alga logo
spacer site search
spacer alga search submit
alga quick links alga quicklinks button
ALGA News archive 2015
spacer
alga print button home button
divider
18 December 2015
President's column
I was pleased to represent Local Government at the recent COAG meeting in Sydney where there was agreement to refocus the COAG agenda on economic reform to drive growth and improve the living standards of all Australians.
Decision on NSW council amalgamations announced
The Premier of New South Wales, the Hon Mike Baird MP, today announced his decision on NSW council amalgamations. The Premier has decided to reduce the number of Sydney's metropolitan councils from 43 to 25 and regional councils from 109 to 87, bringing the total number of NSW councils to 112 and significantly reducing the number of local governments in NSW by 40.
Government releases 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook
The Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, this week released the Government's 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) in Perth. The MYEFO document stated that the Commonwealth deficit for the 2015-16 financial year has been revised up from the $35.1 billion outlined in the 2015-16 Budget to $37.
11 December 2015
President's Column
The major news coming out of Federal politics this week was the Turnbull Government's announcement of a National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), which aims to establish Australia as a leading innovative and agile economy.
Successful National Stronger Regions Fund projects announced
The Government has announced $293 million to fund 111 projects through Round Two of the National Stronger Regions Fund.
Government releases National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy
The Government recently released a National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy with the aim of setting the path for future climate resilience. The strategy was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris and highlighted the adaptation and resilience-building activities developed by Australian businesses, communities and all levels of government.
04 December 2015
President's Column
The International Day of People with Disability was celebrated this week on 3 December with the theme of Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities and a particular focus on making cities inclusive and accessible for all.
Capturing the value of transport infrastructure
The Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities has launched an inquiry into increased transport connectivity and economic activity, with a particular focus on value-capture as a funding mechanism for infrastructure development.
CEFC establishes $250 million local government program
Australian councils are being encouraged to invest in clean technologies to reduce their energy bills and lower emissions via a new $250 million program from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The CEFC's Paul McCartney, Executive Director - Corporate and Project Finance, said there are compelling reasons for Australian councils to take proactive steps to manage their energy use.
27 November 2015
President's column
This week the Government provided its response to the Competition Policy Review, better known as the Harper Review. The Review, commissioned by the Government and publicly released in March this year, provided a broad analysis of Australia's competition framework making 56 recommendations to modernise and simplify Australia's competition laws.
Government accepts Harper Review recommendation on road pricing
In its response to the Harper Review, the Government has announced that it will accelerate work with states and territories on heavy vehicle road reform and investigate the benefits, costs and potential next steps of options to introduce cost-reflective road pricing for all vehicles.
New arts fund opens for applications today
The Commonwealth Government has opened applications for its revised arts excellence funding program, Catalyst: The Australian Arts and Culture Fund. It will allocate $12 million per year over the next three years for innovative arts projects from small, medium and large arts organisations at a national, regional and community level.
20 November 2015
Call for intergovernmental plan to address national productivity
The 2015 National State of the Assets: Roads and Community Infrastructure Report says that there is an opportunity for local government involvement in an integrated national approach to improve Australia's international competitiveness and address social inequity to lift national productivity.
The case for a Community Infrastructure Program launched
ALGA launched a community infrastructure proposal that aims to stimulate local economic opportunities and create 5,000 jobs in Australian communities at the 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Ballarat, Victoria.
2016 Roads Congress host city revealed
The 2016 National Local Roads and Transport Congress will head to the Garden City, and Queensland's largest inland city, Toowoomba. ALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard announced Toowoomba as the host city for the event at the closing of the 2015 Congress in Ballarat yesterday. The 2016 Congress is currently penciled in from 9 - 11 November.
13 November 2015
New Austroads framework relevant for councils
The meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) was held in Adelaide last Friday and was attended by Transport, Infrastructure and Planning Ministers from the Commonwealth, States and Territories, New Zealand and the Australia Local Government Association (ALGA).
Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility consultation paper released
The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, has announced the release of a consultation paper on the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility's (NAIF) administration structure. The NAIF is a significant element of the Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, released in June 2015.
Last chance to have your voice heard and influence national transport policy
The 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress gets underway next Tuesday in historic Ballarat. This is expected to be the last Roads Congress before the next Federal election, and with representatives from both the Government and the Opposition in attendance, it's a crucial opportunity for local councils to influence national policy leading into the election year.
06 November 2015
President's Column
Today I will be attending a meeting of the Ministerial Council on Transport and Infrastructure, and participating in discussions on how to achieve a coordinated and integrated national transport and infrastructure system that is efficient, safe, sustainable, accessible and competitive.
Government to review approach to vehicle emissions
The Government has announced that it will take a whole of government approach to addressing vehicle emissions with a Ministerial Forum chaired by the Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, the Hon Paul Fletcher, that will examine vehicle emissions standards in Australia and vehicle testing arrangements. The Ministerial Forum will be supported by a working group.
New Statement of Expectations issued to Infrastructure Australia
A new Statement of Expectations has been issued to Infrastructure Australia by the Government for the period 1 November 2015 to 30 June 2017. The statement, issued by the Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, the Hon Paul Fletcher, confirms Infrastructure Australia's ongoing work program.
