President’s column

Financial sustainability, strengthening regions and cities, safe and productive infrastructure, and innovation will be the four key planks in ALGA's work and advocacy over the coming two years.

At the Board's strategic planning workshop this week on the Sunshine Coast all associations were well represented and discussion was lively and positive about the future of local government and our key relationship with the Commonwealth government in block funding, policy development and program funding to achieve mutual objectives.

The updated strategic plan still needs formal endorsement from the ALGA Board, and this is set to be considered at the Board meeting in March.

The Government officially recommenced sitting this week and I will be taking full advantage of their fresh start by meeting with Ministers and Parliamentary officials next week to advocate on behalf of local government. Appointments have been scheduled with the Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Australia, Ms Lisa Chesters.

I will also meet with the Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Local Government and Territories, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, and the Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, the Hon Angus Taylor MP.

The portfolios of both Senator Nash and Assistant Minister Taylor relate to important aspects of local government advocacy and work, which is why their support for ALGA’s recent pre-budget submission is important.

As well as discussing ALGA’s submission, I am also aiming to discuss the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program as well as the Building Better Regions Fund, and relay comments from the state and territory local government associations.

As I have already done in the past, I’d like to encourage councils to pass on their federal policy views and concerns to their state and territory local government associations as this is the best way for me to ensure that my advocacy in Canberra truly reflects the sentiment on the ground.

Mayor David O’Loughlin

 ALGA President