Weekly Speak CEO Column
Living our mantra: connect, innovate, achieve
I finished last week’s update reciting the LGAQ credo _ Connect.Innovate.Achieve. I start this week’s missive with the same exhortation _ Connect.Innovate.Achieve.
Our President, Mayor Mark Jamieson, is the first LGAQ President ever to be invited to speak at the Queensland Media Club. He did so this afternoon. Folks, that’s a biggie _ ie, an achievement of some note _ and a positive reflection on the standing of both Mayor Mark and the LGAQ. Better still, he used the opportunity to put a sword to some of the rubbish spoken about councils and proffering an alternative view, one based in fact and highlighting the great achievements of councils across the State over the past three and a half years.
Now to Connect. As I jokingly say, if the LGAQ was any more connected to its members it would be deemed immoral! With the last 12 months of travel figures just in this week, I can share the extraordinary efforts of Team LGAQ to connect with our 77 members. All up, my staff spent 358 nights away, with two of us _ including yours truly _ topping 50 nights away. Another 11 staff spent more than 30 nights each out of Brisbane on LGAQ business. We flew or drove a whopping 640,000 kms for 1690 face-to-face engagements. One or more of us got to every council in Queensland, some multiple times.
If you include email and phone calls (an average 500 a day) together with our face-to-face work, the total is close to 400,000 interactions in the last financial year with you, our members.
Just by itself, the Industrial Relations and Human Resources desk we staff at Peak Services has had around 25,000 transactions a year, covering award queries, and general industrial and HR advice
But it’s not just the LGAQ staff. By the end of July, the President would have visited all bar two councils in less than three years in office. An incredible feat. This month alone, he and I are visiting 10 councils in what will be five days in the air and on the road across two weeks. The two of us will touch three state or territory borders as we cover big swathes of the Outback from Boulia to Thargomindah and many towns in between, plus Southern and Western Downs and finishing at the border town of Goondiwindi. We can never be accused of being shiny bums at Local Government House.
I finish on a worrying note. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision on Tuesday to cut current official interest rates to 1 percent is both a record low and a matter of great concern. Our economy is anaemic at best and recession is possibly around the corner. With monetary policy levers now largely exhausted, and quantitative easing (ie, printing money) still a bridge too far, it is up to the Federal Government to inject more spending into the economy. The promised tax cuts, if passed through Parliament, will help. However, infrastructure spending must rise and every community in Queensland needs its fair share. Capital spending equals jobs and economic growth. Do not be surprised if there is increasing talk of a mini-Budget to provide a jobs and investment stimulus, particularly in the regions. Regardless of what the Government decides to do, the LGAQ will be campaigning hard to ensure local communities are equipped to ride out tough
Local Government Association of Queensland
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