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Lobbying ministers the choice in a mixed grill

It was a mixed grill this week, as they say in the classics, with bit of everything at the LGAQ. 

First up, President Mayor Mark Jamieson met Cabinet Ministers Cameron Dick and Mark Furner while I discussed with Environment Minister Leanne Enoch issues affecting local government within her portfolio responsibilities.

The President also met Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, so a busy week for both of us and, of course, LGAQ policy staff who brief us and accompany us during such meetings.

These discussions are the best opportunity we have of ensuring our advocacy agenda - driven by resolutions at annual conference and the LGAQ’s 10 Point Policy Plan - is understood and appreciated at the Cabinet table.

I also met separately with Deputy Police Commissioner Bob Gee regarding his new emergency management responsibilities and the Integrity Commissioner, Dr Nikola Stepanov, in relation to the extension of her remit to include mayors and councillors.

The LGAQ also hosted a two-day disaster management training program for a high-level delegation from Nepal. We did this at the request of the Australian Government, Ausaid and the University of Queensland’s International Consulting Agency.

Our guests included heads of national agencies, political advisors, senior academics and media from that beautiful but tragically disaster-prone country. Our guests learned about the work of Queensland councils, local disaster management groups and the LGAQ in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters.

I also learned their English was a lot better than my Nepalese!

Finally, in an effort to do our jobs better every single member of the LGAQ staff underwent training on so-called Agile, Scrum, Sprint techniques this week. No, we aren’t trying to form a Super 15 Rugby franchise at Newstead. Rather our goal is to take the best of work practices around innovation and rapid new product delivery from leading global technology companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Amazon, Accenture and others and embed them in our organisation.

Agile, sprint and scrum techniques are bywords in those companies. The LGAQ Board at its February annual strategic planning session set us the goal of becoming nimbler and faster to keep up with developments in the digital world and better service our members.

This is not a one off or one of those bits of training quickly forgotten. We will repeat this process several times this year and in 2019.

Pictured: LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson with Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure & Planning Cameron Dick.

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