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ALGA News archive 2013
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13 December 2013
Local government recognised in 2013 Resilient Australia Awards
ALGA extends its congratulations to all the national recipients of the 2013 Resilient Australia Awards, which were announced in Canberra last week. The Awards are designed to recognise the work being done across the country to improve the disaster resilience of local communities to make them safer, stronger and better prepared for emergencies.
ALGA to make submission to Aviation Review
ALGA will be consulting with state and territory local government associations to prepare a submission to an independent review of aviation safety regulation in Australia.
Local government welcomes national focus on agriculture
Local government has welcomed the Federal Government's decision to examine the competitiveness of the nation's agriculture industry and develop an Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper.
06 December 2013
State and territory associations reimbursed for campaign
ALGA has this week been finalising the reimbursement of state and territory associations for their contributions to the national campaign for constitutional recognition of local government.
Local government welcomes plans to fast-track inland rail
ALGA has welcomed the Australian Government's intention to fast-track delivery of the Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Railway, which would reduce the adverse effects on local road networks by freight vehicles.
Strong support for 2013 National Disability Awards
ALGA President and Local Government Disability Champion, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis attended the 2013 National Disability Awards in Canberra last week to honour the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams and organisations that have improved the lives of people with disability.
29 November 2013
ALGA finalises submission to Commission of Audit
ALGA has made a submission to the National Commission of Audit, which was established last month to examine the scope, efficiency and functions of the Commonwealth Government and the current separation of roles between all levels of government to identify areas of duplication and to consider how to improve the effectiveness of the delivery
Local government engaged in indigenous employment discussion
Following ALGA's recent attendance at an Indigenous Jobs Roundtable in Sydney, chaired by Andrew Twiggy Forrest, ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis has written to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to outline local government initiatives in the employment of indigenous people.
National State of the Assets Report distributed to all councils
All councils will soon receive copies of the 2013 National State of the Assets Report and the Bridges to a Stronger Future brochure, which were both launched at ALGA's recent National Local Roads and Transport Congress.
22 November 2013
ALGA reinforces councils' key role in settlement planning
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis this week addressed the Settlement Council of Australia's (SCOA) Annual General Meeting in Canberra, where she outlined local government's role in settlement planning and service delivery.
ALGA attends Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure meeting
ALGA attended the 5th meeting of the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure in Brisbane last Friday to discuss key challenges facing the infrastructure and transport sector over the long-term.
ALGA finalises second submission on new climate change measures
ALGA has provided its submission to the Commonwealth Government to assist in the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). This is the primary driver behind the new direct action climate change policy. The terms of reference for the fund were released by Minister Greg Hunt on 16 October and opened to public comment.
15 November 2013
Hundreds gather in Alice Springs to discuss roads and infrastructure
Hundreds of local government representatives from across the country met in Alice Springs this week for the 2013 National Local Roads and Transport Congress, where ALGA launched the National State of the Assets Report 2013 and heard from a range of experts on managing the local road network.
Councils welcome Minister Truss' commitment to community bridges
Council delegates at the ALGA's 2013 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Alice Springs have welcomed the Federal Government's commitment to assist local governments in upgrading bridges.
ALGA President crowned SA Citizen of the Year
ALGA President and long-serving Mayor of Marion, Dr Felicity-ann Lewis, has been named South Australia's Australian of the Year for 2014. Dr Lewis has been recognised for her work in local government, dedication to the reconciliation movement and settlement of migrants and refugees.
08 November 2013
National Roads Congress puts infrastructure under the microscope
Results from a national study commissioned by ALGA to examine the condition of community roads and infrastructure will be launched next Tuesday at ALGA's National Local Roads and Transport Congress, which is being held in Alice Springs.
ALGA prepares second submission on new climate change measures
ALGA is in the process of developing a second submission in relation to the Federal Government's proposal to repeal the carbon price mechanism (CPM). The second submission relates to how the Federal Government intends to replace the CPM.
ALGA invited to provide Submission to Commission of Audit
ALGA is preparing a submission to the National Commission of Audit following an invitation to provide input by 26 November 2013. The Commission was established by the Government on 22 October and is chaired by Tony Shepherd AO.
