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The Australian Government will have provided over $67 billion under the Financial Assistance Grant program to local government since 1974–75 (including 2023–24). 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 2023–24

In 2023-24 the Australian Government will provide $3.2 billion in untied funding to local governing bodies under the Financial Assistance Grant program. This includes $3.1 billion which was brought forward from the 2023–24 estimate and paid to states and territories on 26 June 2023. The remaining 2023-24 allocation to states and territories will be paid in four equal quarterly instalments scheduled for August, November, February and May.

Jurisdiction#

General purpose

($)

Local roads

($)

Total

($)

New South Wales707,083,724289,514,522996,598,246
Victoria573,210,028205,725,502778,935,530
Queensland459,144,808186,965,001646,109,809
Western Australia241,099,199152,576,382393,675,581
South Australia157,575,98654,839,929212,415,915
Tasmania49,611,67152,880,261102,491,932
Northern Territory21,631,30423,375,01845,006,322
Australian Capital Territory39,477,37931,997,25971,474,638
Total2,248,834,099997,873,8743,246,707,973

For information on the 2023–24 allocations to individual local governing bodies within each state and territory, refer to:

Past Payments to Local Governments

The payment amounts made to local governments under the Financial Assistance Grant program from 2017-18 to 2023-24 can be viewed at the link below.

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

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 latest version of the Local Government National Report.

Local Government Grants Commissions

For further information on the respective local government grants commissions, refer to: