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  • 2024-25 Federal Budget update – Wins and more to do! In response to ALGA’s advocacy, Australian councils will receive an additional $330 million in federal funding in 2024-25, including a $150 million increase in the Roads to Recovery program, as a result of the recent Federal Budget. However, the Government has not delivered on their+

  • The Albanese Government has broken its pre-election promise to provide “fair increases” to Financial Assistance Grants to Australia’s 537 councils in tonight’s 2024-25 Federal Budget. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said these untied federal grants are vital to supporting local government to deliver more affordable housing, and cost-of-living relief through access to free and low-cost+

  • ALGA News sat down with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia’s (IPWEA) CEO David Jenkins to discuss the importance of building, maintaining and revitalising community infrastructure to benefit communities.  Mr Jenkins also highlighted that improving local assets like libraries, community halls, sporting facilities and playgrounds as well as local roads enhances the quality of+

  • Local governments can access new information and resources about Australia’s upcoming 3G mobile phone network shutdown this year. Telstra is planning to switch off its 3G network from 31 August 2024, and Optus from 1 September 2024. TPG Telecom/Vodafone has already switched off its 3G network in Australia. To ensure communities are fully prepared for+

  • JOINT MEDIA RELEASE New national research has revealed a $1 billion improvement in the condition of Australia’s libraries, recreation centres, galleries, cultural centres and community halls over the past three years. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said a $500 million per year local government community infrastructure fund would support councils to continue to maintain and+

  • Build up to Federal Budget We will be closely monitoring next week’s Federal Budget in Canberra to see if the Government finally follows through on its pre-election promise of “fair increases” to Financial Assistance Grants. The number one priority in our pre-Budget submission is restoring these vital untied grants to at least one percent of+

  • With more than 50 per cent of exhibition booths already sold, time is running out to book your booth for this year’s NGA. Held at the National Convention Centre Canberra, the NGA is an opportunity for local government service providers to engage with more than 1,000 mayors, shire presidents, CEOs and senior council staff. The+

  • ALGA has produced a new guide to support councils with their submissions to the Standing Committee on Regional Development, Infrastructure and Transport’s inquiry into local government sustainability The user-friendly guide, which includes links to the latest research on the sector, is available here for all local governments. Submissions to the inquiry were originally due by+

  • Australia’s councils, including in rural and regional areas, are being reminded about the looming shutdown of the 3G mobile phone network this year. Telstra is planning to switch off its 3G network from 30 June 2024, and Optus from 1 September 2024. TPG Telecom/Vodafone has already switched off its 3G network in Australia. This change+

  • Local governments are encouraged to provide feedback on a new issues paper from the Federal Government’s Climate Change Authority. The 2024 Issues paper: Targets, Pathways and Progress is seeking advice on Australia’s emissions reduction targets, sectoral pathways and progress towards becoming a net zero economy. The Authority expects to provide advice on Australia’s 2035 emissions reduction+

  • A national approach to kerbside recycling will help Australia’s 537 councils to reduce the five mega tonnes (MT) of waste sent to Australian landfills every year – equivalent to the weight of about 31 Sydney Opera Houses. Through its 2024-25 Federal Budget submission, ALGA is seeking $120 million over four years to standardise kerbside bins+

  • Win! Four week extension for local government inquiry submissions I am pleased to announce that ALGA’s request for a four-week extension for all submissions to Parliament’s inquiry into local government sustainability has been granted, with the new due date being Friday 31 May. ALGA will provide a comprehensive, evidence-based submission on behalf of all local+

  • The Office of Road Safety is interested in how local governments in Australia can be better supported to undertake network safety risk assessments to prioritise infrastructure investment. As a result, all councils are invited to participate in a new survey to help identify the skills, support and capabilities local governments need to help in the development+

  • As many local governments interact with and provide direct services to older Australians, CarerHelp provides free and trustworthy online information and resources to Australians caring for someone with a life-limiting illness. CarerHelp addresses end of life topics including managing common symptoms, emotional care, financial matters, caring for the dying person, and managing grief.  There is+

  • Local governments are invited to join the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) to measure the Australian Night Time Economy (NTE) for the 2022-2023 period. Do you represent a council with ambitions to better understand and support economic activity after dark? Are you interested in understanding the performance trends of your NTE over time?+

  • ALGA President Cr Linda Scott will officially open the inaugural Careers at Council Jobs Summit hosted by LGNSW in Sydney on 1 May. The summit provides the opportunity for local government decision-makers to learn more about recent changes in the employment market and share successful council practices to building a skilled and sustainable workforce. Aimed+

  • New Governor General appointed I was delighted to see Sam Mostyn AO announced as the next Governor-General of Australia last week. Sam is a humble, dedicated servant of the public good, and a wonderful appointment by the Albanese Government. Thank you also to outgoing Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley DCE FTSE+

