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  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has called for more disaster mitigation and climate change funding to help increase Australia’s future resilience to fires and floods. ALGA President Linda Scott said local government is seeking a targeted $200 million per year disaster mitigation fund, as well as $200 million over four years for a Local+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) – with the support of its member State and Territory Local government Associations – has identified 17 priorities for councils and communities ahead of this year’s Federal Election.  The full list of priorities can be downloaded here. All Australian councils are encouraged to endorse ALGA’s Federal Election Priorities by passing+

  • Local governments are eager to support efforts to make municipal waste streams cleaner, including bin harmonisation, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said last week. Appearing at a recycling roundtable convened by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers, ALGA President Linda Scott said councils also wanted to invest with industry in modern resource+

  • Allowing wider trucks on local roads without increasing local government funding would be a potential recipe for disaster, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said this month. The comments followed the 11 February Infrastructure and Transport Minister’s Meeting where regulatory changes to increase the width of heavy vehicles from 2.5 metres to 2.55 metres were+

  • A national recycling roundtable I attended last week reinforced my optimism that our efforts to unlock the circular economy are steadily gaining support. This event, hosted by the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and Visy – one of Australia’s largest recycling and packaging companies – was notable for its strong industry presence. I was heartened+

  • Apps to help urban planners and architects reduce construction waste and urban heat are about to be released nationally. Developed by researchers at the University of NSW’s School of Built Environment, the apps use machine learning and computational design to help minimise the environmental footprint of buildings. They do this by assisting build environment professionals+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has used its 2022-23 Federal Pre-Budget Submission to outline a series of partnership opportunities to help drive a strong and inclusive national recovery. ALGA President Linda Scott said Australia’s 537 local governments have the capacity for growing partnerships with the Commonwealth Government – as well as state and territory+

  • I was saddened to learn over the past few weeks that 27 Queensland councils are facing new budgetary pressures due to a reduction in Financial Assistance Grants. This follows a change in the distribution formula used by the Queensland Local Government Grants Commission and comes at a time when financial sustainability is a big issue+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has used its 2022-23 Federal Pre-Budget Submission to outline a series of partnership opportunities that would help drive a strong and inclusive national recovery. ALGA President Linda Scott said Australia’s 537 local government have the capacity for growing partnerships with the Commonwealth Government – as well as state and+

  • The Productivity Commission has released an issues paper as part of its review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA). Implemented in July 2018, the NHHA is intended to facilitate cooperation between the state, territory, and Commonwealth governments to improve housing outcomes. The Commission will examine the roles and responsibilities of government to help+

  • A national plastics summit focused on designing reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic products will be held in Canberra on February 14. Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley is hosting the summit, which will “will explore opportunities to unlock growth for new industries and new markets”. “We simply can’t keep creating virgin plastic on the scale we+

  • It’s wonderful to be back with you at the start of what will be a big year for local government and indeed our country. ALGA’s federal election advocacy is already delivering wins for our communities, with the Federal Labor Party committing to invest up to $200 million per year in disaster prevention and resilience if+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed $5.5 million in Commonwealth regional arts funding through the Australia Council’s Playing Australia touring program. President Linda Scott said this funding was timely, given the challenges Australia’s performing arts sector has faced over the past two years. “Our community arts sector has been hit hard by the+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed a pre-election commitment from Federal Labor to invest up to $200 million per year in disaster prevention and resilience. President Linda Scott said that ALGA had asked all political parties to support such a program through its 2022 Federal Election Platform. “Currently, less than five percent of+

  • New research shows that around one in 10 Australian libraries, recreation and sporting facilities, community centres, stormwater systems, swimming pools, local airports, bridges and roads are in poor condition with significant defects, requiring increased maintenance or in some cases replacement. ALGA President Linda Scott said this finding in ALGA’s 2021 National State of the Assets+

  • ALGA’s policies and initiatives, at end of the day, are your policies and initiatives. We propose frontline solutions which are informed by your communities and your work on the ground – and your input and guidance adds immeasurably to our effectiveness in progressing shared national objectives. To help build an even better Australia post-pandemic, we’re+

  • We are proud to launch ALGA’s Federal Election Platform. Informed by motions submitted by councils at our National General Assembly, and unanimously endorsed by our Board in conjunction with our member state and territory local government associations, this document outlines 17 national policy initiatives that will optimise Commonwealth/local government partnerships designed to benefit every community.+

