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.
More federal money, faster for local communities equals more jobs
Local councils in Queensland have called on Canberra to kickstart regional economies and create thousands of jobs through a fairer deal on financial assistance grants it delivers to local communities.
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the best way for Federal and State governments to boost local jobs was to provide financial support for job creating projects that deliver real benefits to local communities.
He said both the Federal Government and the Federal Opposition should get behind a national plan to significantly increase untied grants to councils that would be spent locally on projects that supported local employment.
Mayor Jamieson said the best way to do this was to restore the annual Financial Assistance Grants to councils to the equivalent of just one percent of total Commonwealth taxation revenue, a decision that would fit well with the Palaszczuk Government’s move to bring forward $100 million in Works for Queensland funding.
“The Financial Assistance Grants have historically been as high as two percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue, but in recent years their value has declined to approximately 0.55% of taxation revenue – all at a time when councils are expected to deliver more for their communities than has traditionally been the case,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The State Government has seen the absolute win-win of using local governments as the mechanism to deliver essential community projects and infrastructure while boosting local jobs.
“For communities in drought, or those struggling with sluggish employment conditions, it is a guaranteed shot in the arm.
“With the funding of projects of this nature, you can keep economies ticking along, support the building industry and maintain jobs locally which in turn keeps communities productive as the projects make a real difference”.
Mayor Jamieson said local councils raised just 3 percent of all the taxation revenue in Australia but managed 33 percent of public assets.
“That shows how imbalanced the task is but also how effective we can be,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The local government share of taxation revenue from Canberra has been declining over the past two decades.
“We need Canberra to return this money to local communities faster and in a way that better meets local needs and creates jobs,” he said.
Studies had confirmed that a lift in financial assistance grants to 1 percent of Commonwealth tax revenue would boost the nation’s GDP by more than $1.4 billion.
“That translates into thousands of jobs,” he said.
Mayors from across the state who attended today’s LGAQ Policy Executive meeting pledged to put their weight behind the plan.
For more information, please contact:
Phone: 0487 007 870
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006