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ALGA News archive 2012
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14 December 2012
Joint Select Committee puts referendum under the spotlight
The Chair of the recently established Joint Select Committee (JSC) on the Constitutional Recognition of Local Government has this week expressed her opinions on the possibility of changing the Constitution to recognise what is commonly referred to as the third tier of government .
Resilient Australia Awards recognise community effort
Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon this week congratulated the winners of the 2012 Resilient Australia Awards, which include the Lockyer Valley Regional Council and the Wyong Shire Council.
COAG discusses Asian Century White Paper
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis joined the Prime Minister, premiers and chief ministers in Canberra last week for the 34th meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to discuss a range of issues, including the Asian Century White Paper.
07 December 2012
Joint Select Committee schedules first public hearing
The Joint Select Committee appointed to inquire into changing the Australian Constitution to provide for the financial recognition of local government will conduct its first public hearing on 16 January, 2013.
Nominate now for National Awards for Local Government Excellence
Local governments across Australia have an opportunity to be recognised and rewarded for the innovative and new ways they support and serve their communities through the 27th National Awards for Local Government. Local Government Minister Simon Crean this week announced that the 2013 National Awards for Local Government are now open for entries.
State of Australian Cities report released
The State of Australian Cities 2012 was launched this week by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, providing a snapshot of Australia's 18 major cities with populations of more than 100,000 people.
30 November 2012
Issues paper released for review into Financial Assistance Grants
To help those intending to make a submission to the recently announced review by the Commonwealth Grants Commission into Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), the Commission has released an issues paper setting out how it proposes to examine the distribution of money to local government.
Call to participate in local government census
An inaugural census to collect data about the Australian local government workforce will begin today, 30 November, and all councils are encouraged to participate.
Membership of Joint Select Committee announced
The membership of the Joint Select Committee established on 1 November by federal parliament to consider the constitutional recognition of local government was finalised yesterday. The committee held its first meeting on 29 November and elected NSW Labor MP Michelle Rowland as its chair.
23 November 2012
ALGA documents the case for constitutional change
ALGA has produced a 10-page booklet outlining why local government needs to be recognised in the Australian Constitution.
New national report reveals condition of local roads and infrastructure
A new national report launched by ALGA to measure the standard of community roads and infrastructure estimates that 12 per cent of local government transport assets are in poor or very poor condition.
Councils call for appropriate investment in local roads
The National Local Roads and Transport Congress held in Hobart last week culminated in a number of outcomes for local government. Hundreds of council delegates in attendance raised concerns about the growing funding gap between what councils can afford to spend on local roads and what they need to spend to maintain community standards.
09 November 2012
Local Government gears up for National Roads and Transport Congress
Next Tuesday will mark the start of ALGA's 2012 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Hobart, where hundreds of local government representatives from across the country will gather to discuss key issues affecting roads, transport and infrastructure provision in Australian communities.
Roads Congress to unveil results of national infrastructure assessment
ALGA will launch a new national report at next week's National Local Roads and Transport Congress to measure the standard of community roads and infrastructure.
Heavy vehicle charging decision to be discussed at Roads Congress
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis is attending this week's meeting of the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) to discuss a range of infrastructure planning and investment issues ahead of next week's National Local Roads and Transport Congress.
02 November 2012
Motion carried to establish Parliamentary Committee
President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Felicity-ann Lewis has welcomed Parliament's decision to support local government's call to establish a Parliamentary Committee as the next step towards a referendum on the constitutional recognition of local government.
ALGA welcomes active travel discussion paper
ALGA, as part of the Healthy Spaces and Places Coalition, has applauded this week's release of the Federal Government s active travel discussion paper.
Local government supports Asian Century white paper vision
The local government sector has welcomed the Asian Century white paper, which outlines plans for Australia's regions to drive stronger links with Asia to seize the economic opportunities that may emerge during the next century.
