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ALGA News archive 2014
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12 December 2014
Housing and Health Issues Papers released
The second and third issues papers to be developed to inform the Commonwealth Government's White Paper on the Reform of the Federation were released yesterday. These papers deal with health and housing, and recognise that local government does play a role in both of these areas alongside its state and territory counterparts.
2015 NGA to focus on the Federation
As 2014 draws to its close, it is now time to look at what 2015 has to offer and to plan.... ALGA is beginning to develop the program for the 2015 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA). This is the opportunity, not only for local government to discuss issues of national importance, but to present a united front to advocate to the Federal Government.
Season's Greetings
As 2014 draws to a close, this will be the final edition of ALGA News for the year. Thank you to all our readers and advertisers for your support during the year and we look forward to your involvement in ALGA News in 2015. The first edition in the New Year will be published on Friday 30 January. To subscribe to ALGA News or for information on advertising visit the ALGA website.
05 December 2014
Recycling scheme under review
The Department of the Environment is undertaking an operational review of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) and this week released a review paper. NTCRS involves a combination of government regulation and industry action to take responsibility for the collection and recycling of waste televisions, computers, printers and computer products.
Review of the impacts of road trauma
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) released the findings of a review of road trauma, on Tuesday 2 December. The review shows that road trauma costs the nation an estimated $27 billion per year. This is equivalent to 18 per cent of total health expenditure and 1.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.
Government responds to Aviation Safety Review
The Australian Government released its response to the 37 recommendations and related issues raised in the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Report, on Wednesday 3 December.
28 November 2014
Minister Briggs receives 2014 State of the Local Road Assets Report
ALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard presented Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs with a copy of the 2014 State of the Local Road Assets Report during a meeting with the Minister at Parliament House on Wednesday.
Federation and finances on the agenda with Finance Minister
The Reform of the Federation and Taxation White Papers and local government finances were among the key areas of discussions with Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann at Wednesday's meeting with ALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard.
Green Army and Emissions Reduction Fund
Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt outlined what he saw as opportunities for local government under the government's current environmental policies during a meeting with ALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard on Wednesday.
21 November 2014
Eureka moment for Congress
The 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress will head to the home of the Eureka Stockade, Ballarat. ALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard announced Ballarat as the host city for the event at the conclusion of the 2014 Congress in Tamworth last week. The 2015 Congress will be held from 17 - 19 November, 2015.
Congress calls for support from all levels of government for investment in roads
The 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress has called for strong levels of support from the Commonwealth and state and territory governments to make necessary investment in the local roads network to assist local government in its capacity as the manager of some 80 percent of Australia's road network.
ALGA appointment welcomed
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has congratulated Mayor Troy Pickard on his appointment as President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). I warmly welcome Cr Pickard to his new position and look forward to the Australian Government continuing its good working relationship with ALGA.
14 November 2014
All roads (and airports) led to Tamworth
Tamworth, Australia's Country Music capital and home of the Golden Guitar, was this week also home to the 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress. More than 200 delegates from across Australia headed to the regional city to look at transport priorities and policies for local government.
Infrastructure investment a priority
The Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss addressed the 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Tamworth yesterday, Thursday 13 November. Mr Truss outlined the government's agenda in regard to infrastructure investment which he stressed was not just about projects in capital cities but also investing Federal funds at a local level.
State of the Local Road Assets Report launched
The 2014 National State of the Local Road Assets Report has found that, on average, 10 percent of local roads need urgent upgrading, while one in five timber bridges is in a poor state of repair. These are among the key findings of a report into the condition of local roads and bridges, commissioned by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).
07 November 2014
Hats off to 15th annual Road Congress
The 15th Annual National Local Roads and Transport Congress heads to Australia's Country Music Capital, Tamworth, next week. More than 200 delegates will take part in a two day program filled with an outstanding array of speakers who will explore the conference theme of Corridors and Collaboration.
