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.
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  • 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,+

  • The humble granny flat could help address Australia’s housing supply shortage and rental crisis, according to new research. Based on analysis from Archistar, Blackfort and CoreLogic, granny flats have the ability to quickly and affordably address some of the current housing crisis. Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne could potentially have up to 655,000 self-contained two-bedroom granny+

  • Australian councils are reminded to support critical national research by providing data on the state of their local roads and community infrastructure. ALGA is partnering with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to deliver an update to its National State of the Assets (NSoA) report, which is due to be published in 2024.+

  • Local governments are invited to provide feedback on draft new planning rules to include consideration of mobile coverage in new housing developments in Australia. The Federal Government is proposing amendments to the Telecommunications in New Developments (TIND) policy to place an expectation on developers to consider the inclusion of mobile infrastructure in new developments. In+

  • State Cabinet meeting with LGSA I was delighted to join Local Government Association of South Australia President Dean Johnson and present to the South Australian Premier and Cabinet Ministers in Adelaide last week. We discussed a range of policy issues at the State Cabinet meeting including the economic development challenges and opportunities facing councils, and how local+

  • Local governments looking to stage original live music and festivals can apply for a new round of funding through Live Music Australia. The $20 million Live Music Australia program aims to bring music to more Australians by supporting organisations to professionally stage original live music, including in regional areas. Round 7 is open for applications+

  • Local governments can access a new publication developed by the Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD) Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) about effectively dealing with a cyber security incident. Coinciding with Cyber Security Awareness Month 2023 in October, the publication How the ACSC can help during a cyber security incident is designed for professionals who lead an organisation’s+

  • Local governments can provide feedback to the Multicultural Framework Review by the Federal Government. The review will advise the Government on what institutional, legislative and policy settings can best build Australia’s multiculturalism over the next decade. It will also aim to identify how to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse society. The Australian Government+

  • A range of free and subsidised courses about road safety and safer cycling are available to councils through the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF). The Safe Roads for Safe Cycling program, offering face-to-face training and online training options through until mid-2024, is part of the AGF’s mission to stop cyclists being killed and hospitalised on Australia’s roads. +

  • The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is seeking feedback from local governments for the next round of Australia’s Disaster Ready Fund (DRF). The Disaster Ready Fund survey has recently been extended by the Government to enable councils to have their say. The Government has invested $200 million a year over five years in disaster resilience+

  • Road Safety Ministers’ Meeting I was delighted to attend the Road Safety Ministers’ Meeting in Cairns last Wednesday. Australian councils manage around 75 percent of our local road network, and we’re continuing to advocate for the funding we need to deliver and maintain safer local roads for our communities and upgrade them to be more+

  • Local governments are invited to provide feedback and ideas for the Federal Government’s National Autism Strategy, being developed to help autistic people across Australia. The Government has committed to delivering the National Autism Strategy and a range of ideas are based on information gathered through evidence and reviews and the outcomes of a Senate Select+

  • Lively discussions were held around a range of local government infrastructure issues at ALGA’s 2023 National Local Roads, Transport & Infrastructure Congress at the ANU in Canberra from 6-7 September. Some of the highlights included Rohit Srivastava from the Berrigan Shire Council and Dr Jeremy Smith from the Australian National University discussing how local government+

  • Councils are invited to provide feedback on the Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill 2023 which has been referred to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry. The Bill will support the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and improve the transparency and integrity of water markets in the Basin. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan+

  • A new State of the Profession Report by the Planning Institute of Australia has confirmed one of the key findings of ALGA’s 2022 Jobs and Skills Survey: that Australia’s 537 councils urgently need more qualified planners. This is expected to become a bigger issue, especially for local government following the recent passing of the Federal+

  • JOINT MEDIA RELEASE New data from councils will highlight the multi-billion-dollar impact of natural disasters on Australia’s roads, libraries, aerodromes, bridges and community and recreation centres over the past two years. The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is partnering with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to deliver an update to its National+

  • Win! Minister Bowen attends local government climate change breakfast We were delighted to host Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen at a climate change breakfast at our 2023 National Local Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Congress last week. Minister Bowen highlighted the Government’s plans for transitioning to net zero, while acknowledging the important role+

  • Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has urged local governments to collaborate and partner with the Federal Government to reduce emissions and embrace clean energy solutions to address Australia’s climate change challenge. Speaking at a roundtable at ALGA’s 2023 National Local Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Congress on 7 September, Mr Bowen encouraged all councils to work+

