President’s column – 6 May 2022

In a big win for our communities, Federal Labor has committed to a $250 million expansion of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program, if elected later this month.

This is in addition to the $500 million expansion announced by the Government in this year’s Federal Budget. Securing more funding for this highly successful program is one ALGA’s key election priorities, and we are now calling on the Coalition to match Labor’s commitment.

In an even bigger win, the Coalition Government has today committed to no cuts to the indexation of Federal Assistance Grants for local governments, alongside Federal Labor’s commitment to fair funding increases for this vital federal funding.

The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program has been a tremendous success, supporting around 9,000 jobs while helping councils deliver almost 8,000 individual projects across the country, ranging from new and upgraded playgrounds and sporting facilities to safer roads.

Labor’s campaign launch last Sunday also included a welcome commitment to investing in infrastructure to create jobs and boost productivity.

Labor has pledged to build a national electric vehicle charging station network in partnership with local governments and to make EVs more affordable.

Councils working hard to install fast chargers and add EVs to their fleets to drive down local carbon emissions will welcome this commitment.

The Coalition’s official campaign launch will occur a week before polling booths open, making a full comparison of party positions difficult before then.

However, we have written to Assistant Minister for Local Government the Hon Kevin Hogan MP and Shadow Minister the Hon Jason Clare MP seeking detailed responses to our election priorities and look forward to sharing their responses.

It has been fantastic to see councils from around Australia endorse our election priorities and “Don’t Leave Local Communities Behind” campaign. It’s not too late to get involved and I would encourage any councils that haven’t already to pass a motion at their next meeting.

Finally, there’s just two weeks until the close of early bird registrations for our 2022 National General Assembly of Local Government.

This will be our first opportunity to gather post-election and talk about how we can best work with and partner with whoever forms the next Government to ensure no community is left behind.

It’s going to be a terrific event and I can’t wait to see you there.

Linda Scott,
ALGA President