  • This past week, on your behalf, I met with the Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers, and Treasurers as part of the National Federation Reform Council, to ensure local government voices are heard at the national decision-making table.    I provided them with an overview of the significant efforts of local governments in 2021 to support communities dealing with the impact of COVID-19.   I also used+

  • A national survey to help local government address current skill shortages and identify emerging and future skills needs began this week. Local governments are encouraged to complete the survey to enable a comprehensive analysis of the local government workforce. The survey is part of the Local Government Workforce and Organisational Capacity Project which has been+

  • Australia’s visitor economy needs to diversify its destinations, modernise assets, and collaborate for it to become a top-five export income earner, a new report has advised. An expert panel economy led by former federal tourism minister Martin Ferguson prepared the report, which includes a draft strategy “for the long-term recovery and sustainable growth” entitled Thrive+

  • Two-thirds of all local government assets are in good condition and meet community expectations. Community infrastructure is also lasting longer, while the proportion of infrastructure assets in a poor state of repair has remained relatively constant. The findings are contained in the 2021 National State of the Assets (NSoA) Report published by the Australian Local+

  • A Morrison Government pledge to increase the recycling of waste plastic, glass, paper, and other products has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). The Remade in Australia recycling initiative announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney on Monday includes a renewed focus on improving recovery rates by getting consumers to buy+

  • The National State of the Assets Report 2021 will be launched on 9 December with the key findings to be discussed at an interactive webinar. Federal Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan will attend the launch, along with Infrastructure Australia CEO Romilly Madew, National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson, and IPWEA President Myles Lind.+

  • State governments should get behind local government efforts to create a healthy and sustainable food system in Australia, a new report says. Councils are already involved in food safety regulations as well as supporting sustainable local food production and reducing food waste, but could potentially do more to encourage the consumption of healthier foods as+

  • Governments will need to invest $30 billion in large-scale coastal protection and adaptation over the next 50 years, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says. A new report prepared for the ICA by Baird Australia says climate change is driving rising sea levels and exacerbating coastal hazards such as tidal inundation, coastal and estuarine inundation,+

  • WIN! Advocacy on Federal Assistance Grants Rewarded ALGA welcomes news last week that the Morrison Government has no plans in the short to medium term to review how Financial Assistance Grants are distributed by state/territory jurisdictions. We welcome the Federal Assistant Minister for Local Government, the Hon Kevin Hogan MP’s undertaking. The ALGA Board has+

  • New funding of $250 million has been announced for the Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programs. Under revised guidelines for the two programs, project proponents can apply for funding to cover up to 80 percent of the total project cost. In another first, the BRP and HVSPP will run concurrently and with+

  • The Bureau of Meteorology is trialling a heatwave warning service with state and territory governments aimed at helping councils, communities and individuals to better plan and prepare for heatwaves. The Bureau has been working across Australian governments, including with local governments in Sydney’s west regarding council requirements on heatwaves. The Bureau publishes public 7-day heatwave+

  • Guidelines for the community infrastructure funding stream of the $600 million Preparing Australia Program have been published ahead of applications opening in December. Grants of between $20,000 to $10 million will be available for proponents of projects which help communities “assess and plan for disaster risk, increase capacity and raise awareness of disaster risk, or+

  • Our strong advocacy for greater targeted funding support for local government mitigation projects paid off last week with the release of the guidelines for the local communities component of the Preparing Australia Program. I’m pleased to report that the Preparing Australian Communities Program is now open to all local government areas at high risk of+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the release of guidelines for the $150 million community infrastructure component of the Commonwealth’s $600 million Preparing Australia Program. The Program is focused on disaster preparedness and responds to recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements aimed at better preparing communities for more severe+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed a new Commonwealth Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program that will offer councils 80 to 100 percent of required funding to make unsealed local roads safer and more productive. Over 75 percent of Australia’s road network by length – about 678,000km in total – is owned and managed+

  • The Australia Local Government Association (ALGA) will work with a federal task force to mitigate the impacts of bank branch closures on rural communities. The Regional Banking Task Force will “bring together banks and other key stakeholders to ­assess how bank branch closures have impacted local businesses, industries, and communities, and work collaboratively to identify+