  • The Federal Government is reminding local governments about funding available through the Roads to Recovery program, and roads and community infrastructure projects funded through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program. Roads to Recovery The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts is encouraging councils to submit projects and draw on+

  • Australia’s local governments are being reminded to book tickets for the 2024 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) in Canberra from Tuesday 2 – Thursday 4 July. The 30th NGA at the National Convention Centre is expected to be ALGA’s biggest annual conference, and a registration brochure has been released showcasing a week of+

  • The Federal Government’s Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) is heavily oversubscribed and needs to be increased by at least $250 million per year to better protect Australian communities from future natural disasters. More than 300 applications seeking $460 million were submitted in the first round of the DRF in 2023, with 187 of these projects successfully+

  • Local governments are invited to attend an information session on 18 April to better understand new strengthened aged care quality standards in Australia. The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA SA) and Local Government NSW (LGNSW) are jointly hosting the session, via MS Teams, with representatives from the Aged+

  • The opening of applications and release of guidelines for the Federal Government’s new $500 million Housing Support Program has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). Through the first round of the program, state, territory and local governments can access funding to improve planning capacity as well as streamline planning processes. ALGA President+

  • Win! National inquiry into local government sustainability Last week, we welcomed the House of Representatives Standing Committee national inquiry into local government sustainability. With additional responsibilities costing billions of dollars being forced onto Australia’s 537 councils every year, we expect this national inquiry will consider and address the financial challenges and funding shortfalls being faced+

  • A new House of Representatives Standing Committee inquiry into local government sustainability has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). With additional responsibilities costing billions of dollars being forced onto Australia’s 537 councils every year, ALGA expects this national inquiry will consider and address the financial challenges and funding shortfalls being faced by+

  • Local governments are invited to provide feedback on the Australian Government’s National Adaptation Plan Issues Paper to ensure Australia is better prepared for the increasing risks from climate change. The plan will form a blueprint for adapting to nationally significant climate risks, and is based on world-class science of the National Climate Risk Assessment and+

  • Local governments are urged to enter the 2024 Resilient Australia Awards to celebrate and promote initiatives building community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia. Sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with states and territories, the awards recognise collaboration and innovative across a broad range of sectors and initiatives that strengthen disaster resilience with+

  • JOINT MEDIA RELEASE The Federal Government’s new Housing Support Program must be increased to $750 million to empower local governments to help deliver the Commonwealth’s ambitious housing targets and enable vital infrastructure investment in new housing developments. The competitive program – which has been welcomed by local government – will provide funding for connecting essential+

  • Increasing Housing Support Program for councils We can’t effectively address the nation’s housing crisis by simply building more houses – we also need to build more parks, libraries, playgrounds, recreation centres and swimming pools. That’s why ALGA is calling for more support for councils from the Federal Government to invest in the local infrastructure necessary+

  • ALGA News sat down with Australian Library & Information Association (ALIA) CEO Cathie Warburton to discuss how libraries are stepping up to support communities during the cost-of-living crisis.  Ms Warburton highlighted how public libraries, especially run by councils, are helping to improve the liveability of communities by providing essential services to vulnerable people and families.+

  • Local governments, including in regional areas, are reminded to apply for the first round of the Federal Government’s new Community Energy Upgrades Fund. Grants of between $25,000 and $2,500,000 are available to councils across Australia to invest in energy-saving measures including to replace swimming pool heating systems with electric heat pumps, battery storage at sporting+

  • New rules have been developed by the Federal Government to ensure all new housing developments of 50 dwellings or more should include mobile coverage during planning processes. The rules reflect existing expectations about access to essential utilities – water, electricity and fixed line telecommunications services – in new developments, highlighting the critical importance of mobile+

  • Local governments are invited to partner with the Resilience Canopy – a new, nation-wide movement to build strong and challenge-ready communities, adaptable to disruptions like natural disasters. The program activates communities to lead their own resilience-building actions and plan through a six-step engagement process and resilience framework. It also helps them connect with funding and+

  • Time for Government to deliver on FA Grants promise Last week, I told The Australian newspaper the Federal Government must deliver this year on its pre-election commitment to increase Financial Assistance Grants to Australia’s 537 local governments. Before the May 2022 election, Federal Labor promised to support the ‘long-term financial sustainability of local government’ through+

  • Local governments are urged to apply for the National Road Safety Action Grants Program (NRSAGP) to improve road safety outcomes in communities. The NRSAGP provides non-infrastructure grants to help implement the Federal Government’s National Road Safety Action Plan 2023-25 priorities: Community Education and Awareness, including workplace road safety Vulnerable Road Users First Nations road safety Technology and+

