Conference time is upon us

Published: 16th October 2020

This wrap comes to you on the eve of the LGAQ’s 124th Annual Conference on the Gold Coast. This year’s conference - capped at 500 attendees - will be the biggest indoor event held on the Gold Coast so far this year. Hats off to my staff who have made this event happen in the most difficult of circumstances.

We must ensure everyone in attendance remains vigilantly COVID-Safe. So no handshakes, no hugging, no cheek kissing. This is a request you will be hearing many times over the next week as we work hard to ensure we maintain the highest safety standards throughout the event. The full range of COVID precautions including COVID attendants, strict room numbers, and food preparation and distribution, plus temperature testing will be in force.

Our aim is to keep everyone safe. The conference proper starts on Tuesday 20 October with our AGM to be held the next day, 21 October. A full Policy Executive meeting will be held on the Sunday while several important sessions will be held on Monday such as the Indigenous Leaders Forum, the Regional Road Group Assembly, the Local Government, and Sport Forum, a not-to-be-missed presentation on corporate reputation by KPMG, and finally but certainly not least, the Sherlock Living Lab. The theme of this year’s conference is NextGen Councils, which is what you all are. There is a great speaker program throughout the conference with four hours for agenda motion debate on Wednesday. The major focus will be the State Election, just over a fortnight away.

To that end, the Premier will officially open our event Tuesday morning. Shadow Local Government Minister Ann Leahy will be giving the Opposition update, representing Deb Frecklington. On Wednesday, there will be a State Election panel featuring Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Ms. Leahy, moderated by the LGAQ’s Sarah Vogler and Tim Cox. All up it is an event not to be missed. I look forward to seeing you all next week.

Financial Assistance Grants update

This week we have received an updated paper on recent trends in Financial Assistance Grants distribution in Queensland by acknowledged local government finance expert Alan Morton. The paper was last produced two years ago. This update will be particularly useful to newly elected members. In short, it shows Queensland's rural and remote councils are the best-funded in Australia and their position continues to strengthen in relative terms.

Please click here to read the full paper: 

COVID-Safe Australia Day grants

Thank you to the Commonwealth and the National Australia Day Council (NADC) for making funds available to help councils ensure Australia Day celebrations can be held in a COVID-Safe manner. Councils can apply for grants of $20,000 under the $8 million program, plus a further $1000 to cover the cost of producing collateral. The NADC will provide councils with free branded artwork.

For more information please follow this link.

Get Ready

Finally, this week is both Mental Health Awareness Week and Get Ready Queensland Week (natural disaster preparedness).

The LGAQ is a great supporter of both causes. See you at the Gold Coast next week.