FILTER BY:
  • ALGA is aware that councils are now developing their budget processes for 2020-21 and one of the issues which has arisen is the need for certainty around their Financial Assistance Grant allocations for 2020-21, especially in light of the Government’s announcement that the 2020-21 Budget will be delayed until October.  The Government’s Financial Assistance Grants+

  • A number of Councils have announced support packages to assist residents, business, sporting and community groups address the social, cultural and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some measures taken by Gladstone Regional Council include rent concessions for Council-leased commercial facilities, freezing of interest on outstanding rates and charges and financial support for sporting and+

  • Closures, restrictions, working from home, rate relief, landing fees relief, service cuts, hardship policies, delivery curfews, public health inspections, and even delays to the Federal Budget and questions over FAGs funding – how quickly our world has changed. Yet our communities’ need for help has rarely been higher, nor has the lack of certainty. The+

  • Unfortunately the 2020 National General Assembly (NGA) will not go ahead in June 2020. The ALGA Board has made this difficult decision in light of the Government’s decision to ban non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people at indoor venues as part of its efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Prime Minister has+

  • On Wednesday 18th March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced restrictions being put in place to address the spread of coronavirus in Australia. He stressed this is not a two-week solution it is most likely to be six months. “Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world. Life is going to+

  • Droughts, bushfires and now a global virus – the need for strong and stable Local Government has never been greater for our communities. The Prime Minister’s recent announcements dramatically underline that Governments at all levels must step up to keep the nation healthy, our businesses solvent and people in jobs. Councils are the most connected+

  • A new report produced by the Climate Council has looked at the devastating climate impacts Australians experienced this summer. The bushfire season started in winter and was the worst on record for New South Wales in terms of its intensity, the area burned, and the number of properties lost. It was also the worst season+

  • The Federal Government has announced the 147 projects that will be funded in NSW under the 2020-21 round of the Black Spots Program. The Government has committed $1 billion to the Black Spot Program from 2013-14 to 2022-23 to improve road safety across the nation. “By specifically targeting road locations with a history of crashes+

  • Today I’m attending COAG where the Prime Minister, First Ministers and I, on behalf of our sector, will discuss the issues currently impacting our country. These include bushfire relief, drought, violence against women, mental health, the proposed waste export ban, and the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Bushfire relief has been slow, despite best efforts of governments.+

  • Now in its 27th year, the Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program provides grants of up to $15,000 to community groups to help preserve and manage locally held but nationally-significant cultural heritage collections. Since the program began in 1994, more than $7.26 million has been allocated to 1,445 collection preservation and management projects around the country,+

  • Time is running out for councils to have their say on life in regional Australia. The House of Representatives Select Committee on Regional Australia is looking at the contribution regional Australia makes to the nation’s identity, economy and environment. The committee is also examining the effectiveness of existing programs to develop and promote regional centres,+

  • What needs to change, across government and industry, to curb the roughly 1.4 million tonnes of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres that we export every year? With the waste export ban drawing nearer – in less than six months for glass and just over a year for mixed plastics – we need practical solutions+

  • This week Infrastructure Australia released its 2020 Infrastructure Priority List, and I’m pleased to say it reinforces the key themes ALGA has been advocating for on behalf of the sector. According to Infrastructure Australia, the list is designed to spark investment and coordinated action from industry and government. They listed the following national initiatives as+

  • Case studies of the many ways metropolitan and regional councils from across Australia have successfully resettled new migrants will be launched at the 2020 Welcoming Cities Symposium in Canberra next month. The 18-19 March gathering at the National Gallery of Australia is an opportunity for all levels of government and civil society to come together+

  • While Victoria’s recycling system is set to change following an announcement this week by the Andrews State Government, Local Government New South Wales has warned that Australia’s most populous state risks having more of its waste sent to landfill. Recycling Victoria is a $300m, 10-year plan to create a circular economy through measures including a+

  • Hydrogen energy test facilities under construction in Canberra and regional Victoria that will examine whether natural gas networks can transition to hydrogen may have positive implications for regional councils as they seek to lower their emissions. These facilities, plus two hydrogen vehicles refueling stations, show local communities’ efforts. Last year, the Council of Australian Governments+

  • The Royal Commission into the bushfires of summer 2019-20 will examine areas including the responsibilities and coordination between Australia’s three levels of government, and how they share resources. Formally known as the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, its Terms of Reference include land management, land-use planning, zoning and development approval including building standards,+

