Orange council to revise spending after federal grant falls short of expectations

ORANGE City Council will receive $4,559,091 via the federal government’s Financial Assistance Grant (FAGS) program, sightly less than last financial year’s allocation of $4,628,906.

Council’s finance policy committee chair Chris Gryllis said the shortfall meant  council would be forced to revise some of its spending allocations.

“The amount of federal funding is $69,815 less than last year, and $90,529 less than was expected in the council’s budget,” Cr Gryllis said

“As well as the federal budget decision to freeze CPI on FAGS funding for councils, the smaller population growth rate of NSW compared to other states, including WA, was a factor.

“Council staff will now begin the process of seeing what planned spending can be trimmed to find these savings. 

“The council works hard to achieve a balanced budget and these unexpected cuts are disappointing.

“Some of this federal funding was specifically pigeon-holed for roads, so this is one area which may have to be looked at.”

Member for Calare John Cobb said the federal government was providing $2.3 billion to local councils nationwide in this financial year, including $715.7 million to NSW councils.

“Councils are free to spend this untied grant funding according to local priorities, including for infrastructure, health, recreation, environment, employment and roads projects,” Mr Cobb said.

“I am looking forward to seeing our local councils target local priorities with this funding, along with additional funding provided by the federal government under the Roads to Recovery, Black Spot and Bridges Renewal programs.”

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