26 October 2012
Three rounds remain in Regional Development Funding
Despite outlining a range of spending cuts in the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook report this week, the Federal Government has confirmed that the remaining three rounds of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) will be delivered to provide investment in regional communities across Australia.
ALGA Congress to promote better management of roads
Asset management, improving asset performance and longevity, and developing accurate asset measurements will be a key focus of this year's National Local Roads and Transport Congress.
Federal Government responds to resolutions of councils
The Australian Government has provided a first set of responses to resolutions carried by councils at ALGA's 2012 National General Assembly , which brought together hundreds of delegates from local governments across Australia to discuss and develop national policy initiatives.
19 October 2012
Local Government prepares for potential Parliamentary Committee process
President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Felicity-ann Lewis has welcomed Local Government Minister Simon Crean's intention to move a motion in Parliament later this month to establish a Joint Select Committee on constitutional recognition of local government and is urging councils across the country to be prepared
Catherine King to address National Roads Congress
With just under one month until the National Local Roads and Transport Congress, ALGA welcomes news that Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King will be representing the Australian Government at this year's Roads Congress.
Future of Caring for Our Country program discussed
Caring for Our Country has been a vital program to support and foster better natural resource management (NRM) since it was first created in 2008. However, over a period of time, the relationship between local government and the Caring for Our Country program had weakened.
12 October 2012
Government flags motion for Parliamentary Committee
ALGA President, Felicity-ann Lewis met with Local Government Minister Simon Crean this week to discuss ALGA's proposal to progress the issue of constitutional recognition of local government by establishing a Parliamentary Committee to consider critical issues related to a potential referendum.
Opposition Leader reinforces in-principle support for referendum
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has reinforced the need for local government associations to secure political support from all sides of politics, at both the federal and state levels, in order to progress the issue of constitutional recognition of local government.
NBN public symposium focuses on opportunities to come from infrastructure
A public symposium, sponsored by the University of Canberra this week, looked at the critical questions and issues being faced as the National Broadband network (NBN) commences widespread operations in Australia.
05 October 2012
Climate Change Inquiry highlights uncertainty
The Senate Economics Legislation Committee is currently holding an inquiry into the Clean Energy Amendment (International Emissions Trading and Other Measures) Bill 2012 and related bills.
Expert in road health to address National Roads Congress
According to leading transport expert from the UK and keynote speaker at the 2012 National Local Roads and Transport Congress, Matthew Lugg OBE, the saying prevention is better than cure applies to roads as much as it does to our health.
Proposed amendments to the Native Title Act 1993
The Australian Government has released proposed amendments to the Native Title Act 1993, which focus on improving agreement-making, encouraging flexibility in claim resolution and promoting sustainable outcomes. Stakeholders, including local government bodies, are invited to provide comments on the exposure draft.
28 September 2012
Local government re-confirms commitment to referendum
Local government has re-confirmed its commitment to continue to advocate strongly for constitutional recognition of local government, following a meeting of the ALGA Board in Canberra this week.
National Roads Congress to focus on policy agenda
ALGA will use this year's National Local Roads and Transport Congress to discuss local government policy initiatives and position statements that will form part of an election document to be submitted to political parties and independent candidates ahead of next year's federal election.
ALGA Vice President to represent local government in Asia Pacific
ALGA Vice President and Mayor of Joondalup, in Western Australia, Troy Pickard will represent the interests of Australia's local government sector when he attends the United Cities and Local Government Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) 4th Congress and General Meeting in Jakarta next month.
21 September 2012
Local government calls for decision on Parliamentary Committee
President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Felicity-ann Lewis has called on the Australian Government to establish a Parliamentary Committee as the next step towards a referendum on the constitutional recognition of local government.
