A cohort of Mayors and Councillors from across Queensland joined with the LGAQ in travelling to Canberra this week to attend the Australian Local Government Association’s National General Assembly (NGA).
The Assembly provides an invaluable opportunity for the country’s 537 councils to come together to share knowledge, discuss and debate issues of importance, and to ensure common issues are recognised on the national stage with Federal Ministers, MPs and Senators all in attendance throughout the three-day NGA.
North Burnett Regional Council acting Mayor Robbie Radel, Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Sean Dillon and Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan each gave presentations to the Assembly.
Financial sustainability, disaster recovery and mitigation and the ongoing COVID-19 economic recovery dominated discussions with councils from across Australia united in the resolve to continue the fight to secure the return of Financial Assistance Grants funding to one per cent of total taxation revenue.
Mayors and councillors also took the opportunity to hold one-on-one meetings with Government Ministers and representatives while in the nation’s capital, further consolidating the value of attending the NGA.
Historic agreement struck between the State and rural and remote councils
Financial sustainability, roads and housing will be the first priorities to be addressed by the Rural and Remote Councils Compact after it was officially signed by Local Government Association of Queensland President Mayor Mark Jamieson and Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government the Honourable Steven Miles MP at today’s LGAQ Policy Executive meeting.
The Compact, now a sub-agreement to the Partners in Government Agreement, will focus on delivering better outcomes for Queensland’s 45 rural and remote councils, with improved engagement, working towards more funding certainty, building capability and addressing key issues that are driven by a dedicated Guardians Group.
The Guardians Group – represented by rural and remote LGAQ Policy Executive members Mayor Jane McNamara (PE District 11), Mayor Robbie Dare (PE District 8), Mayor Peter Scott (PE District 10), Mayor Paul McVeigh (PE District 4) and Cr Robyn Fuhrmeister (PE District 5) – have been instrumental in shaping this Compact and making sure it focusses on the areas of most importance to the communities it is designed to assist.
The Guardians will continue to have direct oversight on the implementation and operations of the Compact as part of a new a Policy and Legislation Committee established to govern the Compact’s use.
The Committee will meet on a quarterly basis and provide direct input and feedback to government about new policies, legislation and programs.
A Director-General sponsors program will be established under the Compact and will align with the nominated priorities set by the Guardians Group each year.
This Compact was first mooted at the 2019 Bush Councils Conference before being adopted at the LGAQ Conference that year.
It formed part of the LGAQ’s 2020 State Election advocacy campaign, with the Association securing a commitment from all sides of politics to implement the Compact should they win.