Congratulations to our new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his new Labor Federal Government.
In a massive win for councils and our communities, the local government portfolio was elevated to Cabinet this week with the appointment of our new Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, the Hon Catherine King MP.
Former Bega Valley Shire Mayor Kristy McBain was also sworn in as Minister for Regional Development, Local Government, and Territories, and I am sure her local government experience will stand her in good stead as she takes on this role.
We’re looking forward to working with Prime Minister Albanese and our new Government to deliver on the many commitments ALGA secured in the lead-up to the election.
These commitments include:
- A $750 million extension to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, that will see increased federal funding provided to every council and community;
- A commitment to “fair increases” to the Financial Assistance Grants that are provided to all councils;
- A new $200 million per year disaster mitigation program that will help us protect our communities from increasingly frequent cyclones, fires and floods; and
- A $400 million investment in improving regional mobile phone coverage across the country.
Our collective advocacy also resulted in ALGA being appointed as a full voting member of the National Cabinet for the first time, following the Morrison Government’s decision to abolish the Council of Australian Local Governments (COAG).
While the Government has committed to “fair increases” to Financial Assistance Grants, ALGA’s number one priority remains to restore these grants to at least one percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue, and we will be working hard to secure tangible funding increases for councils in October’s Federal Budget.
Our 2022 National General Assembly of Local Government is fast approaching.
This will be our first chance to meet and hear from our new Government about their plans, while also considering how we can best partner with them and help them deliver on their priorities.
It’s not too late to register, so head to www.nga22.com.au to sign up. I hope to see you there!
Cr Linda Scott,