Strong registration numbers for ALGA's Roads Congress
Strong registrations have been received for this year's National Local Roads and Transport Congress, which will be held from 14-16 November in Hobart at the Wrest Point Conference Centre. The Congress is one of local government's keys advocacy opportunities, as it provides a unified voice for councils across the country.
drumMUSTER program celebrates 20 million containers
ALGA is celebrating the achievements of the drumMUSTER program, which has collected 20 million empty chemical containers during the past 13 years of operation.
14 September 2012
New ALGA President outlines priorities for local government
Felicity-ann Lewis, Mayor of the City of Marion in South Australia, has outlined her aspirations for local government during her first week in the role of ALGA President.
ALGA input sought on national asbestos plan
ALGA will be asked to provide input into cross-government considerations on how to improve asbestos awareness and management flowing from the recommendations of the Australian Government's Asbestos Management Review.
New report focuses on government in remote Australia
ALGA is considering an independent report released this week which has recommended changes to the way the residents and communities of remote Australia are consulted, treated and serviced by governments.
07 September 2012
ALGA fondly farewells President Genia McCaffery
Long-serving Mayor of North Sydney and President of ALGA for the past two years, Genia McCaffery has marked her last day in local government, having decided not to run again for the Mayoral position in tomorrow's local government elections in New South Wales.
Latest COAG housing supply report leaves questions unanswered
A national report which recommends ways to enhance housing supply and affordability has been released by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
Austroads Traffic Management Review Panel meets at ALGA
The Austroads Traffic Management Review Panel, responsible for maintaining the currency of the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management, met at ALGA s offices in Canberra for two days this week to progress a number of traffic management projects, including some specifically relating to traffic management in intersections and activity centres.
31 August 2012
ALGA welcomes review of Financial Assistance Grants
President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Mayor Genia McCaffery has welcomed today's announcement by Local Government Minister Simon Crean of a Commonwealth review of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for local government, noting that ALGA had long called for a review of the grants.
Northern Territory election result signals change for communities
The Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) has said that it is looking forward to working with the new Northern Territory Government led by Chief Minister, Terry Mills.
Packaging: a priority issue for environment ministers
Packaging was a priority at last Friday's third meeting of the Standing Council on Environment and Water, which was attended by environment ministers and ALGA Vice President, Troy Pickard.
24 August 2012
Local Government Minister considers Parliamentary Committee process
ALGA President Genia McCaffery and Vice President Felicity-ann Lewis met with Local Government Minister, Simon Crean this week to discuss the Government s plans for holding a referendum to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution.
ALGA seeks update on review of Financial Assistance Grants
ALGA President, Genia McCaffery and ALGA Vice President, Felicity-ann Lewis raised concerns about entitlements under Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for 2011-12 during a meeting this week with Local Government Minister Simon Crean.
Explaining the financial needs of local government
In the coming months, ALGA will be preparing its submission for a Commonwealth review of the Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) system. The terms of reference have not yet been released, which makes anticipating the scope of the review difficult.
17 August 2012
Government seeks comment on aged care criteria
The newly established Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) is seeking comment on aged care reforms announced by the Australian Government on 20 April, 2012.
NBN Co 2012-15 Corporate Plan reflects changes in project scope
NBN Co released its second Corporate Plan last week. The 2012-2015 Corporate Plan incorporates the impact of changes and developments since the delivery of the first Corporate Plan in December 2010.
President's Column
As my home state of New South Wales swings into election mode ahead of the local government polls on 8 September, I thought it timely to highlight the benefits that women can bring to councils, particularly in leadership roles. It s no secret that in order for councils to be successful, they need to be representative of their communities.
10 August 2012
Registration now open for National Roads Congress
The Australian Local Government Association s National Local Roads and Transport Congress will return to Tasmania this year at what is a vital time for the planning and delivery of land transport in Australia, especially by councils.
Northern Territory Local Government Association outlines priorities ahead of election
In a submission to political parties and independent candidates ahead of the Northern Territory election on 25 August, the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) has called on potential members of the legislative assembly to support a series of position statements as part of their election platforms.