  • Boosting road and infrastructure funding to better support communities was a major focus of ALGA’s 2023 National Local Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Congress held in Canberra from 6-7 September. Attended by around 250 delegates, including mayors, shire presidents, councillors and council works and engineering staff from across Australia, the Congress had a broad focus on+

  • Federal funding to local government isn’t keeping up with soaring construction costs, according to preliminary research presented by the Grattan Institute at ALGA’s 2023 National Local Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Congress in Canberra. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said councils collectively manage around 75 percent of Australia’s road network by length while collecting less than+

  • ALGA News sat down with Shadow Minister for Local Government the Hon. Darren Chester to discuss his views and priorities for local government in Australia.  The Federal Member for Gippsland also reflects on his experiences as a former Minister for Local Government and outlines his passion for improving the liveability of regional communities. ALGA: Mr+

  • Councils are being made aware of the Food and Grocery Sector Group (FGSG) which covers food safety and security during times of crisis or disaster. The FGSG consists of Australia’s food, grocery and beverage industry associations involved in the nation’s food supply chain – from paddock to plate.  It also includes key state and federal+

  • Local governments located within 5.5 km of a controlled airport or in an approach and departure path may be eligible for free drone safety signage. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has pre-cut aluminium drone safety signage available to order. Drone safety signage aims to help drone flyers know where they can and can’t fly+

  • Win! New housing affordability funding and planning reforms In an important advocacy win for local government, the Federal Government has announced a new $500 million Housing Support Program, available to local and state governments, to help address the nation’s affordable housing crisis. Unveiled at National Cabinet on 16 August, this new program will help Australia’s+

  • The Department of Social Services is offering up to one-third of the cost to build Changing Places facilities in Local Government Areas that currently do not have these facilities. Changing Places are accessible toilets with extra features and more space to meet the needs of people with disability and their carers.  These facilities include: a+

  • Local governments are being urged to apply for funding under the Federal Government’s new and upgraded Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas (HVRA) initiative. Through the HVRA, the Government has committed $140 million over 10 years for the construction of new and upgraded heavy vehicle rest areas across the nation. The Government recently incorporated a dedicated criteria for+

  • The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is calling for councils to provide feedback on a new Discussion Paper about finding alternative long-term options to calling in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to assist with disaster response. The recent Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements highlighted the need for alternative capabilities for response to disasters.+

  • The Australian Local Government Association has welcomed new funding – announced by National Cabinet today – that will help councils address Australia’s affordable housing crisis. ALGA President Cr Linda Scott said the Government’s new $500 million Housing Support Program – open to local and state governments – would support councils to build more liveable communities.+

  • The Board of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Crawford as its new Chief Executive Officer. Ms Crawford, who was most recently employed as a senior adviser to Federal Local Government Minister Kristy McBain, will commence with ALGA on 28 August 2023. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott+

  • Local government feedback is invited for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) review of topics for the 2026 Census. This important national public consultation is designed to inform recommendations to the Australian Government on topics that could be included in the 2026 Census, including issues affecting councils and local communities. Phase two of the consultation+

  • A more coordinated and collaborative approach across all levels of government is the key to addressing Australia’s affordable housing crisis, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said today. Ahead of this week’s National Cabinet meeting focusing on planning reforms to facilitate more affordable housing, ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said increasing the supply of more+

  • ALGA calls for coordinated approach to housing crisis Ahead of this week’s National Cabinet meeting focusing on planning reforms to create affordable housing, ALGA is calling for a more coordinated and collaborative approach across all levels of government to address Australia’s affordable housing crisis. Increasing the supply of more affordable housing can’t be fixed through+

  • Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen will discuss climate change and emissions reduction at a special breakfast event as part of the 2023 National Local Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Congress. Minister Bowen will be joined by ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott, local mayors and leaders at the breakfast on 7 September. For+

  • The National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO), formerly known as Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), has a new offering specifically tailored for councils to manage, maintain and measure roads. NTRO Local provides affordable, achievable solutions for all councils to have better maintained, safer, sustainable and resilient roads. Underpinned by ARRB’s 60 years of experience and expertise,+

  • Local governments are invited to contribute ideas and innovations for the development of the Australian Government’s National Housing and Homelessness Plan. The Plan will be a 10-year strategy and will outline a shared vision to inform future housing and homelessness policy in Australia. Submissions are now invited for an Issues Paper on Housing and Homelessness+