Legislation for Direct Action policy passed
Last week, the Federal Government, with the support of the Palmer United Party and other Senate cross-benchers, passed the Bill required to create the framework for the their 'Direct Action' climate policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
Productivity Commission Early Childcare Report delivered to government
The Productivity Commission delivered their Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning to the Federal Government on Friday, 31 October. It has been the largest review of the child care system since the 1990s. Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said 2081 submissions and comments were received from the public on the draft report.
31 October 2014
It's not too late to pack your bag for Tamworth
The 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress is just over a week away, and you still have time to register for this important event. The two day program is filled with topical and informative speakers exploring the theme of Corridors and Collaboration.
Call for local leaders to drive regional economic development
Community volunteers are being sought to join the Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees in Chair, Deputy Chair and Committee Member positions in Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Federation debate in the spotlight
The Reform of the Federation White Paper has been in the spotlight this week as Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivered the Sir Henry Parkes Oration last weekend in Tenterfield and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) released its research report, A Federation for the 21st Century.
24 October 2014
Countdown to Tamworth Roads Congress
The 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress is just over two weeks away, so if you haven't registered, visit ALGA's website today to ensure you don't miss taking part in this important event. The two day program is filled with topical and informative speakers exploring the theme of Corridors and Collaboration.
ALGA opposes key disaster funding recommendations
ALGA has lodged its response to the Productivity Commissions draft report into natural disaster funding arrangements.
National Water Commission launches final report
The National Water Commission released its final assessment of Australia's water reform progress in Canberra on Monday 20 October.
17 October 2014
Updated program for National Local Roads and Transport Congress online
An updated program has been released for the 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress to be held in Tamworth from 12 - 14 November. The Congress theme Corridors and Collaboration will be explored by a panel of eminent speakers in regional transport.
Inland Rail update at Congress
Chair of the Inland Rail Implementation Group, the Hon John Anderson AO is among the speakers at the 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress to be held in Tamworth from 12-14 November. Mr Anderson will speak at the Congress on Thursday 13 November on the Challenges of the Inland Rail project.
Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements Public hearings
The Productivity Commission will hold hearings in Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville and Brisbane in late October as part of its review of natural disaster funding arrangements. Locations, dates and times are available from the Commission's website. The public hearings provide participants with the opportunity to elaborate on their submissions and to discuss issues with Commissioners.
10 October 2014
6,000 mobile black spots nominated
Six thousand locations have been nominated as having inadequate mobile coverage under the first stage of the Australian Government's $100 million Mobile Black Spot Program, with an interactive map of those locations open for review until 15 October. The nomination process was open to the community as well as organisations like councils.
Anthony Albanese to speak at Roads and Transport Congress
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism Anthony Albanese has confirmed his attendance at the 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Tamworth from 12 - 14 November. Mr Albanese will speak on Day 2 of the Congress.
State of the Assets data due today
Updated data for inclusion in the 2014 State of the Assets Report must be submitted by close of business today, 10 October.
03 October 2014
ALGA comment on the Reform of the Federation Issues Paper
ALGA has lodged its comment on the first Issues Paper released as part of the Reform of the Federation White Paper process. The issues paper has been developed in consultation with the States and Territories and the Australian Local Government Association and sets out key matters the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation will consider.
Stronger Regions Fund applications open
Round one of the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund is open for applications. The Fund will invest $1 billion over five years and support investment in the priority economic and infrastructure areas-from freight and transport projects to convention centres and major multi-purpose sports and community facilities.
R2R funding
Councils across Australia this week received advice of their allocation under the Australian Government's Roads to Recovery program. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss wrote to all councils to advise each local government authority of its share of the Australian Government's $2.
26 September 2014
National State Of The Assets Report - extension for data collection
To enable all councils to submit data for inclusion in the 2014 National State of the Assets (NSOA) Report commissioned by the Australian Local Government Association, the closing date has been extended until Friday 10 October 2014.