01 November 2013
Local government to be reimbursed for campaign costs
Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, Warren Truss has advised that local government will be reimbursed for the costs of a national campaign on constitutional recognition of local government.
ALGA prepares submissions on new climate change measures
ALGA is preparing a submission in response to the exposure draft of the Bill to repeal the carbon price mechanism and other related programs which was released by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 15 October, 2013.
Hundreds to converge on Alice Springs for Roads Congress
In just over a week, ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis will welcome hundreds of local government representatives and elected officials to Alice Springs for ALGA's 14th National Local Roads and Transport Congress. Given Central Australia's reliance on roads and transport, it's only fitting that Alice Springs hosts this important event.
25 October 2013
Minister Truss acknowledges strength of case for reimbursement
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, has said that ALGA has a reasonable argument for reimbursement of costs for a national campaign to promote the yes case for constitutional recognition of local government and that the Government is looking for a way to compensate local government as quickly as it can .
Round 5 of RDAF funding will not proceed
Round 5 projects worth $150 million announced under the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) in the lead up to the 14 September 2013 election by former Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese will not proceed, with the Coalition Government advising that there was no money available for the projects.
Federal Government commences National Commission of Audit
The Australian Government this week announced the commencement of the National Commission of Audit, which will assess the activities and expenses of the Commonwealth Government and feed into the Government's work on the division of responsibilities between local, state and federal governments.
18 October 2013
ALGA President meets with Minister Truss
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis is today meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss to discuss a range of local government issues, including ALGA's request for Commonwealth reimbursement of costs for a national campaign on constitutional recognition of local government; plans
ALGA pursuing NGA Resolutions
Each year ALGA convenes the National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government which is the major national meeting of local governments from across Australia.
Government calls for submissions on new climate change measures
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott released the exposure draft of legislation to repeal the previous government's price on carbon.
11 October 2013
Five weeks to secure your place at Roads Congress
In just over five weeks, local government meets for the 14th National Local Roads and Transport Congress. Over the years, delegates of each annual Congress have expanded our horizons and discussed the importance of, and synergies between, roads and rail networks.
Heavy Vehicle Regulator to supply information pack to councils
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has prepared an information pack to assist councils in meeting new responsibilities and arrangements under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), which will soon come into effect to ensure national consistency in heavy vehicle law and regulations.
Promoting age-friendly cities and communities
The first Age Friendly Cities conference to be held in Australia, organised by the ACT Government's Office for Ageing, was held in Canberra on 8 October, drawing delegates from around Australia, including staff from about 40 councils.
04 October 2013
ALGA News - local government's free, weekly news service
Welcome to ALGA News, local government's preeminent news and information service emailed to thousands of subscribers every Friday. ALGA News is prepared specifically for councils across the country, providing the latest information about issues affecting local government from a national perspective.
ALGA congratulates appointment of first President of Local Government NSW
ALGA President, Felicity-ann Lewis has congratulated Coffs Harbour Councillor Keith Rhoades on his appointment as the first President of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) while attending the 2013 Local Government NSW Annual Conference in Sydney this week.
Timber bridge is falling down
Local government is responsible for approximately 30,000 local bridges throughout Australia. These bridges range from well maintained, robust structures to deteriorating historic infrastructure that desperately needs maintenance or replacement work.
27 September 2013
Register your attendance at the National Local Roads and Transport Congress
With a new Federal Government in place, there is no better time for local government to revisit its roads and transport strategy and capitalise on commitments made during the federal election campaign, including those regarding regional airports and bridge renewal.
ALGA Board reflects on referendum campaign for constitutional recognition
The ALGA Board met in Canberra last week to discuss a number of significant issues for local government, including reimbursement by the Commonwealth of costs for a national campaign on constitutional recognition of local government and the status of funding commitments made by the previous federal government for community infrastructure through
ALGA makes submission on Major Development Assessment Processes
In a submission to the Productivity Commission on the Draft Report - Major Project Development Assessment Processes, ALGA has said that it agrees in principle with the Commission's interim finding that Australia's regulatory system for development assessment and approvals can be substantially improved.
