The Federal Government's Stimulus Package - The Two Minute Summary

Hume Highway Bypass construction by Wikimedia Commons user Bidgee, used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Australia license

The Federal Government have announced $500m for local governments to spend to help the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here is what we know and don’t know yet. If you already know all about it then feel free to skip to our sister article which outlines the key strategies to ensure this spend integrates sustainability within the projects.

Well first things first – the detail currently available is not high - we have is a media release and a fact sheet so there will be more detail coming in the near future.

But here is what we know for now...

Who can access the funding? And how much?

All local councils.

The share of funding is calculated in a similar way to how the Roads to Recovery Program works. In 2016, Ironbark worked with Launceston City Council to access Roads to Recovery funding for their LED street lighting upgrade – so we know the formulas and processes work!

The funding presents a significant advantage to regional areas. By way of comparison, one inner city Council with a population of 110,000 is receiving a bit under $300k in funding, whereas one regional Council with a population of 15,000 will be receiving close to $1.1m.

Which projects are eligible?

    A whole lot…. Here are a few examples:

    • traffic signs
    • a bridge
    • a tunnel
    • CCTV systems
    • playgrounds

      But for the purpose of delivering sustainable outcomes at the same time, the key inclusions are:

      1. Street lighting equipment. Yes this wedge contributing 20-60% of the average councils greenhouse gas emissions is in play. This is big news for regional councils because the funding available will in most cases allow for all remaining street lights to be replaced with LEDs with budget left over to consider other innovative and energy efficient projects.
      2. Painting or improvements to community facilities. Not sure about the painting bit, but the rest sure sounds like it can include energy and water saving projects at your library, kinder and toilet block. Noting that the devil may be in the detail within the funding guidelines

      Tell me something else I really need to know

      • Projects must be additional to the pre-COVID-19 work program (i.e. not in the 2020/21 budget)
      • Street lighting upgrades to LEDs are one of the only projects listed that will directly put more money into Council pocket next year and the year after and the year after that!
      • The project must be completed 2020/21 year. Think shovel ready!

      How to make this happen

      Move fast.

      Decisions will be made now and over the next 6 weeks on which projects to include.

      Ironbark can help with basic information to any Council wanting to include LED street light upgrades in your program of works - free. This will include:

      • Is the project shovel ready in your region?
      • At a high level:
        • What are the estimated project costs
        • What are the lifetime cost and greenhouse savings
        • What are the paybacks (pretty good I can say now if the federal government are paying!)

      If you need a more detailed business case we can help with that too and of course we have worked with 100 of the 115 councils to have ever rolled these projects out across the country – so we can help you with project delivery in such a tight timeframe.

      It is not worth the risk of learning how to deliver these projects on the go. Give us a call.