Honing in on federal advocacy

Published: 18th February 2021

Water, insurance and disaster funding on the agenda

The Local Government Association of Queensland’s enhanced focus on Federal advocacy is continuing with myself and our new intergovernmental relations lead Nathan Ruhle heading to Canberra this week to back in our Federal Budget submission.

We met with Federal Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communities and Local Government Mark Coulton as well as with Queensland MPs and Senators and various other ministerial representatives – six meetings in total - as we drew attention to key advocacy asks from increased disaster mitigation funding to the need for action to address the insurance market failure in North Queensland and across Northern Australia.

The Commonwealth has indicated it understands there is a need to address the high cost of insurance in Northern Australia.

Importantly we also met with representatives from the National Water Grid as we leave no stone unturned in our quest to win funding to address the water infrastructure cliff Queensland’s rural towns are currently barrelling towards.

With a pipe bursting every 80 minutes, we need both levels of government to take this public health threat seriously and to work with councils to address it.

What councils need equates to just a fraction of the $3.5 billion on offer through the rolling 10-year National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

Our advocacy on this issue also continues on the State level with the Rural Water and Wastewater Guarantee an ongoing topic of discussion during our regular meetings with Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, the Honourable Steven Miles.

Waste Forum

While I was in Canberra, the LGAQ’s Advocacy and Events teams held another successful Waste Forum.

About 96 council representatives attended, as did Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon, with the two-day forum a huge success.

Queensland councils are embracing the Zero Waste 2035 agenda.

Great things are going to happen in this space over the next few years.