ALGA attends Select Council on Immigration and Settlement
ALGA Board member Cr Bill McArthur represented local government at the second meeting of the Select Council on Immigration and Settlement (SCIS) in Canberra this week. The meeting was hosted by the Commonwealth and chaired by the Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen.
03 August 2012
Australian Government releases guidelines for the Regional Infrastructure Fund
The Australian Government has now released guidelines for its much vaunted Regional Infrastructure Fund that was created in June 2010 to invest the proceeds of the resources boom. The Regional Infrastructure Fund is worth $6 billion over 2010-11 to 2020-21 with $5.
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator law takes first step in Queensland Parliament
The Heavy Vehicle National Law Bill 2012 has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament this week. In July 2009, as part of the national reforms to deliver a seamless national economy, COAG agreed to establish a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to administer a national body of law to govern the regulation of all heavy vehicles.
Solving challenges in Regional Australia: Can localism work?
The University of Canberra s Australia and New Zealand School of Governance (ANZSOG) hosted a seminar this week to discuss the issue of localism and what it means for regional Australia and local governments.
27 July 2012
Save the Date - National General Assembly 16 - 19 June 2013
The ALGA Board met this week to consider the Resolutions from the 2012 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) and to determine the provisional dates for next year s NGA. The NGA is scheduled to be held during a federal Parliamentary Sitting Period to enable delegates to meet with their local federal member whilst in Canberra.
COAG acknowledges Mayor Genia McCaffery
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 33rd meeting in Canberra on Wednesday 25 July. The Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) attended.
Councils encouraged to participate in Anti-Poverty Week
ALGA President, Genia McCaffery is lending her support to Anti-Poverty Week, which will be held from 14-20 October to recognise the great work being done to reduce poverty and hardship. Anti-Poverty Week is a very meaningful entry in my calendar each year and I encourage every council around Australia to get involved, Mayor McCaffery said.
20 July 2012
Report examines regulatory activities of local governments
The Productivity Commission's final report on Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: The Role of Local Government as Regulator was released this week. The study sought to identify what areas of local government regulation may place unnecessary regulatory burdens on Australian businesses.
Infrastructure Australia releases fourth annual report to COAG
Infrastructure Australia (IA), an advisory council established by the Federal Government in 2008, has presented its fourth annual report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The focus of the latest report remains on the importance of Australia s infrastructure now and into the future.
Simon Crean discusses future of urban areas at conference
The Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean has recognised collaborative partnerships between government and industry and the use of innovative and sustainable ways to finance infrastructure as vital in helping regional cities, including mid-sized cities, to grow and develop.
13 July 2012
ALGA President reinforces need for support for constitutional recognition
In an address to the Local Government Association of Tasmania's annual conference in Hobart, ALGA President Genia McCaffery has reinforced the need for strong commitment from the Commonwealth in order to achieve constitutional recognition of local government.
2012 National General Assembly resolutions to be considered
The 2012 National General Assembly (NGA) has been heralded a resounding success, with about 850 representatives from local government attending to make it one of the biggest ever.
Councils contribute to State of the Assets report
ALGA is commissioning asset management consultants Jeff Roorda and Associates to carry out further analysis to build on critical work undertaken in 2010 that studied the gap in funding for local roads.
06 July 2012
ALGA attends Regional Ministers' meeting with Simon Crean
Ministers responsible for regional development met in Alice Springs this week for the inaugural COAG Regional Australia Standing Council meeting, where they discussed matters such as regional economies, opportunities for regional Australia in the Asian Century and infrastructure investment.
ALGA welcomes infrastructure funding for local government
Communities from Maitland to Mandurah will receive grants of up to $15 million over three years for local infrastructure projects which support new housing developments under the Australian Government s Building Better Regional Cities program, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness Brendan O Connor said.
NAIDOC Week celebrated in communities Australia-wide
ALGA was represented at the ACT s official NAIDOC Week celebration, involving a flag raising ceremony and reception in Canberra on Monday, 2 July. The event was one of hundreds held across the country this week.
29 June 2012
ALGA looks forward to working with Government on referendum
The Australian Government has responded to last week s High Court decision in the Williams Case, which invalidated the National School Chaplaincy Program and cast doubt over a range of schemes receiving direct federal funding, by introducing the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill into Parliament as a measure to
Local government addresses Settlement Council of Australia
ALGA s Vice-President, Felicity-Ann Lewis was one of about 400 participants representing settlement, employment and community sectors; service groups; academia; and government gathered in Adelaide to discuss measures to support migrants and refugees entering the job market and settling in Australia.
ALGA welcomes amendments to disaster relief funding guidelines
ALGA has welcomed the Australian Government s decision this week to amend disaster relief funding guidelines to allow local governments in Queensland to use their own employees when rebuilding after natural disasters such as floods and cyclones.
22 June 2012
High Court decision bolsters local government’s case for constitutional recognition
An expert in constitutional law has advised that this week s long-awaited decision by the High Court regarding the Williams Case bolsters local government s case for constitutional change.
Two independent reports call for greater investment in infrastructure
According to the 2012-13 State of the Regions Report - commissioned by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and prepared by National Economics - a new approach to regional development is required in order to address inequality across Australian regions exacerbated by the mining boom and patchwork economy.
Local government sector celebrates extended roads funding
Council representatives attending this week s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) celebrated the extension of the Australian has celebrated the extension of the Australian Government s Roads to Recovery (R2R) program while recognising the need for increased and permanent funding.
15 June 2012
Key speakers to outline local government priorities at NGA
Next Monday heralds the start of the 2012 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), which will be attended by about 850 representatives from councils Australia-wide.
ALGA contributes to National Economic Forum
ALGA s Vice-President, Felicity-ann Lewis attended the Prime Minister s Economic Forum in Brisbane this week, which discussed issues such as Australia s patchwork economy and the high Australian dollar.
ALGA President Genia McCaffery to retire from North Sydney Council
Current ALGA President and long-term Mayor of North Sydney, Genia McCaffery has announced that she will retire from local government. After 17 years at the helm of North Sydney Council and having served four terms as North Sydney Mayor, Cr McCaffery has confirmed that she will not be standing for re-election in September.
08 June 2012
2012-13 State of the Regions Report soon to be launched
This year s State of the Regions Report, prepared by the National Institute of Economics and Industry Research, will be launched at ALGA s Regional Cooperation and Development Forum on Sunday 17 June, in the lead up to the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA).
ALGA welcomes federal funds to assist communities with heating costs
ALGA President, Mayor Genia McCaffery this week welcomed the announcement that the Australian Government will use funds from the Solar Hot Water Rebate Scheme to provide a one-off grant to support local communities with heating costs.
Successful regional development funding projects being announced progressively
The Australian Government is progressively announcing funding for successful projects in all states and territories under the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) Round Two. Federal Minister for Local Government, Simon Crean this week announced that 15 projects in New South Wales will receive $66.
01 June 2012
Countdown begins for 2012 National General Assembly
With just over two weeks until the National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government kicks off in Canberra, ALGA is preparing for the biggest and most influential gathering of local government this year, having already received more than 700 registrations from local government stakeholders Australia-wide.
E-invoicing is now available to councils
As the NBN rolls out, E-invoicing offers a range of benefits and opportunities to both small and large businesses. Instead of dealing with paper invoices - with all the hassles of multiple handling - businesses are signing up to one of the hundreds of E-invoicing service providers like Basware.
Councils consider Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s revised plan
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has released The Proposed Basin Plan A Revised Draft, which contains changes arising from a consultation process on the previous Proposed Basin Plan released last November.