20 September 2013
Be part of the National Local Roads and Transport Congress
In this week's special edition of ALGA News, local government is turning its attention to the National Local Roads and Transport Congress, to be held in Alice Springs from 12-14 November.
ALGA to launch 2013 State of the Assets Report
A comprehensive national report capturing information about the standard of local roads and community infrastructure in local government areas across the country will be launched in November, when local government representatives gather in Alice Springs for the 2013 National Local Roads and Transport Congress.
Help to develop the agenda for regional airports and remote airstrips
For many remote and regional communities, access to air services is essential for their social and economic wellbeing.
13 September 2013
ALGA President congratulates new PM on appointment to high office
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis has written to Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister elect Warren Truss to congratulate them on the Coalition's success in the 2013 federal election and their appointments to high office.
Roads Congress to hear new Government's plans for local infrastructure
ALGA will be inviting federal Ministers with responsibility for local roads and infrastructure to address ALGA's 2013 National Local Roads and Transport Congress and outline the Coalition's policies for local government.
Local government keeps abreast of invasive species threat
ALGA has this week heard first-hand from experts experienced in managing the risk of pandemics and mitigating threats to the natural environment from invasive species, which will inform the role of local governments in protecting the environment.
06 September 2013
ALGA calls on incoming government to honour community funding commitments
The President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis, has called on leaders of the Labor Party, Liberal Party and National Party to give priority to community infrastructure funding and to honour funding commitments already made under the current Government.
ALGA inundated with submissions for Roads Congress challenge
Following ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis's invitation to councils across Australia to participate in The Local Government Challenge: A Council's Experience at the upcoming National Local Roads and Transport Congress, ALGA has been inundated with submissions demonstrating how local government initiatives have
Local government supports inclusive playspaces initiative
A national charity - Touched by Olivia - is working to make playspaces appropriate for everyone in the community, including those with disabilities.
30 August 2013
Newcastle to offer second round of main street facade improvement funding
Newcastle Council is set to offer a second round of funding under its facade improvement program after the success of the first round in sprucing up buildings throughout the city. Under the program business owners can apply for a grant with the money to be used for cleaning and painting facades, the removal of redundant signage and minor repairs.
Coalition promises a stronger regional focus
Leader of the National Party, Warren Truss has announced that a national Coalition Government would dedicate $200 million a year to building local infrastructure in regional areas. Under a Coalition Government, the National Stronger Regions Fund would be established with the aim to boost regional economies and populations.
ALGA President extends invitation to National Local Roads and Transport Congress
ALGA President, Felicity-ann Lewis has this week written to Mayors, Councillors and local government CEOs across the country to personally invite them to attend the 2013 National Local Roads and Transport Congress to be held in Alice Springs from 12-14 November.
23 August 2013
ALGA wants local government reimbursed for referendum campaign costs
ALGA has written to political leaders requesting that a portion of public funding provided to local government to promote a 2013 referendum on constitutional recognition of local government be used to reimburse councils for money spent on a national campaign prior to the referendum being cancelled for reasons beyond its control.
Deadline revised for new heavy vehicle access permit system
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) - Australia's dedicated independent regulator for vehicles weighing more than 4.5 tonnes - has postponed the introduction of a new system for coordinating the assessment of access permit applications.
Election 2013 - Week three in review
This week saw an increase in electioneering activity and program announcements as the federal election campaign crossed the half-way mark. With polling day now two weeks away, political parties are outlining their cases and sharpening their arguments. Infrastructure spending has been a significant focus of both the Government and the Opposition.
16 August 2013
PEFO recognises Government's neutral referendum campaign costs
This week the federal Treasury released the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO), which forecast a deficit of $30.1 billion for 2013-14 and $24 billion for 2014-15. The collective position of the Commonwealth and all state budgets is forecast to be a net surplus of $6 billion in 2016-17.
Second school chaplains challenge significant to local government
ALGA is watching closely as Queensland man Ron Williams launches his second challenge against the federal government in the High Court over a law that allows it to continue funding a national school chaplaincy program to provide spiritual guidance in schools.
Election 2013 - Week two in review
In comparison to the fanfare of the first week of the official election campaign, the second week was much more subdued on the policy announcement front. The week has been dominated by the announcement of the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO).