  • It’s my pleasure to announce the first round of guest speakers who will present at the 2020 National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra from 14-17 June. The largest gathering of local government in the country this year takes the theme Working Together for Our Communities. As this past summer has been tough for+

  • On 13 February, the Federal Government announced an additional $17m for the 60 Local Governments in bushfire-affected areas. The grants range from $200,000 to $416,667 and are in addition to the funds the Federal Government announced on 9 January for these 60 councils in NSW, VIC, SA and QLD. The Federal Government said all councils+

  • An assessment of how some of Australia’s largest local governments are cutting their emissions has found 58 percent have a target or aspiration to reach net zero by 2050 for their “operations emissions” – those activities or emissions sources owned or controlled by the local government. Thirty seven percent of those local governments have a+

  • Restore our funding to 1%, fix the infrastructure backlog, invest in recycling, improve community resilience and tackle climate change risks. These are a precise of the top five issues raised at this week’s ALGA strategic planning session in Canberra. It was also an opportunity for noting our successes over the past three years. These include+

  • The Australian Local Government Association’s submission for the 2020-21 Federal Budget outlines how funding at the local level can support the Commonwealth’s priorities of keeping the economy strong, and Australians safe and together. Local Government has repeatedly demonstrated it is a reliable, professional and cost-effective partner in delivering Commonwealth programs, for example the more than+

  • Arts and cultural activities offer creative outlets for local communities to come together and help with recovery following a natural disaster or other types of calamity. For example, this may be a community memorial, a collaborative mural, story book, or an event like a concert.. Sometimes councils lead these  projects or may lend support through+

  • Prime Minister Morrison’s bushfire condolence motion this Tuesday said that the response to the tragic summer bushfires which have affected such a large area across five jurisdictions included “unceasing efforts and close cooperation between state and local governments”. He later noted “the actions of every level of government have been exemplary” and he paid tribute+

  • Austroads has released a new, free guide which attempts to address a dearth of relevant information about road safety guidance for local government. “The purpose of the guidance is to rectify this, by compiling contemporary information on the reasons for establishing, and processes for developing and implementing a road safety management framework for local government+

  • Outstanding people from across the local government sector have been recognised in the annual Australia Day honours list for service to their communities. In particular, ALGA President David O’Loughlin congratulated two former ALGA Board members for their achievements. Rae Kingsbury (Perry) AM, who in 2004 became the first woman to serve as President of the+

  • I want to begin by congratulating two former ALGA Board members for their recognition in the 2020 Australia Day honours. Rae Kingsbury (Perry) AM, who in 2004 became the first woman to serve as President of the Australian Local Government Association, was named a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the+

  • The Commonwealth will expand mental health services for young people living in 10 places affected by bush fires in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The Commonwealth is also providing additional funding to Primary Health Networks to support Headspace services in bushfire affected regions. “Supporting the long term mental health of young people living+

  • Three councils in Adelaide have commenced an initiative to explore new techniques and technologies to build and resurface local roads.  Roads are the largest asset among Australia’s councils and local governments are responsible for 75 percent of the country’s road network. Led by the City of Mitcham, in partnership with the cities of Unley and+

  • The Australia Day celebrations this long weekend gives us chance to stop and celebrate with our community. Councils will proudly bring their communities together with events like citizenship ceremonies, barbecues, and concerts. We’ll demonstrate community cohesion and resilience, so important as this summer we’ve witnessed terrible bushfires across large swathes of the country, in addition+

  • Time’s running out for councils to draft motions and submit them for the 2020 National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra. The deadline is 11:59pm AEST Friday 27 March, meaning many councils may have only two monthly meetings in which to discuss and debate any motion. Held each June, the National General Assembly of+

  • Support including money, people with skills and resources, information and equipment continues to be expanded into bushfire affected communities across the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 15 January announced funding for additional mental health support and for “community recovery hubs” which provide much needed well being recovery services and programs including mobile hubs to+

  • The worst of the bush fires across the country may be over, at least in the short term, but the recovery and reconstruction is just getting started. Ordinary people from Australia and around the world have donated tens of millions of dollars, there’s an initial $2 billion from the Australian Government, and defence force personnel+

  • The Commonwealth’s initial $60m for immediate assistance to 42 Local Government Areas hit by bushfires is welcome money that lets local councils continue working with their communities to get back on their feet, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said on 9 January. The funding package is based on one in place after the 2019 Queensland+

  • From running evacuation centres to firefighting, to driving machinery, fundraising, or distributing goods, local councils and local government associations from across the country are leading efforts to help bushfire-hit communities. Here’s an overview of what’s been happening around Australia in recent weeks: In New South Wales, general managers of six fire-affected councils on 3 January+

