As the President of ALGA, I have sought to attend and speak at as many state and territory local government association conferences as possible to hear about local priorities and share ALGA’s priorities and provide an update of developments at a Federal level.
This week I attended the Local Government of South Australia Conference in Adelaide and took the opportunity to reiterate the importance of the Federal Government recognising the leadership and implementation role played by councils. Council are central to the implementation of policies and programs on a region-by-region basis to drive growth and opportunity at the regional level and hence increase economic growth on a national level. A strong partnership between the Commonwealth and local government is essential; a partnership that can coordinate economic and employment growth policies at the local level to strengthen the Australian economy and deliver positive outcomes for our communities
I also talked about the important role of local government in productivity and innovation. Local government is a substantial player in the Australian economy and what we do as a sector has an impact across the economy.
Finally, I focused on infrastructure investment which was a key feature of many of the initiatives in ALGA’s 2016 Federal Election Plan which sets out the advocacy priorities for ALGA over the next couple of years, including:
- a targeted freight strategy;
- an increase in local roads funding; and
- a community infrastructure program
Further discussion of these and other issues will occur at the upcoming Local Roads and Transport Congress being held on 9-11 November in Toowoomba and I encourage every council to attend the Congress and put their views forward on these initiatives.
Mayor Troy Pickard