President’s column – 15 October 2021

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 Local Communities Behind – and on ensuring local government is properly resourced to support an inclusive national recovery.

Every council will be able to “personalize” the tools and resources that ALGA has prepared, and based on the general level of interest in our strategy, I am confident we can run an effective campaign on behalf of our communities.

Local government’s contribution to the national Covid vaccination program should be a matter of pride for all of us.

Councils have made a palpable difference to vaccination uptake, whether working on our own or partnering with health authorities, businesses, and other levels of government.

There is still plenty to be done, particularly in remote and regional areas where vaccination rates remain comparatively low and where we can potentially provide more vaccination options as well as countering hesitancy and education issues.

ALGA is continuing to talk to the National Covid Vaccination Taskforce about involving councils more directly in efforts to enhance vaccination rates in areas where our community links and expertise can be tapped to overcome issues arising from hesitancy and isolation.

Congratulations to all those local governments who successfully applied for Round 5 Building Better Regions Fund grants.

This $1.38 billion federal program is an important driver of job-creation and economic growth in regional communities, and the lion’s share of Round 5 funding went to important employment-generating council projects.

That’s a great result for our regional communities and a ringing endorsement of councils’ ability to deliver on their behalf.

Thank you to Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie for the opportunity this week to contribute to discussions on natural disaster preparedness and emergency management.

It is vital that all three tiers of government continue working closely and cooperatively in implementing the many interlinked reforms to national natural disaster arrangements following last year’s Royal Commission.

We look forward to continuing to work with Minister McKenzie and her department to help ensure that Australia is well prepared for future disasters at all levels.

Linda Scott,
ALGA President