President’s column – 11 June 2021

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 Australia.

We welcome the Morrison Government’s recognition of local government’s demonstrated success at nurturing jobs and sustaining economic activity.

One of the committee’s priorities is to advance a data-driven, place-based approach to support targeted intervention in rural and regional areas to support recovery.

Given this, it is pleasing to see concrete progress in creating a regional data hub to better inform local government leaders and regional communities.

ALGA is encouraging state and territory associations as well as individual councils to make their views known on what data they would consider useful and how they can contribute to ensuring better-quality outcomes for the bush.

Although many regional centres are booming, the rapid influx of new residents and workers has exposed shortcomings in housing and infrastructure provision and created a regional rental crisis.

Our Regional Cooperation and Development Forum on 20 June will explore this issue further, highlighting the fantastic work that rural councils are doing to address housing and land development shortages – showing yet again the leadership and initiative for which our sector is renowned.

The Regional Forum will be the curtain-raiser for the 27th National General Assembly – I am looking forward to seeing you there!

And if you haven’t already booked, please do join us at the National Press Club on 22 June to hear ALGA’s key messages about the role local government can play if properly funded for the future.

P.S. On a personal note, this coming week I am sleeping out in the freezing cold for one night only as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, supporting their work for those most in need. Any sponsorships gratefully received!   

Linda Scott,
ALGA President