President’s column

As announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss during last month's National General Assembly (NGA), the Government this week opened the second round of the Bridges Renewal Program for applications only from local government, including the ACT Government.

This important program contributes to the productivity of our communities and local economies by building connectivity through replacing bridges and connecting freight networks across regions. The local government focus of this round of the program, which will provide $100 million to local government projects, is not only welcome, but also vital if we are to get the most out of our local roads network .

After the excitement of the past few weeks, which included the NGA and a marvellous boost to Roads to Recovery funding, our attention is back on ALGA's Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) campaign. Momentum is building with more councils – around 25 per cent nationally – passing resolutions acknowledging the importance of FAGs to their communities. I have contacted those councils that haven't yet passed this resolution asking for their help in our campaign to restore the indexation of FAGs. It is vital to the campaign that we have resolutions from as many councils as possible. Personally I think we need at least 90% of councils onboard to give our campaign strength and momentum.

I also wrote to Federal MPs and Senators this week seeking their specific support for our FAGs campaign and their general support for local governments in meeting both day-to-day costs and new challenges with help from the FAGs. I asked for statements supporting ALGA's ongoing advocacy around the FAGs, and we intend to publish the feedback we receive on the ALGA website.

The more support we garner for the campaign, from federal parliamentarians as well as councils on the ground, the better our chances will be of successfully advocating for the immediate restoration of FAGs indexation, and improving the financial sustainability for councils.


Mayor Troy Pickard
ALGA President