President’s Update – 11 March 2024

Increasing Housing Support Program for councils

We can’t effectively address the nation’s housing crisis by simply building more houses – we also need to build more parks, libraries, playgrounds, recreation centres and swimming pools.

That’s why ALGA is calling for more support for councils from the Federal Government to invest in the local infrastructure necessary for healthy and connected communities.

We are committed to working with the Government on its ambitious targets, but it’s crucial residents in new housing developments have access to the same health, employment, education and recreation opportunities that many people take for granted.

Up-front funding for community infrastructure is a matter of intergenerational equity. We have to address this issue now before we build 1.2 million new homes, as it will only get more expensive to retrofit solutions.

Also, in a major win for councils following the recent Planning Ministers Meeting, local government, via ALGA, will be able to suggest inclusions in the government’s new housing framework to recognise the quality as well as quantity of approvals.

Importantly, this reinforces the importance of local government planning powers.  We intimately know our local areas and landscapes and are best placed to provide expert advice on assessing land use planning.

Meeting with Climate Change Minister on CHAMP pledge

On behalf of councils, I met with Federal Minister for Climate Change Chris Bowen on 29 February to discuss the Federal Government signing the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP) pledge at the COP28 World Climate Action Summit.

We urged the Government to sign the pledge, which commits national governments to working with sub-national governments to reduce emissions, and were thrilled that they made this commitment.

During our meeting we discussed how local government can help the Government meet its emissions reduction targets, and I look forward to seeing them deliver on their promise of increased engagement and collaboration with councils.

(L-R): ALGA Vice President Mayor Matt Burnett, Federal Climate Change Minster Chris Bowen and ALGA President Cr Linda Scott.

Book now: 2024 NGA and the ACLG

Finally, a friendly reminder to book your tickets for our 2024 National General Assembly (NGA) from 2-4 July and the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) on 5 July.

Councils can also submit motions for discussion and debate at the NGA.  We have extended the motions deadline until 30 April, and please remember your motions must meet the criteria outlined in our discussion paper.

See you in Canberra in July.