I’m honoured to be writing my first column for ALGA News as the new President of the association following my election to the position at the ALGA Board Annual General Meeting this week.
I thank my fellow Board members for entrusting me with the responsibility of being the spokesperson for ALGA, and I commend Mayor Troy Pickard for his presidency over the past two years during which he’s done an enormous amount.
Readers from South Australia will already be familiar with me as the immediate past President of the Local Government Association of South Australia. However, for those who haven’t met me yet, I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself.
I have been involved in local government for the past 13 years and I am currently the elected Mayor of the City of Prospect. I was elected as a Councillor in 2003 before being elected as Mayor in November 2006, again in 2010 and returned in 2014.
I’ve served on the ALGA Board for three and a half years and I am enthusiastic and committed to advancing the cause of local government in this country, and to fighting for the funding we need to provide the services and infrastructure our communities deserve.
As the newly-elected ALGA President, I want to ensure ALGA’s reputation as an association continues to grow, that relationships forged by those before me are maintained and strengthened, and that the organisation leverages its collective passion for local government to achieve the very best for local communities.
I strongly believe that over the next two years, we must focus our efforts with the Federal Government with the aim of re-establishing a secure and predictable share of taxes, playing a key role in transforming our economy, and deepening the understanding of our unique and interdependent roles in leading and governing local communities.
The National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Toowoomba which ends today has highlighted that reform to improve freight is an ongoing reality. However, the timing is right for local government to actively engage in the discussion on freight and productivity, particularly transport productivity including how to address first and last mile issues. We in local government must be ahead of the game in thinking about implications for local government. Rest assured, this issue is front and center in ALGA’s strategic priorities and mine as ALGA President.
I look forward to keeping up the hard work of past Presidents and being the strong advocate we need with the Federal Government.
Mayor David O’Loughlin