The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) welcomes Queensland MP John McVeigh’s inclusion in Federal Cabinet as the new Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government.
His appointment – and that of Barnaby Joyce as the new Minister for Infrastructure and Transport – will ensure these crucially important portfolio areas continue to deliver results for Australian communities in what is likely to be a challenging New Year environment.
Mr Joyce’s long experience in politics and government, particularly at the regional level, will add impetus to the roll-out of the Coalition’s ambitious infrastructure policies.
Dr John McVeigh – who has previously served on the Toowoomba Regional Council and was until this week the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation – will bring a similar depth of knowledge and understanding to the Regional Development, Local Government and Territories portfolio.
ALGA President David O’Loughlin has congratulated Dr McVeigh and Mr Joyce on their appointments, saying he looks forward to working with them.
“I will be seeking a meeting early in the New Year with Minister McVeigh to discuss the Coalition’s policies concerning Local government and the current priorities facing our communities,” Mayor O’Loughlin said.
“I will also be extending an invitation to the Minister to meet with the ALGA Board as part of the Board’s Strategic Planning Meeting in mid-February,” he added.
Mayor O’Loughlin praised outgoing Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, saying he had made a significant contribution to efforts by all tiers of government to improve the safety, efficiency and productivity of local roads.
“Mr Chester’s energy and enthusiasm – and his understanding of the fact that Local Government is a vital and willing partner with the Commonwealth in sustaining local communities – ensured real results during his term in office,” he said.
The new Cabinet appointments will build on the already strong relationship that exists between the Commonwealth and Local Government, Mayor O’Loughlin said – one aimed at growing the economy, delivering jobs, and helping support regional development.