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: Rebuilding smarter after disasters
Among public agencies in Australia, the Productivity Commission’s reputation for integrity and rigour is second to none.
The inquiries it undertakes and the reports it produces are usually a good indicator of where the government of the day will direct its reform efforts.
One subject that the commission recently tackled but has had scant public airing its recommendations on the future of natural disaster funding, particularly when it comes to the concept of mitigation. (report link below)
Why mitigation? Because it could make the difference between spending millions of dollars on tackling disasters or spending tens of billions of dollars.
Time and again in recent decades, the bridges, water plants and other infrastructure destroyed by natural disasters has been rebuilt, only to be destroyed again the next cyclone and flood. Mitigation breaks that cycle because it recognises that, while building stronger, safer infrastructure might be more expensive in the short term, it is a good investment if it stays up and running during and after natural disasters strike.
The commission listed the benefits of an improved approach to disaster mitigation in its 2015 report: improved community safety and resilience, a reduction in damage to property, speedier recovery, and a reduction in overall costs to the national economy.
Despite this, the commission found that spending on mitigation was insignificant when compared with the huge amount spent on relief and recovery from disasters. For the Federal Government, the commission reported that mitigation spending amounted to just 3 percent of what it spent post-disaster in recent years.
The Commission urged the Federal Government to ensure mitigation funding to the states be increased to $200 million per year, matched by the states.
Importantly, it said: “Projects should not be limited to ‘hard’ mitigation like flood levees. ‘Soft’ mitigation, like community education and other preparedness measures, can yield significant benefits over time where it modifies behaviour and results in the avoidance of disaster risk”.
This is why the LGAQ is pushing for a proper commitment to disaster mitigation from all parties contesting this election.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006