President’s column – 22 April 2022

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 City of Yarra, and the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils, who have resolved to support our local government election priorities, and have successfully made representations to their local MPs and candidates to secure support for ALGA’s priority asks – including local infrastructure investment, responding to climate change, and a progressive increase in Financial Assistance Grants to at least one percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue.

This week, make sure your council has accessed ALGA’s advocacy tools to ensure your council and community let your local members and candidates know what your council could do with increased federal support, and to ensure no community is left behind.

While Federal Labor has supported restoring ALGA to the National Cabinet, we’re working to ensure the commitment is matched by the Coalition and extends to the Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) and other important decision-making forums.


ALGA Climate Action

Our election advocacy for greater climate action at the local community level resulted in a number of commitments from the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, earlier this month.

Mr Bowen’s commitment is a welcome endorsement of local government’s proven ability to invest in new technologies that create new jobs and help Australia transition to a low-emission future.

With global warming now a top-order issue for Australians, we’re working hard to secure commitments from both parties for a Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years that will allow our communities to better plan and prepare for the future.

Win! Disaster Recovery Funding

We were thrilled to see Local Government NSW and ALGA advocacy pay off with public assets destroyed by the NSW floods being made eligible to share in $100 million in jointly funded disaster relief funding.

Under the current national Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), council buildings such as libraries, halls and recreational facilities are classed as “non-essential” assets and not guaranteed support.

However, they nourish and sustain our communities, serve as temporary evacuation or information centres, and are vital to economic recovery and disaster resilience.

That’s why we have worked hard on your behalf to ensure the Government understands that publicly accessible and community-owned council buildings must be covered by state and federal disaster relief.

Our advocacy win comes at a critical time for many local governments struggling financially to restore or rebuild their communities – and the funding package agreed to by the NSW and Commonwealth governments will be welcomed across the Northern Rivers region of the state.

Linda Scott,
ALGA President