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.
Councils call for a better approach to dealing with drought
Queensland councils have called for a renewed focus on how to protect towns and regional economies from the impact of the current devastating drought, saying policies aimed only at the farm gate are not enough to fully address the issue.
In a comprehensive submission to both the Federal and State Governments, the Local Government Association of Queensland said councils needed to be better supported to lead drought resilience in their communities.
The submission calls for a formal partnership on drought between all three levels of government and the appointment of local drought resilience co-ordinators to better equip local communities to deal with the challenges of drought.
LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said a more effective response to the ongoing drought need to start with the recognition that not only farm businesses, but entire communities and economies were impacted.
“Drought policies should enable communities and support local economies,” he said.
“That will help curb the population drain from the regions and encourage local communities to come up with their own initiatives to combat drought.”
He said that while councils welcomed funding through the likes of the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program, strict eligibility requirements were hidering councils from introducing initiatives such as “buy local” campaigns.
“These communities cannot afford to have bureaucratic red-tape delay deploying this funding on job-creating initiatives,” he said.
“The longer funding is delayed, the more vulnerable communities are to losing people from their communities.”
He said the LGAQ believed the best way to ensure local communities overcame the challenge of this and future droughts was through appointing local drought co-ordinators who could draw together all three levels of government and work to cut through red tape.
The submission also points out that the governance approach used for natural disasters _ empowering local communities to make decisions about preparing for and managing disasters but allowing them to draw and state and federal resources as needed _ could also work in relation to drought.
He cautioned that the LGAQ was not arguing that droughts should be formally declared natural disasters.
“But we are saying that the arrangements used by communities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters would help make sure that government, non-government and private sector resources are deployed efficiently and effectively in meeting the needs of local communities,” he said.
Read the LGAQ's policy agenda 'Sustaining communities through drought'.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006