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Played hard, done good
Weekly column from Council Courier e-newsletter by CEO Greg Hallam, Friday, 24 November 2017.
Five words sum up the LGAQ’s 2017 state election efforts - we did our very best. The Queensland Election 2017 LGAQ Scorecard and associated documents shows that to be true. Member councils are clearly winners from this exercise. To borrow a well-worn phrase, “politics is the art of the possible” and the LGAQ did everything possible in prosecuting councils’ 10 Point Election Plan - certainly over the course of the campaign but in reality over the past five months.
We were still arm wrestling with the LNP and Labor right up to 5pm Tuesday night, an hour after the deadline for party responses. In the immortal words of legendary rugby league coach Jack Gibson, we “played hard, done good”.
Without doubt, we had the ears of the major and minor parties in this campaign. They all took us seriously. The tightness of the contest, the quality of our work and the united front councils presented demanded that sort of treatment. None of them patted us on the head. Nor did the media for that matter. A special mention to the ABC and News Corp’s Australian Regional Media for the excellent coverage of our issues.
Our campaign was a winner from the get-go because it was owned by our members following a long consultation process in developing and refining it. The central elements were also promoted by them via the very nifty podcasts of mayors having their say. We filmed those pieces at Annual Conference in Gladstone. A lot of our mainstream media messaging was personal and delivered locally. Our social media efforts were superb, achieving a lot of cut-through in a very contested space.
I’m confident that whichever major party or groupings of parties wins tomorrow night (or in the following weeks if it’s very close) Queensland councils are well placed to benefit from the LGAQ’s campaigning. The platform has been laid. Member councils would have been proud of the LGAQ staff who formed a cross disciplinary campaign team led by advocacy general manager Sarah Buckler.
They met daily throughout the election campaign in a mock Campaign HQ with all nature of goals, graphs and charts adorning the walls.
But the work won’t stop at tomorrow’s poll. No matter who carries the day at the ballot box, the local government sector will have a new agenda out of William St to deal with. Rest assured the LGAQ is prepared to represent our members’ interests throughout the next parliamentary term.