  • Natural disasters will cost Australia $73 billion by 2060, even under a low emissions scenario, a new business roundtable report suggests. The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities says the $79 billion forecast is “significantly higher” than the $39 billion by 2050 cost it estimated in 2017. The Roundtable’s latest report on+

  • The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is urging the Commonwealth to invest more to improve telco services in regional and rural areas. In a submission to the Regional Telecommunications Review 2021, the agency said the government should: provide grants and other investment incentives to promote a wider range of services; standardise mobile coverage information that is+

  • The 2021-22 high-risk weather season has arrived – along with renewed concerns about disaster preparedness and capability. Our commitment to working with our communities to help them prepare for whatever this cyclone and bushfire season might throw up remains rock solid. However, we need greater support and stronger partnerships across all tiers of Government, and+

  • On October 14, 2021, ALGA made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee on the provision of GP and related health services to Australians living outside metropolitan areas.

  • The final pieces in ALGA’s federal election campaign are now being put in place, with key aspects of our advocacy strategy about to be road-tested. Thank you to all our state and territory associations for their contributions in the development of the strategy, which is based on a simple but compelling message – Don’t Leave+

  • Telstra will have to provide greater detail on whether it is meeting its Universal Service Guarantee (USG) under proposed new licence conditions. The new rules being considered by the federal government will require Telstra to include more information on the services it delivers under the USG, which updates the long-standing Universal Service Obligation (USO). Telstra+

  • The Dungog Shire has become one of the first NSW local governments to declare that people using its facilities must be fully Covid-vaccinated. In a media release this week, the Hunter Valley council said: “In order to visit some of our facilities, customers aged 16 years and over must now be able to show that+

  • The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley has been awarded a $7.57 million grant from the Commonwealth to complete airside upgrades at its Kununurra regional airport. The Round 5 Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) grant will allow the shire to strengthen taxiways, build a new apron and improve other airside infrastructure at the East Kimberley Regional+

  • Your ALGA published its Closing the Gap Implementation Plan this week – a proud moment for an organisation that has long championed strong and sustainable First Nations communities. Developed by ALGA with our state and territory association members, the Implementation Plan sets out key actions councils can undertake to meet the priority reforms laid out+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has published its Implementation Plan for the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The historic agreement – to which ALGA, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, and the Coalition of Peaks are all signatories – sets out four agreed priority reform targets and 16 socio-economic targets to improve life+

  • Low economies of scale continue to drive high regional airfares, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said this week. Regional airports can also struggle with low economies of scale, the national competition regulator said. “Air services fulfil an important role keeping regional communities connected with the rest of Australia,” the ACCC said in its+

  • Climate inaction at the state and national level may end up costing local governments as much as $54 million annually, a new report has warned. Some coastal councils are already paying more than $1 million to fix eroding beaches or protect beachside property or infrastructure, and the collective bill for remediation could top $54 million+

  • A new resource to accelerate efforts to provide greater opportunities for Indigenous Australians at the local community level has been published by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). Developed by ALGA and its state and territory association members, the guide sets out key actions councils can undertake to meet the priority reforms laid out under+

  • This document was prepared for the National Summit on Women’s Safety, 6-7 September 2021.

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has applauded calls for the nation’s 537 councils to be given greater backing to protect local communities from the accelerating impacts of climate change. A landmark Climate Council/City Powers Partnership report published this week found extreme weather events driven by global warming are taking a growing toll on community+

  • ALGA thanks Federal Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan for taking the time to make an appearance at this month’s Board Meeting. His commitment to working with local government to get the best outcomes for Australian communities is welcome and we look forward to working closely with him and his department going forward. Last+

  • The rising work-from-home trend has benefitted workers and could potentially increase the nation’s productivity, a report published this week says. Up to 40 percent of employees have been forced to work from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, according to the Productivity Commission report – and that a result of not having to commute to work,+

  • Cybercrime reports to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) in 2020-21 were up nearly 13 per cent on the previous financial year. Commonwealth, state, territory, and local governments accounted for 35 percent of these incidents, ACSC said in its annual Cyber Threat Report released this month. About one-quarter of reported cyber security incidents affected critical+

  • Regional and remote areas of Australia will get new or expanded recycling facilities after $7 million in new federal funding was announced this week. The grant funding will be made available through the Recycling Modernisation Fund and will be additional to the 23 projects that have already been identified in regional and remote Australia through+