This week saw an extraordinary week of Federal politics with the Hon Malcolm Turnbull elevated to the leadership of the Federal Government and sworn in as Prime Minister on Tuesday.
In a letter congratulating Mr Turnbull, I reinforced the Australian Local Government Association's (ALGA) commitment to working closely with the Australian Government to ensure the best outcomes possible for local communities. The relationship between local government and the Australian Government is a strong partnership that reflects the complementary roles that both levels of government play in advancing national interests at the local level, including greater economic opportunity, equitable access to services and more resilient communities.
I highlighted that a key element in the partnership is the direct funding that the Australian Government provides, through Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), to all councils to ensure that communities have access to equitable levels of local government services, and that councils have the capacity to flexibly respond by developing tailored local solutions to the challenges their communities face.
I hope to meet with the Prime Minister in the near future to raise local government challenges and canvass ways that local government can continue its steadfast partnership with the Commonwealth to deliver local projects that will drive national productivity.
The ALGA Board is also meeting today to discuss a range of issues including progress on the FAGs campaign to restore indexation to FAGs as soon as possible and proposed frameworks in preparation for the next election. The Board meeting is being hosted by the City of Adelaide, Australia's first local government, to commemorate its 175th anniversary.
Mayor Troy Pickard