I love it when a plan comes together.
Greg Hallam / LGAQ Chief Executive Officer
That is a line made famous by the 1980s American hit TV series The A-Team. And as this year comes to an end, that is how I feel.
Despite the very difficult challenges COVID-19 set us all, the LGAQ’s carefully crafted and hard-fought plans on behalf of our members have come together. We have fired on all fronts in 2020—Advocacy, support for members and in providing world-class, leading new tools and services for councils.
All at nil net membership cost.
We campaigned our way through a unique State Election and navigated the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression, a very late State Budget and, of course, helped welcome our Next Generation Councils.
We rolled out our Battleplan for Queensland’s Local Communities to help Queensland councils secure much-needed economic stimulus to see their communities through the pandemic, resulting in an extra $920 million in State and Federal funding to local councils over the next two years.
You swung in behind this campaign and, on top of winning much-needed funding, the Battleplan also won gold at the Public Relation Institute of Australia’s Golden Target awards, taking out top honours in the Public Affairs and Advocacy category.
No other state local government association or local government representative body has come remotely close to garnering the sort of financial support for its members during the last year as your LGAQ did, not within a bull’s roar.
Of course, the LGAQ did very well on the legislative front as well, chalking up lots of wins, even guaranteeing councils did not cop the raw end of the pineapple on filling Mayoral and councillor vacancies during the first year of office.
We also lobbied on your behalf for our portfolio to be elevated to a senior ministry in the post-Election reshuffle, as well as once again linked to the Planning and Infrastructure portfolios, and the Government listened to our call with Deputy Premier Steven Miles taking on the job in November.
Then, of course, there was Local Buy’s Nex Gen, an $8 million investment by your Association in an amazing single procurement platform that can do everything but boil the jug . Think free access to vendor panels, data analytics, blockchain and smart contracts, all in the one-stop procurement shop that is Nex Gen.
It is no wonder that councils large and small councils have been flocking to sign up to this amazing offering since it was launched at the LGAQ’s Annual Conference on the Gold Coast in October.
This year we also launched the Our Town community sentiment analysis tool and the My Council Story external performance benchmarking site, as well as dozens of new Jadu council websites and multiple new and upgraded Sherlock Smart Detectives.
Indeed, the Sherlock team continues to rack up national awards and accolades for its pioneering work. Interstate councils, state government departments, other peak bodies and even private sector companies are now clients.
Your organisation has also worked hard to respond to your direct, day to day needs over the last 12 months, answering 100,000 phone calls and ditto 50,000 emails as well as providing ongoing representation in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, plus delivering free Elected Member Updates to 70 councils. In the four months since intrastate travel became possible, your LGAQ has visited all bar less than a handful of councils.
But it is you, our councils, who are the real stars, doing the hard yards serving your communities through this once-in-a-generation pandemic and economic crisis. Bravo Queensland local councils, you guys rock.
It has been our pleasure to serve you in 2020.
Happy New Year to you all.