Register now for 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress
The 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress will explore the themes of Collaboration and Corridors and there will be a strong focus on how we best manage our transport infrastructure and systems and how they contribute to Australia's continued economic growth.
Productivity Commission releases draft report on natural disaster funding
The Productivity Commission released its draft report on Natural Disaster Funding yesterday, 24 September, and is now seeking written submissions in response to the draft. The release of the two volume report has been welcomed by ALGA as it provides an ongoing focus and forum for discussion on the issues surrounding natural disaster funding.
19 September 2014
Federation White Paper - release of first Issues Paper
The first issues paper to inform the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation was released on Friday 12 September. The issues paper has been developed in consultation with the States and Territories and the Australian Local Government Association and sets out key matters the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation will consider.
National State of the Assets Report
Councils have one week left to submit data for inclusion in the 2014 National State of the Assets (NSOA) Report commissioned by the Australian Local Government Association.
National Local Government Asset (non roads) Study
The ALGA Board yesterday agreed to investigate the development of a National Local Government Asset (non roads) Study. The first phase of the study, to be commissioned by ALGA, will assess the feasibility of developing a comprehensive national report on local government infrastructure assets (excluding roads and land).
12 September 2014
Public consultation to improve NBN migration
The Government has released a Migration Assurance Policy consultation paper on 2 September and is seeking public submissions on arrangements for the migration of communications services to the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Preschool funding confirmed
The Abbott Government will commit $406 million to ensure Australian families can continue to access up to 15 hours of preschool per week in 2015.
Draft Emission Reduction Fund methods released for public consultation
Last Friday afternoon, the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced the release of the first set of draft methodologies developed under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). These will be used to determine the baselines and the mechanisms to ascertain the extent of reductions achieved.
05 September 2014
Secure your place at vital roads and transport congress
As Roads to Recovery funding flows to councils for investment in local road networks, the issue of permanent R2R funding remains on the agenda of local government.
Regional Roads groups
One area of collaboration to be explored at the 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Tamworth will be that of regional road groups. What is a regional road group, how do regional roads groups work and what role could they play in the strategic development of road networks and in contributing to investment decisions and transport planning?
Councils tackling transport challenges
A forum featuring three councils, including host council Tamworth is included on the agenda for day one of the 2014 Congress. What challenges do councils face and how do they respond? The panel will feature councils facing very different transport challenges, and very different transport networks.
29 August 2014
R2R funding assured
The first instalment of funding for the 2014-15 Roads to Recovery program will soon flow to councils after the R2R legislation was passed by the Senate yesterday as part of the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014.
Councils urged to participate in ALGA's State of the Assets update
Councils will soon be provided with instructions on how to participate in the 2014 update of the National State of the Assets Report. The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has commissioned Jeff Roorda and Associates (JRA) to update the National State of the Assets Report (NSOA) for 2014.
Round one applications for Bridges funding close
Applications for Round One of the Bridges Renewal Programme closed yesterday, Thursday 28 August. The Australian Government has committed $300 million over five years from 2014-15 to the Bridges Renewal Programme (BRP). The objectives of the BRP are to contribute to the productivity of bridges serving local communities, and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access.
22 August 2014
Minister Truss accepts invitation to Roads Congress
ALGA is pleased to announce that Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has accepted an invitation to attend the 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Tamworth on 12 -14 November. Mr Truss will attend the first day of the conference.
Citizenship testing in regional areas made easier
People living in some areas of regional Australia can now sit the Australian Citizenship test at their local Centrelink or Medicare Service Centre. The government now offers weekly citizenship testing at 29 service centres across Australia - from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Mackay in Queensland.