09 August 2013
Referendum decision a major disappointment for local government
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's decision to hold the federal election on 7 September and drop plans for a referendum to include local government in the Constitution has been met with enormous disappointment by the local government sector.
Election 2013 - Week one in review
On Sunday 4 August, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd travelled from Brisbane to Canberra to visit the Governor-General and recommend the dissolution of the House of Representatives and half the Senate in order for an election to be held on 7 September 2013.
National Roads Congress to focus on reforms affecting councils
This year's Roads Congress, to be held in Alice Springs from 12-14 November, will have a strong focus on heavy vehicle reforms and their implications for councils.
02 August 2013
Referendum campaign in full swing as August election ruled out
With the deadline for a 31 August federal election now passed, there is a strong likelihood that the election will be held after 14 September.
Report provides analysis of progress in the nation's cities
ALGA has welcomed two reports released by the Australian Government this week which analyse the progress and performance of the nation's biggest cities. The two reports - State of the Cities 2013 and Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport - provide analysis of the progress and performance of the nation's 18 biggest cities.
Murray Darling Basin Plan moving forward
Local government has been part of discussions regarding the Murray Darling Basin Plan through ALGA's seat on Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the associated ministerial councils and officials group.
26 July 2013
Minister King reinforces Government's commitment to referendum
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis this week met with Local Government Minister Catherine King to discuss the referendum to include local government in the Constitution, which is expected to be held in conjunction with the 2013 federal election.
Closing the Gap celebrates fifth anniversary
This year marks the fifth anniversary of a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement adopted in 2008 to focus national action on issues of Indigenous disadvantage, leading to the implementation of a national strategy known as Closing the Gap .
AEC concerned about record number of young people not enrolled to vote
According to the Australian Electoral Commission, 1.4 million people are not enrolled to vote and more than 500,000 of them are aged 18-24. The AEC warned that declining enrolments, particularly among young people, would start to raise questions about the legitimacy of election results.
19 July 2013
'The Facts Say Yes' Referendum campaign PR kits hit council inboxes
Last Friday, councils should have received the electronic PR briefing packs from our YES campaign team and be in the process of pulling together and submitting the information requested.
Ramifications of proposed shift to ETS
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced this week that a new policy of the Government would be to accelerate the shift to an emissions trading scheme (ETS) a year earlier, to commence on 1 July 2014. This would end the set carbon price, which currently sits at $24.
ALGA Board to consider NGA resolutions
This year's National General Assembly (NGA), held in Canberra from 16-19 June, saw more than 1000 delegates meet to discuss and debate policy initiatives for local and federal government. Carried at the NGA were 69 resolutions which the ALGA Board will consider at next week's special meeting.
12 July 2013
'Yes' campaign builds among grassroots
As Australians wait for a firm election date, the local government sector is moving ahead with its national campaign to convince voters to say 'yes' when they are asked whether local government should be included in the Constitution at a referendum to be held in conjunction with this year's federal election.
NAIDOC Week celebrated in communities Australia-wide
ALGA was represented at the ACT's official NAIDOC Week celebration, involving a flag raising ceremony and reception in Canberra this week. The event was one of hundreds held across the country this week.
ALGA contributes to emergency management discussions
ALGA Vice President Keith Rhoades attended last week's Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management (SCPEM) meeting in Darwin to discuss a wide range of national emergency management issues, including measures to strengthen community resilience to disasters.
05 July 2013
ALGA welcomes new federal Minister for Local Government
ALGA has formally congratulated the newly-appointed Minister for Local Government, Catherine King, who was given the local government portfolio when the new Cabinet was sworn in under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. ALGA President, Felicity-ann Lewis has written to Minister King and welcomes her appointment as Local Government Minister.
Local government prepares 2013 State of the Assets Report
Councils are being reminded to contribute data about the quality, functionality and capacity of roads and bridges infrastructure to a national survey which will inform a national assets report on the standard of community roads and infrastructure.
RDAF funding guidelines released
Councils are being reminded to apply for Round Five of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), which will provide $150 million to local governments for capital infrastructure projects.
