President’s column – 11 February 2022

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 for many of our councils, both in Queensland and around the country.

The distribution of Financial Assistance Grants is a state and territory matter of course, and it should be noted that 50 Queensland councils will benefit under the new formula.

However, there is a clear solution and that’s a phased increase in the total value of Financial Assistance Grants provided to local government to at least one percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue.

This would give all councils increased levels of untied federal funding, allowing us to provide our communities with equitable service levels.

I am proud to report ALGA’s 2022-23 pre-Budget submission was published this week.

This document outlines a series of partnership opportunities that will help deliver a locally led recovery in every corner of our nation, and ensure no community is left behind.

Our key requests include an initial injection of FA Grants worth $1.3 billion to drive national economic recovery, an increase in the total value of this untied funding to at least one percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue, and a four-year extension of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

If funded, these initiatives would create almost 45,000 new jobs and add $6.65 billion to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product.

You can download the full submission on our website.

Most of your councils should have received the third tranche of Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI) funding by now.

This successful program, introduced in response to ALGA’s advocacy, has enabled all 537 of our councils to work even harder on behalf of local communities, delivering on national objectives such as economic growth, regional equity, disaster resilience, and increased productivity.

Please thank your local Federal MPs, let them know what you’re doing with the funding, and that you support our call for this highly successful program to be extended.

This has been a transformational funding program for our communities but there’s more to be done, and we want to continue to partner with the Commonwealth to create jobs and stimulate our local economies.

I had a positive meeting with the independent Member for Indi, Helen Haines MP late last month.

Dr Haines wants the Federal Government to fund enhanced broadband services in regional Australia, obviating the need for local government associations to co-contribute to the $300 million Regional Co-Investment Fund.

In response to our advocacy, Dr Haines is now supporting our priorities in the lead-up to the federal election, including extending the Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package.

We’re pleased to be working together for a better deal for our regions.

A reminder that we are now calling for motions for our 2022 National General Assembly in Canberra from 19-22 June.

The theme of this year’s event is Partners in Progress, and we have prepared a discussion paper to help you and your council to develop your motions.

This is your opportunity to bring important issues to Canberra and put them on our national agenda.

Motions are due by 25 March, and early bird registrations close on 6 May. This is going to be a tremendous event and I hope to see you there.


Linda Scott,
ALGA President