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  • A refreshed program for the 25th National General Assembly (NGA19) is now available online, and an app for Apple and Android devices will be released shortly. Registration numbers are looking very strong for both the Assembly and Regional Forum, which runs from 16-19 June at the National Convention Centre Canberra. We’re honoured that one of+

  • ALGA joins Australians in expressing its sadness over the death of former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. Australia’s 24th Prime Minister held a referendum in 1988 to give constitutional recognition for local government and create a new section, 119A. “This would have recognised the existing reality of local governments in Australia as state-created entities but would+

  • Businesses in central Sydney will be able to trade for 24 hours from June, subject to relevant NSW ‘lock out’ legislation, after new planning controls were adopted by City of Sydney Council. The new 24-hour trading area encompasses Darling Harbour in the west to Hyde Park in the east, south to Central Station, while businesses+

  • The major parties have both pledged support for Australian cities with partnership agreements aimed at benefitting communities by improving relations between all three levels of government. Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, wrote to ALGA to outline the Coalition’s plans to develop City Deals with councils in Melbourne’s northwest and southeast and+

  • This week ALGA welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s commitments under the Plan for Local Government issued by the Opposition in response to our Federal Election priorities document, All Politics is Local, which we issued last September. Our document identified 12 priorities including restoring funding assistance to local government, improving the safety of local roads, national+

  • Workers in local councils around the country this week wore yellow ribbons and took an online pledge to be safer drivers as part of National Road Safety Week which concludes on 12 May. Landmarks around the country were lit in yellow, while councils, schools and emergency service agencies held public events to highlight that more+

  • ALGA will be at the Planning Institute of Australia National Planning Congress (15-17 May, Gold Coast). We’re convening a networking and social dinner for local government planners on Thursday 16th May. We are also hosting a session in the program for local government planners. If you are attending and would like to know more, please+

  • The long-proposed east coast High Speed Rail project is back in the news again after Labor on 10 May pledged $1 billion toward land acquisitions to create the corridor. The railway would run between Melbourne and Brisbane via Sydney and Canberra, using trains capable of speeds up to 350km/h. A former Labor government study identified+

  • An analysis of the Labor party’s national affordable rental strategy has found it could save the federal government up to $11 billion over a decade by reducing the amount of crisis services needed for people facing homelessness. The Amplify Insights – Housing Affordability and Homelessness Report by the McKell Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers analysed what is+

  • Urgent action on climate change must be the incoming federal government’s priority, 15 mayors from across Australia said in a joint statement released 8 May. They demanded greater Federal support for local projects on climate change, a commitment to a 100% renewable energy target, and a rapid phase out of fossil fuels. Their statement came+

  • The 2019 Federal Election is eight days away, and whilst so far it’s been a lacklustre campaign for local government, to date Labor’s policies are marginally ahead of the Coalition’s, except for local councils fortunate to be in marginal electorates where the results are more mixed. However neither of the major parties have met all+

  • Local councils have until 6 May to contribute to a survey for Future Earth Australia’s National Strategy on Urban Systems Transformation in Australia. The survey explores issues and options for the sustainable development of Australia’s cities and urban settlements, regardless of size, and considers economic, social and environmental factors. Responses to the survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6VW77MT, should+

  • 2019 is an important year for women in Australian politics, especially local government. December 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the first woman elected to any tier of Government when Susan Grace Benny was elected to Brighton Council in South Australia. Local Government led the way in women’s representation. It was another two years before+

  • The Coalition has announced an Environmental Policy that relates to Local Government efforts to strengthen Australia’s circular economy (Item #10 on AGLA’s Federal Election Initiatives). The policy includes $100 million as concessional loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to go into a “recycling investment fund” that will help fund manufacturing projects. The finance will+

  • Do you know how to protect yourself if you’re using public wifi spots? How can you spot an online scam or protect your Facebook data? Learn these and much more at the Australian eSafety Commissioner’s series of webinars in May and June aimed at helping older Australians when online. Register for the sessions and learn+

  • Local governments are invited to nominate for the 20th Resilient Australia Awards, prizes which recognise and celebrate initiatives which make communities safer and better prepared to respond to disasters, hazards, and emergencies. The awards, which began in 2000 and are managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, honour outstanding collaborations and new ideas in+

  • The Cook Chill for Foodservice and Manufacturing Guidelines, the Blue Book, are being reviewed to make them more user-friendly for readers including people who work with food and Environmental Health Officers. The booklet, published by the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, will maintain technical information for large scale manufacturers, while possible additions may+