28 June 2013
Local government sector remains focused on 2013 referendum
ALGA has welcomed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's acknowledgment that the referendum for constitutional recognition of local government will be one of the main factors considered in any decision regarding the date of the 2013 federal election.
AEC working with Facebook to encourage young voters to enrol
The AEC is promoting its online enrolment service via a new Facebook application 'Youth Votes Matter' being launched in the lead up to the 2013 federal election, to be held in concurrence with the referendum to include local government in the Constitution.
Councils urged to apply for child care funding
The Australian Government has established a $5 million Child Care Accessibility Fund to assist local governments to address any child care supply shortages in areas of high demand. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations is responsible for administering the Fund.
21 June 2013
NGA culminates in strong show of support for September referendum
This week's National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) drew more than 1000 delegates from councils across Australia to Canberra, where they debated issues of national significance to local government and united in their commitment to constitutional recognition of local government.
Councils urged to apply for their slice of $150 million for community infrastructure
On day three of the 2013 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), Minister Anthony Albanese announced a new round of community infrastructure funding of $150 million in recognition that local councils are better positioned than the Commonwealth to establish local priorities for community developments .
Local Government sector launches federal election priorities at NGA
On day two of the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), ALGA unveiled an election document - A 10 Point Plan for Resourcing Community Priorities - outlining policy proposals in the lead up to the September federal election.
14 June 2013
Local government representatives to focus on regional development
Every year, ALGA hosts a Regional Cooperation and Development Forum as a precursor to the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA). This year is no different, with more than 350 local government representatives and elected officials expected to gather in Canberra on Sunday, 16 June, for the 2013 event.
2013-14 State of the Regions Report soon to be released
One of the highlights of the Regional Development Forum is the launch of the annual State of the Regions Report - commissioned by ALGA and prepared by National Economics - to provide comprehensive economic analysis of every local government area in Australia.
ALGA's federal election document to be unveiled next week
Day two of next week's National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) will be marked by the launch of ALGA's 2013 federal election document, which will be presented to all political parties.
07 June 2013
Passing of referendum legislation a win for communities
The local government sector has applauded the passing of legislation through the House of Representatives this week that would allow a referendum to be held at the time of the September federal election to include local government in the Constitution.
Group opposing referendum out of touch and out of step
The local government sector says the misguided views of a group comprising former Howard Government Ministers opposing efforts to include local government in the Constitution are in contrast to those of the current leader of the Federal Opposition.
ALGA's National General Assembly will be the biggest ever
There is only one more week until the start of ALGA's National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), which has already received more than 1000 registrations, making it the biggest Assembly in its 20 year history. The NGA will be marked by the launch of ALGA's election document to be presented to all political parties.
31 May 2013
Local Government calls on federal MPs to support referendum legislation
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has urged federal MPs to support legislation introduced into parliament this week to allow a referendum to be held at the time of the September federal election to include local government in the Constitution.
Two weeks until the National General Assembly
To secure your key opportunity to receive detailed information about the national campaign to include local government in the Constitution, register now for this year's National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA). Registrations have already reached 835; a substantially higher figure than this time last year.
Australians keep moving with old mobile phones
MobileMuster, Australia's leading not-for-profit mobile phone recycler and sponsor of the upcoming National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), has commissioned a report which has found that Australians keep taking their old mobiles, batteries and chargers with them each time they move, rather than recycling them.
24 May 2013
Nielsen poll reinforces public support for referendum
Latest results of a Nielsen poll showing the majority of Australian voters would support a referendum to include local government in the Constitution reinforce the sector's commitment to securing federal funding for vital local services and infrastructure.
National General Assembly just over three weeks away
This year's National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) will be unlike any other, offering a key opportunity to receive the latest information about local government's national campaign to secure constitutional recognition of local government at the September referendum.
New round of NBN funding for councils
Under round four of the Digital Local Government (DLG) program, 44 councils are eligible to apply for funding of up to $412,500 (including GST) per council. Unlike previous rounds, round four of the DLG program involves a competitive selection process.
17 May 2013
Local Government welcomes bill to allow 2013 referendum
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed this week's release of the draft constitutional amendment bill, which outlines a small and pragmatic change to the Constitution to include local government.
