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  • As we celebrated the first sitting week of the 47th Parliament in Canberra, your ALGA Board also met to finalise National General Assembly motions and discuss post-election ALGA priorities. I was honoured to be in Canberra to congratulate former ALGA Vice President Tracey Roberts MP on her first speech, and welcome former mayors and councillors,+

  • WIN! Advocacy for increased disaster mitigation spending rewarded. We applaud the Albanese Government for prioritising greater investment in long-term disaster mitigation measures that will grow the resilience of our communities. Floods that have again devasted Greater Sydney, the Hunter Valley, and surrounding areas show resilience spending must be ratcheted up. That has been ALGA’s long-standing+

  • We had a big win at our 2022 National General Assembly last week when our new Minister Catherine King committed to working with Minister Kristy McBain to re-establish the Australian Council of Local Governments. This is an annual meeting with the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Mayors, Shire Presidents, and councillors that was founded under the+

  • I’m looking forward to next week’s National General Assembly, and with close to 1,000 mayors and councillors set to attend, it’s going to be our biggest NGA in almost a decade. From Sunday through to Wednesday, we will explore the partnerships we have – and the partnerships we need – to deliver real progress in+

  • Congratulations to our new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his new Labor Federal Government. In a massive win for councils and our communities, the local government portfolio was elevated to Cabinet this week with the appointment of our new Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, the Hon Catherine King MP. Former Bega+

  • Working together, Australian councils have secured billions of dollars for our communities in the lead-up to tomorrow’s Federal Election. This includes commitments from both major parties to extend the $2.5 billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. The Coalition has committed an additional $500 million to this program if re-elected, and Labor has pledged $750+

  • In a big win for our communities, Federal Labor has committed to a $250 million expansion of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program, if elected later this month. This is in addition to the $500 million expansion announced by the Government in this year’s Federal Budget. Securing more funding for this highly successful+

  • As the Federal Election nears, we’re stepping up to back your calls for the Australian Local Government Association to be on National Cabinet, the nation’s peak decision-making forum, as well as a voting member of all relevant Ministerial meetings and forums, including the Council on Federal Financial Relations. Thank you to Baw Baw Shire, the+

  • It was encouraging to see our call for the extension of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program rewarded in last week’s Federal Budget, with a two-year $500 million extension. This program has supported councils to deliver nearly 7,900 projects, created an estimated 9,000 jobs, and helped shield our economy through the worst of the+

  • We had a big win this week with the Prime Minister announcing a $60 million expansion of the Commonwealth’s Recycling Modernisation Fund. ALGA has consistently advocated for increased investment in waste and recycling, and this additional funding will be targeted towards new opportunities to recycle soft plastics such as bread bags and chip packets. In+

  • Our hearts go out to the many NSW and Queensland communities impacted by intense rain and unprecedented flooding, and particularly to those who have lost homes, businesses and in some tragic cases family and friends. The emergency isn’t over and many councils are still working overtime to save lives, properties and businesses. We welcome the+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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 coming Federal Election marks a watershed moment for our cities, towns, regions, and communities. The past two years have been perhaps the toughest we have faced as a nation since World War II. During the COVID19 pandemic, the bushfires, and the floods, Australian councils have delivered emergency support, helped businesses, created jobs, and showed+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • In response to ALGA’s advocacy for more Covid support for councils that run early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, the Federal Government announced new business continuity payments on 23 August. Local government ECEC providers with centres in Commonwealth-declared COVID hotspots in Greater Melbourne and Greater Sydney will be eligible for payments of 25 percent+

  • Councils must balance competing demands against finite resources, which is why ALGA continues to seek opportunities for improvement and advocate for councils to be adequately resourced for their tasks. Local government nationally employs about 194,000 Australians (around 10 percent of the total public sector). We own and manage non-financial assets with an estimated value of+

  • This week, it was a pleasure to meet with our new Assistant Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Kevin Hogan MP, to congratulate him on his new role, and commit to working with him on all matters important to local governments. On your behalf, I raised: Local government financial sustainability questions arising from COVID lockdowns;+

  • The South East Queensland Council of Mayors (SEQ) did local government proud this week. Six years after they began exploring a Brisbane regional bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Council of Mayors (working with the state and federal governments) have delivered spectacularly for their communities. The basis for the bid was always about+

  • Thank you to local governments around the nation who have pulled out all the stops to aid the national COVID recovery process, including repeatedly offering to support the vaccination rollout. Given councils have been providing community immunisation services for decades, state and territory health agencies ought to have snapped up offers of local government facilities+

  • Local government’s willingness and capacity to step up on behalf of local businesses and local communities has again been to the fore this week. Responding to current COVID lockdowns, councils in Brisbane and Sydney put additional support measures in place to protect local jobs and to support local businesses. Councils in all states and territories+

  • We learned this week, via the latest Intergenerational Report, that there are now more people in work than before COVID-19, with a significantly higher participation rate. Our sector can rightly hold its head high for helping engineer this remarkable jobs turnaround. Local governments supported communities through the worst of the pandemic before quickly pivoting to+

  • It was wonderful to be able to connect with so many local government delegates at this week’s National General Assembly. The strength and value of our NGA has always been its diversity of views and opinions – not to mention the unrivalled opportunity to share stories and experiences that ultimately advance our communities’ best interests.+

  • The golden thread running through our 27th National General Assembly of Local Government starting on Sunday is job creation. It’s a capacity that local government has demonstrated in spades since the last NGA in 2019. In the two years since then, our sector has contended with disasters ranging from drought to bushfires, floods, a pandemic,+

