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.
Good news from the Cape
While Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten prepare to battle each other tonight in the third and final leaders’ debate, a contest just as enthralling is being played out thousands of kilometres away from the media spotlight in Canberra.
The electorate of Leichhardt, held on a 4 percent margin by the LNP’s Warren Entsch, is gradually forcing its way to the top of the list of seats to watch when the vote count begins on election night. The reason is that, while Leichhardt has always been vulnerable for the LNP, the number of policy fronts on which Mr Entsch and his party have had to fight on to defend it is growing markedly.
The latest is on the issue of indigenous housing, hardly a showstopper for either of the major parties at the beginning of this campaign, but now an area in which both have made major announcements in recent days.
This blog has already covered the implications of Labor’s $112 million indigenous housing promise, an announcement that resulted in a marked improvement in how the party rated on the LGAQ’s election report card.
Now, the LNP has made a policy announcement of its own, promising $105 million to continue construction of hundreds of badly needed dwellings in remote indigenous communities (although there is confusion about whether communities outside of Cape York are included).
The first thing to say is that this is a welcome move from the LNP. After months of political posturing, it shows the party, along with Labor, recognises that the federal government has a role to play in ensuring overcrowding is reduced in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Bipartisanship between traditional political opponents is rare so when it comes about it should be celebrated.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion (with Mr Entsch in tow) travelled to Pormpuraaw to make the announcement, which included a vow to deliver the funds straight to local councils rather than through the State Government.
“The Queensland Labor Government rebuffed numerous Commonwealth offers on a genuine housing partnership, so we will now deal directly with the councils to deliver housing,” Mr Entsch said.
“This historic initiative will mean more jobs and training opportunities for local workers in our remote indigenous communities.”
While attractive, this is potentially problematic, given that the State will still be expected to fund half the cost of the program and associated water and other infrastructure would remain a State responsibility to provide.
But in a seat that is somewhat unique in terms of the capacity of the indigenous vote to influence the result at election time, the need to move swiftly on indigenous housing funding might have taken precedence over settling on the detail.
It is intriguing that, with 18 May looming fast, both the LNP and Labor have now got their chequebooks out to tackle this issue after months of fruitless lobbying by local councils and the LGAQ on the need to continue the good work of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
That, as they say, is politics. The bottom line is that, no matter which party claims government after 18 May, indigenous communities look like they will be in a better position than they were a few weeks ago regarding their housing future, and that is unarguably a good thing.