30 October 2015
President's Column
This week we have been served with yet more reminders of the importance of helping communities to insulate from the effects of natural disasters with intense storms affecting areas of Queensland. Natural disasters have a significant economic, social, environmental and political impact on communities, and they are occurring more frequently and producing more severe and longer-term consequences.
Final report handed down following Parliamentary Inquiry into Local Government in NSW
The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into local government, which was prompted by the NSW Government's Fit for the Future reform program for local government announced in September 2014, yesterday handed down its final report. The Inquiry questioned whether the Fit for the Future program was the best way to achieve reform.
Final editing corrections made to Fit for the Future report, says IPART
The New South Wales Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) issued a press release earlier in the week advising that it has not made any changes to the Fit for the Future assessment outcomes. The press release followed disagreements to some of the assessments and suggested corrections to the text that IPART received from some councils.
23 October 2015
Fit for the Future assessments released for NSW councils
The New South Wales Government this week released the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal's (IPART) assessment of NSW local government Fit for the Future proposals. IPART made the assessments based on information provided by councils, long-term financial reports and other available data.
Council on Federal Financial Relations discusses national tax system
The Council on Federal Financial Relations recently met in Sydney to discuss a range of national economic and fiscal issues, including the national tax system. The Council is made up of the Commonwealth Treasurer and the Treasurers from each of Australia's states and territories. During the meeting, the Council discussed the possible elements to comprehensive tax reform.
Roads Congress less than four weeks away!
The 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress is less than four weeks away. This year's Congress is themed 'Connecting Communities: Building the Nation' and the discussions will be focused squarely on how increased connectivity will help Australia's economy grow and how central local government's role is.
16 October 2015
ALGA President advocates for new roads initiatives at Parliamentary meetings
ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, has advocated for new roads initiatives in Parliamentary meetings this week including with the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Shadow Minister for Cities and Shadow Minister for Tourism.
New Shadow Ministry announced
The Hon. Bill Shorten MP this week unveiled the team Labor will take to the next Federal Election in an announcement of his new Shadow Ministry. The announcement saw Cities added to the Hon Anthony Albanese MP's portfolio and an incoming Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Infrastructure, the Hon Alannah MacTiernan MP.
LGNSW President and Treasurer announced
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has completed the vote count for the positions of President and Treasurer of the Board of Local Government NSW. Coffs Harbour Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM was returned as President of LGNSW, while Lane Cove Councillor Scott Bennison was elected Treasurer. The result was announced at the LGNSW Conference which took place this week in Sydney.
09 October 2015
Cities Minister launches report on Australian urban transport
A new report launched by the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, the Hon Jamie Briggs MP, has found that city planning needs to take a three-pronged strategic approach, including finding ways to reduce or avoid travel, shifting to more environmentally-friendly transport and improving the energy efficiency of transport.
Meeting of Cultural Ministers - communique
Arts and culture Ministers from across the country recently met to discuss a number of key areas of national importance at the annual Meeting of Cultural Ministers (MCM). ALGA was represented by Vice President Cr Bill McArthur. A key issue that was discussed where local government has a significant interest was the important relationship between arts and culture and tourism.
Value of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge in disaster resilience
The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), held on Tuesday 13 October, encourages every citizen and government, including local government, to take part in building more disaster-resilient communities and nations. The day celebrates how people and communities are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of disaster risk reduction.
02 October 2015
Incoming Local Government Minister agrees to address Roads Congress in November
ALGA is pleased to announce that the newly appointed Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, will address the 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Ballarat.
Cities Minister Jamie Briggs forms Cities and Built Environment Taskforce
Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, the Hon Jamie Briggs MP, has created a new Cities and Built Environment Taskforce charged with analysing public transport funding, boosting city planning and environmental programs, and improving urban water systems.
Further changes to Commonwealth Ministry
The Government this week announced some further changes to the Commonwealth Ministry, which included the following: Minister for Health and Minister for Sport the Hon Sussan Ley MP was given the additional role of Minister for Aged Care, bringing Aged Care into the Health portfolio from the Social Services portfolio Assistant Minister for Health the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP was given responsibility of
25 September 2015
ALGA welcomes local government and cities focus in Turnbull Ministry
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the appointment of the Hon Paul Fletcher MP as Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, and the Hon Jamie Briggs MP as the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's new Ministry announced recently.
ALGA Board commences preparations for Federal election
The strategic direction of ALGA's advocacy in the lead up to the Federal election was discussed at the ALGA Board meeting in Adelaide last Friday as the ALGA Board commenced preparations for the next election. The Board noted that the appointment of Mr Turnbull as Prime Minister and a new Ministry provided a renewed opportunity to local government to influence an evolving Australian Government agenda.
Productivity Commission draft report on public safety broadband
The Productivity Commission released its draft report on public safety broadband this week and is seeking written feedback on the draft report by 28 October. The Commission was asked to undertake a 'first principles' analysis of the most efficient, effective and economical way of delivering a public safety mobile broadband capability to public safety agencies - such as police, fire, ambulance and other emergency services - by 2020.
