The LGAQ has this week officially launched its State Election priorities and its #VoteforLocal campaign. Now we need your support to make it happen.
These State Election priorities – signed off by the LGAQ Policy Executive this month – include the programs and policies councils and their local communities need in place to ensure we can continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it has caused and emerge from it stronger. These priorities will create or support about 29,000 jobs and generate more than $4.6 billion in economic activity over the next four years.
They are tried and true. We know they work.
Now we need our state’s political leaders to put their money where their mouth is and commit to supporting them should voters hand them the keys to 1 William Street at the October 31 State Election in 65 days’ time.
We will be asking political parties to:
- Sustain local jobs
- Strengthen our regions
- Keep our communities safe
- Protect our environment
- Support the bush
- Advance First Nations' Councils
- We want them to commit to continuing successful programs like Works for Queensland and Building Our Regions.
We want them to back other programs and policies including:
- $144 million over four years to provide multi-year wage subsidies for 800 apprenticeship and traineeship positions to address public and private sector skills shortages.
- $50 million per year for tourism infrastructure to enhance tourism offerings and attract domestic tourists and – once global travel resumes – international visitors.
- Increasing Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme – TIDS – funding to $80 million in 2021-22 and to $100 million a year by 2024.
- $30 million per year for four years to extend the Indigenous Councils Critical Infrastructure Program to assist First Nations Councils to build new infrastructure including critical water infrastructure.
- A guarantee that 70 per cent of the revenue generated from the waste levy will be used to fund sustainable resource recovery, recycling infrastructure and programs to build a circular economy and that current advance payments to councils will continue, in order to ensure Queensland households are not negatively impacted by the Waste Levy.
- $100 million per year for five years to fix aging water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure rural towns have access to safe and reliable drinking water into the future.
- $25 million per year for a Western Roads Upgrade Program.
We will be issuing report cards throughout the campaign and grading the parties on their commitment to our platform, just as we did during the Federal Election campaign last year. We will be asking Queensland communities to 'Vote for Local' and support the parties that support our councils, and their local communities. We are calling on you, our members, to help get the message out by backing in our priorities as well as your own council or ROC priorities and the #VoteforLocal campaign.
We did this successfully with the Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities. Now is the time to do it again. We want to make sure political leaders are listening and know exactly what we want them to do should they secure the state’s first fixed four-year term.This next term of government is not going to be easy. We need to ensure whomever is in power puts the needs of Queensland’s local communities first.
Long drive for drought
Peak CEO Brent Reeman is preparing to hit the road on Saturday, leading the inaugural Long Drive for Drought. The convoy of classic 40 Series Landcruisers will travel through 18 towns including Tambo, Texas, Dirranbandi, Charleville, Yuleba and Chinchilla, over eight nights, to raise awareness of the ongoing drought as well as funds for Drought Angels. The group is aiming to raise $40,000 with Peak also a major sponsor of the event.
To contribute, log on to longdrivefordrought.com.au/ and click on the donate button in the top right corner of the screen.
A tragic final note
It was my sad duty this week to inform you of the passing of Stephen Fynes-Clinton. Stephen was a friend and colleague to many in the local government family, including myself.
His contribution to not just the LGAQ and our sector but to the law in general was immense and his loss will be felt by many.
A date for a memorial service is being set. In lieu of flowers, Stephen’s family would welcome donations to a fund being set up in his name.
We will provide more details when they become available.
Our condolences to Stephen’s family, including his brother Tim.