I believe local government has a major interest in regional development with councils contributing significantly to the sustainable growth of their regions. Councils create and maintain their region's investment environment, facilitate new local investment and attract external investment through the creation of new business and capital, among other key regional development efforts.
In my recent meeting with the Hon Fiona Nash MP, the Minister for Local Government and also Minister for Regional Development, I strongly supported a partnership approach between Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments to deliver government policies, programmes and services tailored to the needs of regional communities.
Our discussion was very positive and covered key issues in Minister Nash's portfolio. I reiterated ALGA's call for targeted investment to alleviate first mile/last mile issues through a freight program directed at regional road linkages, and the need for continued certainty in roads funding from the Federal government, particularly Roads to Recovery funding because although the program itself continues, funding needs to be renewed.
I also invited the Minister to meet with the ALGA Board and also to ALGA's National Local Roads and Transport Congress to be held from 9-11 November in Toowoomba. The Congress has always been, and continues to be, critical in providing a platform to engage with the Australian Government on road and infrastructure policies and initiatives. The importance of infrastructure and the contribution it makes to economic growth remains a key issue being debated in Australia as we ask ourselves how to fund the infrastructure investment we need, now and into the future. This year's Congress will also focus on the value and importance of strong regional and local collaboration and how those connections contribute to Australia's economic competitiveness.
I encourage you to register your attendance to the Roads Congress for your opportunity to collaborate on, and represent, the sector's interests.
Mayor Troy Pickard