President’s Update – 9 October 2023

State Cabinet meeting with LGSA

I was delighted to join Local Government Association of South Australia President Dean Johnson and present to the South Australian Premier and Cabinet Ministers in Adelaide last week.

We discussed a range of policy issues at the State Cabinet meeting including the economic development challenges and opportunities facing councils, and how local governments can help unlock and boost Australia’s productivity.

I sincerely thank Mayor Johnson and LGASA CEO Clinton Jury (pictured below) for the invitation.

Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook

I have written to the Federal Treasurer to reiterate our national policy and funding priorities ahead of the Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).

In the letter, I sincerely thanked the Government for its recent commitment of $100 million to help councils reduce emissions through the Community Energy Upgrades Fund, as well as the $500 million for state/territory and local governments to increase housing supply through the Housing Support Program.

I also highlighted we are keen to receive an update on the 90-Day Infrastructure Pipeline Review, announced in May, which has put a halt to many planned infrastructure projects across the nation.

Roundtable with the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner

I recently hosted a roundtable with elected representatives and senior council staff from communities who are being affected by transmission lines for a discussion with the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner Andrew Dyer.

There was a consensus that we need more consistent engagement and better forward planning between governments, industry, our sector and landowners during this significant roll-out.

We will be writing to Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen to highlight our concerns and commitment to working with the Government and all involved parties on effective solutions.

National State of the Assets data collection

Finally, I will write to Mayors and Shire Presidents this week to encourage councils to provide their local roads and community infrastructure data for our 2024 National State of the Assets report.

It’s vital we receive this information from all councils, as it will provide a comprehensive evidence base for advocating for better road and infrastructure funding in the future.

The survey takes only around an hour to complete, using existing information in annual reports and other council documents, and can be submitted online.