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The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has called on the Federal Government to provide certainty for community infrastructure projects, following the recently announced infrastructure review which has councils concerned key projects are at risk of cancellation.  

LGAQ Chief Executive Officer, Alison Smith, said councils needed certainty to plan how best to deliver for the communities that rely on them.

“Certainty is critical to getting the best result, and the best value, from every dollar,” Ms Smith said.

“Across Queensland, there are huge challenges that councils are grappling with everyday – whether it is housing, roads, congestion, maintenance, workforce or water supply.”

Ms Smith said councils were also concerned about shifting goalposts for hugely popular programs like the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP), which could see an end to all community infrastructure funding as well as the exclusion of some previously eligible councils.

“Covering Australia’s most decentralised state, representing among the largest and smallest councils in the nation, we are bitterly disappointed by this announcement,” Ms Smith said.

“This program has been a hugely popular initiative with councils of all sizes – from Aurukun to Yarrabah, Brisbane to Winton – because all councils and communities have community infrastructure and road needs, regardless of their size.

“At a time when so many in the community are having to tighten their belts, demands on councils to provide their communities with services and improvements are growing, not shrinking, and this program has been providing much-needed funding for community infrastructure.”

Ms Smith said stopping the funding of community infrastructure will stop projects like bike paths, playgrounds and improving sports fields, critical parts of the fabric that create better places to live and leave local communities behind.

“These cuts strike straight at the heart of Queensland communities and will ultimately come at a far greater cost to liveability than any saving they will make to the Federal Budget bottom line.”

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