Weekly Speak CEO Column
Taking the big ideas to Canberra
With the federal election campaign all but done and dusted, local government in Queensland has a much better idea about where the major parties stand on our policy proposals.
Our campaign approach was worked, drawing out both Labor and the Liberal National Party on detailed policy pledges thanks to the LGAQ’s local community report cards issued at crucial stages over the past five weeks.
We have convinced the parties to come up with credible policies on a range of issues, from indigenous housing to the need for national leadership in waste management.
However, no matter what political colour our next federal government turns out to be, the job for local councils will be to convince it of the absolute necessity of restoring financial assistance grants to at least 1 percent of total Commonwealth tax revenue.
As the Palaszczuk Government well knows, having announced 494 new Works for Queensland yesterday, local councils create jobs and invest grant funding efficiently. They are the best value for money going for any government that wants proper returns on infrastructure investment. They also know the needs and aspirations of local communities like no other level of government.
As the LGAQ and member councils head into preparing budgets for the 2019-20 year, it’s timely to remind people about the Association’s financial priorities.
Our chief financial officer Darren Leckenby has made a few important points in this week’s accompanying video on the LGAQ budget (See below)
The key initiatives we are looking to fund in this Budget include the ongoing development of LG Sherlock, the rollout of Jadu website technology to more councils, dedicated funding for campaigns like our activities around this federal election and specific initiatives for the 2020 local government elections such as an independent electoral monitor.
The LGAQ will be preparing a $23 million annual budget, of which just $4.9 million or 20 percent of our total annual investment in services to our members, will be paid for through member subscriptions.
We collect member subscriptions via a detailed formula that importantly incorporates consideration of both population size and expenditure budget of each council to ensure a member’s individual subscription is calibrated to reflect their capacity to pay. This ensures that all 77 councils will continue to have an opportunity to be a member of the LGAQ, an important demonstration of the sector’s unity, as recently demonstrated at our Special General Meeting.
As trustee of Local Government Mutual and Local Government Workcare, the LGAQ Board will consider at its June 2019 meeting, based on its existing policy and financial position of the schemes,the return of up to $5 million in scheme surpluses to participating insurance scheme members.
What that mean is that, for the vast majority of councils that are members of LGM and LGW, their insurance schemes will receive a direct return via their participation in these schemes that will be equal or greater than their 2019-2020 annual LGAQ membership subscription.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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