  • National Road Safety Week, which runs 6-12 May, is an initiative that honours more than 1,200 people who are killed and 35,000 injured on Australia’s roads each year. As our President, David O’Loughlin explained in his column, Local Government have a responsibility, as the owners and managers of most of the country’s roads by length,+

  • A new National Class 1 Agricultural Notice which began on 1 May 2019 will benefit farmers who need to move combination agricultural equipment on public roads, after almost two-thirds of Australia’s local government areas agreed to the changes. The harmonisation will apply across designated roads in more than 270 local government areas, following about two+

  • Some 52% of all casualty crashes and 40% of all road deaths occur on local government roads. Around 1,200 people die in crashes on Australia’s roads each year, while 35,000 people are injured and all of us in Local Government have a responsibility to do what we can, as owners and managers of 75% of+

  • The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has recently called for a review of local infrastructure contribution rates, with a discussion paper available and feedback required by 3 May 2019. Chair of IPART’s Local Government Committee Deborah Cope said escalating developer contribution rates by a representative index allows them to change broadly in-line with+

  • The Victorian Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek has announced the timeframes and terms of reference for the State Government’s review of the local government rating system. The review will be undertaken by an independent panel led by former Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Childrens Hospital and City of Melbourne, Dr Kathy Alexander. The+

  • In the majority of towns and cities within Australia there are memorials to veterans that have not returned home. A growing problem, however, continues to be the integration into the community of those that have returned from active service and have been affected by that service, whether it be physically or psychologically. Organisations such as+

  • Last month the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Families and Social Services, and the Hon Sarah Henderson MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services issued a media release announcing that from April, the Australian community can take part in national consultations to shape the future of Australia’s disability policy for beyond+

  • My column this week comes at a time of reflection for us as individuals and as community service providers. Today marks the end of a week which has included Easter and Anzac Day, events of great religious and national significance which have been celebrated and commemorated in local communities right across Australia. Councils and elected+

  • National Road Safety Week is an initiative of Safer Australian Highways and Roads (SARAH) Group, founded by President Peter Frazer following the tragic death of his daughter Sarah, who was killed in a roadside crash on the Hume Highway in 2012. In March this year, the ALGA President, David O’Loughlin and Peter Frazer sent a+

  • The Coalition Government has committed to invest more than $58 million in 10 Industry Training Hubs in key locations across regional Australia to create more jobs for young people. The investment will also include 400 Vocational Education and Training (VET) scholarships and is part of the Coalition’s plan to address youth unemployment in key parts+

  • Labor is committed to reducing Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, net zero pollution by 2050 and 50 per cent renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2030. These are some of the other areas in the renewable energy policy that may be of interest to local government. Labor will+

  • Don’t miss the early bird registration discount for this year’s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), which will be held from 16 to 19 June in Canberra. Early bird registrations are set to close on 10 May. The theme for this year’s NGA is Future Focused, reflecting that change is constant – and we+

  • The upgrade of 1860 payphones across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are causing Councils concerns. In March the City of Melbourne refused 81 development applications by JCDecaux to upgrade Telstra payphones including new 75 inch (190cm) digital advertising screens that will display commercial advertising. Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Planning portfolio Councillor Nicholas Reece+

  • This week, ALGA News is coming to you a day earlier than usual because of the Easter break and I expect that many Australians will be taking the opportunity for an extended break over the Easter/Anzac Day period. This period also coincides with school holidays in the majority of states and territories and so people+

  • Soldier On Australia is calling for support for modern veterans and their families this Anzac Day, in honour of those who suffered after World War I. One hundred years ago, with WW1 having ended only a few months before, hundreds of thousands of Australian ex–servicemen – many terribly injured mentally and physically – began to+

  • In December 2018, COAG agreed that the Commonwealth, state and territory Treasurers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association would consider a framework for national population and planning to address population management in Australia, for consideration at a future COAG meeting. In addition to participating in the Treasurers Forum ALGA is also participating+

  • A Labor Federal Government would replace City Deals with a City Partnerships program that will foster collaboration between the three levels of government. It will also: Re-establish the Major Cities Unit within the independent Infrastructure Australia and task it with recommending and assessing the progress of City Partnerships; Establish an expert panel to update strategic+

  • Future Earth Australia invites you to complete a survey on issues and options for more sustainable development of Australia’s cities and urban settlements. It applies to all settlements from large cities to smaller regional towns and centres, and considers economic, social and environmental outcomes. Future Earth Australia, a program of the Australian Academy of Science,+

