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.
Federal election blog: Electric vehicle boogaloo on fuel excise
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s promise of a target of electric vehicles to comprise 50 percent of all new sales in Australia by 2030 touched off a heated, and sometimes silly, debate, much of which centred on whether such a policy could be achievable without dramatic changes in the way the nation gets around.
The febrile atmosphere of an election campaign (still unofficial at this stage) is not that ideal for a constructive debate on the implications of such a policy. But while the two major parties are going at each other hammer and tongs about the virtues or pitfalls of encouraging such a big increase in electric vehicles in such a short time, neither of them is keen to get involved in what it means for the future of road funding in Australia.
For a sector like local government, which will go into this campaign demanding that a minimum of $800 million a year be spent on the successful Roads to Recovery program, these things matter a lot.
Whatever the pros and cons of electric vehicles, they cannot be relied on as a future source of revenue to improve and maintain the nation’s road network, at least under current regulations. While not nearly enough of the revenue from federal fuel excise levied on fossil fuel powered vehicles goes back into roads, it does shoulder a lot of this burden.
The problem is that fuel excise revenue is falling already, even without a troublesome rise in electric-powered vehicles. A recent Senate committee investigation into electric vehicles heard that fuel excise had fallen from 1.6 percent of GDP in 2001-02 to just 1 percent in 2016-17.
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia chief executive Adrian Dwyer told the committee that more electric vehicles would “drive a rapid and terminal decline in the major funding base for Australia's road network”.
“In short, revenue is going down while consumption is going up. This is the exact opposite of a good funding model. While fuel excise is not directly hypothecated, it's clear that a declining revenue base will not support the investment required to meet increasing demand for our road networks,” he said.
What is clear is that, unless regulations and funding sources change, a big fleet of electric vehicles would make repeats of the Morrison Government’s big announcement on road safety funding last month increasingly difficult to accomplish.
What to do?
There have been attempts to try and head off a collapse in fuel excise revenue caused by any rapid take up of electric vehicles. These have usually involved the introduction of a road user charge to replace the funds lost through a drop in the use of fuel.
Interestingly, the Australian Financial Review reported this week that the Government recently decided to scrap moves to impose a road user charge on electric vehicles to avoid any risk of political backlash.
While the major parties are unlikely to relish such a debate during this election campaign, it is one that will not go away, whether or not voters buy into an electric vehicle bonanza.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006