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  • The National State of the Assets Report 2021 will be launched on 9 December with the key findings to be discussed at an interactive webinar. Federal Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan will attend the launch, along with Infrastructure Australia CEO Romilly Madew, National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson, and IPWEA President Myles Lind.+

  • State governments should get behind local government efforts to create a healthy and sustainable food system in Australia, a new report says. Councils are already involved in food safety regulations as well as supporting sustainable local food production and reducing food waste, but could potentially do more to encourage the consumption of healthier foods as+

  • Governments will need to invest $30 billion in large-scale coastal protection and adaptation over the next 50 years, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says. A new report prepared for the ICA by Baird Australia says climate change is driving rising sea levels and exacerbating coastal hazards such as tidal inundation, coastal and estuarine inundation,+

  • WIN! Advocacy on Federal Assistance Grants Rewarded ALGA welcomes news last week that the Morrison Government has no plans in the short to medium term to review how Financial Assistance Grants are distributed by state/territory jurisdictions. We welcome the Federal Assistant Minister for Local Government, the Hon Kevin Hogan MP’s undertaking. The ALGA Board has+

  • New funding of $250 million has been announced for the Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programs. Under revised guidelines for the two programs, project proponents can apply for funding to cover up to 80 percent of the total project cost. In another first, the BRP and HVSPP will run concurrently and with+

  • The Bureau of Meteorology is trialling a data and forecasting service aimed at helping councils to better plan and prepare for heatwaves. The Bureau has been liaising with local governments in Sydney’s west regarding council requirements on heatwaves, and it recently expanded its heatwave assessments for all states and territories from three days to seven+

  • Guidelines for the community infrastructure funding stream of the $600 million Preparing Australia Program have been published ahead of applications opening in December. Grants of between $20,000 to $10 million will be available for proponents of projects which help communities “assess and plan for disaster risk, increase capacity and raise awareness of disaster risk, or+

  • Our strong advocacy for greater targeted funding support for local government mitigation projects paid off last week with the release of the guidelines for the local communities component of the Preparing Australia Program. I’m pleased to report that the Preparing Australian Communities Program is now open to all local government areas at high risk of+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the release of guidelines for the $150 million community infrastructure component of the Commonwealth’s $600 million Preparing Australia Program. The Program is focused on disaster preparedness and responds to recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements aimed at better preparing communities for more severe+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed a new Commonwealth Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program that will offer councils 80 to 100 percent of required funding to make unsealed local roads safer and more productive. Over 75 percent of Australia’s road network by length – about 678,000km in total – is owned and managed+

  • The Australia Local Government Association (ALGA) will work with a federal task force to mitigate the impacts of bank branch closures on rural communities. The Regional Banking Task Force will “bring together banks and other key stakeholders to ­assess how bank branch closures have impacted local businesses, industries, and communities, and work collaboratively to identify+

  • Natural disasters will cost Australia $73 billion by 2060, even under a low emissions scenario, a new business roundtable report suggests. The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities says the $79 billion forecast is “significantly higher” than the $39 billion by 2050 cost it estimated in 2017. The Roundtable’s latest report on+

  • The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) is urging the Commonwealth to invest more to improve telco services in regional and rural areas. In a submission to the Regional Telecommunications Review 2021, the agency said the government should: provide grants and other investment incentives to promote a wider range of services; standardise mobile coverage information that is+

  • The 2021-22 high-risk weather season has arrived – along with renewed concerns about disaster preparedness and capability. Our commitment to working with our communities to help them prepare for whatever this cyclone and bushfire season might throw up remains rock solid. However, we need greater support and stronger partnerships across all tiers of Government, and+

  • On October 14, 2021, ALGA made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee on the provision of GP and related health services to Australians living outside metropolitan areas.

