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
  • Last month the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Families and Social Services, and the Hon Sarah Henderson MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services issued a media release announcing that from April, the Australian community can take part in national consultations to shape the future of Australia’s disability policy for beyond+

  • Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

    My column this week comes at a time of reflection for us as individuals and as community service providers. Today marks the end of a week which has included Easter and Anzac Day, events of great religious and national significance which have been celebrated and commemorated in local communities right across Australia. Councils and elected+

  • National Road Safety Week is an initiative of Safer Australian Highways and Roads (SARAH) Group, founded by President Peter Frazer following the tragic death of his daughter Sarah, who was killed in a roadside crash on the Hume Highway in 2012. In March this year, the ALGA President, David O’Loughlin and Peter Frazer sent a+

  • The Coalition Government has committed to invest more than $58 million in 10 Industry Training Hubs in key locations across regional Australia to create more jobs for young people. The investment will also include 400 Vocational Education and Training (VET) scholarships and is part of the Coalition’s plan to address youth unemployment in key parts+

  • Labor is committed to reducing Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, net zero pollution by 2050 and 50 per cent renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2030. These are some of the other areas in the renewable energy policy that may be of interest to local government. Labor will+

  • Don’t miss the early bird registration discount for this year’s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), which will be held from 16 to 19 June in Canberra. Early bird registrations are set to close on 10 May. The theme for this year’s NGA is Future Focused, reflecting that change is constant – and we+

  • The upgrade of 1860 payphones across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are causing Councils concerns. In March the City of Melbourne refused 81 development applications by JCDecaux to upgrade Telstra payphones including new 75 inch (190cm) digital advertising screens that will display commercial advertising. Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Planning portfolio Councillor Nicholas Reece+

  • Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

    This week, ALGA News is coming to you a day earlier than usual because of the Easter break and I expect that many Australians will be taking the opportunity for an extended break over the Easter/Anzac Day period. This period also coincides with school holidays in the majority of states and territories and so people+

  • Soldier On Australia is calling for support for modern veterans and their families this Anzac Day, in honour of those who suffered after World War I. One hundred years ago, with WW1 having ended only a few months before, hundreds of thousands of Australian ex–servicemen – many terribly injured mentally and physically – began to+

  • In December 2018, COAG agreed that the Commonwealth, state and territory Treasurers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association would consider a framework for national population and planning to address population management in Australia, for consideration at a future COAG meeting. In addition to participating in the Treasurers Forum ALGA is also participating+

  • A Labor Federal Government would replace City Deals with a City Partnerships program that will foster collaboration between the three levels of government. It will also: Re-establish the Major Cities Unit within the independent Infrastructure Australia and task it with recommending and assessing the progress of City Partnerships; Establish an expert panel to update strategic+

  • Future Earth Australia invites you to complete a survey on issues and options for more sustainable development of Australia’s cities and urban settlements. It applies to all settlements from large cities to smaller regional towns and centres, and considers economic, social and environmental outcomes. Future Earth Australia, a program of the Australian Academy of Science,+

  • The Australian Local Government Association and your state/territory local government association have made it simple for your council to participate in the national advocacy campaign to get fairer funding for local government and our communities. http://fairershare.com.au/ We have designed a staged advocacy program that will ensure that our message is heard and understood and lead+

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Government House early yesterday morning to ask Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove to trigger an election to be held on 18 May 2019. The 45th Parliament was suspended and Parliament dissolved. This cancelled the Senate Estimates hearings that were due to commence at 9am. The 2019 election will see all MPs+

  • Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

    The Federal Election and our call to action is now upon us. To assist, the ALGA Board has authorised campaign materials for your immediate use to help you win a Fairer Share for your local community. ALGA has worked with state and territory local government associations to develop materials for use by every council in+

  • ALGA has advocated to establish a Local Government Climate Change Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years. Unfortunately, this request was not funded in the Federal Budget. The need for this support is re-enforced by the release of the 2018 International Energy Agency Status Report. The IEA says global carbon emissions hit a record+

  • The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Rod Hook to the Board of Infrastructure Australia (IA). Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said Mr Hook brought a wealth of infrastructure knowledge and experience to the Board. “Mr Hook will be an asset to IA thanks to his+

  • The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s purpose is to prevent and minimise the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs in Australia. We work in partnership with others to support and create evidence-based policies and practice to achieve these goals. We co-design our evidence-based programs with communities, including local councils and government, and support them to+

