A 7 Point Plan for QLD Local Government
The Local Government Association of Queensland is advocating for the needs of Queensland communities in this year’s federal election. Queensland communities deserve a guarantee that at least 1 per cent of the taxes Australians pay Canberra is returned to local projects that are important to them.
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is the peak body for the 77 local governments in Queensland.
The centrepiece of the LGAQ’s election plan is the restoration of Financial Assistance Grants to at least 1 per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue. Access to this level of revenue would enable local governments to better target the real challenges and opportunities facing their local communities.
Federal funding to local government also makes good public policy and economic sense boosting Australia’s Gross Domestic Product by over $1.4 billion and enabling national challenges to be responded to with local solutions.
Local infrastructure, job creation, social challenges and public amenity can be best addressed when decision making is targeted to each communities’ unique needs. Local government is best placed to do this.
Australian communities deserve a guarantee that at least 1 per cent of their taxes are returned to local projects that are important to them.
Queensland councils and their communities face unique challenges and look to the Federal Government for their support and leadership.
Queensland is Australia's most decentralised state.
Over 58% of the land area of Queensland is drought declared in January 2019.
Over 20% of our councils are discrete indigenous councils.
We have the Great Barrier Reef, supporting 64,000 jobs and generating economic activity estimated at $6.4 billion per year.
Our state is the most impacted by natural disasters, with a projected total economic cost of $18.3 billion per annum by 2050.
Our councils employ nearly 40,000 people and manage public assets worth a combined $155 billion.
Queensland local governments support the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) federal election plan. ALGA is the national voice of local government representing 537 councils across Australia. ALGA believes that all Australians, regardless of where they live, deserve equal access to services and infrastructure that will preserve and enhance their quality of life.
Formally addressing drought
Droughts and flooding rains. The deluge in the north has not meant an end to the drought in much of Queensland. Hear from McKinlay Shire Council Mayor Belinda Murphy.
Addressing the infrastructure cliff
This Federal election #QLD councils are asking for support to renew essential infrastructure. Hear from Maranoa Regional Councillor David Schefe on why essential infrastructure needs urgent attention.
Closing the gap this Federal election
This Federal Election Queensland indigenous communities need a formal and genuine commitment to redressing housing disadvantage. Hear from Mayor Vonda Malone from Torres Shire Council on why we can't ignore this issue any longer.
Restoration of Financial Assistance Grants
Mayor Jenny Hill of Townsville City Council talks about what restoration of Financial Assistance Grants to 1 per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue means for local communities.
Heading into 2019 and a Federal election
LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam speaks about key issues for Queensland local government in 2019, including the federal election and the need to advocate on the restoration of Financial Assistance Grants.
A genuine commitment to the Great Barrier Reef
Hear from Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox on why the Great Barrier Reef needs to be an election priority.
Improving road safety and sustainability
North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Rachel Chambers on why roads need to be highlighted this Federal election.
Biodiversity: even small investments mean big benefits
Days out from an election is usually not the time the major parties contesting the poll would change the nature of their pitch to voters. So far, that pitch bears a strong resemblance to those adopted at previous federal polls, appeals to the hip pocket nerve through tax breaks and mortgage relief (Liberal National Party) versus big spending on health and welfare (Labor). Barring a sudden shift in voter sentiment or a surprise issue coming in and knocking both campaigns askew, the LNP and Labor will only sharpen these pitches as they run down to next Saturday.
One issue has struggled to get traction despite it being rated consistently now as one of the most important for Australians. When climate change has been discussed in this campaign, it has been in the context of how much the various policies put forward to tackled it would cost. What little debate there has been has also been dominated by questions of mitigation against future climate change rather than adaptation to the changes that are already occurring. Local communities are in the frontline in fighting the latter.
The other big challenge that is vexing councils, and is related to climate change, is preserving biodiversity. What is called natural resource management is a job that falls mostly on local governments. Queensland councils spend $260 million a year on natural resource management including revegetation, habitat restoration to improve connectivity for biodiversity and other such projects for the protection of biodiversity.
Councils spent about $45 million alone on controlling invasive plants and animals _ that is, preventing native mammals, birds and vegetation from becoming extinct. A recent United Nations paper found that the world risks losing up to one million animal and plant species unless governments at all levels commit to improving biodiversity. Some scientists say the loss of biodiversity poses a greater threat to the world than climate change.
It is local councils that are doing the heavy lifting on preserving biodiversity. For every dollar spent on controlling invasive plants and animals, there is a $2.20 direct benefit to agricultural production and $3.00 of other socio-economic and environmental benefits.
All this is why the LGAQ’s seven-point federal election policy plan calls on all parties to back a program that will share this load. The ask is comparatively small: $9 million over three years but the need is urgent and the ultimate benefits, huge.