  • The final pieces in ALGA’s federal election campaign are now being put in place, with key aspects of our advocacy strategy about to be road-tested. Thank you to all our state and territory associations for their contributions in the development of the strategy, which is based on a simple but compelling message – Don’t Leave+

  • Telstra will have to provide greater detail on whether it is meeting its Universal Service Guarantee (USG) under proposed new licence conditions. The new rules being considered by the federal government will require Telstra to include more information on the services it delivers under the USG, which updates the long-standing Universal Service Obligation (USO). Telstra+

  • The Dungog Shire has become one of the first NSW local governments to declare that people using its facilities must be fully Covid-vaccinated. In a media release this week, the Hunter Valley council said: “In order to visit some of our facilities, customers aged 16 years and over must now be able to show that+

  • The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley has been awarded a $7.57 million grant from the Commonwealth to complete airside upgrades at its Kununurra regional airport. The Round 5 Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) grant will allow the shire to strengthen taxiways, build a new apron and improve other airside infrastructure at the East Kimberley Regional+

  • Your ALGA published its Closing the Gap Implementation Plan this week – a proud moment for an organisation that has long championed strong and sustainable First Nations communities. Developed by ALGA with our state and territory association members, the Implementation Plan sets out key actions councils can undertake to meet the priority reforms laid out+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has published its Implementation Plan for the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The historic agreement – to which ALGA, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, and the Coalition of Peaks are all signatories – sets out four agreed priority reform targets and 16 socio-economic targets to improve life+

  • Low economies of scale continue to drive high regional airfares, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said this week. Regional airports can also struggle with low economies of scale, the national competition regulator said. “Air services fulfil an important role keeping regional communities connected with the rest of Australia,” the ACCC said in its+

  • Climate inaction at the state and national level may end up costing local governments as much as $54 million annually, a new report has warned. Some coastal councils are already paying more than $1 million to fix eroding beaches or protect beachside property or infrastructure, and the collective bill for remediation could top $54 million+

  • A new resource to accelerate efforts to provide greater opportunities for Indigenous Australians at the local community level has been published by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). Developed by ALGA and its state and territory association members, the guide sets out key actions councils can undertake to meet the priority reforms laid out under+

  • This document was prepared for the National Summit on Women’s Safety, 6-7 September 2021.

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has applauded calls for the nation’s 537 councils to be given greater backing to protect local communities from the accelerating impacts of climate change. A landmark Climate Council/City Powers Partnership report published this week found extreme weather events driven by global warming are taking a growing toll on community+

  • ALGA thanks Federal Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan for taking the time to make an appearance at this month’s Board Meeting. His commitment to working with local government to get the best outcomes for Australian communities is welcome and we look forward to working closely with him and his department going forward. Last+

  • The rising work-from-home trend has benefitted workers and could potentially increase the nation’s productivity, a report published this week says. Up to 40 percent of employees have been forced to work from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, according to the Productivity Commission report – and that a result of not having to commute to work,+

  • Cybercrime reports to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) in 2020-21 were up nearly 13 per cent on the previous financial year. Commonwealth, state, territory, and local governments accounted for 35 percent of these incidents, ACSC said in its annual Cyber Threat Report released this month. About one-quarter of reported cyber security incidents affected critical+

  • Regional and remote areas of Australia will get new or expanded recycling facilities after $7 million in new federal funding was announced this week. The grant funding will be made available through the Recycling Modernisation Fund and will be additional to the 23 projects that have already been identified in regional and remote Australia through+

  • Australia’s efforts to address and respond to climate change are not taking full advantage of the opportunity to partner with local government for more effective emissions reduction, mitigation, and adaptation solutions. Speaking after a meeting of the Global Covenant of Mayors Oceania, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President Linda Scott said the impacts of global+

  • Local government has renewed its commitment to preventing violence against women and children, saying it wants to work more closely with other levels of government to drive outcomes. Attending this week’s National Summit on Women’s Safety, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President Linda Scott called for dedicated domestic and family violence prevention officers in every+

  • In response to ALGA’s advocacy for more Covid support for councils that run early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, the Federal Government announced new business continuity payments on 23 August. Local government ECEC providers with centres in Commonwealth-declared COVID hotspots in Greater Melbourne and Greater Sydney will be eligible for payments of 25 percent+

  • Commonwealth funding partnerships with relevant jurisdictions are needed to improve road infrastructure, a federal parliamentary inquiry has said. The report from the inquiry into the importance of a viable, safe, sustainable, and efficient road transport industry published last week also said the federal government should: Establish a national fund to assess, maintain and upgrade freight+

  • Commonwealth efforts to identify regions where people face difficulties accessing GPs will be re-evaluated to address emerging local pressures. Federal Minister for Regional Health David Gillespie announced the review of the Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification system this week. “I have heard the concerns that the current approach is not capturing current or emerging local+

  • Council-run early childhood education and care centres affected by Covid-19 restrictions are set to receive additional Commonwealth support. Under a new package announced last week, childcare services in Commonwealth‐declared hotspots of Greater Sydney will be eligible for payments of 25 percent of their pre‐lockdown revenue. ALGA President Linda Scott last week wrote to the Federal+

