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Campaspe Shire hit by indexation freeze

The Federal Government's decision to freeze indexation with hit Campaspe Shire's hip pocket.

REBECCA KERR August 25, 2014 3:06am

Campaspe Shire will have millions of dollars torn out of its finances by Canberra’s decision to freeze indexation with its Federal Financial Assistant Grants program.With the first quarterly payment due this week, Victorian councils across the board will already be $5.65 million out of pocket.

The federal decision to freeze indexation means an estimated $139 million will be lost from councils statewide over the next three years.

Campaspe Shire chief executive Keith Baillie said the grants were important but the council was not as dependent on the funding as others.

‘‘Campaspe is somewhere in the middle, it’s important to us, very important, we receive over $10 million dollars of these grants but it’s not as much a share of our budget as some other councils,’’ he said.

‘‘We have initially calculated the impact on us might be over $400,000 a year for every year it’s frozen — and of course that can accumulate.’’

Councils are working with the Victorian Grants Commission to establish what they could expect from the reduction.

Mr Baillie said the initial council budget was framed knowing there would be a reduction and the draft was released for public consultation before the Federal budget was announced.

He said news of the freeze put a dent in the local budget but council was able to accommodate for it without increasing rates further than originally estimated.

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