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  • Rockhampton Regional Council’s bid to lure Alliance Airlines to its regional airport has been boosted with a $25 million Community Development Program grant. Tuesday’s Federal Budget committed $25 million (under the Community Development Grants Program) towards the construction of a maintenance repair and overhaul facility at Rockhampton airport for Alliance’s use, a move which could+

  • The Federal Government’s waste and recycling funding initiatives from Tuesday’s Budget have drawn a mostly favourable response from stakeholders. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced $77.9 million in new investments to reduce waste impacts on the environment, with $67 million of that to be directed to new food organic and garden organic waste (FOGO) initiatives. A Food+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s endorsement of the key role councils are playing in creating jobs and supporting local communities by leading a locally led economic recovery from the COVID pandemic. ALGA President Councillor Linda Scott said the key measures outlined in last night’s Federal Budget, including a $1+

  • Local governments provide a vast array of services, functions, and amenities according to individual state government legislative frameworks. Last night’s Federal Budget contained measures of varying relevance to local governments, depending on their jurisdiction or location. They include (with Budget Paper references): Home Ownership – First Home Super Saver Scheme (BP2 P17) and First Home+

  • This year’s Federal Budget further recognises Local Government’s essential role in supporting local communities, employment and businesses. It also addresses many of the priority issues that ALGA has been advocating and campaigning for over many years. The level of Financial Assistance Grants is estimated to be 0.6 percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue. This is unchanged+

  • Each year, ALGA provides an analysis of the Federal Budget with a specific focus on its impact on local government. The aim of the analysis is to provide local government with information on the total financial assistance it receives from the Australian Government as well as putting this assistance into context with the government’s overall+

  • In tonight’s Federal Budget, local governments welcome that the Morrison Federal Government has listened to ALGA’s advocacy, investing in local government in response to our calls for a locally-led economic recovery for Australia. The Federal Budget includes several wins for Australian councils and our communities, including: Community Infrastructure New funding for $1 billion towards Local+

  • The Australian Local Government Association has welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of investments in major projects totaling more than $10 billion and called for similar commitments in local government infrastructure. The new commitments, expected to create more than 23,000 direct and indirect jobs, form part of the Commonwealth’s 10-year land transport and infrastructure+

  • In response to sustained local government advocacy, I’m so pleased to welcome the Federal Government’s announcement this week of a properly funded National Recovery and Resilience Agency by July, with former NT Chief Minister Shane Stone as its coordinator-General. Disaster funding must go beyond recovery and reconstruction to embrace mitigation and resilience measures and, this+

  • Insurance costs for flood and cyclone-prone communities in northern Australia are expected to fall when a reinsurance pool is set up next year. Announcing the initiative this week, the Federal Government said insurance premiums for households, strata, and small businesses north of the Tropic of Capricorn should drop by a combined $1.5 billion over 10+

  • The Morrison Government will earmark an additional $250 million for a Sixth Round of Building Better Regions Fund in next week’s Federal Budget. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack made the announcement in a speech at Rockhampton on Wednesday, where he thanked local government for the job “you are doing on behalf of your local communities”.+

  • A new federal agency will support local community responses to major natural disasters and administer a $600 million “Preparing Australia Program”. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new program will enable the Commonwealth to directly fund disaster mitigation and risk-reduction projects. These projects will include flood levees, hardened telecommunications infrastructure, and bushfire and cyclone-proof housing.+

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s revelation that next month’s federal Budget will contain further fiscal stimulus and job-creation initiatives is great news for our sector. As the national focus shifts to creating the infrastructure and jobs needed to sustain a more dynamic and prosperous Australia, ALGA will be stepping up its campaign for funding from the Commonwealth+

  • The Federal and Victorian governments are investing a combined $24 million in Australia’s first drum pulper to recycle mixed waste paper and cardboard. To be installed at a Visy paper mill in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, the drum pulper will process an additional 95,000 tonnes of kerbside waste for manufacture into a range of paper products,+

  • Electric scooters will be trialled for up to a year in three Victorian council areas, the Victorian Government announced last week. Starting later this year, the trial is seeking to ascertain out how e-scooters could be integrated safely into the transport network. It will be conducted in two metropolitan LGAs and one regional LGA. The+

  • Journalist and author Gabrielle Chan knows a thing or three about regional Australia, having moved from Canberra to rural NSW with her farmer husband in 1996. She has described her home town of 25 years, Harden-Murrumburrah, as “the place in which I first understood a sense of belonging, of community, and the impulses to protect+

  • It was an honour to visit Darwin this week, spending time meeting and listening to the magnificent work being done by NT local governments, in towns and remote areas across the vast Territory. Thank you to Darwin’s Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT), and the LGANT+

