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Chasing the 'Real McCoy' on grant reform

Friday, 27 September 2019

With CEO Greg Hallam

This week the focus is on the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement on implementing its grants review process and the LGAQ survey of elected members and CEOs on the personal and organisational impacts of Belcarra-related and other state government reforms.

I’m back at work refreshed in body and mind after a month’s annual leave and straight back into the fight for our member councils.

In terms of the grant review process, the LGAQ welcomed the Minister’s announcement of a new approach as a step forward. But in truth it fell well short of the expectations that were created when Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and then Local Government Department director-general Frankie Carroll originally sponsored this agenda. The KPMG report on how grant reforms should be pursued, completed during the last term of government, remains the blueprint - the gold standard if you like.

What we have before us now is best described a tidy up and not the root and branch reform our members voted on at various annual conferences. We won’t decry a start to a vitally important reform. However, we will continue to advocate for the 'Real McCoy'  - the KPMG option 2 blueprint - because that is what our members have repeatedly told us they want.

The LGAQ has 16 elected members who meet six times a year to discuss the critical issues facing Queensland councils. We also spend an enormous amount of money and time talking with our members, largely on their turf. For these reasons, we know how difficult personally the last few years have been for the State’s 550 local government elected members. Anecdotal stories are great, but cold hard numbers always trump them.

It’s for that reason the LGAQ has a survey in the field to gauge the sentiment of elected members and CEOs about the personal impact on them, and more broadly their councils, from the implementation of the first tranche of the Belcarra reforms: as well as the advent of the Office of the Independent Assessor and the Integrity Commissioner. Elected members and CEOs should by now have received an email with a link to the survey, or a phone call from the research firm conducting the survey, Colmar Brunton.

At the end of the day, the LGAQ is the one and only body that has the interests of elected members and CEOs at heart, not to mention the conviction and means to follow through on that intention.

The survey concludes next Tuesday 1 October and it is vitally important we get as many responses as possible. Please jump on board and have your say. Tell us exactly what you think.

It’s great to be back in the harness and only a fortnight away from our Annual Conference in Cairns.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006

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