  • Milparanga is run by the ARLF and is a cross industry leadership program with a focus on regional and remote Australia. The Australia Council is supporting First Nations artists and arts practitioners to participate in the program. Milparanga, meaning ‘watching over country and its people’ (in Mithaka language), honours Indigenous knowledge, philosophies and reclaiming of+

  • Last night the Federal Labor Opposition Leader, the Hon Bill Shorten MP delivered his Party’s Budget reply to Parliament. Further details are expected to be released during the election campaign but some of the issues in the Budget Reply of interest to local government include: Larger taxation cuts to lower income workers; Transport plans and+

  • Tuesday’s Budget announced the establishment of a new $3.9B Emergency Response Fund. The Fund will be established through legislation as a Commonwealth Investment Fund, and will allocate up to $150M per annum for natural disaster recovery and response initiatives above and beyond existing funding for severe and catastrophic disasters. The additional funding will not interfere+

  • Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

    This week’s Federal Budget includes an increase in next year’s base funding for the Roads to Recovery program from $400m per annum to $500m per annum from 2019-20, and also sees increases in the annual funding for the Roads Safety Federal Blackspots and the Bridges Renewal programs of $50m and $25m respectively. Regional Airports also+

  • Since 2002, the national Cycling Luminaries Awards have recognised Australian local governments and Councils who have created more liveable, attractive and active communities through the provision of bicycle infrastructure and programs. The call is now out to every Council to nominate and receive recognition for their efforts over the last year to make the choice+

  • A $15 million extension has been added to the Drought Communities Program, with 15 additional councils now eligible to apply for funding under the program. Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said the extension brought the total funding for drought relief projects in the worst-affected local government areas to $96+

  • ALGA is pleased to announce that Infrastructure Australia’s newly-appointed Chief Executive Romilly Madew has been confirmed as a speaker for NGA 2019. Her address will preview the organisation’s forthcoming release, the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit and what it means for local government. The Australian Infrastructure Audit is an independent, national and cross-sectoral review of Australia’s+

  • Fostering Indigenous well-being and prosperity is a key priority in ALGA’s federal election campaign. The ALGA President advocated for this and particularly funding for Indigenous housing at this week’s Joint Council on Closing the Gap meeting in Brisbane. We welcome the report on Indigenous Housing and re-enforces the need for ALGAs advocacy on this issue.+

  • National Shelter has released its latest report on Inclusionary Zoning. The report is available here. The report scanned recent literature, current inclusionary zoning arrangements in each state and territory and conducted a survey of over 350 respondents. The findings included that incentives are required to achieve social and affordable housing, there are inconsistent approaches to+

  • Last week the MAV presented as a witness to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Adelaide, which provided the opportunity to reinforce our sector’s national position on the future reform of community aged care. The fifty-minute evidence covered key aspects of the MAV’s written submission which included contributions from the ALGA,+

  • The Government has announced a boost to road safety funding for Local Governments will be include in next Tuesday Budget. In total the Morrison Government will deliver an additional $2.2 billion for road safety over the coming ten years. The announcement will include: An additional $1.1 billion in funding for local governments under the Roads+

  • ALGA has been in discussion with the National Rural Health Alliance regarding opportunities for shared advocacy, research and partnerships on rural health and community wellbeing particularly related to access to health services. Access to health services is critical for attracting and retaining people in our rural and remote communities. ALGA is pleased to see that+

  • Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

    We have now had two weeks to process the awful events in Christchurch and to reflect on the lessons beginning to emerge, including the importance of social cohesion, both in reducing the risks of community discord and division and in helping to strengthen the resilience of communities in facing traumatic events. The outpouring of offers+

  • The 2019 NGA is fast approaching! With the NGA just around the corner, do not forget to submit your motions by 29 March to ensure your council has the opportunity to influence the national policy agenda. Resolutions passed at the 2018 NGA were progressed by the ALGA secretariat with the most appropriate federal ministers. Formal+

  • Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

    One of ALGA’s election priorities is to foster indigenous well-being and prosperity. Key to this is closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Only modest progress has been achieved, with only one target met, and Indigenous Australians remain well behind on a range of indicators. Stable, safe and appropriate housing is fundamental to reaching+

  • Barcelona has long been a leader in the smart city movement utilizing innovative technologies to improve the daily life of its citizens. Joaquim Alvarez a leader in smart cities and who worked for the Barcelona City Council for four years, has been leading workshops around the country in conjunction with Delos Delta. 1.6 million people+