25 May 2012
Renowned broadcaster named keynote speaker for National General Assembly
ALGA is delighted to announce that prolific broadcaster, filmmaker, author, archaeologist and social commentator, Phillip Adams will be a keynote speaker for the 2012 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA).
New planning principles for airports
The Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) has agreed to a new set of principles for land-use planning to protect airports and communities from inappropriate off-airport developments.
Senate committee recommends against passing mobile phone towers bill
A Senate parliamentary committee investigating a bill by former Leader of the Greens, Senator Bob Brown, which seeks to make a range of changes to mobile phone towers, in particular, removal of the exemption for low-impact facilities, has recommended that the bill not be passed.
18 May 2012
Councils to receive more information about carbon pricing
Following last month s Carbon Price and Council Landfill National Forum, held in Canberra over two days in partnership with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the Clean Energy Regulator, the Australian Government is providing outreach and information activities to councils about compliance obligations, particularly
More councils eligible for NBN Digital Local Government Program
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced that a further 11 Australian councils are now eligible to apply for funding under the Australian Government s Digital Local Government Program.
Determining roles and responsibilities for climate change adaptation
New South Wales Councillor Bruce Miller represented ALGA President Genia McCaffery at the inaugural meeting of the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Select Council on Climate Change (SCCC) last Friday, 4 May, in Canberra.
11 May 2012
Local government fares well in Budget
The Australian Government s 2012-13 Budget has ensured the continuation of hundreds of millions of dollars in vital funding for local roads and infrastructure.
Every jurisdiction benefits from transport and local roads funding
The total funding for local roads covered in this year s budget and the forward estimates (2012-13 to 2015-16) amounts to around $4.1 billion and includes R2R funding, Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) identified for local roads and the additional local roads funding provided to South Australia.
Budget delivers Financial Assistance Grants early
As highlighted earlier, the 2012-13 Budget maintains the system of payments to support local government, through Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) but half of next year s FAGs will be paid early, before 30 June 2012. FAGs for 2012-13 are expected to total $2.36 billion but $1.
04 May 2012
Registrations roll in for bumper National General Assembly
ALGA has received an overwhelming response to its call for Notices of Motions for this year s National General Assembly (NGA), with motions being submitted from all states and territories, covering a huge range of policy areas that reinforce national local government positions as well as propose new policy initiatives.
Productivity Commission releases draft climate change report
While most climate change adaptation will occur without the need for government intervention, through normal risk management activities, there is a need for policy reforms and initiatives to enhance this process, according to a draft report - Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation - released by the Productivity Commission.
National Disability Insurance Scheme to start in 2013
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin announced the new timeframe for the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The scheme will commence in 2013, a year earlier than recommended by the Productivity Commission in its 2011 report into disability care and support.
27 April 2012
Carbon Price Forum records strong attendance
Following the response to this week s Carbon Price and Council Landfill National Forum, convened by ALGA in partnership with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the Clean Energy Regulator, a series of future seminars and workshops is now being considered.
Draft report into council regulation highlights potential for improvement
The draft report of the Productivity Commission into performance benchmarking of local government s regulatory activities has highlighted opportunities for improvement by both councils and state governments.
Next phase of work begins to bridge local roads funding gap
As foreshadowed in recent editions of ALGA News, ALGA is commencing work required to develop a detailed State of the Local Road Assets Report. This work is expected to provide a technical fillip to the broader campaign to renew Roads to Recovery funding.
20 April 2012
Councils Australia-wide to attend National Carbon Price Forum
More than 100 delegates, representing more than 40 councils have confirmed that they will attend next week s Carbon Price and Council Landfill National Forum in Canberra, designed to provide local government staff with the opportunity to discuss their responsibilities under the Clean Energy Act with representatives of the Department of
Local government interests represented at COAG
ALGA President Genia McCaffery attended last week s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra, ensuring the interests of local government were represented in talks covering a range of issues, including sustainability and urban liveability; skills reform; competition and productivity; the national economy; and the
Awards for local government announced
ALGA has extended its congratulations to the many category winners of the 2012 National Awards for Local Government announced this week by Federal Minister for Local Government, Simon Crean.