  • Welcome to 2020. I want to express my condolences to people who have lost their loved ones, homes, businesses and animals in the terrible bush fires affecting large parts of Australia in recent weeks and months. The sheer scale of the fires and their destruction has been shocking, and many blazes continue to burn. But+

  • It’s almost the end of the year, and with it the chance for most of us to gather with family and friends to celebrate. Those of us fortunate to be having a break over Christmas and the New Year are thinking of farmers and communities struggling amid the ongoing drought, and also of firefighters across+

  • Local Government is not required to report on supply chains as part of the Modern Slavery Act, but large local councils are welcome to consider voluntarily complying, the Australian Government has said. The Modern Slavery Act 2018, which aims to tackle slavery in global supply chains, applies to all entities – Australian and foreign entities+

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg released the Commonwealth’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on Monday, an update of Australia’s economic and fiscal outlook from the previous budget. The MYEFO also takes account of all decisions made since the release of the budget which can affect expenses and revenue and hence require revision of the budget position.+

  • The City of Sydney is urging all three levels of government and businesses to join its effort to reduce the environmental consequences of travelling by preferencing accommodation providers that have a third-party performance rating. NABERS ratings are currently voluntary for hotels, meaning that government and corporate procurement will be essential to increase the number of+

  • Road safety is a hot button issue at this time of year,  and on Tuesday I participated in the Deputy Prime Minister’s roundtable on Local Government and road safety, convened in Brisbane and also attended by the Assistant Minister for Road Safety, Scott Buchholz.  There were around 30 participants invited including the LGAQ, elected representatives+

  • Fifty five Victorian local councils are working on an Electric Vehicle charging stations network to get the necessary public infrastructure in place so local communities can benefit from an expected increase in zero-emissions vehicles as the models become cheaper and more available. Charging the Regions, led by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, has examined optimal+

  • Tiny houses are one way to help address Australia’s affordable housing shortage and alleviate homelessness, but their potential has been hindered by a lack of a coherent regulatory and policy framework and variable community support, a new paper says. The paper by Liz de Chastel, a Senior Policy Officer with the Australian Local Government Association,+

  • The Morrison Government says merging the Department of Communications and the Arts into the current Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development will result in improved communications and regional services for people outside metropolitan areas. The public service restructure will trim the number of departments to 14 from 18, while 10 departments will be+

  • This week I’d like to update you on my meetings with Ministers in Parliament House, a day that proved how the last sitting week of the year is an intense and busy time. I had a fruitful discussion with Paul Fletcher, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, about a range of matters,+

  • Around 230 people – some from as far away as northern Western Australia, Arnhem Land and Hobart – gathered at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills to hear the latest from Australia’s best in automation, electric trucks, road construction, road funding, safety and transportation technologies. It was terrific to hear insights from our guest speakers, great+

  • A new discussion paper from the Australian Local Government Association  welcomes motions for the next National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government, which will be held in Canberra from 14-17 June 2020. Motions can be submitted between 18 November 2019 and 27 March 2020, and must address the NGA’s theme of “working together for our+

  • Councils in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply for the $200m fourth round of the Commonwealth’s Building Better Regions Fund (BRRF), which opened on 14 November and closes on 19 December. There is money for both infrastructure projects and also grants for community investments, and all drought-hit councils can apply, not just the 128  eligible+

  • This week has been National Recycling Week, a chance for councils across Australia to highlight the major role local government plays in dealing with the country’s waste challenges and opportunities. Some held tours of waste transfer and recycling facilities, or promoted the range of recycling services they offer, or will be introducing, or explained the+

  • The Australian Local Government Association’s recent advocacy on local councils’ behalf has included submissions to Infrastructure Australia and a parliamentary inquiry into 5G technology. Infrastructure Australia, a Commonwealth agency, is working on its 2021 Australian Infrastructure plan and has sought public comment about its 2019 Infrastructure Audit. ALGA backs the notion of a more robust+

  • There are just 10 days left until we welcome delegates to the 2019 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Hahndorf in my home state of South Australia. Around 250 people from around Australia will join us for three days of discussions about the latest developments and trends involving local roads and bridges, traffic management+

  • Better tracking of vehicle fleets and applying the latest developments in road research can help local councils to both improve their governance and also prepare for impending changes in mobility, such as by autonomous vehicles. That’s the message two experts will share at the National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Hahndorf 18-20 November. Lou+