I was pleased to represent Local Government at the recent COAG meeting in Sydney where there was agreement to refocus the COAG agenda on economic reform to drive growth and improve the living standards of all Australians. This renewed focus was strongly supported by all jurisdictions and Local Government is committed to working collaboratively not just with the Federal Government, but also the State and Territory Governments in advancing this important national agenda.
The principles of the new national economic reform agenda are to deliver:
- a stronger, more productive and more innovative Australian economy, with more jobs, more opportunities and higher living standards
- fairness and equity, with protection for disadvantaged and lower income Australians, and
- more efficient and high-quality services to all Australians.
All governments also agreed to the National Ice Action Strategy, which will see a joint national focus on tackling ice, and I was happy to sign on to the strategy on behalf of Local Government. Local Governments often have to deal with the impact of drug-related behaviours and we play an important role in supporting local businesses and communities in understanding the issues and developing local solutions. It is important that all governments work together on these issues and I am confident that councils across Australia are committed to working with the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments on this issue.
The COAG communique is available for your perusal at this link.
As this is the final edition of ALGA News for 2015, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during the past year and wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.
With so many people travelling for holiday trips at some stage over the holiday season, I would also like to urge everyone to travel safely.
I look forward to working with you in what is certainly set to be an eventful 2016 in Federal politics.
Mayor Troy Pickard