Local Government welcomes Budget initiatives for local communities
The Australian Government's 2013-14 Budget has delivered several new funding initiatives for local government. President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis has welcomed the plan outlined by Treasurer Wayne Swan tonight to return Australia to a Budget surplus over the coming years.
Minister King to attend Regional Development Forum
Preparations for this year's Regional Cooperation and Development Forum to be held in Canberra on 16 June are well underway, with ALGA expecting more than 300 people to attend this annual event. Every indication is that this year will see the largest number of delegates to ever attend the Forum.
10 May 2013
Government confirms 2013 referendum on local government
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis has declared that the national campaign to convince Australians to vote 'yes' to include local government in the Constitution to secure funding for local services and infrastructure will intensify now that the Federal Government has given its commitment to a September 2013 referendum.
Indigenous housing should be addressed in Budget
At a recent Select Council on Housing and Homelessness meeting, Housing Ministers from all jurisdictions discussed access to home ownership for Indigenous households, including challenges faced by Indigenous households and current government assistance.
NBN coming to another 1.3 million premises across Australia
The Australian Government has announced plans to connect another 1.3 million homes and businesses to the NBN, bringing the total number of premises where NBN construction will commence or be complete by 30 June 2016 to more than 4.8 million.
03 May 2013
ALGA ready for announcement to proceed with 2013 referendum
ALGA expects the Federal Government to soon announce that a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government will be held in conjunction with the September 2013 federal election.
Gearing up for a huge National General Assembly
Strong registration numbers demonstrate the high level of influence and importance of this year's National General Assembly (NGA). Being a federal election year, and with the much anticipated announcement of the local government referendum, this year's National General Assembly is going to be a pivotal event for local government.
Prime Minister flags tight Budget
This week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the forthcoming Federal Budget will be dealing with revenue write-downs of $12 billion. This has been influenced by the continued pressure on exports from lower resource prices and the continued strength of the Australian dollar.
26 April 2013
ALGA urges firm commitment to referendum
Despite media reports this week that a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government is likely to be held in conjunction with the September federal election, the Australian Government is yet to announce that it will go ahead at this time.
Financial certainty the focus of debate at this year's NGA
Councils have submitted notices of motions to ALGA ahead of the 2013 National General Assembly (NGA) to be held in June. The motions demonstrate the level of initiative and innovation that comes from the local government sector, as well as the sector's resilience in the face of serious financial sustainability issues.
Enabling communities to adapt to climate change
For a long time, the focus of the discussions around climate change has been about carbon emissions; reducing them, paying for them and creating credits to sell and buy. However, the mitigation argument is just one side of the issue. The other is how communities prepare for climate change.
19 April 2013
ALGA urges firm commitment to referendum at Regional Ministers' Forum
ALGA has called on the Commonwealth and the states and territories to commit to the planned referendum on constitutional recognition of local government at national talks involving all three tiers of government.
ALGA signs national agreement on arts and culture
The first ever National Arts and Culture Accord was signed in Hobart last week. All of the arts ministers signed the accord and importantly, ALGA was also a signatory. The Accord outlines the roles and responsibilities of each level of government in relation to the provision of support and services for the arts.
Councils recognised in National Awards for Local Government
Eighteen of the nation's 565 councils and shires have been declared category winners in this year's National Awards for Local Government. The prestigious awards recognise the great work that local governments do in supporting their communities through creative and innovative programs.
12 April 2013
ALGA strongly opposes tied Financial Assistance Grants
ALGA has strongly opposed any suggestion that Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) be tied as a result of the current review of the system being undertaken by the Commonwealth Grants Commission.
Councils need increased Natural Disaster Mitigation Funding
A Senate Inquiry into preparedness for extreme weather events has been told that councils need additional funding for natural disaster mitigation.
Catherine King invited to address ALGA Regional Forum
ALGA has invited the Minister for Regional Services, Local Communities and Territories, Catherine King, to address this year's Regional Cooperation and Development Forum on Sunday 16 June in Canberra. Catherine King was first elected to Federal Parliament in 2001 to represent the electorate of Ballarat.