18 September 2015
ALGA welcomes incoming Prime Minister
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has congratulated the incoming Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, following his elevation to the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party, and also thanked the Hon Tony Abbott MP for his work and commitment while in office.
Warren Truss to address local government at 2015 Roads Congress
ALGA is pleased to confirm that the Hon Warren Truss MP will speak at the 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress. Mr Truss has been a long-time supporter of the Roads Congress and this will be an important opportunity for local government to hear the Australian Government's plans for infrastructure and transport from Mr Truss.
How one council is supporting the campaign to restore FAGs indexation
Councils across Australia have jumped on board ALGA's campaign lobbying the Federal Government to restore Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) indexation as soon as possible by issuing media releases, writing to the Government and outlining the importance of FAGs, and passing resolutions acknowledging the value of FAGs to their councils.
11 September 2015
New President for Local Government Association of Tasmania
Mayor Doug Chipman of the City of Clarence has been announced as the new President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT). As one of four people contesting the position, Mayor Chipman praised those who had nominated for the role, highlighting the regard in which the position is held and the importance the sector places upon it.
2015 Roads Congress - Connecting Communities, Driving the Nation
The 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress, which is just over two months away, will touch on a number of issues of importance to local government across the nation. In particular, the key message from the Congress will be the importance of building strong relationships and how those connections help drive Australia's productivity and international competitiveness.
Up to government and industry to ensure opportunities in innovative infrastructure technologies not lost
The Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has over the past week held public hearings for its inquiry into the role of Smart ICT in the design and planning of infrastructure. The hearings have so far uncovered a range of innovative technologies that have the potential to make the design, planning and procurement of infrastructure more efficient and long-term management more effective.
04 September 2015
Wheels in motion to provide additional $1.105 billion for Roads to Recovery
On 23 June 2015 the Australian Government announced that it will provide an additional $1.105 billion for the Roads to Recovery Programme using the revenue from the first two years of the re-introduced fuel excise indexation. The wheels are now in motion to provide the additional funds to local government.
ALGA submission in response to Australian Infrastructure Audit 2015
ALGA this week made a submission to Infrastructure Australia in response to issues raised in the Australian Infrastructure Audit 2015 to be considered in the preparation of the 15-year Australian Infrastructure Plan.
Update on Community Infrastructure Ideas Register
More than 70 councils across the states and the Northern Territory have submitted nearly 350 examples of declining community infrastructure that are in need of replacement, maintenance or upgrades to ALGA's Community Infrastructure Ideas Register.
28 August 2015
Anthony Albanese confirmed to speak at 2015 Roads Congress
We are pleased to confirm that Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, will attend and speak at the 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Ballarat, held from 17 to 19 November. Mr Albanese will speak on the second day of the Congress.
Changes to carrier powers and immunities approved by Malcolm Turnbull
The Minister for Communications, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, has approved changes to the carrier powers and immunities to support multi-technology rollouts of high-speed broadband. The changes took into consideration the comments and concerns outlined in ALGA's submission on the consultation draft on amending carrier powers and immunities.
Councils tell of on-the-ground impact of FAGs indexation freeze
As part of ALGA's ongoing national campaign urging the Federal Government to restore indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) as soon as possible, councils have been providing on-the-ground examples of the real impact of the freeze to their communities. Burnie City Council in Tasmania is having to make operational adjustments due to the freeze.
21 August 2015
Deputy Prime Minister reiterates importance of regional partnerships at RDA National Forum
Regional Development Australia (RDA) held its forum on Wednesday this week themed 'Working Together to Strengthen Economic Growth', which was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss. The forum saw the Chairs, deputy Chairs and Chief Executives of all 55 RDAs attend the two-day event in Canberra.
Round 2 of Bridges Renewal Program closing in just over a week
Applications for Round Two of the Bridges Renewal Program will close in just over a week on Monday 31 August. The second round of the program, providing $100 million, is available only for local government projects (including projects from the ACT Government) to help local councils build connectivity and productivity through replacing bridges and improving access for communities and businesses.
Roads Congress domestic keynote speaker profile - Philip Davies, CEO, Infrastructure Australia
Philip Davies was appointed as Infrastructure Australia's (IA) inaugural Chief Executive Officer in March this year. He's a highly qualified engineer and experienced infrastructure executive with more than 25 years of experience in shaping policy, delivering nationally-significant infrastructure projects, and leading reform within the infrastructure sector with valuable experience in both the public and private sectors.
14 August 2015
International speaker for Roads Congress confirmed
ALGA is pleased to confirm that the international speaker for this year's National Local Roads and Transport Congress will be Professor John Woodrooffe, a transport research scientist and Director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute's Commercial Vehicle Research and Policy Program.
$3.7 million to improve national disaster resilience
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan this week announced $3.7 million in funding for projects to help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters and emergencies. The funding will go towards 22 nationally-significant projects under the National Emergency Management Projects (NEMP) program in 2015-16.
