Regional councils have been left reeling by an announcement in Tuesday’s state budget that millions of dollars was going to be slashed from grants to local government.
Junee mayor Neil Smith was on Wednesday seeking details of exactly how the budget cuts would impact on the shire.
The budget flagged a $32 million reduction in money provided to local government through grants and subsidies, while also providing nothing in the way of major infrastructure projects for Junee Shire.
Cr Smith said he had noticed how much attention the Parramatta region had been given in the budget.
Noting plans to move Sydney’s iconic Powerhouse Museum away from Darling Harbour to Parramatta, he said the money could have been better spent elsewhere.
He also questioned the value of the government funding $150 baby hampers for newborns and $100 Creative Kids vouchers, which can be used for music or art lessons.
Cr Smith was concerned a seven per cent increase in emergency services funding would be eaten up by bureaucracy and infrastructure.
The budget had also done little to address the growing issue of waste and recycling, and had slashed millions of dollars from Office of Local Government, he said.
But the single biggest cost issue for the Junee Shire Council remained roads, Cr Smith said.
Junee Shire Council will also have to assess the impact of an 18 per cent cut to funding for public libraries.
NSW Public Libraries Association president and Wagga councillor Dallas Tout said the cuts would “completely decimate the public library grants program”.