LGiU has teamed up with ALGA to bring you a fortnightly edition of the Policy Roundup containing the local news, policy reports and LGiU briefings from the last week plus the latest updates from ALGA.
For more information on this collaboration click here
  • 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+

  • New guidelines for round two of the Disaster Ready Fund (DRF) have recently been released by the Federal Government. Councils can submit applications to lead agencies as part of the second DRF funding round between 22 January and 20 March 2024. Round two of the DRF will provide up to $200 million of funding for+

  • ALGA will host the 2024 National General Assembly (NGA), incorporating the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum, in Canberra from 2-4 July 2024.  This year’s NGA theme is “Building Community Trust”, centring on the critical importance of trust in governments, between governments, institutions, and citizens.   NGA 2024 sessions and special guest speakers will cover a range+

  • National General Assembly dates and motions I am delighted to announce we are now accepting your council’s motions for our 2024 National General Assembly (NGA), to be held in Canberra from 2-4 July. This is your opportunity to bring the issues and opportunities you are seeing in your communities to the national stage, and for+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment to joining the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP), announced during the COP28 World Climate Action Summit. President Cr Linda Scott said ALGA had encouraged the Government to sign the CHAMP pledge, which will enhance cooperation on climate action between national, state+

  • Local governments can increase their understanding of the Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) ahead of the fire season through new eLearning courses. The AFDRS eLearning update is a collaborative effort between AFAC, the national council for fire and emergency services, and state and territory fire agencies. The eLearning is open to a broad range+

  • A number of key Federal Government Ministers have responded to resolutions from ALGA’s 2023 National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government. These responses cover a range of topics including emergency management, social services, climate change and energy, Indigenous affairs, cyber security, communications and housing. Further Ministerial responses are expected in early 2024, and councils are+

  • The Federal Government’s Urban Rivers and Catchments Program is now open to local governments. A total of $109 million is available from July 2024 to fund around 100 waterway projects around Australia. There are two competitive grant streams: Stream 1 – small to medium-scale project grants of between $150,000 to $2 million for community-led projects.+

  • A new Bushfire Resilience Rating Home Self-Assessment app places decades of science and research into local governments and residents’ hands, allowing them to assess homes and measure how they would perform in a bushfire. The free app also provides households with a customised action plan, specific to their individual property and local risk. As tasks+

  • Around 50 guests attended ALGA’s end-of-year networking drinks in Canberra on 29 November 2023. The attendees included national industry association CEOs, policy and communications leaders and senior public servants from several Federal Government Departments, based in the ACT. The event provided an opportunity for local government key stakeholders and leaders to engage on policy and+

  • Community Energy Upgrades Fund moves ahead One of our biggest advocacy wins this year was securing a new $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund (CEUF) that will support your councils to deliver energy upgrades and bill savings at our local pools, sporting clubs and community centres. It’s fantastic to see the Federal Government releasing more+

  • A new national survey is looking to establish a baseline of emergency preparedness and disaster resilience in multi-unit dwellings across Australia. The Owners Corporation Network and Facilities Management Australia survey is aimed at anyone who rents or owns an apartment building, including social housing. Information will be used for free strata-based resources to support resident-led+

  • The deadline for Australian councils to provide data on the state of their local roads and community infrastructure has been extended by two weeks, and will now close on 14 December 2023. ALGA is partnering with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to deliver an update to its National State of the Assets+

  • Councils are urged to provide their feedback on harnessing the power of sport and physical activity to build healthy, active, connected and thriving communities. The Office for Sport, in the Federal Department of Health and Aged Care, is undertaking a public consultation to inform the development of a new National Sport Plan. A consultation paper+

  • Win! Roads to Recovery funding to be doubled to $1 billion per year Strong advocacy and leadership from ALGA has delivered a landmark $500 million per year increase to Roads to Recovery funding, which will be phased in over the Federal Budget forward estimates. The increase was announced yesterday by Infrastructure Minister Catherine King, in+

  • In a landmark win for local communities and Australia’s 537 local governments, Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King announced today Roads to Recovery funding will be doubled from $500 million to $1 billion per year through phased increases over the forward Federal Budget estimates. Also announced today by Minister King – in her response to the+

