Financial Assistance Grant to Local Government

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The Australian Government has provided over $52 billion under the Financial Assistance Grant program to local government since 1974–75 (including 2018–19). The grant is provided under the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (the Act).

The Financial Assistance Grant program consists of two components:

  • a general purpose component which is distributed between the states and territories according to population (i.e. on a per capita basis), and
  • an identified local road component which is distributed between the states and territories according to fixed historical shares.

Both components of the grant are untied in the hands of local government, allowing councils to spend the grants according to local priorities.

Local government grants commissions in each state and the Northern Territory recommend the distribution of the funding under the Financial Assistance Grant program to local governing bodies in accordance with the Act and the National Principles for allocating grants.

The Australian Capital Territory does not have a local government grants commission as the territory government provides local government services in lieu of the territory having a system of local government.

The grant is paid in quarterly instalments to state and territory governments for immediate distribution to local governing bodies.

The quantum of the grant pool changes annually in line with changes in population and the Consumer Price Index (the Act provides discretion to the Treasurer to alter this annual indexation).

Financial Assistance Grant program 2018–19

The Australian Government brought forward $1.2 billion of the Financial Assistance Grant program 2018–19 estimate for payment in 2017–18. This $1.2 billion was paid to states and territories on 20 June 2018. The remaining 2018–19 allocation to states and territories has been determined as $1.2 billion resulting in a total entitlement allocation of $2.4 billion.

The cash grant payment for 2018–19 is $1.2 billion. The cash grant for local government in each state and territory for 2018–19 is:

Jurisdiction#General purposeLocal roadsTotal
New South Wales $272,233,229 $109,570,884 $381,804,113
Victoria $217,815,289 $77,859,739 $295,675,028
Queensland $170,571,437 $70,759,561 $241,330,998
Western Australia $89,210,199 $57,744,700 $146,954,899
South Australia $60,012,812 $20,754,949 $80,767,761
Tasmania $18,246,623 $20,013,286 $38,259,909
Northern Territory $8,687,689 $8,846,607 $17,534,296
Australian Capital Territory $14,325,930 $12,109,815 $26,435,745
Total $851,103,208 $377,659,541 $1,228,762,749

# The above figures do not include the bring forward of $1.2 billion from the 2018–19 entitlement which was paid to states and territories on 20 June 2018. Further information is below.

Funding will be paid in four equal quarterly instalments scheduled for August, November, February and May.

For information on the 2018–19 allocations to individual local governing bodies within each state and territory refer to:

In the 2018 Budget, the Australian Government decided to bring forward $1.2 billion of the Financial Assistance Grant program 2018–19 estimate for payment in 2017–18.

The bring forward payment gave councils the opportunity to start work immediately on new projects and to benefit from additional interest on their cash in the bank. The remaining 2018–19 allocation to states and territories has been determined as $1.2 billion resulting in a total entitlement allocation of $2.4 billion.

The bring forward from 2018–19 was paid to states and territories on 20 June 2018 as below:

JurisdictionGeneral purposeLocal roadsTotal
New South Wales $271,983,904 $109,533,478 $381,517,382
Victoria $219,468,530 $77,833,159 $297,301,689
Queensland $170,509,152 $70,735,406 $241,244,558
Western Australia $88,942,077 $57,724,986 $146,667,063
South Australia $59,331,399 $20,747,865 $80,079,264
Tasmania $17,953,045 $20,006,453 $37,959,498
Northern Territory $8,420,322 $8,843,588 $17,263,910
Australian Capital Territory $14,204,236 $12,105,683 $26,309,919
Total $850,812,665 $377,530,618 $1,228,343,283

Financial Assistance Grant program 2017–18

The aggregate grant payment for 2017–18 was $2.3 billion. The aggregate grant for local government in each state and territory for 2017–18 was:

JurisdictionGeneral purposeLocal roadsTotal
New South Wales $523,945,473 $211,207,375 $735,152,848
Victoria $423,881,687 $150,081,395 $573,963,082
Queensland $328,086,310 $136,395,187 $464,481,497
Western Australia $169,524,411 $111,307,915 $280,832,326
South Australia $115,985,348 $40,006,966 $155,992,314
Tasmania $34,903,090 $38,577,343 $73,480,433
Northern Territory $16,569,895 $17,052,603 $33,622,498
Australian Capital Territory $27,679,000 $23,342,719 $51,021,719
Total $1,640,575,214 $727,971,503 $2,368,546,717

The above figures do not include the bring forward of $1.2 billion from the 2018–19 entitlement which was paid to states and territories on 20 June 2018.

For information on the 2017–18 allocations to individual local governing bodies within each state and territory refer to:

2014–15 Local Government National Report

For a more detailed explanation of the operation of the Act and the provision of funding under the Financial Assistance Grant program to local government, refer to the 2014–15 Local Government National Report.

Local Government Grants Commissions

For further information on the respective local government grants commissions, refer to: