By LGAQ Acting CEO Glen Beckett
Caretaker period is well and truly under way but that does not mean the Local Government Association of Queensland is resting on its laurels.
The association has spread out across the state – and travelled to the nation’s capital this week - listening and advocating on behalf of members, from the RAPAD meeting in Winton to the Local Authority Waste Management Advisory Committee meeting in Rockhampton to a ministerial roundtable in Canberra to discuss the future of the iconic koala.
The devastating bushfires over summer destroyed thousands of hectares of koala habitat in the southern states, increasing the importance of ensuring Queensland is doing everything it can to protect koalas here.
Southeast Queensland councils remain disappointed in the efforts from the State Government to date when it comes to the release of new mapping and planning regulations.
We continue to lobby the state for changes including ensuring the maps are revised to include more locally mapped koala habitat.
The LGAQ has also expressed its disappointment in the decision to hold a public hearing on council election campaign spending caps right in the middle of the campaign. The Parliamentary Economics and Governance Committee has set down a public hearing for March 16 to discuss these important reforms.
Our preference would have been for any hearings to be held either well in advance of caretaker period or once the council elections are over. We made this clear to the Committee, but it has decided to go ahead regardless.
In Brisbane, work continues on the development of the LGAQ’s elected member program which will begin once the March 28 Local Government elections have wrapped. This annual program of events has grown in importance over the last decade.
It is the LGAQ’s opportunity to meet with you and your council, on your patch. It is a chance for us to hear what is important to you and to share what we can do to help.It is part of our commitment to better understand what is important to you and to allow you to share valuable insights.
This year the elected member program will delivered across the state at no cost to councils. We’ll be out on the road from May, with most sessions being delivered in July and August. We will be in contact with your council soon to coordinate logistics.
It has been my pleasure to fill in as acting CEO in Greg’s absence. As mentioned last week, the baton will be passed to general manager of advocacy Sarah Buckler from Monday. Sarah will fill in until Greg’s return on March 14.