  • Local governments and librarians are encouraged to embrace National Shared Reading Week from Monday 27 November to Sunday 3 December. National Shared Reading Week is an opportunity for Street Librarians all over the country to connect with their community – young and old – and enjoy the benefits of this shared experience. Shared Reading is+

  • ALGA has welcomed the new Infrastructure Policy Statement released by the Australian Government today, while highlighting more needs to be done to address the growing need for local government infrastructure as cost of living pressures bite. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said it was disappointing to see the new framework prioritises funding for nationally significant+

  • Australia’s local governments are invited to attend a webinar on 29 November about the challenge of managing diverse needs and communicating a shared vision of urban conservation with key stakeholders. Hosted by ICLEI Oceania and targeting elected officials, leaders, and officers from municipal, metropolitan, and regional councils, the CitiesWithNature webinar will provide tools and approaches+

  • Federal funding to Australia’s 537 local governments should be increased by $1 billion every year to address the critical state of the nation’s local road infrastructure, according to a new independent Grattan Institute report. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP) review provided an ideal opportunity to address the+

  • Strong advocacy and leadership by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and local governments has resulted in new national packaging standards and reforms announced today that will help councils save money on waste and recycling. At the Environment Ministers’ Meeting in Adelaide, it was agreed the Federal Government will establish new regulations for packaging as+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has applauded Sunshine Coast Council Mayor and Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ) President Mark Jamieson for an outstanding career in local government. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott sincerely thanked Mayor Jamieson – who announced today he was stepping down as mayor in March – for his long and effective+

  • Local governments managing or operating remote airports can apply for the latest round of funding from the Federal Government’s Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program. Under round 10 of the program, $12 million is available for airport upgrades in remote areas of Australia with grants between $5,000 and $3 million available. The funding supports projects that enhance+

  • Local government annual conferences It’s been a pleasure to attend our state and territory association conferences over the past few weeks and meet with so many committed and effective local leaders. Last week, I presented to the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) Conference in Devonport and I sincerely thank LGAT President Mayor Mick Tucker+

  • ALGA continues to work closely with association members, the Federal Government and key stakeholders to help address Australia’s housing and homelessness crisis. As a signatory to the National Housing Accord, we are actively involved with a range of Government agencies, including from the Treasury and Department of Social Services. ALGA recently engaged and held online+

  • Local governments are being urged to help their communities engage in sport and access free resources for clubs through Game Plan. Game Plan is a free online platform for sporting clubs of all sizes to get insights into their current capability in key areas of administration. It supports ongoing club development with a suite of+

  • Nominations are open for elected representatives, including Australian councillors, for the 2023 McKinnon Prize. The McKinnon Prize is Australia’s independent, non-partisan award for outstanding political leadership. Elected representatives can be nominated for demonstrating outstanding and impactful leadership through their vision, collaboration, ethical behaviour and courage.  Nominees must be an elected member of a local, state+

  • The Federal Government’s current Roads to Recovery (RTR) funding period will end in June next year and a new RTR program will begin on 1 July 2024. Councils may still have funding available under the current funding period which ends on 30 June 2024. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts+

  • A ground-breaking new report, focusing on the unique experiences, expertise and knowledge of local government to address Australia’s housing and homelessness crisis, is now available. Developed by the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) and Local Government Professionals Australia (LG Pro), the Local Government Community of Practice: housing and homelessness report was based on+

  • Annual conferences and events I was delighted to attend the Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) Conference in Gladstone last week, and thank LGAQ President Mayor Mark Jamieson and my fellow ALGA Board members Mayor Matt Burnett and Mayor Jack Dempsey for hosting me. Addressing the Conference, I outlined some of our recent advocacy wins,+

  • A new bike safety project called BikeSpot 2023 has been launched to help improve cyclist safety in Australia. The crowd-funded project, that will benefit all councils, is a collaboration between the Amy Gillett Foundation and CrowdSpot, as part of the Federal Government’s Safe Roads for Safe Cycling Program. The information collected by BikeSpot will be publicly+

  • An innovative web-based toolkit is set to improve road safety outcomes for local governments and help reduce road fatalities across Australia. Pioneered by the National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO), the new Road Safety Intelligence Toolkit (pictured above) can be used by councils to identify crash trends and provide real-time insights for local jurisdictions. The customised,+