MobileMuster commits to new 2020 mobile phone recycling target
With Australia's obsolete mobile phone stock pile likely to continue to increase over the coming year due to significant telecommunication network upgrades and highly anticipated smart phone launches, the mobile industry has responded with a commitment to recycle an additional 130 tonnes on top of current collection volumes over the next five years , said Rose Read, Recycling Manager,
15 August 2014
Financial Assistance Grants payments
ALGA is continuing to lobby the Federal Government to have the decision to freeze indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) reversed. The decision, included in the 13 May Budget will cut $925 million from local government funding over the next three years. The first FAGs payment for 2014-15 will be made to councils next week and it will be $24 million less this quarter because of the indexation freeze.
National State of the Assets 2014
Over the coming months councils across Australia will be asked to participate in the development of the 2014 National State of the Asset Report. ALGA has commissioned Jeff Roorda and Associates (JRA) to undertake the National State of the Assets (NSOA) Report for 2014.
President's Column
The 13 May Federal Budget included a $925 million cut to local government funding with the decision to freeze indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for the next three years. Next week, the first Financial Assistance Grants for the current financial year will be distributed, and the impact of the 13 May decision will be seen first -hand by councils across the nation. Why? Because there will be $24 million less provided to local government this quarter as a result of the indexation freeze.
08 August 2014
Commemorations across communities
Monday August 4 marked the 100th anniversary since the commencement of World War I. For the next four years, the Centenary of Anzac will commemorate Australia's involvement in the battlefields of the Great War.
Councils sign on for Green Army projects
More than 50 councils will undertake local conservation projects as part of the Green Army. On Saturday 2 August, Prime Minster Tony Abbott announced the first round of 196 Green Army projects.
Exploring e-waste options
With the increase in the use of electronic devices in people's everyday lives, there is an increasing focus on how to dispose of these items at the end of their use. Unlike regular waste, e-waste, requires specific disposal processes.
01 August 2014
Implications of the Carbon Price Repeal for Local Government
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has sought independent advice on the repeal of the Carbon Tax and the implications for councils that own and operate landfills. A copy of the briefing paper prepared for ALGA, Implications of Carbon Price Repeal for Local Government, by Norton Rose Fulbright is available on ALGA's website.
National Local Roads and Transport Congress
The 2014 National Local Roads and Transport Congress will be held in Tamworth from 12 - 14 November. With the theme, Collaborations and Corridors, the congress will highlight the importance of federal funding in overcoming road and infrastructure challenges and reinforce the need for increased and permanent funding under the Roads to Recovery program beyond June 2019.
President's Column
At the heart of many local communities are the parks, gardens and sporting facilities; the footy fields, swimming pools and ovals that are owned and maintained by the local council.
25 July 2014
Roads to Recovery funding
ALGA has written to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Anthony Albanese to seek assurances from them on the continuation of the Roads to Recovery program.
NGA Resolutions
The ALGA board yesterday considered the resolutions from the National General Assembly to determine the most appropriate action to take on all the policy positions expressed by the delegates attending this year's Assembly. The resolutions from the NGA can be viewed on the ALGA website. The board also confirmed the dates for the 2015 NGA.
Draft Productivity Commission report into childcare calls for a single, means-tested childcare subsidy
The Productivity Commission (PC) released its draft inquiry report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning earlier this week. Its recommendations seek to make childcare more affordable, flexible and accessible and to provide a more financially sustainable childcare system for taxpayers into the future.
18 July 2014
NGA Resolutions to the board
Resolutions from this year's National General Assembly (NGA), held in Canberra from 15-18 June, will be considered by the ALGA Board at a special board meeting shortly. More than 150 motions were received for the 2014 NGA, compared to 142 in 2014 and 148 in 2012.
New approach to data and research critical to protecting lives and property
An open source platform providing access to critical information on natural disasters to all Australians is needed to protect life and property, and will help deliver potential savings to the Australian economy of $500 million to $2.4 billion according to the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities.
Productivity Commission's Final Report on Public Infrastructure Released
The Australian Government tabled the Productivity Commission s Final Inquiry Report into Public Infrastructure on Monday 14 July.
