AT THE TABLE: Cr Janelle Stanford, Cr Cameron O'Neil and Cr Peter Flynn meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack last week in Canberra.
AT THE TABLE: Cr Janelle Stanford, Cr Cameron O'Neil and Cr Peter Flynn meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack last week in Canberra.

Councillors fight for fair funding for Maranoa

MARANOA councillors have implored members of the Federal Government to reconsider funding allocations due to geographical imbalances in the west.

Councillors Janelle Stanford, Peter Flynn and Cameron O'Neil attended the National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra earlier this month to engage directly with the Federal Government.

"We have a large geography but only a small rate base,” Cr O'Neil said.

"The Maranoa has the third largest road network in the state behind Toowoomba and the Western Downs.

" And both of those shires have a much larger rate base.

"We highlighted (at the meeting) that we are spending $22 million on roads annually, and we are only generating $20 million in rates.

"Last year we received $16million from the federal assistance grants, and we used $3.5 million of that on the roads.

"The federal system grants are important for all governments, but they are especially important for ours.

"Although the federal assistance grants are only one mechanism, we felt it was important to put the case to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack that it is timely for the Commonwealth to look at what contribution they are making to Maranoa and those west of us in terms of funding.”

The councillors held a series of delegations with ministers, senators and senior advisors raising a number of issues and promoting the Maranoa region.

Councillor Janelle Stanford raised concerns with the ministers about long-term funding for Injune Kindergarten and rural roads and Cr Flynn spoke to the delegates about local concerns such as poor telecommunications in Surat.

The Deputy Prime Minister gave the councillors a good hearing and strongly encouraged them to continue advocating for additional federal assistance grants.


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