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: Indigenous housing deserves debate
There will be a lot of words spoken and a myriad of issues debated during this election campaign but one policy challenge that may struggle to gain attention is indigenous housing. This is despite the proven success to be had if you get the policy settings right, particularly in relation to meeting the targets regarding Closing the Gap on indigenous disadvantage.
Since the Federal Government opted to let the National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPRH) agreement expire on 30 June last year, indigenous communities on Cape York and elsewhere have had to live with the uncertainty of not having a dedicated program to reduce overcrowding.
This at a time when proper housing is recognised as a critical building block to Closing the Gap. Not having a program to replace NPRH risks seeing overcrowding tick up again, with lasting impacts on Indigenous health, education and community safety. And another thing: there were 850 local jobs and apprenticeships created under the previous program, which also served to stimulate local businesses and suppliers in regional urban centres in Queensland.
The Commonwealth Government’s own independent report on the review of NPRH highlights Queensland’s achievements and recommends continued long-term Commonwealth funding to maintain houses and respond to overcrowding and growth.
Over the past 10 years in Queensland alone, overcrowding in remote indigenous communities has dropped by almost half. Almost 1,150 homes, a further 1,500 refurbishments and maintenance for almost 4,300 houses has been delivered. But it’s not just the houses. The program also helped build the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils, who with Indigenous businesses now deliver over 80 percent of housing construction and repairs in these communities.
Outgoing Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has resisted all entreaties to find a replacement for the expired partnership agreement and accuses the Queensland Government of failing its responsibilities for housing.
Federal Labor has joined the criticism of Senator Scullion but is silent on what it would do to resolve the issue if it wins government.
The frustration of the local communities is being expressed loud and clear.
The LGAQ’s federal election policy plan cites indigenous housing as one of seven top priority issues that need to be addressed during this campaign. The funding ask is significant, a minimum of $5.5 billion nationally over the next decade, but a far greater price would be paid if our major parties walked away from these communities.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006