Financial Assistance Grant to Local Government

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The Australian Government has provided almost $56 billion under the Financial Assistance Grant program to local government since 1974–75 (including 2019–20). 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

The Australian Government has brought forward $1.3 billion of the Financial Assistance Grant program 2020–21 estimate for payment in 2019–20. This early payment was made to states and territories on 25 May 2020. The remaining 2020–21 allocation to states and territories will be determined early in 2020–21.

Financial Assistance Grant program 2019–20

In 2019-20 the Australian Government will provide $2.5 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 2019–20 estimate and paid to states and territories on 17 June 2019. The remaining 2019-20 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 $557 649 955 $224 474 368 $782 124 323
Victoria $450 796 391 $159 508 759 $610 305 150
Queensland $349 542 593 $144 962 853 $494 505 446
Western Australia $181 042 312 $118 299 721 $299 342 033
South Australia $121 164 092 $42 520 003 $163 684 095
Tasmania $36 893 536 $41 000 579 $77 894 115
Northern Territory $17 204 884 $18 123 762 $35 328 646
Australian Capital Territory $29 334 198 $24 808 995 $54 143 193
Total $1 743 627 961 $773 699 040 $2 517 327 001

For information on the 2019–20 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: