Folks, you have been hearing a lot from me over recent weeks about COVID-19 and the LGAQ’s push to secure economic stimulus for Queensland’s councils through our $608 million Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities.
This work is important and is a very big part of what we do for our member councils.
But this advocacy is not the only thing the LGAQ does.
As well as helping secure you the vital funding you need from the State and Federal governments, the LGAQ also has a raft of other benefits for members from insurance to saving you millions of dollars on procurement, money that can instead be spent on your communities.
The LGAQ mantra is ‘Connect, Innovate, Achieve’ and our President Mayor Mark Jamieson has kept us honest in delivering that promise to our members.
Our eyes are firmly on the future, especially digitalisation. For decades now the LGAQ has been a leader in the application of technology in local government, particularly so-called Smart Technologies. As you have heard me say repeatedly, that investment has real pay-off for members and their communities - savings, savings, savings.
One of our biggest investments - over $8 million all up including a proof of concept in 2019 - to build a block chain enabled, Artificial Intelligence informed, smart contract-capable single portal for all council procurement.
It is called Local Buy Next Gen.
It has been a massive undertaking that is now just months away from delivery.
Think fraud proof, cheaper faster procurement all available in one spot with complete line of sight over all council purchases.
Local Buy supports local businesses across all industries, and they are working hard to engage even more businesses across regional Queensland to bring councils diversity.
Local Buy makes it easier for local government to connect with their business communities through panels that satisfy the local government regulations for councils.
Local Government alone spends about $600 million through Local Buy arrangements each year.
Having good procurement systems is critical to ensure this is effective and our investment in Next Gen is a key element.
In the video below I am joined by my Peak Services colleague and Local Buy CEO Peter Mifsud who will fill you in on the great progress his team has made readying Local Buy Next Gen for deployment from July.
All up the LGAQ is delivering a $20 million investment in smart technology to assist our members in improving services and cutting costs.
In future CEO Wraps I will give you detailed updates on the member benefits from Jadu websites, LG Sherlock, Our Town and benchmarking tools to our still emerging IoT networked streets project.
Its full steam ahead at LG House in enabling Queensland's Next Gen Councils to reach their full potential.
On a final note, today I gave a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of the March 28 quadrennial local government elections.
The LGAQ conducted a comprehensive survey of all elected members (mayors and councillors) and council CEOs to inform the submission. We also received more details submissions from 17 councils which helped inform our final submission to the committee, which can be found here.
Thanks to everyone who made a submission and/or completed the survey.
The LGAQ is extremely grateful for the efforts of member councils given the limited timeframe and the broader issues being managed at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our submission details a series of shortcomings that directly concern the remit of the inquiry such as the counting and publication of votes.
We are also of the view that the scope of this inquiry is too narrow and does not afford effective consideration of the multitude of issues that impacted the delivery of the election so our submission also identifies broader strategic considerations and makes a series of recommendations, including that a broader inquiry be undertaken into the conduct of the 2020 local government elections to allow for the canvassing of all relevant issues, including systematic analysis on how the 74 recommendations of the 2017 Soorley Report were implemented and what impeded their successful execution.
We will keep you updated as things progress.