  • The Building Stronger Homes Roundtable wants codes, standards, and land use planning systems revised to promote housing resilience. The roundtable was established by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and Master Builders Australia (MBA) to discuss policy changes that make buildings throughout Australia more resilient. ICA chief executive officer Andrew Hall said increased collaboration was+

  • An Australia-wide network of mass immunisation centres, supported by local government, could get the nation’s flagging Covid-19 vaccine program back on track. University of NSW epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws, pictured, said this week that vaccinations would need to be stepped up significantly if most of the adult population is to receive at least one shot by+

  • Telstra has lost its bid to overturn a Federal Court decision preventing it from installing payphones with large digital advertising screens in Melbourne and Brisbane. The High Court’s refusal last week to hear Telstra’s appeal ends a long-running bid by the company to install 1800 “next generation” payphones across capital cities under Under schedule 3+

  • Australia’s first underground automated general waste collection system in Maroochydore, Queensland will be switched on in July. Waste and recyclables from buildings and street bins in the new 53-hectare Maroochydore City Centre will be pumped through a 6.5km network of underground pipes at speeds of up to 70km/h to a collection station for transfer to+

  • A digital tool to highlight long-term trends in coastal erosion and growth has been launched by Geoscience Australia’s Digital Earth Australia (DEA) program. The tool was developed with input from local councils, state governments, academia and citizen scientists, and will provide scientists, managers, and planners with the means to reliably assess impacts to Australia’s coastlines+

  • Environment Ministers have agreed to a suite of actions to meet National Waste Policy Action Plan targets, included nationally consistent municipal waste collections. This week’s Environment Ministers Meeting (EMM) also agreed in principle to support a roll-out of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) waste collection services and to implement standards within each jurisdiction for+

  • The recent huge waves of support for women to have their voices heard paid off this week with the Morrison Government saying it will stage a national women’s safety summit in July. The announcement acknowledges that Australian society, by and large, has not done enough to protect or support people who are vulnerable to family+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has received than 160 motions for possible inclusion in the 2021 National General Assembly Business Papers. The motions cover topics such as the lack of local government representation in National Cabinet, funding for local governments, and the role of councils in economic development and job creation. ALGA President Linda+

  • New funding has been announced for recycling and clean energy projects under the Federal Government’s $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI). Initial applications will be limited to the “Translation and Integration” streams of the MMI, with expressions of interest for the larger “Collaboration” stream to open soon. The MMI is intended to help manufacturers in+

  • Australia’s next national plan to reduce violence against women and their children must involve a more uniform approach across jurisdictions, a new parliamentary report says. Whilst noting the achievements of the National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2010-22 – including the creation of Our Watch – the House of Representatives Standing+

  • This week, we’ve secured another positive step towards local government’s financial sustainability, which has never been more important as we all recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. As Labor’s National Conference met, mayors and councillors from across Australia secured Labor’s commitment to: Focus on the long-term financial sustainability of local government through increases to grant allocations,+

  • A national approach to public toilets is needed to increase accessibility and participation in social, economic and civic life, a Queensland researcher says. Churchill Fellow Katherine Webber has proposed that key stakeholders able to influence public lavatory design and management (including the Australian Local Government Association and Infrastructure Australia) develop design and functionality guidelines based+

  • Local governments are being encouraged to make the new Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030 central to their drowning prevention policies. The strategy seeks to raise awareness about non-fatal drowning incidents, encourage communities to create local water safety plans, and promote access to swimming and water safety skills for all Australians, particularly for those living in+

  • Victorian local governments will have to report on and improve gender equality in the workplace under new legislation that came into force this week. The landmark Gender Equality Act 2020 is designed to close the pay gap across all 300 of the state’s public sector employers, improve gender equality at all levels of the workforce,+

  • A big shout-out to all the Mayors, council staff, and emergency service personnel who helped safeguard local communities during this week’s “Alaska-sized rain event”. That’s how the Bureau of Meteorology described the large weather system that deluged every state and territory except Western Australia and led to the inundation of hundreds of homes and the+

  • Prominent Tasmanian local government members say online abuse and attacks are having a chilling effect on women wanting to serve on councils. The high-profile group issued a joint statement raising concerns about safe workplaces and respect for women last week. It was signed by Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds (pictured), Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet,+

  • Development of a circular economy is being held back a lack of awareness and knowledge, say local government and other industry stakeholder groups. Deficits in supportive policies, regulations, and standards across all levels of government are also perceived as a barrier to circular economy progress in Australia’s built environment, according to a stakeholder survey conducted+

  • A soft plastics collection trial on the NSW Central Coast is set to be scaled up and rolled out to 140,000 households in the coming months. In what is being billed as the forerunner to a national product stewardship scheme for plastics, the Central Coast Council has partnered with Australian recycler iQRenew, and multinational food+

