Natural Disaster Funding Reforms Natural Disaster Funding Reforms

The LGAQ has been at the forefront of discussions on proposed reform of natural disaster funding arrangements. Throughout the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry and subsequent release of its report, the LGAQ continued its representations to both the Federal and Queensland State governments for the best possible outcome for councils and their communities.

The minister responsible for natural disaster funding, Michael Keenan, has stated that the Federal Government would not adopt the commission’s extreme proposals to radically reduce funding to local government. 

The Government subsequently proposed a unit-rate based ‘grant’ model to replace the current claim-based ‘reimbursement’ model. At face value, this approach could provide advantages over current arrangements. It would also remove the issues around day labour and plant hire rates, as it would be based on the assessment of reconstruction costs against benchmark costings and not be concerned with how or who undertook the work for the State or local governments.

However, there is ongoing debate about the amount of funding the Federal Government would contribute to reconstruction costs.

The Government has proposed that it reduce its contribution from the current 75 percent to 70 percent, with the 5 percent being put into a fund for mitigation works that would be available on a matched funding basis. 

 

The State Government has rejected this, a stance the LGAQ supports as it represents a cost-shift to councils which would have to find an additional 5 percent of reconstruction costs and would only be able to access mitigation funding if it was fully matched. 

The State Government has rejected this, a stance the LGAQ supports as it represents a cost-shift to councils which would have to find an additional 5 percent of reconstruction costs and would only be able to access mitigation funding if it was fully matched.