The ALGA Board has unanimously re-elected Mayor David O'Loughlin as its president at its annual general meeting in Alice Springs this week. The City of Prospect mayor has served on the ALGA Board for five and a half years, including as its president for the past two years.
Mayor O'Loughlin said it was an honour to continue as President of ALGA and that his immediate focus is to lead the sector’s advocacy charge in the lead up to the federal election due in the next six months.
"I will continue to fight for fairer funding for councils across the country," Mayor O'Loughlin said.
"The major policy change that we're seeking at the election is for local government's Financial Assistance Grants to be restored to at least 1% of total Commonwealth taxation revenue (CTR), levels last seen in 1996 when the current grant scheme was established.
"This funding has been systematically eroded over the past 20 years by successive governments. It has not kept up with the everyday consumer price index let alone the Local Government Price Index and has now fallen to just under 0.55% of CTR.
"No electorate or community has escaped the consequences, with less money available for road safety improvements, upgrading crumbling bridges, rejuvenating or expanding local parks, or replacing older club rooms, halls and libraries and other assets that make up the fabric of our local communities.
"The grant stream was specifically designed to allocate the vast majority of funds to regional, rural and remote councils so it is these communities that have suffered the most from the slow squeeze since 1996 – yet they have the highest per capita proportion of roads and bridges to maintain in the nation.
"We're ready to see real action to fix this issue from the next federal government.
"All we want is our fair share of national taxes, just as the original grants scheme envisaged."
ALGA's federal election document, which outlines this and other election policy initiatives, is available at www.allpoliticsislocal.com.au
The ALGA Board also welcomed incoming Vice Presidents Councillor Linda Scott, President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales and Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, and Councillor Tracey Roberts, Deputy President of the Western Australian Local Government Association and Mayor of the City of Wanneroo.