The peak body representing Queensland’s 77 councils has welcomed today’s Federal Opposition announcement that local government will have a seat at National Cabinet, should the party win office at the next election.
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast President Mayor Mark Jamieson thanked Federal Labor Leader Anthony Albanese for his commitment today to restoring the role of councils in national decision making and urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to match the commitment.
The voice and insights of Australia’s 537 local governments have been absent from national leadership discussions since the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) was disbanded in May 2020.
“This is a common-sense pledge that corrects an oversight in the original make-up of National Cabinet, created on the fly last year in the early stages of the pandemic,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Councils have fulfilled a vital role in the community response to the pandemic and it is entirely appropriate that the level of government closest to the community has a seat at the national table as we move into the next phase of the recovery – and beyond.
“We thank the Federal Opposition for listening to local government on this important matter and I call on the Prime Minister to make the same commitment and ensure the council voice is heard in these crucial discussions.”
Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Vice President, LGAQ Policy Executive member and Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Matt Burnett said including the one voice for 537 councils across the country was a reasonable ask.
“By having local government representation you are ensuring that all three levels of government are heard when decisions are being made at National Cabinet,” Mayor Burnett said.
“ALGA has five key areas of advocacy – Financial Sustainability for local governments, Waste and Recycling, Roads and Infrastructure, Disaster Mitigation and a seat at National Cabinet.
“For ALGA and local government to have a strong voice in Canberra, we need ALGA President, Cr Linda Scott, at the table.”
ALGA had been a member of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) until it was replaced last year by National Cabinet.
For more information, please contact:
Tim Cox, Communications Advisor
Local Government Association of Queensland