President’s column – 23 July 2021

The South East Queensland Council of Mayors (SEQ) did local government proud this week.

Six years after they began exploring a Brisbane regional bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Council of Mayors (working with the state and federal governments) have delivered spectacularly for their communities.

The basis for the bid was always about providing a mechanism to deliver regional infrastructure projects, including better road and rail links between the main population centres of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

The Mayors’ success in helping bring the Summer Games to Brisbane in 2032 is a tribute to local government’s ability to effectively partner with other levels of government – and it was great to hear that acknowledged after the announcement in Tokyo.

Theirs was a gold-medal effort that will add considerable lustre to ALGA’s advocacy for further federal funding for job-creation activities and infrastructure support.

Our thoughts this week are with the growing number of local government areas in Victoria, South Australia, and NSW that have been declared COVID hotspots.

The impacted councils have all thrown their support behind the need for restrictions and moved quickly to support them and to try to limit the further spread of community transmissions.

But whole-of-government responses continue to be characterised by poor communications and a lack of transparency around decision-making.

It is disappointing that it has come to this given local government’s track record in helping boost vaccinations rates so that local communities are better protected.

On a housekeeping matter, ALGA News will now be published fortnightly instead of weekly.

The move will free up resources to add to our federal election campaign and ongoing advocacy efforts. It will also ensure more tightly focused content directly relevant to your council and its activities.

Linda Scott,
ALGA President