We're now just three weeks away from the Federal election and, as the level of government closest to the community, it's important that local government as a sector has its voice heard on the issues that are important to our communities this election, and the NGA next week is an ideal opportunity to make this happen.
It is clear from the election so far that the contest is about which party has the right policies to not only maintain and improve the quality of life for all Australians, but also boost and strengthen our economy. While there are variations on the theme and different priorities, I think there is agreement that action needs to be taken to significantly improve national productivity, to increase labour market participation and to ensure social equity.
ALGA believes that the political parties in the 2016 Federal election should prioritise investment in infrastructure, investment in job creation, particularly in rural and regional communities, continued support for essential community services, and initiatives that will increase Australia's international competitiveness and the sustainability of local communities.
ALGA's election plan, developed in consultation with state and territory local government associations and put to all political parties, highlights the role local government can play in achieving these goals and fostering productivity and innovation in Australia. The plan builds on the sector's role as facilitators of economic growth and as providers of essential infrastructure and services that will underpin Australia's future prosperity. If implemented, ALGA's election plan will add $7.5 billion directly to national GDP and 19,300 jobs over 3 years, with potential billions that could be added to national productivity beyond the first 3 years.
The support of councils is critical to ALGA's advocacy of its election plan, and I urge councils to lend their voices to the sector's call to all Federal political parties to respond to ALGA's election plan at the NGA next week. It's not too late to register and you can do so here.
Councils have also been advocating for the priorities of local government at the local level with their Federal Member of Parliament. I encourage you to actively champion ALGA's election plan by meeting with your local MP and discussing with them the challenges faced by our sector and the opportunities identified in the document to drive local investment and economic development.
During this election, I hope you will join with ALGA and your state or territory local government association in advocating for an innovative and prosperous Australia.
Mayor Troy Pickard