  • Thermochemical technologies able to help realise a circular economy for plastics in Australia are not being fully exploited, the national science agency says. A new report by the national science agency says mixed, multi-layer, flexible, or contaminated and other hard-to-recycle plastics could be readily turned back into food-grade recycled plastics or other products using chemical,+

  • 23 August, 2021 The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed extra funding to help council-run early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres survive current lockdown restrictions. As a result of advocacy by Australian local governments, from today, early education and care centres impacted by extended Covid-19 lockdowns in NSW, Victoria, and the ACT will+

  • Councils must balance competing demands against finite resources, which is why ALGA continues to seek opportunities for improvement and advocate for councils to be adequately resourced for their tasks. Local government nationally employs about 194,000 Australians (around 10 percent of the total public sector). We own and manage non-financial assets with an estimated value of+

  • New and easily deployed technology able to extract value-added materials from problematic waste streams is about to be trialled on the NSW South Coast. Dubbed “micro-cycling science”, the novel technology was developed by the University of NSW’s Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre with support from the Australian Research Council. The technology is deployed+

  • Three north-western NSW councils will take part in a research project to address their long-standing health workforce shortages. The Glen Innes Severn Council and the Gwydir and Narrabri Shire councils will work with a research team to establish, fund, and manage a health workforce recruiter and connector (HWRC) position in each of the three LGAs.+

  • The Federal Government is allowing childcare centres in any area declared a Covid-19 hotspot for more than seven days to waive gap fees. In line with new arrangements introduced on 19 July, council-run early childhood education and care services affected by recent stay-at-home orders can opt-in to waive gap fees to parents to try to+

  • Infrastructure resilience can be enhanced by looking not just at assets themselves but how they contribute to societal resilience overall. In two new advisory papers published this week, Infrastructure Australia (IA) recommends a whole-of-system, all-hazards approach to resilience planning focused on strengthening an infrastructure asset as well as the place, precinct, city, and region that+

  • This week, it was a pleasure to meet with our new Assistant Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Kevin Hogan MP, to congratulate him on his new role, and commit to working with him on all matters important to local governments. On your behalf, I raised: Local government financial sustainability questions arising from COVID lockdowns;+

  • A federal parliamentary inquiry has called for a national homelessness strategy recognising the vital role played by local governments. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs report on homelessness in Australia contains 35 recommendations, including that the Commonwealth develop and implement a 10-year national strategy in consultation with state, territory,+

  • The Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) will develop a national accreditation/certification scheme to support resource recovery and the circular economy. The project will receive funding from the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) and be aligned to key targets in the National Waste Policy Action Plan. Those action plan targets include reducing total+

  • Regional airports nationwide have been awarded nearly $30 million in grants under Round 2 of the Federal Government’s Regional Airports Program. The 89 projects awarded grants include: Charters Towers Regional Council for airstrip, fencing and other upgrades at Charters Towers Airport in Queensland ($400,000); Kempsey Shire Council for fencing to reduce wildlife intrusion at Kempsey+

  • Nearly six in 10 local government CEOs say the financial sustainability of their councils was negatively impacted by Covid-19, a new survey shows. However, the survey also shows the pandemic has provided the impetus for many councils to “think outside of the box” about how to maximise revenue, keep costs down, and “sweat” their assets+

  • The South East Queensland Council of Mayors (SEQ) did local government proud this week. Six years after they began exploring a Brisbane regional bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Council of Mayors (working with the state and federal governments) have delivered spectacularly for their communities. The basis for the bid was always about+

  • Testing of Australia’s redesigned fire danger forecasting system has begun in north Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. The operational trial of the Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) program began on 1 July and will be extended to southern Australia in October when the fire season begins. In the most southerly areas, the+

  • Over 200 dangerous crash sites on NSW, Victoria, SA, Tasmania, and WA roads will get Black Spot Program fixes in 2021-22. Program funding of $86.9 million was announced this week, with the biggest share set to flow to councils in Victoria and NSW. Queensland Black Spot funding of $20.8 million to improve 67 dangerous crash+

  • Many local governments and communities lack the resources to identify appropriate solutions to local telecommunications problems, a new issues paper says. Published as a prelude to the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review, the paper canvasses issues around adequacy, opportunity, and awareness of telco services in both rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. Public consultations for+