities Program, another program facing the chop, provides localised grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to community and sporting organisations.
“These grants have had a profound impact on local communities, supporting grassroots organisations and community groups,” Mr Pike said.
“Sadly, the Labor Government has decided to remove transparency by dismantling the competitive local investment model in favour of funding their own pet projects.”
The Coalition’s ‘Building Better Regions Fund’ program has been replaced with a similar ‘Growing Our Regions Fund.’ This change has resulted in our Moreton Bay islands being excluded from this funding stream due to changes in eligibility conditions.
“This is particularly heartbreaking as community-led efforts in 2017 resulted in SMBI and North Stradbroke Islands being deliberately included in the fund by the former Coalition Government,” Mr Pike said.
“In an absurd situation, projects at Surfers Paradise can now claim regional funding, while projects on our islands cannot.”
“What these cuts will achieve is to place the burden to fund important projects back onto ratepayers, prevent community groups delivering vital community services to those in most need, and limit sporting clubs in making much needed infrastructure improvements.”
Mr Pike said “These cuts are truly a false economy, and I’m going to fight hard against them.”
“I have written to the Minister urging a reversal of the decision and am still awaiting a response.”