As the President of ALGA, I have been keen to attend and speak at as many state and territory local government association conferences as possible to hear about their priorities and share ALGA's priorities. This week I had the pleasure of addressing delegates at the Local Government NSW Annual Conference in Parramatta.
During my presentation at the conference, I raised the important role Local Government plays in the Federation and the need for us to be part of efforts to reform the Federation. The core issue for Local Government in any Federation and Taxation reform remains the better alignment of roles and responsibilities with funding, and protecting and strengthening the relationship between Local Government and the Commonwealth.
It is difficult at this point to say with certainty whether there will be any change to the direction and pace of the White Paper processes as they will depend on Prime Minister Turnbull's views, but as far as we know they remain on track. ALGA will continue to push the interest of Local Government and the need to maintain and strengthen our important relationship with the Federal Government.
The likely timing for the release of the Green Papers for the Federation and Taxation Reform is before the end of the year and the White Papers are expected to be released in the first half of 2016.
ALGA will make a submission on the Green Papers when they are released. Individual councils can complement these efforts by ensuring that they make submissions on the Federation Green Paper as well as the parallel Taxation Green Paper. Councils can also engage directly with their Federal MPs and provide them with feedback on the Green Paper options as Federal Government MPs will have a significant influence on the final content of the White Papers.
We hope to use this opportunity to highlight the value we add to the Federation, the role we play, and the resources we need to do that job.
Mayor Troy Pickard