Wagga City Council will proceed with a campaign against what it sees as a $4.9 million cut to its federal ‘Roads to Recovery’ funding over the next five years.
Councillors on Monday night approved the plan to lobby Riverina MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack as well as opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese.
Cr Rod Kendall said the council was already under pressure from the NSW rate peg and other federal funding decisions.
“Three years of non-indexing of the (federal) financial assistance grants has resulted in the council now losing approximately $1 million per annum,” he said.
Cr Vanessa Keenan said the change in roads funding was at odds with plans for the region’s growth.
“We do have a $123m backlog with out roads; that’s not insignificant,” he said.
“It’s essentially a 37 per cent reduction.”
Cr Dan Hayes added an amendment to approach Local Government NSW to assist with the campaign.
Mr McCormack has denied that the council’s funding was being cut.
“The government has increased Roads to Recovery funding and committed $2 billion over the next 5 years, and made it an ongoing budget item of $400m per year,” he said.
“I am pleased that with this increased funding levels, Wagga council’s base payment has increased to $8,202,800, from $7,182,546.
“I am also pleased Wagga Wagga Council received additional one-off injections of $5,970,120 during the last funding period.”
Mayor Greg Conkey told the meeting that he would soon raise the issue with Mr McCormack in person.