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.
Parties take note: Local perspectives produce better policy
Those who follow recent federal elections fairly closely will find that the rhetoric that dominates debate in the lead up to the poll has a familiar ring. A favourite is that this upcoming election is the “most important in decades”. Funnily enough, so was the last one in 2016, and the one before that in 2013.
Only in retrospect can we truly label certain elections as more important than others because no one can predict with accuracy the policy and political challenges that the next term of federal parliament will present.
That said, there is value in rating the policy performance of political parties against the challenges that any incoming government may face.
The Grattan Institute has embarked on such an exercise and this week produced its Commonwealth Orange Book 2019, which rates Australia’s performance against similar countries and proposes policy reforms to schools and universities, hospitals and housing, roads and railways, cities and regions, budgets and taxes, retirement incomes and climate change.
But that is the big picture. How about suggesting what the next federal government needs to do at a local level?
Some of the challenges that local communities face are very apparent: dealing with the impact of climate change (particularly when it comes to major regional economic drivers like the Great Barrier Reef), improving road safety and ensuring local infrastructure is able to withstand the inevitable next flood, bushfire or cyclone.
Federal governments have a big role to play in these challenges, even if they often do not make the national headlines.
This is why the LGAQ is releasing regular Local Community Report Cards between now and the 18 May election. The way the parties intend to address these local issues is all important in the context of an election campaign, and deserves at least as much attention as the latest opinion poll on voting intentions.
These cards rate what the LNP, Labor, The Greens, Katter’s Australian Party, One Nation and the United Australia Party have said they will do in relation to the decline in grant funding to local communities, the need to address a local road infrastructure underspend of some $1.2 billion a year and the challenge of maintaining the Reef as a valuable economic asset, a notion local communities have been trying to promote for many years.
Some of these issues present a high hurdle to clear for the parties contesting this election. So far, none of them rate better than a C minus.
But so it should be. Poll after poll has shown an increasing disillusionment with the performance of successive federal governments. Canberra’s attitude toward local communities needs to improve. Why not start developing policy from a local perspective, where it matters every day?
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006