Federal MPs will vote on Thursday whether or not to have a proportion of GST revenue redirected to local councils to fix local roads and bridges.
Federal MPs will vote on Thursday whether or not to have a proportion of GST revenue redirected to local councils to fix local roads and bridges. Trevor Veale

Vote on share of GST to local roads

FEDERAL MPs have the opportunity on Thursday to make life a little easier on the hip pocket for their constituents.

Federal parliament will consider a national solution to fixing the crumbling local road network tomorrow after Independent Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott called on the major political parties to support his efforts to have a proportion of GST revenue redirected to local councils to fix local roads and bridges.

"The current situation is that NSW considers local roads to be a local government responsibility but they then take the GST funding for their own purposes," Mr Oakeshott said.

Mr Oakeshott said there's 562 local councils around the nation are in need of a new funding model to help maintain a local road network of 700,000 kilometres, much of it in regional areas where rates contribute less than 40 per cent of revenue.

"There is an urgent need for proper investment in the network, which, in many areas, has already failed," he added.

"If we don't make substantial changes to the funding models from the Commonwealth, Australia is going to face all sorts of productivity problems.

"The GST review can and should direct funding to local government now. The major parties, at state and federal levels, can now show whether they believe local roads need more money, or they don't.

"For the sake of ratepayers, I urge them to support a new funding model for local government."



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