05 April 2013
ALGA Board settles campaign arrangements for referendum
Following a meeting last week of the ALGA Board to discuss plans for a national campaign on constitutional recognition of local government ahead of a possible September 2013 referendum, the Board has agreed on the detail of a multi-million dollar, integrated campaign to support a 'yes' vote in a referendum
Councils urged to submit Notices of Motions for National General Assembly
Debate at this year's National General Assembly (NGA) is set to cover pivotal issues facing local government, with many councils from around Australia already submitting Notices of Motions to ALGA for consideration at the Assembly in two months time.
Research reinforces need for more federal funding for bridges
Following media reports this week regarding the high number of bridges in New South Wales in critically poor condition, ALGA is again highlighting the need for increased and permanent funding for local roads and bridges under the national Roads to Recovery (R2R) program, or a targeted program for bridges, to close a recognised funding gap of $1.
29 March 2013
ALGA welcomes announcement of new Local Government Minister
ALGA has welcomed the appointment of Anthony Albanese to the Local Government portfolio, who replaces former Minister for Local Government and Regional Australia, Simon Crean. ALGA President, Felicity-ann Lewis has congratulated Minister Albanese on his appointment to the position and will be seeking a meeting with him as soon as possible.
National Awards for Local Government to be announced soon
The National Awards for Local Government are run and sponsored every year by the Commonwealth to acknowledge the many achievements of the local government sector. With a focus on innovation, the Awards aim to promote ideas that are transferable across towns and cities and directly address community needs.
Showcasing local government initiatives
ALGA is calling for applications to the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum's inaugural poster display. The display aims to showcase the many regional development initiatives that local government authorities are currently undertaking.
22 March 2013
Local Government calls for support for Bill to allow public funding for referendum
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has called on all political parties and independent MPs to support changes to the Referendums (Machinery Provisions) Act to remove existing constraints on public funding of referendums ahead of a potential referendum at the time of the September federal election to recognise local government
ALGA President discusses public funding for referendum with parliamentarians
ALGA President, Felicity-ann Lewis, met with Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Julie Bishop, to confirm the Opposition's support for a potential referendum on financial recognition of local government in September 2013 and outline local government's argument for public funding of referendum campaigns.
ALGA to launch election document at National General Assembly
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is set to host its 19th National General Assembly (NGA) of local government, offering a significant opportunity for local government representatives and elected officials to discuss issues facing councils and develop agreed national positions to inform the development of ALGA's policies
15 March 2013
Federal Government highlights timing issues for referendum
In welcoming the release of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government's final report this week, which recommends a referendum be held at the time of the September 2013 federal election, Local Government Minister Simon Crean noted the "issue of timing".
Local Government applauds National Cultural Policy released this week
Minister for Arts and Local Government, Simon Crean this week launched Creative Australia, a new national cultural policy with sweeping reforms to Australian Government support for the arts, cultural heritage and creative industries.
National Transport Taskforce calls for federal transport leadership
A Taskforce made up of national organisations, including ALGA, has called on the Federal Government to take a leading role in transport infrastructure, planning and pricing following the release of the Moving Australia 2030 report this week. The report and ALGA's involvement, focuses on initiatives for more active transport.
08 March 2013
Local government ramps up campaign effort as inquiry recommends 2013 referendum
In a win for local government, the parliamentary committee charged with investigating the likelihood of Australians voting 'yes' in a 2013 referendum to recognise local government in the Constitution has recommended that a referendum on the issue be put to voters at this year's federal election.
ALGA President addresses local government conference in Darwin
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis this week attended the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory's conference in Darwin to lead discussions about important issues facing the local government sector and network with council staff and local government stakeholders.
Fred Chaney AO confirmed as keynote speaker for National General Assembly
A highlight of this year's National General Assembly will be the address from the Chair of Desert Knowledge Australia and Member for the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, Fred Chaney AO.
01 March 2013
ALGA Board commits to national campaign committee for 2013 referendum
The ALGA Board has formally resolved to support and campaign for a 2013 referendum to allow direct funding of local government and to take steps relating to the establishment of a national campaign structure in the expectation that a referendum will soon be proposed by the Federal Government.