13 April 2012
National Carbon Price Forum for local government confirmed
A strong response from councils to last week s ALGA News article about a potential national forum to inform local governments of their responsibilities under the Clean Energy Act has reinforced the need for accurate and timely information to support local government authorities in taking positive action to reduce carbon emissions.
Cutting landfill pollution proposed as opportunity for council income
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus is urging the Australian public not to be misled by a scare campaign about the impact of the carbon price on landfill sites . The vast majority of landfill sites will not be subject to the carbon price.
ALGA attends Senate Committee Inquiry into Mobile Phone Towers Bill
ALGA this week appeared before the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee Inquiry into Senator Bob Brown s Private Senator s Bill, which proposes a number of changes to in relation to mobile phone towers. Mobile phone towers have been the subject of much community debate over many years and remain controversial.
06 April 2012
ALGA welcomes recommendations of COAG Reform Council
This week saw the release of the COAG Reform Council s (CRC) long-awaited report on how Australia s capital cities are faring when compared with COAG s cities criteria set in late 2009. The CRC was tasked with reviewing the strategic planning systems of all eight capital cities against the nine criteria.
ALGA to make submission on draft report on local government as regulator
The Productivity Commission has this week released a draft report, which examines whether local government regulations are placing unnecessary regulatory burdens on Australian businesses.
Bob Brown to address National General Assembly
The Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, has confirmed that he will address this year s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) to be hosted by ALGA. Themed National Voice, Local Choice Infrastructure, Planning, Services this year s NGA will be held from 17 20 June at the National Convention Centre Canberra.
30 March 2012
National forum to discuss effect of carbon price on council landfills
ALGA is seeking expressions of interest from councils needing further information and support to understand how to manage their responsibilities under the Clean Energy Act. To register your interest, please visit the ALGA website and provide details here.
Property Council wants “new deal” for Australia’s cities
The Property Council of Australia has launched a national campaign geared towards strengthening Australia s approach to urban policy through engaging the community on the future growth of cities and mobilising support for more political action.
Committee advises against Telecommunications Amendment Bill
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has recommended in an advisory report tabled in Parliament last week that the Telecommunications Amendment (Enhancing Community Consultation) Bill 2011 should not be passed by the lower house.
23 March 2012
Emerging trends for regional aviation in Australia
The deregulation of interstate and intrastate air services as part of the Australian Government's competition reforms during the early 1990s has seen the regional airline industry go through a major rationalisation.
National General Assembly offers councils opportunity to set agenda
The involvement of each council at this year s National General Assembly (NGA) will assist ALGA to maintain the focus on local government and drive improved outcomes for councils and their communities at the national level.
Australian Bicycling Achievement Awards announced
ALGA extends its congratulations to the winners of the tenth Annual Australian Bicycling Achievement Awards, supported by the Cycling Promotion Fund and the Heart Foundation, which were announced this week in Canberra.
16 March 2012
National Urban Policy Forum discusses liveability of cities
ALGA President, Genia McCaffery this week participated in the inaugural meeting of the Australian Government s new Urban Policy Forum, which brings together experts from across all levels of government, industry and academia to discuss initiatives for making Australia s cities more productive, sustainable and liveable.
New taskforce to tackle transport future
ALGA has partnered with the Australian Logistics Council, Australasian Railway Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund, National Heart Foundation, International Public Transport Association and the Planning Institute of Australia to form a taskforce to improve planning and transport systems.
ALGA lodges submission to Private Senator’s Telecommunications Bill
ALGA this week provided a submission to the inquiry into the Telecommunications Amendment (Mobile Phone Towers) Bill 2011, which proposes a range of changes in relation to mobile phone towers including the removal of the exemption for low-impact facilities.