Communique from the Building Ministers' Forum
The Building Ministers' Forum (BMF) recently met in Melbourne to agree on a range of significant outcomes of relevance to the Australian building and construction industry and the wider community.
07 August 2015
CHURP seeking local government participation in housing research
The Australian Research Council has recently funded a three-year study into the role of local government in housing in the 21st century. The study will be conducted by the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP), a research centre at the University of Adelaide. The research seeks to understand how changing economic, social, demographic and political processes in Australia have affected the interaction between local government and housing over the past decades, and what the likely impacts in the future will be.
Final report released: Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines
The Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines has released its second and final report putting forward 15 recommendations in addition to the seven interim recommendations given in its June interim report.
Can urban redesign cut road fatalities?
A new report, Cities Safer by Design, offers practical guidance for urban planners to help create safer streets and communities to reduce traffic fatalities and improve people's lives. The report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities includes more than 30 specific urban design recommendations for urban planners and policymakers.
31 July 2015
More than 100 submissions from councils to the Community Infrastructure Ideas Register
Councils Australia-wide have submitted more than 100 examples of declining community infrastructure in need of replacement, maintenance or upgrades within about a week of ALGA's call out. Proposals submitted to ALGA's Community Infrastructure Ideas Register demonstrate that there is a clear need for community infrastructure to be renewed.
ALGA welcomes announcement on Voluntary Waste Industry Protocol
Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson MP on Wednesday this week launched the Voluntary Waste Industry Protocol, which will give councils greater certainty on how to handle revenue collected before the repeal of the carbon tax in 2014.
Influence transport and infrastructure agenda at the 2015 Roads Congress
Councils should have recently received a registration brochure from ALGA for the 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress. The 2015 Roads Congress is local government's opportunity to gather practitioners and elected members from across the country to discuss and explore issues that are core to the business of councils.
24 July 2015
Australian Leaders' Retreat Communiques - Steps towards reform
The Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the ALGA President have issued two communiques following the first COAG Leaders' Retreat this week outlining the steps agreed to by the leaders in working towards major reform of Australia's Federation and acting against the threats to the community from violent extremists, family violence and the drug ice. The first communique said that all leaders agreed that the Federation reform process provided a rare opportunity to tackle issues around delivering improved health services, new infrastructure
New funding for local projects to reduce violence against women
Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash announced early in the week that $4 million of grants would be made available for one-off projects addressing domestic violence under the Building Safe Communities for Women and their Children initiative. The grants are open for applications from local government as well as community groups and not-for-profit organisations.
Tell us what you think about ALGA News
ALGA News is seeking your feedback on the newsletter and its content! A newsletter is only as good as its relationship with its readers so we're asking for only 5 minutes of your time to tell us what you think about ALGA News to make sure our newsletter best meets your interests. The survey is anonymous so feel free to be honest! Each person who completes the survey will have the opportunity to go into a draw to win one of three copies of Funding the Future: Financial Sustainability and Infrastructure Finance in Australian Local Government.
17 July 2015
President's column
Preparations are in full swing for the COAG Leaders' Retreat coming up next week. My priority for the retreat is to canvass options for reform of the Federation from a local government perspective to not only improve the way the Federation works by clarifying roles and responsibilities but also strengthen collaboration between the spheres of government.
President's column
Preparations are in full swing for the COAG Leaders' Retreat coming up next week. My priority for the retreat is to canvass options for reform of the Federation from a local government perspective to not only improve the way the Federation works by clarifying roles and responsibilities but also strengthen collaboration between the spheres of government.
Call out for community infrastructure ideas in preparation of 2016 Federal election strategy
ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, has put the call out to councils for proposed community infrastructure renewal projects as part of ALGA's development of its 2016 Federal election strategy. Councils have been asked to submit two or three ideas of projects that may include upgrades, replacement and maintenance works to the Community Infrastructure Ideas Register on ALGA's website.
10 July 2015
Support for agriculture industry in Agricultural White Paper
On 4 July 2015, the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, and the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, released the agriculture White Paper on the future of Australian agriculture. The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper: Stronger Farmers, Stronger Economy outlines the government's commitments around five key policy priorities, with $4 billion in funding allocated to them:
Launched this week: State of Australian Cities and State of Regional Australia reports
The Australian Government this week concurrently released the State of Australian Cities 2014-15 and Progress in Australian Regions: State of Regional Australia 2015 reports to provide a nationwide view of Australia's progress. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the release of both reports provides a holistic picture of the population, employment, economic and transport trends that are occurring across Australia. Minister Truss said the release of the publications recognised the interrelated nature of cities and their surrounding regions.
ALGA submission to Low Impact Facilities Determination paper
ALGA has lodged a submission to the consultation draft on the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications (Low-Impact Facilities) Determination 1997 and the Telecommunications Regulations 2001, which was released for comment on 12 June 2015. Overall, ALGA supports the intention and principle of the proposed amendments to the Low Impact Facilities Determination (LIFD), which amends definitions and terminology to reflect the multi technology mix (MTM) approach adopted for the remaining rollout of the National Broadband Network. However, ALGA reiterates its earlier concerns about the width of overhead cabling.
