President’s column

Alice Springs is set to host ALGA’s 2018 National Local Roads and Transport Congress from next Tuesday.

From fuel taxes, road funding, road safety and design standards to recycled content, freight impacts, automation and permits, the congress will be buzzing with all this and more as we hear from national specialists and local government gurus.

Transport systems across the globe being disrupted and there is no doubt that if current trends continue, the cars and trucks of the future will be considerably different to those of today.

As infrastructure providers, these trends pose significant challenges for our sector as a whole. We have a clear responsibility to maintain current and existing transport assets, such as roads and bridges, to cater for today’s transport requirements safely and efficiently. Yet we are increasingly expected to also invest in solutions that are capable of adapting to change and anticipate the level of service required for tomorrow – no easy task when the road ahead is so undefined in terms of automation technologies and available funding for local government.

I’m looking forward to hearing presentations from leading industry professionals who specialise in safety and connected infrastructure, as well as from those at the forefront of debates on road infrastructure funding reform and public transport policy, and those councils that are already tackling these challenges head on. They will help us question our status quo approaches and expand our thinking across new ideas, possibilities and solutions.

The congress is also 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. Being the last congress before a federal election, which will occur before the end of May next year, the congress is also our platform to fight for our case for vital local government roads and transport funding.

ALGA is also planning to launch an updated State of the Assets report and a 2019 Local Government Roads and Transport Agenda.

This is not a congress to be missed, particularly if your council is heavily exposed to infrastructure demands, and it is not too late to register. For more information about the program and to register your attendance, please visit the ALGA website.


Mayor David O’Loughlin

 ALGA President