Bush Councils Compact gaining traction

Published: 18th September 2020

Just four weeks after officially launching the LGAQ State Election priorities on your behalf, the Association is on the cusp of a major win with all but two political parties committing to the Bush Councils Compact.

The Compact is an agreement proposed by the LGAQ following a motion passed by you, our members, at last year’s Annual conference.

It is designed to establish a new level of collaboration between the State and bush councils to guarantee minimum standards of service delivery and infrastructure for rural and remote communities.

The LGAQ has called on all political parties to commit to the Compact ahead of the October 31 State Election and to implement it within the first 100 days of the new Parliamentary term.

The Bush Councils Compact would require the next Queensland Government to:

  • Ensure special consideration is given to how every piece of legislation and every Cabinet decision will impact Queensland’s rural and remote communities.
  • Publish an annual report on the State of our Bush Communities, which includes an independent assessment of government programs and service delivery to rural and remote communities.
  • Introduce a ‘Bush Champions’ scheme for Directors-General including Key Performance Indicators to ensure government program provision and service delivery to rural and remote communities are top of mind.

The Compact has gained the support of major peak bodies including the Queensland Country Women’s Association, the Queensland Farmers Federation and AgForce.

And the political parties are also seeing its value.

The LNP, KAP and the Greens have all signed up to implementing the Compact so far.

We are now just waiting for a decision from the ALP with conversations continuing. The LGAQ has also reached out to One Nation and is yet to receive a response.

As I have said before, this compact is not a funding wish list.

It is a high-level agreement we hope will help fill the gap in regional representation in Brisbane by ensuring the Government takes bush councils and their communities into account when making decisions in William Street.

It will provide greater policy and regulatory flexibility for bush councils and their communities and a better understanding of their local circumstances.

Support for the Chief Health Officer

As local leaders, you all know too well how difficult it can be when you have to make decisions that will not be popular, no matter how right those decisions are.

Leadership is tough. Which is why the LGAQ President and I this week wanted to publicly show support for the Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.

As your representative on the Queensland Disaster Management Committee of Cabinet, I have sat beside Dr Young through many a natural disaster that has impacted this state.

She and I are the two longest serving members of that committee and I have known her to be a person of great knowledge and integrity.

This has been proven again as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Young ensured the state was well prepared for this pandemic and her firm, fair and pragmatic leadership has kept Queenslanders safe.

Thank you Dr Young.

Authorised by G Hallam, LGAQ, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead