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.
Finally, a win on indigenous housing
While coverage of this election is being dominated by issues like the Adani coal mine, tax breaks and the usual run of stories exposing the indiscretions of various candidates, there are scores of policy announcements that might not get the big headlines but point to a genuine commitment to improve the lot of Australians.
One of these is the Labor Party’s pledge today to spend $1.5 billion on providing housing in remote indigenous communities if it wins the 18 May election. This promise follows intense campaigning from the LGAQ and indigenous councils on the issue, focussing on the need for Canberra to not walk away from its responsibilities to these communities. A Shorten government would provide an initial $112 million in funding to reduce overcrowding in remote indigenous communities in Queensland. While this amount alone will not be enough to fully address overcrowding, importantly federal Labor is talking about working with Queensland and the other states regarding a “genuine, ongoing partnership” to tackle the issue.
That campaign has been ongoing for more than a year and involved direct lobbying of ministers and shadow ministers, delegations of indigenous mayors to Canberra and a wealth of activity on social media designed to bring attention to the harm that would be done to remote indigenous communities should federal funding for housing dry up.
As we have said in previous blog posts, 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.
Labor’s announcement is therefore significant. One of the first to comment favourably was Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey, who said the $122 million promise from Labor, coupled with the existing spend on indigenous housing would address overcrowding, not to mention retain about 600 jobs in remote communities.
“It will change and save lives - this funding will help to address overcrowding, protect jobs and allow further economic investment in the region, while a longer-term agreement is negotiated,” he said.
Now federal Labor has acknowledged the contribution this program made.
“We cannot close the gap if people don’t have a roof over their heads,” Bill Shorten said yesterday.
It is now up to Scott Morrison’s LNP to admit this simple fact as well.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006