  • The ALGA Board will be in Canberra next week and will be catching up with Local Government Minister Mark Coulton and Shadow Ministers Jason Clare (Local Government), Catherine King (Infrastructure and Transport), and Murray Watt (Disaster and Emergency Management) to reinforce ALGA’s advocacy agenda. As we approach the Federal Budget and a Federal election, we’re+

  • Victorian councils lack the comprehensive data needed for cost-efficient and effective road maintenance, a new audit report says. The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) audited five councils across a spread of types and sizes to determine whether they were achieving value for money when maintaining their road network. Its report, Maintaining Local Roads, concluded that the+

  • Metropolitan governance structures must allow for a greater role for local government if urban growth and development are to be managed more effectively. According to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), present and emergent models of metropolitan governance have not emphasised participation or democratic impulses at the local or metropolitan levels, even though+

  • More urban vegetation is urgently needed in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to protect residents against the likelihood of extreme temperatures by 2060, a new report claims. Commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation and prepared by the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, the report says that without more urban greening and concerted climate action, Brisbane+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has hailed the Federal Government’s National Plastics Plan 2021 as an important milestone on the road to a more environmentally and economically sustainable future. Released following long-standing ALGA advocacy for stronger action on national waste reduction and recycling, the plan will help achieve many of the 2020 National Waste+

  • Thank you to the City of Newcastle, the Gladstone Regional Council, the Broken Hill City Council, the Livingstone Shire Council, and the many, many other local governments who, having resolved to support ALGA’s calls for a seat on the National Cabinet, have helped secure Federal Opposition commitment to include ALGA in this forum. In a+

  • The NSW Government has opposed plans for an electric scooter trial in Sydney despite local council support for the devices to be trialled there. Transport Minister Andrew Constance recently told Budget Estimates in the NSW Parliament that he was “not in the mood” to have e-scooters on Sydney streets, even though his department, Transport for+

  • Local and state planning policies need to be better aligned if city or state-wide development objectives like housing supply targets are to be realised. In a new information paper on short-term planning and zoning policy reform options, the Productivity Commission also canvasses “more flexible and adaptive land-use regulation”. Moving to fewer and more broadly stated+

  • The Federal Government has announced a $1.2 billion aviation and tourism support package with 800,000 subsidised airline tickets as its centre piece. Under the Tourism Aviation Network Support (TANS) program announced on Thursday, the public will be offered up to 800,000 discounted airline tickets to 15 key tourism regions. These include the Gold Coast, Cairns,+

  • The Federal Government’s new tourism and aviation support package will do little to ease the crisis facing many regional airports, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said today. While acknowledging the $1.2 billion package will help the struggling aviation and regional tourism sectors transition past the end of the JobKeeper program, ALGA said it offered+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed Federal Opposition Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s commitment to include Local Government in National Cabinet should the ALP win the next federal election. ALGA had been a member of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) until it was abolished and replaced by National Cabinet last May. ALGA President+

  • Advocating for you. Thank you to the Shadow Minister for Local Government, Jason Clare MP, and Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Andrew Giles MP, for their time this week to consider what Australian local governments need to thrive into the future. On your behalf, in a likely Federal Election year, we look forward+

  • Visy Industries plans to offer local councils an extra glass recycling bin to help it increase national glass recycling rates. Visy’s executive chairman, Antony Pratt, pictured, said the company would invest $2 billion in Australian manufacturing over the next 10 years. “It’ll be spent increasing the recycled content of glass bottles from 30 percent to+

  • Airports at Orange, Ballina and the Sunshine Coast have reported strong passenger growth as airlines boost their services to these and other regional centres. South-east Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Airport has gone from having two domestic routes pre-Covid (to Sydney and Melbourne) to seven, with the addition of Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Emerald and Newcastle. Orange, in+

  • The Federal Government has proposed a suite of national actions, including greater consistency of kerbside bin collections, to deal with problematic plastics. Launching the first National Plastics Plan this week, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said it was time to change the way plastics are produced and consumed – and that states, industry, and consumers+

  • This week, it was a pleasure to visit Mayors and elected members from the Albury, Greater Hume, Wagga Wagga, Temora Shire, Lachlan Shire, and Federation councils to better understand the challenges local government is facing. With global waste bans looming, we’re focused on getting results for you to enable to you manage waste and recycling.+

  • Infrastructure Australia’s new focus on ensuring that all communities have access to quality infrastructure has been welcomed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). The infrastructure advisory body has added 44 new proposals to its 2021 Infrastructure Priority List prioritising: Improved digital connectivity; Support for economic development in regional communities; Road and freight connectivity to+