  • Local governments are encouraged to embrace an innovative, evidence-based program called Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered. Pioneered by the University of Newcastle, the award-winning program has been proven to enhance the physical and social-emotional well-being of primary school-aged girls. Several LGAs around Australia have expressed interest in running the program, with a number applying+

  • JOINT MEDIA RELEASE Time is running out for the Federal Government to deliver on its pre-election promise of “fair increases” to Financial Assistance Grants to Australia’s 537 local governments. Before the May 2022 election, Federal Labor committed to the ‘long-term financial sustainability of local government’ through increases to grant allocations, including ‘fair increases’ to Financial+

  • The Federal Government’s new Remote Jobs and Economic Development Program (RJED) has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). The new $707 million employment program is expected to create around 3,000 jobs in remote Australia in partnership with First Nations communities, with the goal of closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.+

  • The 2024 National Awards for Local Government are now open for Australia’s councils. The national awards celebrate outstanding local government achievements across Australia, including recognising local governments who are innovative, make a difference to their local communities, display excellence and deliver outcomes that are replicable across the country. All elected local government organisations, local government+

  • Working for councils: ALGA advocacy in Canberra With the 2024-25 Federal Budget high on our agenda, I visited Parliament House last week to meet with senior Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers and independents. Representing your councils, I met with the Treasurer as well as the Ministers for Housing and Local Government to advocate for the funding+

  • The deadline for councils to submit motions to the 2024 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), to be held in Canberra from 2-4 July, has been extended until Tuesday 30 April 2024. In December last year, local governments were invited to submit motions for debate at the 2024 NGA in line with ALGA’s discussion+

  • A new report by the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner has been released on the independent Community Engagement Review for renewable energy infrastructure. ALGA made a submission to the review and organised a workshop for councils to engage with the Commissioner. The key recommendations, some that align with ALGA’s advocacy, include to: encourage best practice and+

  • Local governments, especially in regional areas, are urged to participate in the Federal Government’s Regional Telecommunications review this year. Former Western Australian Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan has been appointed to lead the next review.  She will be supported by the 2024 Regional Telecommunications Independent review Committee. The review is undertaken+

  • ALGA is delighted to once again partner with the Federal Government to host the 2024 Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) in Canberra. The ACLG event will be held at the National Convention Centre on Friday 5 July, after the 2024 National General Assembly (NGA). The 2024 ACLG is expected to attract around 600 local+

  • I hope you all enjoyed the Australia Day long weekend. For many communities this is a time of celebration, yet for others, it can be a difficult day. As the debate rages about our national day, ALGA has consistently advocated for the right of councils to choose when we hold our citizenship ceremonies and will+

  • Local governments and communities are invited to once again roll up their sleeves to be part of Clean Up Australia Day 2024 on 3 March. This year is the 34th year of Clean Up Australia Day – Australia’s largest community-based environmental event. Clean Up Australia Day wouldn’t occur without the support of local governments. Every+

  • Local governments are invited to apply for federal funding through round nine of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program, run by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).  The Federal Government has committed HVSI funding for new projects to support a safer heavy vehicle industry.  The HVSI program is a discretionary merit-based grants program aiming+

  • A number of high-profile and engaging guest speakers have already been confirmed for the 2024 National General Assembly (NGA) in Canberra from 2-4 July 2024. Popular media personality and commentator Annabel Crabb (pictured) will join ALGA President Linda Scott on stage for a fireside conversation about politics and civic engagement. Drawing on her experience as+

  • ALGA recently provided a submission to the Federal Government about the Threat Abatement Plan (TAP) to control feral cats and reduce predation from pet cats. The submission highlighted local governments welcome any new tools for councils to manage cat movements but further actions need to have a sustainable funding source. There is also significant work+

  • Local governments on urban fringes, where the bush meets the suburbs, can benefit from $20 million in Commonwealth funding to help upgrade mobile phone coverage under round 2 of the Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP). Eligible areas under the latest funding round have been expanded to include major regional cities like Geelong, the Gold Coast and+

  • Happy New Year and welcome to 2024. I’m expecting this to be another big year for local government, especially with council elections in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Win! Community energy upgrade funding available In a major advocacy win for councils last year, ALGA secured a new $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund to+

  • Transport association Austroads is leading the implementation of a national automated access system (NAAS) for heavy vehicles in Australia and New Zealand. The NAAS will support road managers, including from local governments, to provide access decisions more efficiently to help drive better productivity and safety across state borders. The system will be based on the+

  • Applications are now open to local governments for the first round of the Federal Government’s new $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund. Grants of between $25,000 and $2,500,000 are available to councils across Australia to invest in energy-saving measures like replacing swimming pool heating systems with electric heat pumps, battery storage at sporting fields and+