  • This week, I was honoured to represent you at the first meeting of the National Cabinet Reform Committee (Rural and Regional). One of six bodies created in June 2020 to progress the National Cabinet’s job-creation agenda, the Rural and Regional Reform Committee is tasked with promoting economic growth and job creation in rural and regional+

  • Local governments employ a higher proportion of Indigenous Australians than other government sectors – 4.5 percent versus about 2.3 percent for the state, territory, and federal governments. Councils are at ground zero in facilitating and growing local economies (and jobs), so it is not surprising we should be leading the way in improving employment outcomes+

  • I travelled to Parliament House in Canberra this week for talks with senior Morrison Government Ministers Michael McCormack and Mark Coulton and with senior Opposition figures and crossbench MPs. I thanked Ministers McCormack and Coulton for listening to our advocacy around leveraging the potential of local government to drive a locally-led recovery. My discussions with+

  • Your ALGA has a new chief executive officer, Matt Pinnegar – who takes up his new role when the National General Assembly of Local Government gets underway next month. Many of you probably already know Matt, who is the current CEO of the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA). Matt has seen the LGASA+

  • It was wonderful to see strong bipartisan backing for local government’s ability to create jobs and lead economic recovery this week, as part of the Federal Budget and the Opposition Leader’s Budget in Reply speech. The direct wins for local government from the Morrison Government’s third Budget included: $1 billion in new funding to extend+

  • In tonight’s Federal Budget, local governments welcome that the Morrison Federal Government has listened to ALGA’s advocacy, investing in local government in response to our calls for a locally-led economic recovery for Australia. The Federal Budget includes several wins for Australian councils and our communities, including: Community Infrastructure New funding for $1 billion towards Local+

  • In response to sustained local government advocacy, I’m so pleased to welcome the Federal Government’s announcement this week of a properly funded National Recovery and Resilience Agency by July, with former NT Chief Minister Shane Stone as its coordinator-General. Disaster funding must go beyond recovery and reconstruction to embrace mitigation and resilience measures and, this+

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s revelation that next month’s federal Budget will contain further fiscal stimulus and job-creation initiatives is great news for our sector. As the national focus shifts to creating the infrastructure and jobs needed to sustain a more dynamic and prosperous Australia, ALGA will be stepping up its campaign for funding from the Commonwealth+

  • It was an honour to visit Darwin this week, spending time meeting and listening to the magnificent work being done by NT local governments, in towns and remote areas across the vast Territory. Thank you to Darwin’s Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT), and the LGANT+

  • Environment Ministers have agreed to a suite of actions to meet National Waste Policy Action Plan targets, included nationally consistent municipal waste collections. This week’s Environment Ministers Meeting (EMM) also agreed in principle to support a roll-out of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) waste collection services and to implement standards within each jurisdiction for+

  • The recent huge waves of support for women to have their voices heard paid off this week with the Morrison Government saying it will stage a national women’s safety summit in July. The announcement acknowledges that Australian society, by and large, has not done enough to protect or support people who are vulnerable to family+

  • This week, we’ve secured another positive step towards local government’s financial sustainability, which has never been more important as we all recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. As Labor’s National Conference met, mayors and councillors from across Australia secured Labor’s commitment to: Focus on the long-term financial sustainability of local government through increases to grant allocations,+

  • A big shout-out to all the Mayors, council staff, and emergency service personnel who helped safeguard local communities during this week’s “Alaska-sized rain event”. That’s how the Bureau of Meteorology described the large weather system that deluged every state and territory except Western Australia and led to the inundation of hundreds of homes and the+

  • The ALGA Board will be in Canberra next week and will be catching up with Local Government Minister Mark Coulton and Shadow Ministers Jason Clare (Local Government), Catherine King (Infrastructure and Transport), and Murray Watt (Disaster and Emergency Management) to reinforce ALGA’s advocacy agenda. As we approach the Federal Budget and a Federal election, we’re+

  • Thank you to the City of Newcastle, the Gladstone Regional Council, the Broken Hill City Council, the Livingstone Shire Council, and the many, many other local governments who, having resolved to support ALGA’s calls for a seat on the National Cabinet, have helped secure Federal Opposition commitment to include ALGA in this forum. In a+

  • Advocating for you. Thank you to the Shadow Minister for Local Government, Jason Clare MP, and Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Andrew Giles MP, for their time this week to consider what Australian local governments need to thrive into the future. On your behalf, in a likely Federal Election year, we look forward+

  • This week, it was a pleasure to visit Mayors and elected members from the Albury, Greater Hume, Wagga Wagga, Temora Shire, Lachlan Shire, and Federation councils to better understand the challenges local government is facing. With global waste bans looming, we’re focused on getting results for you to enable to you manage waste and recycling.+

  • This week, I joined Mayors from across Australia to honour the life of legendary Mayor Lilliane Brady OAM at her state funeral in Cobar. Her many contributions to local government over 40 years were inspirational and will not be forgotten. Vale. The importance of ALGA being a full member of the new streamlined system of intergovernmental ministerial forums (including National+

  • Your ALGA Board was hard at work this week holding strategic planning sessions to ensure we are doing all we can to deliver results for Australian local governments – now and into the future. ALGA does much on your behalf – advocating, contributing to policy development, and serving as a respected member of many interjurisdictional+

  • ALGA lodged its 2021-22 Pre-Budget Submission with the Federal Treasury last week – the essence of which is that more federal support for local government will help strengthen Covid-19 recovery. The measures outlined in the submission include: Continuing the $1.5 billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program with a focus on sustainable transport initiatives; Establishing+

  • I was thrilled to see the name of Fay Miller in the list of serving and former local government officials recognised in this week’s Australia Day Honours list. Fay was Mayor of Katherine Town Council from 2012 until her forced retirement last September because of ill health – and in that time she exemplified the+