ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, has put the call out to councils for proposed community infrastructure renewal projects as part of ALGA's development of its 2016 Federal election strategy. Councils have been asked to submit two or three ideas of projects that may include upgrades, replacement and maintenance works to the Community Infrastructure Ideas Register on ALGA's website.
This register builds on the highly successful strategy employed in 2007-08 that resulted in the $1.2 billion Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program as part of the economic stimulus measures. At the time, the register played a major role in demonstrating to the Government the range of shovel-ready projects that could be undertaken that would benefit local communities by meeting their pressing infrastructure needs, as well as stimulating the local economy and creating jobs across the nation.
A success story from the previous community infrastructure program comes from Latrobe Council, Tasmania where its nearly 80-year-old Port Sorell footbridge, which crosses the Panatana Rivulet and connected the township to the rural and residential areas on the other side, was in dire need of an upgrade. The only alternative route was a 5km loop around the township. Funds from the community infrastructure program topped up with its own contribution saw Latrobe Council complete the upgrade work in September 2009, maintaining the Port's link to its neighbouring residential areas and its residents' access to scenic walking tracks.
Councils' input into the new register will assist ALGA to make a powerful case to the Commonwealth for a similar program as part of its 2016 Federal election strategy and in the process gain more support for local government to stimulate growth over the longer term and build community resilience.