11 July 2014
Productivity Commission Roundtable
ALGA and representatives from several state local government associations from WA, SA, Vic, NSW and Queensland attended a Productivity Commission roundtable meeting in Melbourne last week. The roundtable, chaired by the Commissioners, was specifically examining the roles of state and local governments in effective natural disaster risk assessment.
Bridges funding round open
Applications for Round 1 of the Australian Government's five year, $300 million Bridges Renewal Programme (BRP) are now open. The funding programme is aimed at bridge projects that contribute to improved productivity and/or community access. Up to $100 million is available Round 1, with applications closing on 28 August.
NAIDOC Week celebrations
This week marks National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week 2014 (6-13 July). This week Australians have the opportunity to share and acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation. Every year, the Committee focuses on an issue of national importance.
04 July 2014
Federation White Paper
The Government released the Terms of Reference for the White Paper on the Reform of the Federation on Saturday 28 June. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that it was necessary to reduce and, if possible, end duplication and make interacting with government simpler.
Health Star Ratings
The Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation met in Sydney on Friday 27 June and considered a range of issues including the Health Star Rating System, progress made by industry in Australia and New Zealand in placing pregnancy warnings on alcohol products, the review of the policy guideline on the regulatory management of caffeine in
President's Column
I have attended my first United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) meeting and it has been an interesting experience on a number of levels. Internationalisation is something that we must not turn our back on.
27 June 2014
Roads and Transport Congress heads to Tamworth in November
While the focus from the Federal Budget for local government has largely been on the indexation freeze for Financial Assistance Grants there was some positive news on opportunities for increases in the Roads to Recovery and Black Spot funding pools.
$13 million to improve natural disaster resilience
Commonwealth Minister for Justice Michael Keenan joined Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells to announce more than $13 million dollars for projects to boost Victoria's resilience to natural disaster last Friday.
The Land Transport Infrastructure Bill
This week the Land Transport Infrastructure Bill 2014 which includes the extension of the Roads to Recovery program did not proceed through Senate.
20 June 2014
Councils call for Commonwealth to restore Indexation of Financial Assistance Grants
Councils from across Australia voted to call on the Commonwealth Government to reverse the decision included in the 2014 Federal Budget to freeze indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) for the next three years, at the National General Assembly (NGA) in Canberra this week.
Bridges Renewal funding round launched
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss launched Round One of the government's new Bridges Renewal Programme and Round Four of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme at the 2014 National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra on Wednesday, 18 June.
National General Assembly a success
Almost 900 delegates attended the National General Assembly from 15 to 18 June. A range of speakers and panel sessions were included in the program as the theme for this year's Assembly Getting Down to Business was explored.
13 June 2014
Queen's Birthday honours
The 2014 Queen's Birthday honours list has recognised many who dedicated their time and efforts to their local community through service to local government. Honours were presented to: Order of Australia, Officer (OA) in the General Division: Winsome McPherson McCaughey, North Melbourne Vic.
Home Care Support Programme Discussion Paper released
The Key Directions for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme Discussion Paper (Discussion Paper) on the proposed design of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme has been released and submissions on the paper can be submitted until 30 June 2014.
Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia released
THE Australian Government's vision for opening northern Australia to development is taking shape with the Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia released by Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss in Townsville on Tuesday.
06 June 2014
State of the Regions launch
The 16th annual State of the Regions report will be launched at the 2014 Regional Cooperation and Development Forum, the opening event of the National General Assembly, on Sunday 15 June.
20th annual National General Assembly
2014 will mark the 20th anniversary of the National General Assembly of Local Government which will get underway in Canberra in just over a week. The NGA, to be held from 15 - 18 June, will bring together delegates from across Australia to discuss this year's theme Getting Down to Business .
President's Column
ALGA has long been an advocate and supporter of road reform to improve productivity, and for the associated social and wider economic benefit, at both a local, state and national level. National productivity is an objectives shared by all levels of government, industry and the community at large.
