Last Saturday, Australians went to the polls to determine who would be the Government for the 45th Australian Parliament and, as we still await a clear outcome, ALGA and local governments across Australia are keen to progress the policy initiatives outlined in ALGA's Local Government Plan for Innovation and a Prosperous Australia.
As the peak national body for local government, ALGA strongly advocated these policies which, according to National Economics modelling, would create 19,300 jobs across the country and add more than $7.4 billion to Gross Domestic Product. The initiatives target freight productivity, community infrastructure, the Roads to Recovery program, Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) and support for community climate change action to strengthen the economic base of local government and increase Australia's international competitiveness and the sustainability of local communities.
With the support of the next Government, these initiatives will enable local government to deliver appropriate infrastructure, create jobs, boost productivity, and promote a fairer distribution of income and opportunity.
Regardless of which party forms Government, all levels of government will need to continue to work together to strengthen the economy, increase workforce participation as well as ensure a healthy environment and build greater social equity and local government will play an important role in this task.
As well as the election, last weekend also marked the start of NAIDOC Week, which sees the nation come together to learn, respect and celebrate the diversity and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history.
Local government is a strong supporter of NAIDOC and actively engages with local Indigenous and non-Indigenous community groups to ensure NAIDOC Week celebrations are enjoyed by Australians from all walks of life at the local level. Many NAIDOC Week events were either organised by local government authorities or held at council chambers or council-owned community centres.
Councils value the rich contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples to their communities and regions and through participation in, and support of, events such as NAIDOC Week, councils demonstrate their commitment to creating an inclusive community which supports reconciliation in Australia.
Mayor Troy Pickard