It’s been an animated and dramatic week in Canberra that has culminated with a new leadership team for the Liberals. We welcome Hon Scott Morrison MP to the country’s top job as the new Prime Minister, and Hon Josh Frydenberg MP as his Deputy in the Liberal Party.
Scott Morrison was the Treasurer who ended the freeze on Financial Assistance Grants indexation and Josh Frydenberg has been very helpful in letting ALGA address the Meeting of Environment Ministers around waste and recycling issues, where we saw valuable progress towards higher levels of on-shore recycling. We will seek to deepen our relationships with them in their new roles.
I’d also like to recognise the work of outgoing Prime Minister Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP. He was warm, accommodating and welcoming to us at COAG and let’s not forget his very popular appearance at this year’s National General Assembly dinner – the first appearance at the NGA by a PM in years.
The shuffle in Canberra has interrupted but not stalled ALGA’s election advocacy plan; rest assured that, if required, we are ready to deploy our full campaign advocating for the sector’s priorities and I will continue to be active in my advocacy to ensure the Government and Opposition remain attentive to our priorities.
I also wanted to touch on ALGA’s Roads and Transport Congress in Alice Springs, which is just months away and promises an exciting program for delegates.
Under the theme Connecting Transport Networks Now and into the Future, the Congress will feature presentations by leading industry professionals who specialise in safety, connected infrastructure, and those at the forefront of debates surrounding road infrastructure funding reform and public transport policy.
The Congress is an opportunity to hear from Federal Ministers and Shadow Ministers about their visions for the future and how local government fits in to these plans. It is also our platform to fight for our case for vital local government roads and transport funding.
At the Congress in 2000, our united voices inspired the creation of the highly successful Roads to Recovery Program, which has seen more than 60,000 local road sites upgraded and repaired. It is now time for us to revive our campaign for an increase in funding under the program to $800 million per annum to more sustainably manage our component of the national road network.
ALGA Vice President, Mayor Damien Ryan, and I have sent each council a personal letter of invitation to this important event where you can add your voice to those of 300 mayors, councillors and senior council staff from across Australia so that our calls may be heard by the Federal Government.
You can register now to attend the Congress on the ALGA website.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Mayor David O’Loughlin