30 May 2014
Senators grill Government about local government cuts
Senators have grilled senior Federal public servants over the cuts to local government funding in the Budget, particularly the freezing of indexation for the Financial Assistance Grants (which will cost councils $925 million in the next four years and hundreds of millions of dollars each year thereafter) and the termination of the supplementary
Groundswell of concern over Federal Budget
Leading into the National General Assembly is a growing tide of discontent at a local level with councils across Australia continuing to express their concern about the impact of the Federal Budget on council budgets.
Countdown to the NGA
The countdown is on to the 2014 National General Assembly where local government will be Getting down to Business, the theme of this year's assembly.
23 May 2014
Governor-General to open National General Assembly
ALGA is delighted to announce that the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove will open the 2014 National General Assembly on 15 June. Sir Peter had a long and distinguished military career and was awarded the Military Cross in 1971 for his performance and leadership during an assault on enemy positions during the Vietnam War.
Reassurance on Roads to Recovery extension
In recent weeks the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis, has sought and received assurances from the Government and the Opposition that they both support the extension of Roads to Recovery beyond 30 June 2014.
Councils counting the cost of Budget decisions
Councils across Australia are still coming to terms with the impact of the freezing of the Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) in the Federal Budget and what it will mean for local communities.
16 May 2014
Mixed fortunes with FAGs frozen, roads and bridges funded
Tuesday night's Federal Budget decision to freeze the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) was certainly unexpected. 1997-98 is the last time FAGs were not fully indexed and that was a single year in which FAGs partially indexed. The freezing of FAGs at $2.
Stronger Regions and Bushfire Mitigation programs confirmed
Regional and local communities across Australia will benefit from the Government's $1.3 billion dollar commitment to community projects that improve their infrastructure, economy and quality of life.
Natural Disasters PC Issues Paper released and submissions sought
Initial submissions to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements are due on Friday 6 June. The Productive Commission released an issues paper on 9 May 2014. The issues paper is intended to assist individuals and organisations in preparing a submission to the Commission.
09 May 2014
Role to play in Federation White Paper
ALGA's President Felicity-ann Lewis joined the Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders at the 37th Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra on Friday 2 May.
Local government needs to be heard
With less than six weeks to go until the 2014 National General Assembly of Local Government, it is shaping up to be a must-attend event.
Geographic Labour Mobility report released
The Productivity Commission sent their final report to Government on 22 April 2014 and publicly released the Geographic Labour Mobility report on 6 May 2014.
02 May 2014
Commonwealth funding for councils to end under Audit Commission Report
Commonwealth funding for local councils would end under the recommendations of the Commission of Audit Report released on Thursday 1 May. The Federal Budget, to be handed down in 12 days time is expected to pick up some of the 86 recommendations, with others to be adopted in coming months.
Natural Disaster Funding Inquiry to focus on mitigation
The Productivity Commission has received the terms of reference for an inquiry into natural disaster funding which will be completed by December 2014. The focus of the inquiry is on whether the Federal Government has got the balance right between recovery and mitigation, with many believing more needs to be done on the mitigation front.
Emissions Reduction Fund - White Paper Released
The Federal Government released its White Paper on the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) last week. The ERF is the central component of the Government's 'Direct Action' climate change policy.
25 April 2014
Minister confirms Home Support Program Consultation Paper due shortly
Councils will shortly be able to have their say on the new Commonwealth Home Support Program with a Consultation Paper due for release in the next couple of weeks.
IPCC stresses need for emissions reduction 70 per cent
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released its 'Working Group III' report. The report outlines the overall failings of getting to grips with the practical measures required to not only reduce emissions intensity, but bring them down in real terms.
President's Column
Cyclone Ita has highlighted how vulnerable communities are to the forces and unpredictability of nature. The impacts of extreme weather events are often not fully understood for months and perhaps years after the event.
