Financial Assistance Grant to Local Government

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The Australian Government has provided over $50.1 billion under the Financial Assistance Grant program to local government since 1974–75 (including 2017–18). 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 2017–18

The Australian Government brought forward 50 per cent of the Financial Assistance Grant program 2017–18 estimate for payment in 2016–17. This $1.2 billion was paid to states and territories on 7 June 2017. The remaining 50 per cent of the 2017–18 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 2017–18 is $1.2 billion. The cash grant for local government in each state and territory for 2017–18 is:

Jurisdiction#General purposeLocal roadsTotal
New South Wales $261,311,371 $105,674,924 $366,986,295
Victoria $218,224,964 $75,091,318 $293,316,282
Queensland $163,598,376 $68,243,597 $231,841,973
Western Australia $79,831,486 $55,691,501 $135,522,987
South Australia $57,978,756 $20,016,978 $77,995,734
Tasmania $17,411,867 $19,301,683 $36,713,550
Northern Territory $8,253,915 $8,532,053 $16,785,968
Australian Capital Territory $14,230,212 $11,679,232 $25,909,444
Total $820,840,947 $364,231,286 $1,185,072,233

# The above figures do not include the bring forward of $1.2 billion from the 2017–18 entitlement which was paid to states and territories on 7 June 2017. Further information is below.

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

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

In the 2017 Budget, the Australian Government decided to bring forward 50 per cent of the Financial Assistance Grant program 2017–18 estimate for payment in 2016–17.

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 50 per cent of the 2017–18 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 2017–18 was paid to states and territories on 7 June 2017 as below:

JurisdictionGeneral purposeLocal roadsTotal
New South Wales $262,634,102 $105,532,451 $368,166,553
Victoria $205,656,723 $74,990,077 $280,646,800
Queensland $164,487,934 $68,151,590 $232,639,524
Western Australia $89,692,925 $55,616,414 $145,309,339
South Australia $58,006,592 $19,989,988 $77,996,580
Tasmania $17,491,223 $19,275,660 $36,766,883
Northern Territory $8,315,980 $8,520,550 $16,836,530
Australian Capital Territory $13,448,788 $11,663,487 $25,112,275
Total $819,734,267 $363,740,217 $1,183,474,484

Financial Assistance Grant program 2016–17

The aggregate grant payment for 2016–17 was $2.3 billion. The aggregate grant for local government in each state and territory for 2016–17 was:

JurisdictionGeneral purposeLocal roadsTotal
New South Wales $508,095,062 $204,085,189 $712,180,251
Victoria $397,215,307 $145,020,454 $542,235,761
Queensland $318,493,238 $131,795,765 $450,289,003
Western Australia $172,207,706 $107,554,465 $279,762,171
South Australia $112,799,283 $38,657,876 $151,457,159
Tasmania $34,275,869 $37,276,466 $71,552,335
Northern Territory $16,129,077 $16,477,568 $32,606,645
Australian Capital Territory $26,037,340 $22,555,574 $48,592,914
Total $1,585,252,882 $703,423,357 $2,288,676,239

The above figures do not include the bring forward of $1.2 billion from the 2017–18 entitlement which was paid to states and territories on 7 June 2017.

For information on the 2016–17 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: