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ALGA fondly farewells President Genia McCaffery
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Long-serving Mayor of North Sydney and President of ALGA for the past two years, Genia McCaffery has marked her last day in local government, having decided not to run again for the Mayoral position in tomorrow's local government elections in New South Wales.

"After 17 years in local government and having served four terms as North Sydney Mayor, I have decided that I will not be standing for re-election.  While this has been a difficult decision to make, I’m happy to pass on the reins to a new generation," Mayor McCaffery said.

In retiring from local government, Mayor McCaffery is also stepping down as ALGA President, a role in which she has made a major contribution since November 2010. 

Mayor McCaffery's strong advocacy for constitutional recognition of local government has ensured that the Government, the Opposition and all political parties at the federal level are well-informed of ALGA's commitment to a referendum on this issue at a time which maximises the chance for success.

Local government has maintained that the only way to ensure that direct federal funding for community services and infrastructure is protected is to have local government recognised in the Australian Constitution. 

"The whole question of adequate and certain federal funding for local services is of great concern to councils and communities alike.  It must be remembered that the key reason local government is working so hard to gain full recognition in the Australian Constitution is to ensure that federal funding is secure and effective," Mayor McCaffery said.

The ALGA Board recently appointed the Mayor of Marion in South Australia, Felicity-ann Lewis to fill the role of ALGA President until the Board votes on the presidency at its Annual General Meeting in November.

Retiring President, Genia McCaffery has warmly welcomed Mayor Lewis to the role, who will be focusing on progressing the issue of constitutional recognition of local government.

"I am looking forward to working with all sides of politics to progress our proposal for constitutional recognition of local government," Mayor Lewis said.

ALGA has presented the Government with a proposal to take forward the case for constitutional recognition of local government, which includes the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee; funding of a public education and awareness program; and suggestions for the specific wording of the amendment to the Constitution.

President Felicity-ann Lewis will be instrumental in negotiating the case for constitutional change and ALGA congratulates her on her appointment.

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