President’s column – 23 April 2020

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 executive and staff, for their work to support ALGA’s advocacy.

It was particularly pleasing to hear about the work of NT councils leading economic recovery across their communities through job-creating improvements and initiatives.

All 537 of Australia’s local governments can build further on that success by being part of the 2021 National General Assembly in Canberra in June.

This year’s NGA focuses specifically on how councils have led and will lead the way in supporting and rebuilding their communities through job creation – with investment from federal and state governments. 

The message we want to broadcast, loudly and clearly, is that strong councils, supported by substantial funding and resources, are key to the recovery, resilience, and growth of local communities.

When federal and state governments invest in local governments, as preferred partners, we employ people – supporting the repair of federal and state government budgets – and we create infrastructure and services for the public good.

This year’s exciting program includes keynote presentations on the political and economic environment in the lead-up to the next Federal Election.

There will be presentations from epidemiologists and infectious diseases specialists about keeping our communities safe from Covid-19.

We have invited the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Federal Regional Health, Regional Communications, and Local Government Minister Mark Coulton and the Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories, and Local Government, Jason Clare, to meet you all, listen to the concerns of your communities, and speak to you.

We will hear in-depth accounts of how regional councils are rising to the challenge of regional economic development and service provision – and there will be a series of panels led by Mayors focusing on experiences and learnings in how they have supported and led their communities.

Our concurrent sessions will canvass Actions on Climate – At Home and Around the World, Safer Communities, and the Circular Economy and You.

This Conference is your opportunity to communicate directly with our political leaders about what you need to serve local communities more effectively.

It is also the forum where you get to shape the national advocacy agenda for ALGA via your policies and motions.

The registration brochure detailing our program, speakers, and social events is here.

Register here to join us in Canberra from the 20-23 June, whether in person or virtually, so we can continue to showcase the work we are doing creating jobs in all corners of the nation and take the recovery forward – and make the case for why the Federal Government should invest more in this important work to drive a locally led economic recovery.

Linda Scott,
ALGA President