03 July 2015
Round 2 Bridges Renewal Program now open
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced this week that Round 2 of the Bridges Renewal Program is now open for applications. The second round of the program will provide $100 million that will be available only for local government projects (including projects from the ACT Government) to help local councils build connectivity and productivity through replacing bridges and improving access for communities and businesses.
Registrations open for 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress
Registrations are now open for the 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress, which will be held from 17-19 November at the Ballarat Lodge Conference Centre in Ballarat, Victoria. The National Local Roads and Transport Congress has always been, and continues to be, critical in providing a platform to engage with the Federal Government and Opposition on road and infrastructure policies and initiatives.
Campaign to immediately restore FAGs indexation continues
ALGA wrote to Federal MPs and Senators this week to seek their support for the campaign to immediately restore the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs). The Government's decision in the 2014 Federal Budget to freeze the indexation of FAGs for three years beginning in 2014-15 is now threatening the provision of services in local communities as councils are forced to look at difficult decisions which may involve cutting services.
26 June 2015
$1.1 billion boost for Roads to Recovery
The Government and Opposition agreed this week to a policy proposal to direct the revenue from the first two years of the fuel excise indexation, which adds up to $1.105 billion, towards additional Roads to Recovery funding for local government.
Federation White Paper Process must remain open to new ideas
Mayor Troy Pickard this week called on all tiers of government and all sides of politics to keep an open mind on options canvassed during the Reform of Federation White Paper process. Mayor Pickard said that a mature conversation was needed about the potential reform and the options presented around areas of responsibility and funding and now was not the time to rule out ideas.
White Paper on Developing Northern Australia released
The Prime Minister has unveiled his long-awaited vision for northern Australia, releasing a wide-ranging white paper setting out ambitious policy ideas for the next 20 years. New roads, studies of dam sites and changes to land-use laws formed major parts of the Government's development blueprint, which is designed to make the north an economic powerhouse .
19 June 2015
Successful launch of State of the Regions report
The Regional Cooperation and Development Forum on Sunday saw the successful launch of the 2015-16 State of the Regions report. This year, the report focuses on the growing inequality within and between Australian regions, and the detrimental effect this has on Australia's economic performance.
ALGA renews call to Federal Government to restore indexation of FAGs
Mayor Troy Pickard, President of ALGA, renewed ALGA's call to the Federal Government to restore indexation of the Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) as soon as possible at the opening of the 21st National General Assembly (NGA). Mayor Pickard pointed out that councils across the country were missing out on an expected $925 million in revenue over the period until 2017-18 that would have otherwise been used to fix local community infrastructure and fund crucial community services.
ALGA reaffirms commitment to Federal White Paper Reforms
ALGA restated its commitment to constructively engage in the White Paper reform processes on behalf of Local Government at the close of the 21st National General Assembly. Mayor Troy Pickard said the national discussion around reform was an excellent opportunity to start looking at how all levels of government can have access to appropriate revenues to deliver their respective services and infrastructure and that given the very real potential of changes to the operation of the three spheres of government, it was vital for Local Government to be an active participant in these reform processes.
12 June 2015
2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List
The 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List has once again recognised the time and effort that many exceptional community members have dedicated to their local community through service to local government. We are proud of the honours presented to: Member (AM) in the General Division Mr Stephen Anthony (Tony) Foster OAM, Pontville TAS.
Australian Government responds to FIFO report
The Australian Government has this week released its response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia report Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities? Fly-in, flyout and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in Regional Australia.
Registrations for 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress opening next week
Registrations will open next week for the 2015 Local Roads and Transport Congress, with a special discounted rate available to those who register this month. This year, the Congress will be held in Ballarat Victoria, a city promising key attractions, amazing food and wine, and fun for all.
05 June 2015
Vale Mayor Barry Jarvis
ALGA is sorry to advise that Mayor Barry Jarvis, President Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) and ALGA Board member, died this week. Mayor Jarvis was elected to Dorset Council in 2007 and became Mayor in 2009. He had been a representative of the Association's General Management Committee since 2011 and commenced his Presidency in October 2014.
ALGA submission to Taxation Issues Paper highlights importance of tax revenue in Local Government
ALGA has raised the importance of taxation revenue at the local and regional level for the provision of essential Local Government services and infrastructure in its submission this week to the Taxation Issues Paper.
Bill Shorten confirmed to speak at the 2015 National General Assembly
ALGA is pleased to confirm that the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Bill Shorten MP will deliver an address to the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) when it convenes in Canberra in just over a week's time. This will be the first time that Mr Shorten has addressed the NGA since assuming the leadership of the Labor Party in October 2013.
29 May 2015
ALGA President raises Financial Assistance Grants at Parliament House
ALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard raised local government's concerns about the cut to the indexation of the Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) in a meeting with Dr Peter Hendy, the Member for Eden-Monaro, at Parliament House this week.
ALGA participates in Canberra Tax Roundtable
ALGA highlighted the main taxation challenges facing Local Government this week during a taxation roundtable at the Commonwealth Treasury in Canberra on Tuesday. The roundtable, convened by officials developing the Taxation White Paper, was attended by a small number of peak organisations covering industry, the housing sector and the finance and superannuation industries.
