60 airports in the money | Bushfire-affected councils lauded | Inquiry points to 5G concerns | ALGA News 19 June 2020

President's column

Is Local Government going to be part of the solution, or part of the problem, as the Commonwealth responds to a looming budget blowout and the nation’s first recession in 29 years? As councils step up to create new jobs in parallel with minimising rate rises (a tough ask) are we to be assisted by+

Rates cap plan headlines SA local government reform bill

South Australian Local Government Minister Stephan Knoll will be able to limit council rate increases under new legislation introduced into State Parliament this week. The Statutes Amendment (Local Government Review) Bill will give the Minister the power to direct a council to cap its rates if “independent advice” deems they should be capped. A rate-monitoring+

5G technology concerns ‘need to be addressed in roll-out’

Better public understanding of 5G is needed if the new technology is to deliver on its promise of a “generational leap” in connectivity and innovation, a Federal Parliamentary report says. The report into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G  mobile technology – begun by the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Communications and the+

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NBRA praises councils’ quick use of emergency bushfire funds

National Bushfire Recovery Coordinator Andrew Colvin has applauded local councils’ quick and effective use of emergency funding to provide community support. In an update on recovery efforts, Mr Colvin said vital support was being provided by an array of council projects, and “as further councils report on their activity we will consolidate this information and+

60 airports share $41m in Regional Airports Program funding

Sixty regional airports will receive a share of $41.2 million in federal funding to help the aviation industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack announced funding for the projects this week under round 1 of the Regional Airports Program. They include $4.5 million for a project+

LGNSW seeks assurance on promised regional roads transfer

Local Government NSW has asked the Berejiklian Government to clarify an election promise to take back 15,000km of regional roads from councils. The Government announced in February 2019 that up to 15,000km of regional roads would be transferred to the state as part of a broader support package enabling local councils to better manage and+

ALGA endorses revised mobile black spot funding model

ALGA has welcome proposals to direct Mobile Black Spot Program funding towards regional and remote areas hitherto considered commercially unviable by telco providers. In a submission to a discussion paper on the design of the next round of the Mobile Black Spots Program – Round 5A – ALGA repeated its long-standing position that people in+

Support for FAGs heads new ALGA Strategic Plan 2020-23

ALGA has made preserving Financial Assistance Grants and restoring FAGs funding lost in the 2014-15 indexation freeze a key outcome in its Strategic Plan 2020-23. The new plan, which will replace the Strategic Plan 2017-20, also includes detailed initiatives to: Secure increased Roads to Recovery funding to $800 million annually; Advocate for additional stormwater, water+

11 NSW councils sign on to accelerated assessment program

Eleven councils will develop a Council Accelerated Assessment Program as part of the NSW Government’s efforts to fast-track planning decisions during the Covid-19 crisis. Councils that agree to run their own programs will receive tools, guidance and support from Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). They also get direction and support from the state+

SA Regional Growth Fund brought forward to aid Covid recovery

$15 million is being fast-tracked under South Australia’s Regional Growth Fund for projects to aid regional economies affected by Covid-19 restrictions. Grants from $50,000 on up to $2 million are available for projects which “provide enduring economic benefits and growth for regional South Australia”. Applications will be accepted from individual commercial enterprises, incorporated associations, and+

Postponed NSW local government elections set for Sept 2021

NSW council elections due later this year but postponed because of coronavirus health concerns have been rescheduled for 4 September 2021. Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock announced the new date this week, saying current councillors will continue to hold their civic offices until the rescheduled elections are held. An order has been published in the+

New CoP milestone for Smart Beaches Project

The first meeting of the Smart Beaches Community of Practice (CoP) will be conducted by video-link on 23 June 2020 from 2-3pm. The Smart Beaches CoP has been established for local councils to share knowledge, establish best practice approaches and support collaboration of smart technology to improve beach safety. Lake Macquarie City Council is leading+

More career development support for women in local government

The Women’s Leadership and Development Program – which supports women working in local government, among other things – has received $1.8 million in new funding. Four successful grant recipients will receive a portion of the funding this financial year (2019-20) to deliver on projects targeted towards achieving women’s economic security, and supporting women during the+

2020-21 Agricultural Census consultations set to begin

The Bureau of Statistics is soliciting local government involvement in consultations on the content proposed for collection in the 2020-21 Agricultural Census. The census is undertaken every five years to provide benchmark national, state, and sub-state data to inform Australian agriculture. The starting point for consultation is a proposed reduction in content (in comparison to+

Microgrid opportunities in regional Australia to be studied

Seventeen microgrid feasibility studies in West Australian and Northern Territory indigenous communities have received $19 million under the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund. The funding has been allocated under Round One of the $50 million initiative established last year to provide more reliable, secure, and cost-effective energy supply options for regional and remote communities.+