Record $1 bn package to help NSW councils become fit for the future
The ‘Fit for the Future’ package is the largest investment the State has ever made in the local government sector. The program follows the recently announced Rebuilding NSW infrastructure development program. Mr Baird said the success of Rebuilding NSW depends on strong local government.
“We are committed to Rebuilding NSW and to achieve this we need a strong local government sector”, Mr Baird said.
“However this is not possible when more than one-third of the State’s councils are facing financial problems - losing more than $1 million a day".
“This package puts ratepayers first, so councils deliver better roads, footpaths and sporting fields".
The Fit for the Future package includes:
- $258 million to assist councils who decide to merge and make the changes needed to provide better services to communities;
- Cheaper finance for councils to build and maintain necessary community facilities, saving them up to $600 million;
- Up to $100 million savings through reduced red tape and duplication;
- Improvements to the local government system, including the laws that govern it, the way the State works with councils and the support that councils receive.
The Fit for the Future package is based on the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s recommendations following three years of research and consultation.
Councils will have until 30 June 2015 to submit their proposal on how they plan to be Fit for the Future. It will be assessed by independent experts against independently-set criteria.
For more information visit the Fit for the Future website.