A week in the world of…local government

Published: 4th June 2021

G’day folks.  

My wrap this week might read at first like a week in the life of LGAQ but, if you read between the lines, you will easily understand that it is truly a glimpse into a week in the life of Queensland local government.  

While we, as well as you, our members - must see to the daily tasks and obligations required to keep the local government ball rolling, it is so important not to lose sight of the bigger picture – better councils, making better communities.  

Every day of every week, we are in contact with you, our members, to ensure we are listening to your priorities, your unexpected and emerging concerns and, most importantly, the issues that matter most to you as a council, a region, and to your local communities. It is by paying attention to these issues that we can all work together to build great Queensland communities.  

We pride ourselves on our ability to stay connected to our members, to provide solutions and outcomes to benefit the whole membership – while not losing site of the fact that each member council has discrete issues that, at times, require tailored support, advice and advocacy.  

Most of our activities are shared with you but, of course, some of our most delicate negotiations occur behind closed doors.  

And that is when it is most important that we feel assured our engagement processes with our members are solid – and guiding us to present the best arguments, to fight for the most workable solutions, and allowing us to confidently advise on the most suitable outcomes for all Queenslanders.  

You have told us repeatedly that your preferred engagement with your Association is in person. So, whilst we cannot always have an LGAQ face at every meeting or special event, we do our absolute best to see as many of you in person – and on your patch – as possible. It sure makes for a busy ride for many of our staff.  

So, let’s take a look at what we got up to over the last week or so. 


  • With the endorsement of the LGAQ Policy Executive we have proudly supported and advocated for the Red Bench campaign by the Red Rose Foundation – and last week we celebrated with the Sunshine Coast Council as they launched four new red benches! 

  • President Mark Jamieson, Head of Advocacy Alison Smith, Shayne Sutton our Intergovernmental Relations & Special Projects Manager, and myself, met with Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Director-General Damien Walker for our regular quarterly meeting. Key issues discussed included financial sustainability, progress on the LGAQ’s requested Conflict of Interest, Tait v Goondiwindi legislative reforms, and the coming State Budget. 


  • Our work to support and represent our First Nation councils was recognised at last week’s Reconciliation Queensland inaugural breakfast event. Queensland councils, mayors and communities connected via a livestream to local events in recognition of National Reconciliation Week. Councils were praised by Reconciliation Queensland for their work in progressing reconciliation efforts over the last 15 years. Did you know? Queensland is the only state that holds Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) at all levels of government.  

  • Lau Chean, LGAQ Manager – Infrastructure, Economics & Regional Development – spent his afternoon with Neville ‘Dooley’ Perkins, Works Manager of Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council, inspecting Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) and Works for Queensland projects completed over the past few years. Lau said this was his absolute best day so far working for the LGAQ! Inspirational and quality time spent with community and adorable youth at Woorabinda deepened Lau’s understanding of important issues facing our First Nations councils. 

  • We met with Director-General Clair O’Connor to discuss how we could work more closely with the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy to better support and potentially expand Indigenous Knowledge Centres and address digital connectivity and housing issues being experienced by member councils. 

  • Heading south, LGAQ Digital and Communications team representatives streamed live to us from Sydney during their visit to Facebook and Google. Innovation delights abounded! 

  • We won the Best Government Relations Campaign Award at the Mumbrella CommsCon Awards for the Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities campaign. It’s the second national award for this important and influential document in support of local government needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. An award for all of us at LGAQ, and for all our members. 


  • At last week’s LGAQ Board Meeting we confirmed continued LGMS surplus rebates for members for the fourth year in a row. This shows more evidence that benefits come when we all work together. 

  • Mike Furniss, our new Assistant Lead – Transport and Logistics, attended the Far North Queensland Regional Roads and Transport Group Technical Committee meeting in Cairns.  

  • Simon Booth, LGAQ Lead – Infrastructure, Policy and Regional Communities, wished us a good morning from the Chinchilla RSL where Simon joined discussions about gas and co-existence.  

  • During his travels, Simon participated in resource industry development plan consultation sessions with Western Downs Regional Councillors Kylie Bourne, Peter Saxelby and Megan James. 

  • A meeting with the Kathleen Florian from the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) sought to progress some serious matters raised with us by two Queensland mayors, as well as the next version of the conflict of interest decision making app. 

  • The Electoral Commissioner of Queensland, Pat Vidgen, joined us to talk about Annual Conference motions relating to the activities of the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ), and how the ECQ is planning to expand its engagement with councils for the next 2024 election. We’ll have a further update for members on this at the next Policy Executive meeting. 


  • Jim Boden, LGAQ Domestic and Family Violence Project Officer, celebrated the latest red bench installation in Lockyer Valley, taking the tally to over 250 across the state. 

  • While at Gatton, Jim also picked up the 50th mayor pledge to support communities as they meet the complex challenges of domestic and family violence. What a sterling campaign for one of our most complex community issues. 

  • Later in the day, an impromptu media scrum with Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill at LG House created much excitement. We had the ABC and Nine in-house… Can you guess why? 


  • Our finalised submission to the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee (PCCC) led to the announcement of the public inquiry later in the week. A really, really big win. Our elected members need to know they are protected and supported – not just accountable and transparent. If we cannot secure these terms, we will not be able to attract the best candidates to represent our communities. 

Well folks, that’s just some of the highlights of our week. Getting out and about with our members and important stakeholders is always a top priority for us.  What a week!! 


We are proud of our 125th Anniversary as your peak body this year, and, just as was enacted in 1896 at the inaugural LGAQ Annual Conference, I would encourage you all to start considering your Annual Conference motions for this year’s AGM, and to always keep in touch with your Association on the matters that mean the most to you.  

100% council owned, we are here with you, and for you.