  • Shellharbour City Library has won the prestigious Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Public Library Design Awards 2019. Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, presented the award at 2019 Library Design Awards Conference at the State Library of Queensland last night (Thursday 14 March). The prestigious awards recognised some of+

  • The Australian Local Government Associations Federal Election Initiatives included support for communities on their digital transformation journeys. This week has seen the Minister for Regional Services and Deputy Leader of the Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie announce a number of initiatives to improve mobile coverage. The first announcement included commitment to delivering 180 new base stations+

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has released Australia’s Future Population Policy. The Government’s population policy includes: 1. Reducing the migration cap by 15% and incentivising more new migrants to settle outside the big cities where there are jobs and services Reducing the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places. Introducing two new regional visas for skilled+

  • ALGA is a member of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) which aims to promote and strengthen effective democratic local government throughout the Commonwealth, to build local government capacity and to facilitate the exchange of good practice in local government structures and services. The CLGF holds a conference every two years and ALGA has been+

  • We are pleased that Kate Fielding the Program Director of A New Approach, and an arts and cultural sector leader, advocate, and strategist will share the results of recently released research on investment in arts and culture by local government. This investment provides the building blocks of local and regional arts and cultural experience and+

  • Minister for Regional Services and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Bridget McKenzie has welcomed Telstra’s new communications investments, which will make landlines more reliable across regional and rural Australia. Telstra committed to undertake a dedicated program of work to improve the reliability of regional and remote landlines. The announcement comes after the release of an+

  • A consultation process with people with disability and their families concerning draft Terms of Reference for a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, began this week. Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said the commencement of this public consultation phase follows consultation last week with national peak+

  • Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

    Local Government Workforce challenges revealed One of local government’s most valuable assets is its workforce and councils across Australia employ around 189,000 across an amazing 394 occupations. Most of our employees are full time (68%), committed, long term employees with the unplanned turnover rate in our sector being a relatively low 8.3%. But we do+

  • The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), established by the Australian Government last year to improve housing affordability, is seeking greater engagement from councils which want to access its National Housing Infrastructure Facility.    The Facility has $1 billion and has been set up to provide finance for eligible infrastructure projects that will unlock+

  • Mayors, General Managers and key staff from more than 530 Local Government Areas across the country are being invited to join a national conversation in Canberra – with the countdown now on for the Regions Rising National Summit on 4-5 April. Hosted by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), the Summit will place regional issues including+

  • The Tourism Hub is a collaboration between the government and private sector to develop a central platform to access tourism research, news and opportunities. It supports a social community to connect tourism professionals to seek advice, and to share knowledge and solutions to common challenges. How can The Tourism Hub benefit our local council? When+

  • The Australia Council Awards offer an opportunity to reflect on the significant contribution of Australian artists and to highlight the inherent value of culture and its contribution to society. This year, three First Nations artists were among the impressive list of Australia Council Award recipients, including Rhoda Roberts who received the prestigious Ros Bower Award,+

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Minister for the Environment the Hon Melissa Price MP have announced that the Government will invest more than $22 million to deliver practical environmental projects, giving communities new opportunities to protect and care for their local environment. The Communities Environment Program will provide up to $150,000 to each Federal+

  • As one of Australia’s fastest growing municipalities, Cardinia Shire Council has always been acutely aware of the need to provide the community with information on its operations. “With as many as seven new families calling Cardinia Shire home each day, it’s imperative that the Council makes smart decisions about resourcing to ensure residents get access+

  • Applications are now open for the 2019 Resilient Australia Awards. Now in their 20th year, the awards celebrate those in the community who show initiative in helping to create a more disaster-resilient Australia. Minister for Defence Industry, Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, said this summer has reminded us that+

  • The National Library of Australia is calling for applications to the 2019 Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program. The program provides grants of up to $15,000 to community groups to help preserve and manage locally-held but nationally-significant cultural heritage collections. These collections include a range of materials from archival records, oral histories and textiles through to+

  • 244 Local Drug Action Teams are now established across Australia to prevent and minimise alcohol and other drug-related harm in their communities. The Commonwealth Government and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation recently announced an additional 72 Local Drug Action Teams, to join 172 existing teams. The Local Drug Action Team Program supports organisations to build+

  • The National Rural Health Alliance CEO, Director Policy and Strategy Development and Director Communications and Media Liaison have initiated discussions with ALGA to explore possible areas of partnership involving their rural local government area members. Local government is playing an increasingly important role in health and wellbeing for local communities and there are many areas+