18 April 2014
Calling for Green Army projects - round one now open
The Australian Government is seeking applications under round one of the Green Army Programme.
Transport Ministers to focus on regional and remote issues
Australia's transport ministers will hold a forum on regional and remote transport infrastructure and services in Alice Springs on 22 May, the day before their next Ministerial Council meeting. ALGA's President, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis and senior ALGA staff will also attend the invitation-only event.
Emergency Risks in Victoria Report
A new report by the Victorian Government on Emergency Risks in Victoria, has for the first time outlined, assessed and published Victoria's major emergency threats. The emergency risks in the assessment include bushfire, earthquake, flood, heatwave, hazardous materials emergency, storm, transport infrastructure emergency and marine pollution.
11 April 2014
Local government's role in sustainable water resource management
ALGA President Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis addressed the 2014 Australian Water Congress and Expo in Sydney this week, to talk about the role of local government in sustainable water resource management.
National Local Government Workforce Development Forum briefed on geographic labour mobility
The seventh national workforce forum was held this week in Canberra and canvassed a wide range of issues relating to local government skills and workforce development initiatives. ALGA presented an overview of its recent submission to the Draft Productivity report on geographic labour mobility.
Delegates are "getting down to business" and registering early for NGA
Registrations for this year's National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) are progressing very well with more than 350 registrations already, exceeding numbers for last year. This is shaping up to be one of the biggest NGAs ever.
04 April 2014
ALGA Board places priority on upcoming Disaster Funding Review
At its meeting last week the ALGA Board confirmed the priority issues it wants to see addressed in the upcoming Productivity Commission Inquiry into natural disaster funding arrangements.
Submission on Draft Public Infrastructure Report
ALGA has prepared a submission in response to the draft report on public infrastructure by the Productivity Commission which was released on 13 March 2014. The Commission will hold public hearings in early April. A final report will be provided to the Australian Government in late May 2014.
Debt is Not a Dirty Word
The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) recently released a research document about an important issue for local government, debt.
28 March 2014
Affordable housing on local government agenda
ALGA attended a Housing Affordability Roundtable in Canberra this week to discuss the important issue of affordable housing and reinforce the role of councils in land use planning and development.
Local government and researchers discuss natural hazards
Local government representatives from across the country met in Adelaide last week to discuss the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre's planned research activities for mitigating the effects of natural disasters.
Multicultural Council meets with local government
The Australian Multicultural Council (AMC) met with officers from ALGA; the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV); the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government; the Federation of Ethnic Communities in Australia; and the Australian Human Rights Commission in Canberra this week to discuss potential future opportunities for local
21 March 2014
ALGA President discusses emergency management with Justice Minister
During a meeting this week with Justice Minister Michael Keenan, ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis expressed the view that all levels of government, including the Commonwealth Government, need to substantially increase provisions for natural disaster mitigation in local communities.
Inland Rail to commence preconstruction works
ALGA welcomes the commencement of pre-construction works for the Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Railway, which when delivered is expected to reduce the adverse effects on local road networks by freight vehicles.
ALGA welcomes new guideline for airport planning
ALGA has welcomed a new guideline for regional airport master planning released by the Australian Airports Association (AAA) to help regional and rural airport operators plan strategically for the future development of on-airport infrastructure, as well as off-airport planning activities.
14 March 2014
Local government encouraged to share views on infrastructure
Councils are invited to provide input to a draft report released this week by the Productivity Commission on public infrastructure which recognises the potential benefits of greater private sector involvement.
Intra-government agreement delivers $24.5 million for outback roads
Australia's legendary Outback Way will receive a major boost as part of a $24.5 million road funding agreement between local, state and federal governments.
President's Column
During the past week I have been finalising Local Government's 2014 Disability Champion Report for presentation to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).
07 March 2014
ALGA welcomes Commonwealth commitment to roads
ALGA has welcomed the Government's formal commitment to further investment in the Roads to Recovery (R2R) programme, black spots and local bridges included in the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill, which has been introduced into Federal Parliament.
