Grants cut: Melville will use savings to make up for capital works shortfall

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THE City of Melville’s capital works program remains on course despite the State Government’s decision to rip $10 million out of road maintenance grants to local governments.

Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said the City budgeted for estimates road maintenance grants worth $200,000 in 2017-18 but had since been told to expected just $148,000.

However, he said the gap could be covered by savings on motor vehicle licence payments after the State Government’s bid to remove the concessions on offer to local governments fleets fell apart in the Upper House in June.

“City officers will recommend to the council that a budget amendment to transfer the savings from the annual vehicle licensing budget to the roads budget to meet the shortfall be approved,” Dr Silcox said.

“This will ensure there is no need to change the City’s road rehabilitation program.”

The State Government has touted its decision to slash the road maintenance grants system as a budget repair measure but the move has been slammed by the WA Local Government Association, which warned it would lead to increased rates and put road safety at risk.