President’s column – 6 August 2021

This week, it was a pleasure to meet with our new Assistant Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Kevin Hogan MP, to congratulate him on his new role, and commit to working with him on all matters important to local governments.

On your behalf, I raised:

  • Local government financial sustainability questions arising from COVID lockdowns;
  • Federal Assistance Grants and their critical role in in enabling councils to create local jobs and boost economic recovery; and
  • The need for National Cabinet representation for local government to ensure economic recovery is fair, equitable and long-lasting.

I look forward to working with Minister Hogan, who noted his commitment to being a strong advocate for all our local government advocacy within the Federal Government.

I also met, on your behalf, with Health Minister Greg Hunt MP, to again offer support from all our local governments to support the national vaccination rollout.

We understand this is the key public priority imperative at this time, and stand ready to assist the Commonwealth, state, and territory governments with this.

We also took the opportunity to meet with the Federal Government’s National COVID Vaccine taskforce to explain the capacity and capability of councils across Australia to assist with the roll-out.

 The taskforce has undertaken to get back to us with some options for better collaboration, including the types of assistance they may need.


A federal parliamentary inquiry this week called for a national strategy on homelessness recognising the important role played by local governments.

In response to ALGA’s advocacy, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has backed our recommendation to develop a new national housing strategy recognising local government’s role in housing provision and the need for appropriate funding to facilitate this.

You can find a copy of ALGA’s submission to the inquiry on homelessness in Australia on our webpage.

Thank you to the Byron Shire Council, the Glen Innes Severn Council, and the Leeton Shire Council, who moved motions at our recent ALGA National General Assembly regarding homelessness, and which have driven our advocacy in this important public policy area.  


Thank you to President Mayor Cr Christina Holmdahl and the Local Government Association of Tasmania for hosting me to speak at their very successful conference this week – remotely, of course, given the NSW lockdowns.

It is always an honour to meet with councils across the nation, answer your questions, and hear your thoughts about ALGA’s advocacy program for the future. 


I attended the Sixth Meeting of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap by video link today where implementation plans were provided.

As the communique noted, the implementation plans mark a major milestone on the way to putting the National Agreement on Closing the Gap into practical action.

Congratulations to the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory and the NT Government for ensuring Top End local government commitments were included in their territory plan.

Linda Scott,
ALGA President