Leader of the Australian Greens addressing 2015 National General Assembly
The 2015 National General Assembly of Local Government is just over two weeks away and it's looking like it will stimulate strong discussion about the place of local government, both in our community and the Federation, as well as provide an opportunity to think about the future.
22 May 2015
Emergency Management Ministers meeting in Canberra today
The Law Crime and Community Safety Council is meeting in Canberra today to discuss a number of law reform, law enforcement, community safety and emergency management matters. ALGA's Vice President Cr Greg Belz will take part in the discussions, focusing on natural disaster funding reforms.
Just one month until the National General Assembly
The National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) is less than four weeks away and updated programs were released this week for both the NGA and the associated Regional Cooperation and Development Forum. The program shows the dynamic and diverse range of issues that will be addressed in Canberra from 14 to 17 June.
Fatality Free Friday National Road Safety Campaign - 29 May
Road Safety is a global issue that ranks as one of the most pressing issues facing society today. Whilst advances in road design and vehicle safety have no doubt made a significant contribution to reducing road trauma, it is clear that a vital piece of the puzzle is still missing because the fatalities and injuries continue.
15 May 2015
FAGs story
Financial Assistance Grants to Local Government The 2015-16 Budget maintains the system of payments to support local government, through Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs). In the 2015-16 financial year, the Australian Government will allocate $2,289 billion in FAGs for local government services to the community.
President's Column
There was some good news and some disappointment in this week's Budget for local government. The Government met its commitment to double the funding for the Roads to Recovery programme and provide additional Black Spots funding in 2015-16 but this was offset by the continuing freeze on the indexation of the Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs).
Roads to Recovery and Black Spots funding to double for next two years
Recognising the important role local government plays in managing and maintaining our local roads network, the Budget this week showed the Government maintaining its commitment to double Roads to Recovery (R2R) in 2015-16 and provided further Black Spots funding for the next two years.
08 May 2015
Government Promises consultation on any changes to natural disaster funding
The Australian Government has promised to consult on changes to natural disaster funding as part of its initial response to the release of the Productivity Commission's final report on Natural Disaster Funding arrangements.
Regional Cooperation and Development Forum - Benefits of local and regional infrastructure investment
This year's Regional Cooperation and Development Forum will be held on Sunday 14 June in Canberra and will include the launch of the 2015-16 State of the Regions Report.
Continued strength in dwelling approvals for March 2015
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved rose 1.8 per cent in March 2015, in trend terms, and has risen for ten months. This continued strength was driven by increases in new flats, units or apartments in residential buildings. The value of total buildings approved rose 0.9 per cent in March and has risen for nine months.
01 May 2015
Dr John Hewson to address NGA
Former Federal Opposition Leader Dr John Hewson will be delivering a keynote address at the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) on Monday 15 June 2015.
First Emissions Reduction Fund Auction results
Last week, the Federal Government announced the outcome of the first reverse auction under the new Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF is designed as the main driver of the government's policy to reduce emissions by 5% on 2000 levels by 2020, by directly purchasing abatement from emitters.
Partners advocating for regional airport, airstrip and aerodrome funding
Airports play an important commercial and social role in modern Australia. This is particularly the case in rural, regional and remote areas where they are vital in connecting individuals, families and communities with the rest of the country.
24 April 2015
Former SA Premier Dr John Bannon to address NGA
ALGA is pleased to confirm that the Hon Dr John Bannon AO, Premier of South Australia from 1982-1992 and presently member of the Prime Minister's Advisory Panel of eminent Australians supporting the White Paper on Federation, will be delivering a keynote address to the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) on Tuesday 16 June.
Extreme weather highlights the need for increased disaster funding
When natural disaster strikes, such as the storms this week in NSW, we see the crucial role played by councils in supporting their communities. Councils work closely with emergency services and community organisations assisting their community in an emergency event. This is no easy task and resources are usually stretched to the limit.
National Awards for Local Government winners announced
Standout achievers in local government have been recognised with the announcement of the category winners for the 2015 National Awards for Local Government.
17 April 2015
FAGs - Funding our communities
Councils across Australia recently received the third quarterly payment of Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for this financial year. FAGs are an important untied payment to councils from the Federal Government which are invested in essential community infrastructure and services ranging from local roads and parks to swimming pools and libraries.
Federation and Taxation considered at COAG
Today, ALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard, attended the Council of Australian Government's (COAG) meeting in Canberra. The discussions at the meeting around the Federation and Taxation White Papers will include the roles and responsibilities of each level of government, GST and taxation collection and tax sharing arrangements.
National General Assembly Call for Motions deadline 28 April
The National General Assembly (NGA) is your opportunity to contribute to the development of national local government policy. The ALGA Board is calling for motions for this year's NGA under the theme Closest to the Community: Local Government in the Federation. Motions that are agreed at the NGA become Resolutions.