Local government in partnership to deliver safer roads for Australian truck drivers
New loading ramps, loading pens and lights will be installed in livestock saleyards right across Australia protecting truck drivers who are involved in transporting livestock.
ALGA welcomes federal funding for flood mitigation
The local government sector has welcomed the Australian Government's announcement to invest millions of dollars in flood mitigation efforts.
22 February 2013
ALGA appears before second parliamentary hearing into referendum
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis this week reinforced the sector's commitment to a referendum to recognise local government in the Constitution when she appeared before the second public hearing of the Joint Select Committee established to investigate the likelihood of Australians voting 'yes' in a 2013 referendum.
Local Government Minister provides commitment to 2013 referendum
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis has met with Local Government Minister Simon Crean to clarify the Government's plans for taking forward the proposal for a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government at the time of the September 2013 federal election.
Peter FitzSimons to address National General Assembly
Well-respected columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald, television presenter on Fox Sports and former Rugby player, Peter FitzSimons, will address the National General Assembly on Wednesday 19 June this year.
15 February 2013
ALGA President meets with Local Government Minister over referendum concerns
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis is meeting with Local Government Minister Simon Crean today, 15 February, to clarify the Government's intention to hold a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government at the time of the 2013 federal election on 14 September.
Geraldine Doogue confirmed for 2013 National General Assembly
Well known and widely respected ABC presenter Geraldine Doogue will address this year's National General Assembly (NGA). The NGA is an opportunity for the local government sector to hear Geraldine's observations and insights into how best to prepare for the challenges of the future.
National Disability Strategy - first report on progress released
A report setting out how governments across Australia will work together to deliver the National Disability Strategy has been presented to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The Strategy s purpose is to promote inclusion and engagement across every aspect of government service delivery.
08 February 2013
ALGA calls for Federal Government action on local government referendum
ALGA President, Felicity-ann Lewis will meet with Local Government Minister Simon Crean next week to seek early action by the Government to address recommendations of a Parliamentary Committee on the steps necessary for a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government to be held at the time of the federal election on 14 September.
ALGA's Federal Budget Submission calls for changes to address cost shifting
ALGA's submission to the 2013-14 Federal Budget outlines steps to address cost shifting by the Commonwealth and state governments. Cost shifting occurs when other levels of government continue to assign additional responsibilities to councils and has been estimated to have a negative impact on councils of between $500 million and $1.
Register now for 2013 National General Assembly
This year's National General Assembly (NGA) promises to be politically charged and of critical importance to local government, as the sector unites to plan initiatives for the betterment of our communities. With the federal election announced for 14 September, ALGA anticipates key federal politicians accepting the invitation to address the NGA.
01 February 2013
Parliamentary Committee to hold second hearing into financial recognition referendum
The Joint Select Committee established by parliament to investigate the likelihood of Australians voting 'yes' at a 2013 referendum to recognise local government in the Constitution will hold a second public hearing on 20 February to hear from local government bodies and Commonwealth agencies that have provided submissions to the inquiry.
ALGA's Federal Budget Submission calls for greater natural disaster mitigation
ALGA has presented a submission to the 2013-14 Federal Budget, outlining the need for reform in Commonwealth-local government financial relations to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of councils.
Call for motions for 2013 National General Assembly
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is calling for motions for the 2013 National General Assembly (NGA) under this year's theme Foundations for the Future - Twenty 13'. To assist councils in preparing motions, a discussion paper has been prepared and is available on the ALGA website.
25 January 2013
Preliminary report recommends 2013 referendum for local government recognition
Following last week's public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government to hear evidence regarding the case for recognising local government in the Constitution, the Committee yesterday released a preliminary report recommending that a financial recognition referendum be held at
Parliamentary Committee hears preconditions not met for referendum success
The Joint Select Committee established by parliament to investigate the likelihood of Australians voting 'yes' at a referendum to recognise local government in the Constitution has heard that the prerequisites for a winnable referendum in 2013 are yet to be met.
Hearing told broad constitutional reform should be considered
Constitutional Law Expert, Professor George Williams has urged the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government to ask Commonwealth agencies what is their preferred fix for safeguarding direct federal funding to a range of recipients under numerous Commonwealth programs.


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