On the ground advocacy with ministers and shadow minsters is a key part of ALGA's role on behalf of the sector and I was in Canberra this week as Federal Parliament returned to meet with, among others, the new Minister for Local Government, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, our former Minister and now Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, and the Office of the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester. My focus was to continue ALGA's advocacy around local government funding and infrastructure investment and the Government's new thinking on regional development programs.
ALGA's advocacy priorities, reflected in our last Budget Submission and our 2016 Election Plan, focus on strengthening local government sustainability through a better funding deal for local government, but also on more targeted investment in local government's infrastructure to improve local and national productivity.
I will be following up these appointments with meetings in mid-September on other ALGA priority issues with ministers including Michael Keenan (emergency management, especially natural disaster funding) and Angus Taylor (Cities and Digital Transformation) and shadow ministers including the newly appointed shadow Minister for Local Government, Stephen Jones and Transport and Infrastructure Spokesperson, Anthony Albanese.
This next term of government presents us with national challenges in terms of budget repair and fiscal constraint but there are also opportunities for us in local government to make sure a stronger partnership between the Federal Government and local government is seen as part of solution to our problems. Emphasising the value we can bring to the table in terms productivity growth, economic stimulus and service delivery should be a priority for all councils when talking to local MPs and to frontbenchers.
Mayor Troy Pickard