ALGA President focuses on women in local government
Local communities across the country are this week holding events to mark International Women's Day, which is recognised each year on 8 March. ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis is taking part in celebrations which aim to recognise the contributions of women and acknowledge areas requiring further action to ensure women's equality.
Brendan Nelson to address National General Assembly
As the Centenary of the beginning of the First World War approaches, ALGA is pleased to confirm that the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, will be addressing the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) on Wednesday, 18 June 2014.
28 February 2014
Board sets strategic priorities for 2014-17
Following a strategic planning meeting last week, the ALGA Board has decided on key areas of priority to pursue as part of a 2014-17 Strategic Plan for local government. Immediate strategic priorities will include funding for local government, infrastructure, productivity, rural and regional issues and indigenous matters.
Board acknowledges importance of Financial Assistance Grants
The ALGA Board has reflected on the significance of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) in light of the Commonwealth's National Commission of Audit and Review of Taxation.
Aviation noise under examination
ALGA is currently involved as a steering committee member on a project convened by Standards Australia, which is reviewing aircraft noise intrusion The scope of the review is limited to the following: Updating aircraft types to reflect Australia s current fleet mix; Providing a new appendix that explains the procedures that an Australian Noise
21 February 2014
ALGA Board meets to discuss strategic priorities
The ALGA Board met in Canberra this week to discuss the strategic objectives of local government and to develop a 2014-17 Strategic Plan for meeting key priorities. Careful consideration was given to federal government policy and priorities that will impact on the development of the Strategic Plan.
ALGA makes submission on Geographic Labour Mobility
ALGA has made a submission to the Productivity Commission's draft report assessing geographic labour mobility in Australia, arguing that local governments should have the capacity and capability to manage population change in their areas.
ALGA's Regional Forum to focus on global competitiveness
Each year, ALGA hosts the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum and this year, the focus will be on regional competitiveness in a global economy.
14 February 2014
ALGA President discusses Work for Dole
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis has met with Assistant Minister for Employment, Luke Hartsuyker to discuss the Australian Government's proposed Work for the Dole program and the possible role of local government.
Federal Government outlines plans for community infrastructure
In a meeting this week with the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Jamie Briggs, ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis raised issues concerning the need to maintain and extend federal funding under the Roads to Recovery (R2R) program, the Commonwealth's National Commission of Audit and community funding commitments.
ALGA discusses local infrastructure funding with Opposition
ALGA President Felicity-ann Lewis has met with the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, to discuss local infrastructure funding.
07 February 2014
ALGA finalises submission on Emissions Reduction Fund
ALGA is in the process of finalising its submission to the Commonwealth Government in response to the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Green Paper. This is the primary driver behind the new 'direct action' climate change policy.
2014 National General Assembly - Call for Motions
ALGA is calling for motions for the 2014 National General Assembly (NGA) under this year s theme of Getting down to business . To assist councils in preparing motions, a discussion paper has been prepared and will be available on the ALGA website from Monday, 10 February.
ALGA makes submission to Aviation Safety Review
In a submission to the Australian Government's Aviation Safety Regulation Review, ALGA has highlighted issues and challenges facing the regional and remote airports sector.
31 January 2014
Local government achievers recognised on Australia Day
As a finalist for the Australian of the Year Award, ALGA President, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis was among many local government leaders recognised for her service to the community over the Australia Day long weekend.
ALGA makes submission to 2014-15 Federal Budget
ALGA this week presented its submission to the Federal Government as it prepares for the May presentation of the 2014-15 Budget. The submission has focused on the areas that local government believes should be at the forefront of the Government's thinking when it comes to the support it provides.
Save the date for ALGA's 2014 National General Assembly
The theme of ALGA's 2014 National General Assembly (NGA) is 'Getting down to Business'; reflecting local government's pragmatic and hands-on role in providing services, infrastructure and coordination at the local level.

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