25 September 2013

Local Government Minister Don Page today called on councils across NSW to consider applying for an interest subsidy for loans under the $30 million third round of the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS) - no matter how large or small the project.

Mr Page said the NSW Government is providing $100 million over six years to unlock up to $1 billion in investment in local infrastructure allowed to languish during 16 years of Labor neglect.

"I strongly urge councils with infrastructure backlogs to look closely at the state of their local infrastructure and their finances and see whether LIRS is an appropriate avenue for funding projects that will bring real benefits for their communities,’’ said Mr Page.

“The NSW Government’s State Plan NSW 2021: A Plan to Make NSW Number One has a commitment to build infrastructure that makes a difference to our economy, creates jobs and improves people’s lives.

“Investment in infrastructure underpins improvements in many services and will improve NSW’s productivity and competitiveness, deliver sustainable growth and support employment.’’

LIRS provides a 3 per cent interest subsidy on loans taken out to fund council infrastructure backlog borrowing. The subsidy is provided for 10 years.

Recognising the importance of housing growth to the future prosperity of NSW, infrastructure projects to support roads and sewerage for new housing projects are also eligible for funding under LIRS.

Already, in the first two rounds of the scheme, the NSW Government provided interest subsidies to 87 councils for 138 individual projects throughout the State.

These projects ranged from upgrading roads and bridges and sewerage facilities to revamping regional airports and creating infrastructure for new housing developments and giving facelifts to existing town centres.

This scheme has already unlocked almost $680 million worth of investment in our local infrastructure and more communities can benefit from LIRS through projects to receive funding under round three.

However, Mr Page said 76 councils had so far not applied for a subsidy under the scheme.

“While LIRS may not be for every council, I urge all councils across the State to at least consider this generous scheme from the O’Farrell-Stoner Government,’’ Mr Page said.

Following the success of the scheme so far, $30 million is still available out of the initial six-year allocation to support both backlog infrastructure projects as well as projects providing infrastructure for new housing development.

Smaller councils are also encouraged not to hold back, and apply for projects worth under $1 million.

 “And the scheme is working, with a recent audit by the Division of Local Government finding the State’s local councils' infrastructure asset backlog had fallen from over 18 per cent of total assets under Labor to around 10 per cent in 2011/12,’’ Mr Page said.

Online applications for round three are now open for councils to complete once they have identified eligible projects.

Councils across NSW can access guidelines for round three of this innovative scheme and begin discussion on vital infrastructure projects that can finally be delivered through government subsidised loans. The guidelines are available at

Online applications for round three are now open for councils to complete once they have identified eligible projects.


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