  • The Australian Local Government Association and your state/territory local government association have made it simple for your council to participate in the national advocacy campaign to get fairer funding for local government and our communities. http://fairershare.com.au/ We have designed a staged advocacy program that will ensure that our message is heard and understood and lead+

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Government House early yesterday morning to ask Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove to trigger an election to be held on 18 May 2019. The 45th Parliament was suspended and Parliament dissolved. This cancelled the Senate Estimates hearings that were due to commence at 9am. The 2019 election will see all MPs+

  • The Federal Election and our call to action is now upon us. To assist, the ALGA Board has authorised campaign materials for your immediate use to help you win a Fairer Share for your local community. ALGA has worked with state and territory local government associations to develop materials for use by every council in+

  • ALGA has advocated to establish a Local Government Climate Change Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years. Unfortunately, this request was not funded in the Federal Budget. The need for this support is re-enforced by the release of the 2018 International Energy Agency Status Report. The IEA says global carbon emissions hit a record+

  • The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Rod Hook to the Board of Infrastructure Australia (IA). Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said Mr Hook brought a wealth of infrastructure knowledge and experience to the Board. “Mr Hook will be an asset to IA thanks to his+

  • The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s purpose is to prevent and minimise the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs in Australia. We work in partnership with others to support and create evidence-based policies and practice to achieve these goals. We co-design our evidence-based programs with communities, including local councils and government, and support them to+

  • Milparanga is run by the ARLF and is a cross industry leadership program with a focus on regional and remote Australia. The Australia Council is supporting First Nations artists and arts practitioners to participate in the program. Milparanga, meaning ‘watching over country and its people’ (in Mithaka language), honours Indigenous knowledge, philosophies and reclaiming of+

  • Last night the Federal Labor Opposition Leader, the Hon Bill Shorten MP delivered his Party’s Budget reply to Parliament. Further details are expected to be released during the election campaign but some of the issues in the Budget Reply of interest to local government include: Larger taxation cuts to lower income workers; Transport plans and+

  • Tuesday’s Budget announced the establishment of a new $3.9B Emergency Response Fund. The Fund will be established through legislation as a Commonwealth Investment Fund, and will allocate up to $150M per annum for natural disaster recovery and response initiatives above and beyond existing funding for severe and catastrophic disasters. The additional funding will not interfere+

  • This week’s Federal Budget includes an increase in next year’s base funding for the Roads to Recovery program from $400m per annum to $500m per annum from 2019-20, and also sees increases in the annual funding for the Roads Safety Federal Blackspots and the Bridges Renewal programs of $50m and $25m respectively. Regional Airports also+

  • Since 2002, the national Cycling Luminaries Awards have recognised Australian local governments and Councils who have created more liveable, attractive and active communities through the provision of bicycle infrastructure and programs. The call is now out to every Council to nominate and receive recognition for their efforts over the last year to make the choice+

  • A $15 million extension has been added to the Drought Communities Program, with 15 additional councils now eligible to apply for funding under the program. Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said the extension brought the total funding for drought relief projects in the worst-affected local government areas to $96+

  • ALGA is pleased to announce that Infrastructure Australia’s newly-appointed Chief Executive Romilly Madew has been confirmed as a speaker for NGA 2019. Her address will preview the organisation’s forthcoming release, the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit and what it means for local government. The Australian Infrastructure Audit is an independent, national and cross-sectoral review of Australia’s+

  • Fostering Indigenous well-being and prosperity is a key priority in ALGA’s federal election campaign. The ALGA President advocated for this and particularly funding for Indigenous housing at this week’s Joint Council on Closing the Gap meeting in Brisbane. We welcome the report on Indigenous Housing and re-enforces the need for ALGAs advocacy on this issue.+

  • National Shelter has released its latest report on Inclusionary Zoning. The report is available here. The report scanned recent literature, current inclusionary zoning arrangements in each state and territory and conducted a survey of over 350 respondents. The findings included that incentives are required to achieve social and affordable housing, there are inconsistent approaches to+

  • Last week the MAV presented as a witness to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Adelaide, which provided the opportunity to reinforce our sector’s national position on the future reform of community aged care. The fifty-minute evidence covered key aspects of the MAV’s written submission which included contributions from the ALGA,+

  • The Government has announced a boost to road safety funding for Local Governments will be include in next Tuesday Budget. In total the Morrison Government will deliver an additional $2.2 billion for road safety over the coming ten years. The announcement will include: An additional $1.1 billion in funding for local governments under the Roads+