President’s Update – 17 July 2023

National Local Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Congress in Canberra

Recognising the critical role we play in building, maintaining and upgrading Australia’s community infrastructure and roads, I am delighted to invite you to attend our 2023 National Local Roads, Transport and Infrastructure Congress from 6-7 September.

This year’s Congress is in Canberra during a Parliamentary sitting week, providing you and your council with an important opportunity to engage with Federal Members and other key decision-makers.

With a theme of “Building communities that are safer, stronger, smarter”, the Congress will cover local infrastructure, including waste and recycling, disaster mitigation and renewable energy as well as road funding and road safety innovations.

A draft program is online, and you can also register here:

I hope you can join me in Canberra this September for this wonderful event.

Regional bank closure update

Following my representation and advocacy on the Regional Banking Taskforce, ALGA recently facilitated an online briefing for councils with the Australian Banking Association (ABA) on its new Bank Closure Support Protocol.  We had an excellent turnout and robust discussions with the ABA.

The new protocol, which requires banks to follow a process for bank closures, was a recommendation from the Regional Banking Taskforce.

While the ABA’s new protocol is an improvement, there are still some concerns that banks generally don’t let councils know about a bank closure after the decision has already been made.

We have passed on this feedback to banking leaders and we will continue to work with the ABA and key stakeholders to ensure the impacts of bank closures on councils and our communities are appropriately considered.

Protest groups and disruption of councils

Finally, the ALGA Board recently met with Federal Local Government Minister Kristy McBain and discussed growing concerns around the increasing disruption of council meetings and operations by protest groups.

The Minister was receptive to our concerns and we will continue to work with the Federal Government on this important community safety issue, including raising the issue at the next Local Government Ministers’ meeting.

We’ve also requested a briefing and engagement with the AFP on this emerging issue.