10 April 2015
Leader of the Australian Greens to address NGA
ALGA is pleased to confirm that Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens, will be addressing the National General Assembly of Local Government on Tuesday 16 June 2015. This will be the third time that Senator Milne has presented at the NGA.
Regional Forum - Benefits of local and regional infrastructure Investment
The program for this year's Regional Cooperation and Development Forum is being finalised and ALGA is pleased to announce that Dr Paul Collits, an expert on Regional Development, will deliver the keynote address.
National call to reinstate the indexation of FAGs
The Federal Government's decision to freeze the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), announced in the May 2014 Budget, is resulting in councils working with less funding this year and into the future. At a time when councils are already doing more with less, this move was a significant blow.
03 April 2015
Rethinking our tax system
The release of the tax discussion paper this week calls on Australians to think about how we create a tax system that supports economic growth and higher living standards, improves our international competiveness, adjusts to a changing economy and can accommodate new opportunities. This national discussion on how tax is collected and distributed is running in parallel with discussions about the Federation and the roles and responsibilities of each level of government.
Review into Australia's National Competition Policy released
This week saw the release of the Harper Review into Australia's National Competition Policy. Review findings include the need to reform regulations in areas such as the opening hours of shops, the licensing of taxis, the on-sale on imported goods and the introduction of an 'effects test' to determine whether particular practices or regulations are anti-competitive. The Review highlights the need for local government regulations to be considered and treated in a similar manner to state and Federal laws when it comes to influencing competition in the market.
drumMUSTER celebrates 25 million drums
Recently Konnongorring farmer Nathan Davey delivered drumMUSTER's 25 millionth drum to the Goomalling collection site. These 25 million containers represents over 30,000 tonnes of materials which have avoided landfill. Once collected, the containers are shredded or granulated and transformed into new products like plastic cable covers, wheelie bins, road signs and bollards.
27 March 2015
Deputy Prime Minister listens to local government priorities
ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, met with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss this week to brief the Deputy Prime Minister on some of the key issues facing the sector. The Deputy Prime Minister has worked with ALGA and local government for many years and has a background in local government.
Deputy Prime Minister listens to local government priorities
ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, met with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss this week to brief the Deputy Prime Minister on some of the key issues facing the sector. The Deputy Prime Minister has worked with ALGA and local government for many years and has a background in local government.
Disaster funding discussed with Minister for Justice
ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, this week met with the Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan to discuss issues relating to local government and in particular the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Disaster Funding Arrangements. The Productivity Commission submitted the final report of its Inquiry into Disaster Funding Arrangements to the Government on 19 December 2014.
Disaster funding discussed with Minister for Justice
ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, this week met with the Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan to discuss issues relating to local government and in particular the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Disaster Funding Arrangements. The Productivity Commission submitted the final report of its Inquiry into Disaster Funding Arrangements to the Government on 19 December 2014.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss to address NGA
Delegates at this year's National General Assembly (NGA) will be able to directly to engage with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss, when he addresses the NGA. With portfolio responsibilities for local government, infrastructure and regional development, the NGA is an important opportunity for local government to ensure the Deputy Prime Minister understands the specific challenges the sector is facing regarding the freeze on the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss to address NGA
Delegates at this year's National General Assembly (NGA) will be able to directly to engage with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss, when he addresses the NGA. With portfolio responsibilities for local government, infrastructure and regional development, the NGA is an important opportunity for local government to ensure the Deputy Prime Minister understands the specific challenges the sector is facing regarding the freeze on the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants
20 March 2015
Australian of the Year Rosie Batty to address NGA
2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, will address this year's National General Assembly of Local Government, which will be held from 14 - 17 June in Canberra. Ms Batty, in the face of immense and public personal tragedy, advocates for greater effort to be directed towards supporting those suffering with mental illness and preventing domestic violence.
Motions deadline extended for the National General Assembly
The National General Assembly (NGA) is your opportunity to contribute to the development of national local government policy. The ALGA Board is calling for motions for this year's NGA under the theme Closest to the Community: Local Government in the Federation. To assist Councils in preparing motions a Discussion Paper has been prepared and is available here.
Additional Emission Reduction Fund methods released
The Commonwealth Government has released four new methods for public consultation ahead of the first Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction on 15 April. Three of the methods announced focus on energy use and have the potential to improve energy efficiency in commercial and public lighting, commercial appliances and fan motors.
13 March 2015
2015 National State of the Assets Community Infrastructure Report
This week councils around Australia have received letters from ALGA asking them to take part in the 2015 National State of the Assets Community Infrastructure Report. The Report is a major project launched by ALGA to build a picture of the state of all infrastructure assets managed by local government.
First Inland Rail tenders open
The first tenders opened this week for Australia's Brisbane-to-Melbourne Inland Rail project . Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the tenders are for engineering design and environmental services on some of the key segments of the Parkes to Narromine and Narrabri to North Star sections in New South Wales.
Commonwealth Home Support Program starts 1 July
The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) comes into effect on 1 July this year. It will bring together the Home and Community Care program, the National Respite for Carers program, Day Therapy Centres and the Assistance for Care Housing for the Aged program.