09 March 2012
Delegation from Kenya seeks advice on local government
ALGA met with a delegation from the Kenyan Government this week as part of its visit to Australia to seek advice on how to make a devolved system of government work best.
Last opportunity to comment on airport planning guidelines
Councils have until 15 March to comment on a set of guidelines which constitute a new draft National Airports Safeguarding Framework (the draft Framework).
Head of Government engages business leaders on regulation reform
ALGA has welcomed this week s announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard of the formation of a new Business Advisory Forum to engage CEOs of the nation s biggest companies in dialogue with federal, state and territory leaders.
02 March 2012
ALGA welcomes new Regional Institute
The new Regional Australia Institute (RAI), was launched in Canberra this week by Minister for Regional Australia, Development and Local Government, Simon Crean, to assess opportunities for growth and development in regional Australia.
Williams Case may impact local government campaign
In recent discussions with ALGA, Minister for Local Government, Simon Crean and Federal Government officials have placed considerable weight on the outcome of a case currently before the High Court: Commonwealth v Williams and Others, stating it may have a substantial impact on how the issue of
Councils urged to celebrate Year of the Farmer 2012
Year of the Farmer Chairman, Philip Bruem AM is urging councils across Australia to support the Year of the Farmer 2012 campaign by encouraging city dwellers to venture out into rural Australia.
24 February 2012
Board considers strategic priorities
The ALGA Board and key staff from state and territory local government associations and the ACT Government met this week to review and refine ALGA s current strategic plan.
Climate change a priority for ALGA
Participants in this week s Strategic Planning Workshop have reinforced the need for continued action on climate change as a key priority of ALGA s Strategic Plan for 2011-2014.
Barnaby Joyce to address 2012 National General Assembly
The Opposition Spokesman for Regional Development, Local Government and Water, Senator Barnaby Joyce has confirmed that he will address the 2012 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), which is organised and hosted each year by ALGA.
17 February 2012
Climate change adaptation on Productivity Commission agenda
ALGA, along with other local government representatives attended a Productivity Commission roundtable in Melbourne on 14 February to talk about the challenges facing councils in adapting to climate change. This area is the subject of an Inquiry by the Commission, with a final report expected for release around September.
Simon Crean to address National General Assembly
The Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean has confirmed that he will address this year's National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), which is organised and hosted each year by ALGA.
ALGA provides input to telecommunications inquiry
ALGA lodged a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications Committee this week.
10 February 2012
Strategic Board Meeting to focus on national campaign
ALGA will this month be holding its annual Strategic Board Meeting to develop a 2012 Action Plan and revise the 2011-2014 Strategic Plan.
ALGA contributes to new mobile base station deployment code
Telecommunications industry body, the Communications Alliance has indicated that it will be incorporating suggestions made by ALGA in a submission it made in September last year on the proposed Mobile Base Station Deployment Industry Code.
ALGA addresses indigenous infrastructure conference
ALGA officials highlighted local government’s role in infrastructure provision and the financial and capacity constraints facing rural and remote councils in particular during a conference exploring the provision of infrastructure in indigenous communities, held in Alice Springs this week.
03 February 2012
ALGA discusses local government priorities with Minister Crean
ALGA President Mayor Genia McCaffery met with Local Government Minister Simon Crean at Parliament House in Canberra on 31 January to discuss issues of priority for local government for 2012, including the campaign for constitutional recognition of local government; the review of Financial Assistance Grants; infrastructure funding;
ALGA lodges 2012-13 federal budget submission
In keeping with the Australian Government’s commitment to fiscal discipline, ALGA has focused only on priority areas in its submission to Government for the 2012-13 budget, finalised and lodged with the Treasury at the end of January.
Survey reinforces need for more cycling infrastructure
ALGA President Mayor Genia McCaffery, has welcomed the results of a survey conducted by the Australian Bicycle Council which show strong interest from local government in cycling and the provision of cycling infrastructure.

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