Weekly Speak CEO Column
ROC on into 2019
Welcome to 2019 for what will be a seminal year in local government, not least due to a watershed Federal election due in May.
At the LGAQ we are off to a flying start to the year with the Regional Organisation of Council (ROC) Assembly on the Sunshine Coast on 6 and 7 February.
The ROC approach to ensuring local councils are leveraging their shared interests from a regional perspective is one of the major achievements of the sector in recent years. Most ROCs now appreciate the value of adopting a united regional position on issues of common interest and the power that regional approach gives to their efforts to turn heads in Canberra and William St.
The assembly is an opportunity for ROC chairs to get together to hear from their colleagues about key priorities, lobbying success stories and the latest in campaign strategies.
We have invited Federal Local Government Minister Bridget McKenzie and Labor’s local government spokesman Stephen Jones to address the assembly and have already locked in State Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe as well as Australian Local Government Association President David O’Loughlin to speak.
Then there is the Queensland Treasury Corporation and LGAQ Finance and Strategic Leadership Summit in Gladstone on 26 and 27 February which will include three University of Queensland MBA subject lectures on the first day; a first for this event.
Make sure your council is represented at both these events.
During the first few weeks of January, President Mayor Mark Jamieson and I have mapped out a year’s worth of travel. Expect us to bob up around the State in many places this year. In addition, our 2019 Elected Member Update (EMU) program is almost locked and loaded for April and May. The LGAQ will make sure to touch every corner of the state over the next 12 months .
In the run up to the Federal election expect to hear a lot about the ALGA/LGAQ 1% of total federal taxation campaign. Now is our chance to make some real financial for our local communities in terms of better funding for local infrastructure. Please do your bit locally and join with councils across Australia in our common cause. Hammer both sides of politics.
The LGAQ state focus in 2019 will be on the second tranche of the Belcarra reforms, the details of which will be known hopefully sooner rather than later. Working with the Palaszczuk Government on the grant reform process plus an appropriate State Waste Strategy and accompanying Energy from Waste (EfW) strategy are high on our list for the year. Not to forget our push for a state funding solution for ageing rural and remote council water and sewerage infrastructure.
On top of that, the LGAQ will hopefully complete the state wide roll out of the new Jadu websites, launch a new, beaut LG Online, release the My Council story platform and procure an Australian first in what we are calling Citizen Engagement 3.0; a real time tool to engage households in discussions on matters that are of real interest to them and better link them to council facilities and services and community groups that can offer support and assistance.
We also had a valuable meeting with Ruth Wade and Charles Burke, who are on the independent panel appointed by the State Government to look at the effectiveness of current policy approaches to drought. It was a chance to take them through the LGAQ’s upcoming submission on drought and it was heartening to see they agree that there needs to be more thought given to empowering local communities to have more of a say in drought response.
But wait there’s more. The second of four tranches of the LGAQ’s Proud To Be Your council will hit TV and computer screens next month.
So, there you go. The LGAQ is charging into the New Year and an action packed 2019 awaits us all.
We are proud to be your peak body.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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