Richmond Valley councillor Col Sullivan (pictured) would like to see local councils get their hands on some of the nations tax revenue either a share of GST or direct income tax.
Its an agenda he will be pushing in his new role as vice president of the Australian Local Government Association.
Because we believe were totally under-funded, said Cr Sullivan. The latter (a share of direct income tax) is a better choice. But well take it anywhere we can get it.
He said roads and infrastructure were a particular focus of the Australian Local Government Association and a recent inquiry had shown that across the state, councils were $6 billion short of revenue for necessary works. He said regional councils in particular were missing out.
Its an issue he hopes to bring to the attention of Prime Minister John Howard via Minister for Local Government and Roads, Jim Lloyd.
I think thats where we will have a win, he said. John Howard has shown a lot of interest in providing funding for infrastructure things like libraries, bridges and health centres. Its all infrastructure that over a period of time councils have been getting further and further behind on.
Cr Sullivan is already president of the Shires Association of NSW, however, that role comes to an end in June next year.
With the two jobs overlapping for the time being he admits his schedule will be tight, and hes only spent three days at home over a recent three week period. However he says his new appointment will be of great benefit to the North Coast.
Cr Sullivan said having sold his building business, he was happy to focus on his passion.
I found it was getting too difficult to try and be a local builder and be involved in local government, he said. So Im happy to give the building game away and concentrate on something Ive always loved doing which is local government.
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