Financial Assistance Grant to Local Government

On this page:

The Australian Government has provided over $58 billion under the Financial Assistance Grant program to local government since 1974–75 (including 2020–21). 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 2020–21

In 2020-21 the Australian Government will provide $2.6 billion in untied funding to local governing bodies under the Financial Assistance Grant program. This includes $1.3 billion which was brought forward from the 2020–21 estimate and paid to states and territories on 25 May 2020. The remaining 2020-21 allocation to states and territories will be paid in four equal quarterly instalments scheduled for August, November, February and May.

Jurisdiction#General purposeLocal roadsTotal
New South Wales $564,227,744 $227,795,691 $792,023,435
Victoria $460,234,151 $161,868,851 $622,103,002
Queensland $355,376,494 $147,107,722 $502,484,216
Western Australia $183,115,793 $120,050,084 $303,165,877
South Australia $122,331,012 $43,149,128 $165,480,140
Tasmania $37,333,791 $41,607,224 $78,941,015
Northern Territory $17,124,967 $18,391,922 $35,516,889
Australian Capital Territory $29,682,724 $25,176,070 $54,858,794
Total $1,769,426,676 $785,146,692 $2,554,573,368

For information on the 2020–21 allocations to individual local governing bodies within each state and territory refer to:

2014–15 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 2014–15 Local Government National Report.

Local Government Grants Commissions

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