The Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker (pictured left) said a total of $30 million in Financial Assistance Grants will be paid to Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Kempsey, Nambucca and Port Macquarie Hastings councils this financial year.
He said, “The beauty of this program for communities, and their councils on the Mid North Coast is that how the money is spent is totally up to local government”.
According to the Cowper MP, the funds are not limited by the Commonwealth to specific projects, as grants often are.
“With this big program it is up to each council to determine, with an eye to what their communities want, just how that money is spent”, Mr Hartsuyker said.
The 2018-19 grants will total $7.461 million for Coffs Harbour, $3.719 million for Bellingen, $6.004 million for Kempsey, $3.941 million for Nambucca and $9.226 million for Port Macquarie Hastings.
The instalments now being paid include $923,000 for Coffs Harbour, $473,000 for Bellingen, $758,000 for Kempsey, $499,000 for Nambucca and $1.1 million for Port Macquarie-Hastings.
“With these funds now flowing, on top of some ‘bring forward’ payments provided in June, Councils will be able to get on with those important local jobs”, Mr Hartsuyker said.
$2.4 billion has been allocated to councils across Australia for this financial year, bringing the total paid since the program started in the mid-1970s to over $50 billion.
According to Coffs Harbour City Council, the funding goes into a general pool that allows council to operate.