Weekly Speak CEO Column
Fire and rain and a big 2018
In James Taylor’s famous words, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. So has much of Queensland recently. It’s been a tumultuous end to a tumultuous 2018.
The recent and still ongoing natural disasters highlight the bedrock role that councils play in their local government areas. Yes, we are not perfect, but who do the community turn to in the direst of times? Their councils. In whom do they trust? Again, councils. Locals looking after locals.
There is so much I could say about 2018, but I cannot do it justice in such a short column and it would be trite to try and do so. So, I won’t and just leave it to your lived memories.
We haven’t quite yet put our pencils down and hands away at Local Government House, another week to go. Today, we had the last Policy Executive and Board meetings of the year and announced the creation of an Australian first, LGAQ Datawatch, the product of our determined efforts to ensure Queensland councils lead the way in transparency and accountability when it comes to managing the data they hold.
Despite the challenges we all confronted in 2018, it will end on a positive note for many councils with news that the Palaszczuk Government has brought forward $100 million of Works for Queensland funding to early next year to make sure this program keeps on delivering the jobs and local infrastructure to regional communities that has made it so popular.
As this my last column of the year, I do want to thank everyone in local government for their kindness and support of the LGAQ team over the last year. It’s been a trying year for us as well, particularly given the tragic loss of our Sherlock team leader, Ryan Goff. Its councils’ encouragement, personal friendships and genuine support of our crew that sustains us during those difficult days and weeks and countless hours away from home.
Well done to the boss, President Mayor Mark Jamieson, who has a huge appetite for work. A true 7 days a week man, he and members of the LGAQ team have been to all parts of the state talking to councils as well as attending dozens of meetings fighting for a fair deal for councils in 1 William St and Canberra. Ditto, the efforts of the LGAQ Policy Executive and Board who steer the good ship LGAQ, a real fine team that members have chosen to represent council interests.
But I especially want to recognise and thank every member of my staff. Some very tired and worn out souls, they bleed local government and do some amazing things for you our members , as you would hope and expect. In the immortal words of Jeff Fenech - I luv yas all.
Finally, I wish everyone in local government land Seasons Greetings, safety, peace and happiness over the holiday season. You’ve well and truly earned your rest over the break, albeit cyclones and floods will keep some of us all on our toes for the next few weeks.
The CEO wrap returns on Friday 18 January 2019.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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