06 March 2015
Bridges Renewal funding
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has announced funding for Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory under round 1 of the Bridges Renewal Program. $9.9 million has been allocated to WA, with four bridges on state roads to be upgraded. In Tasmania $4.
Heavy vehicle projects funded
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has announced successful projects in the Australian Government's Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program. Six million dollars has been provided for three projects in the Northern Territory and $14.4 million for six projects in Queensland, five of which will be completed by councils.
Neighbour Day launched at Parliament House
Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison officially launched Neighbour Day 2015 at a function at Parliament House yesterday, Thursday 5 March. Neighbour day celebrations will be held across Australia on Sunday 29 March. Neighbour Day was founded in Melbourne in March 2003 by Andrew Heslop, and in January 2014 he handed responsibility for Neighbour Day to Relationships Australia.
27 February 2015
ALGA sets priorities for year ahead
Restoration of indexation for Financial Assistance Grants, the White Papers on the Reform of the Federation and Taxation, natural disaster funding and developing an election campaign platform in the lead up to the 2016 election were the headline items for action identified at the ALGA Board strategic planning meeting in Canberra last Thursday and Friday.
Community Infrastructure data collection set to start
ALGA has started a major project to identify the importance of a whole of government approach to investment in local government infrastructure. This started with ALGA's State of the Local Roads Asset report which has been run successfully every year since 1012 and the aim for 2015 is to expand the report to include the other significant classes of assets councils are typically responsible for such as building and facilities; parks and recreation; stormwater and water cycle management; water and wastewater; and airports and aerodromes.
Final report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning released
The Australian Government currently spends almost $7 billion a year to support families to access child care. After a 12 month review, the Productivity Commission's final report, originally presented to the Government in October last year, was made public on February 20, 2015.
20 February 2015
Commonwealth Grants to councils support local communities
Local councils across Australia have received the third payment of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for this financial year, funds that are invested in essential community infrastructure and services ranging from local roads to swimming pools and libraries.
COAG Disability Reform Council meeting
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council (the Council) met in Melbourne on Monday 16 February. The meeting was chaired by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, the Commonwealth Minister responsible for disability and aged care. ALGA represented by vice president Cr Greg Belz.
Australian Government renewing 29 bridges across NSW
Twenty-nine bridges across New South Wales will be upgraded under the first tranche of the Australian Government's new $300 million Bridges Renewal Programme. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss was in Dubbo on Friday 13 February to announce $28.5 million
13 February 2015
2015 NGA Registrations launched
Registrations for the 2015 National General Assembly to be held in Canberra from 14 to 17 June, 2015 will open next Wednesday, 18 February. The Assembly theme Closest to the Community: Local Government in the Federation will put the spotlight on one of the key political drivers of 2015, the White Paper processes on Federation and Taxation.
2015 Regional Cooperation and Development Forum
The 2015 Regional Cooperation and Development Forum will be held on Sunday 14 June and will include the launch of the 2015-16 State of the Regions Report. The 2015 Regional Forum is the opening event of the National General Assembly of Local Government.
State of the Assets work expands
ALGA will produce a National State of the Assets Community Infrastructure Report for the first time in 2015. The report will complement the successful National State the Local Roads Assets report which has been produced since 2012. State of the roads data will also be collected again this year.
06 February 2015
Fifth Federation Issues Paper released
The fifth and final Issues Paper preapred as part of the Reform of the Federation White Paper process was released on Wednesday 4 February. The paper, COAG and Federal Financial Relations, looks at two aspects of Australia's intergovernmental structure; the institutional framework in which intergovernmental relations are conducted, and the supporting federal fiscal system.
ALGA lodges Budget Submission
This week, ALGA completed work on its submission to Federal Government as it prepares the 2015-16 Budget. This submission reflects local government's key national priorities, in the context of the Federal Government's fiscal constraints and includes proposals for initiatives in 2015-16 as well as proposals for programs and directions in future years.
Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation meets in Auckland
The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) met in Auckland on Friday 30 January 2015 and considered a range of matters including an update on the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, the review of low THC hemp as a food and production and processing requirements for approved raw milk products.
30 January 2015
Vale Tom Uren
Former Labor minister Tom Uren has died at the age of 93. A former WWII Prisoner of War, Mr Uren was elected to Parliament in 1958 as the member for Reid and he represented the Sydney electorate for 32 years. With the election of the Whitlam Government in 1972 Mr Uren was given the urban and regional development portfolio.
Claim the date
The 2015 National General Assembly will be held in Canberra from 14 to 17 June, 2015 with the theme, is 'Closest to the Community: Local Government in the Federation'.
2015 National Awards for Local Government
The Deputy Prime Minister launched the 2015 National Awards (the Awards) for Local Government on 2015 National Awards for Local Government on 14 January 2015. Entries in this year's Awards will be accepted until Friday 27 February 2015 (inclusive). The Awards have attracted thousands of entries since their inception in 1986.


back to top of page

spacer
spacer
constitutional recognition link
spacer
alga news link
alga news subscription link
spacer
HOME | CONTACT DETAILS | PRIVACY © COPYRIGHT 2010 AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION