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Election

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.

Overview

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.  

ALGA Website

Watch Watch

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.

Election News Election News

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Federal election blog: Housing: the first building block to better indigenous health

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Federal election blog

Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten are in northern Australia today (Darwin and Townsville respectively). Both have brought their chequebooks, but there is one pressing policy issue that impacts many people in north Queensland and the NT but has received scant attention, not only during this campaign, but for many months.

So far in this campaign, there have been many announcements on indigenous policy: promises of better funding for mental health services, hospital upgrades, a plan to address rheumatic heart disease and a range of other public health initiatives.

Bill Shorten has said that West Australian Senator and long-time Aboriginal advocate Pat Dodson would become indigenous affairs minister under a federal Labor government.

Scott Morrison, too, has zeroed in on the scourge of suicide in indigenous communities, promising millions of dollars to address mental health.

The Guardian last week published a rundown of the pronouncements of Labor, the LNP and The Greens propose on indigenous policy.

But missing from the raft of promises by both sides of politics is an acknowledgment that the simple provision of proper shelter has a powerful impact on the physical and mental health of everyone, including indigenous communities.

Overcrowding, homelessness and generally inadequate housing are among the most persistent problems indigenous communities confront. There was a program to tackle this. The National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing provided billions of dollars of investment in building new homes and maintaining existing homes in these communities.

The Government’s own review of the program showed it was making progress but that more work needed to be done to achieve lasting success. 

On 30 June last year, it ceased. And neither of the major parties has gone anywhere near promising to revive it.

Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs counts shelter as among the most basic of human physiological needs. Unless this need is met, people are not motivated to achieve higher level needs, like financial and emotional security, health and well-being.

The Torres Strait Island Regional Council put it best in its statement outlining its federal election initiatives: Homelessness and housing stress can profoundly affect the mental and physical health of individuals and families, as well as impact on their education and employment opportunities, and their ability to participate fully in the community.

The latest Closing the Gap report stated that indigenous Australians are three times more likely to experience overcrowding than non-indigenous Australians. This despite the report and all sides of politics acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to secure appropriate, affordable housing as a pathway to better lives.

Yes, the investment proposed is significant - $5.5 billion nationally over the next 10 years. But what price better health and education outcomes for indigenous communities?

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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