A clear path to circularity | NSoA21 update | Regions ‘need investment to prosper’ | ALGA News 11 December 2020

President's column

It was an honour to represent you at today’s inaugural National Federation Reform Council, a meeting of the Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the Treasurers, in Old Parliament House in Canberra. Formed when COAG was abolished, the Council will meet annually to discuss issues of national significance. I was pleased to hear the Prime+

Jurisdictions ‘must work together to create circular economy’

A unified waste management approach across the states and territories is critical to developing a national circular economy, a new federal parliamentary report says. Developing a national framework which features an appropriate blend of regulation, incentive-based actions, taxes and levees, and long-term policy certainty, would foster innovation and lead to new opportunities that will create+

LGs can help guide regional infrastructure investment: report

The Commonwealth should expand its regional infrastructure spending to drive economic recovery – consulting with local and state governments to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. This approach would help underpin economic recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Senate Economics References Committee said last week. In the final report from its inquiry into the+

Response rate for National State of the Assets report rises to 83pc

Four hundred forty-five councils, or 83 percent of all local governments, have now provided data for the 2021 National State of the Assets (NSoA) Report. This is an increase of 13 percentage points in the overall participation rate since 2014, and eight percentage points since 2018. The Australian Local Government’s Association’s NSoA project has regularly+

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PC launches ‘right to repair’ inquiry with issues paper

The Productivity Commission has published an issues paper as a prelude to its forthcoming inquiry into the costs and benefits of a right of repair. There is no single definition of a “right to repair”, but the PC says that “in essence it relates to regulations to maximise a consumer’s opportunity to repair their goods+

Patchy flood risk management approach remains a concern

Although flooding is Australia’s costliest natural hazard-related cause of disaster, a devolved model for floodplain risk management (FRM) has led to uneven outcomes at the local level. Some communities are well progressed towards holistic FRM, but others are at a less mature stage of working towards flood risk assessments and appropriate FRM plans. A new+

Information drought ‘impeding take-up of green procurement’

Some local governments struggle to implement green purchasing policies because of a lack of baseline/assessment of such procurement policies in the public sector. According to a new University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business School report, municipalities that track their green purchasing policies are more likely to elevate the importance of green purchasing in their+

Value capture ‘a fairer way to pay for faster inter-city rail’

A Federal Parliamentary committee inquiring into options for financing faster rail between major capital cities has suggested all three levels of government focus on value-capture mechanisms.  Chairman of the House of Representatives Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Committee John Alexander tabled the faster rail financing options report this week. “Before Covid-19, this committee saw funding faster+

Cth invests $50m in flood mitigation fund for state, LG projects

A $50 million National Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Fund has been set up by the Federal Government to help communities to better prepare for extreme weather events and flooding. The program has been established under the Emergency Response Fund and aligns with recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, the National Disaster Risk+

Further arts funding opportunities for local councils

The Australia Council for the Arts has advised that local governments can apply for funding to aid recovery in the cultural and creatives industries sector. The Federal Government is providing $2 million to the Reimagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives which the Australia Council for the Arts will administer. Recovery initiatives are offered in two streams: The+

Bill to audit sister city deals receives Royal Assent

A Bill allowing the Commonwealth to override arrangements entered by states, local governments and universities with foreign governments was signed into law this week. Under the Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020, the Minister for Foreign Affairs will have the power to prevent prospective foreign arrangements from proceeding, or cancel existing arrangements, where+

National population growth to slow to 0.2 per cent in 2020-21

Net overseas migration has slumped since March, with Australia expected to record its first net outflow since the end of World War II this financial year. The Federal Government’s first Population Statement says pandemic restrictions are also expected to affect household decisions about family size and migration between and within states and territories. “Covid-19 will+

Disaster assistance for beleaguered Fraser Island firefighters

Disaster assistance has been made available to reimburse firefighting costs on Queensland’s Fraser Island as operations continue to manage ongoing bushfires. The bushfires started in mid-November and have now burnt about 80,000 hectares of the island. Nearly 100 firefighting personnel, supported by heavy machinery, dozens of fire trucks and multiple firefighting aircraft, are battling the+

Smart Cities Awards: Parramatta picks up leadership category

The City of Parramatta Council has taken out the coveted Leadership City category at this year’s Smart Cities Awards Paramatta won the judges’ nod for implementing a suite of dynamic smart cities projects, including sensing network on a new 25-hectare development, a parking app which was enhanced in 2020 in response to Covid-19, and Floodsmart+

$10.3m betterment program fix for Douglas Shire’s roads

The Far North Queensland Shire of Douglas is getting than $10 million to repair, rebuild and reinforce infrastructure damaged by the devastating monsoon trough of early last year. The money for the projects is coming from the 2019 Betterment program jointly funded by the Federal and Queensland Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).+

Easy energy price matches now possible in NSW, Qld, SA, Tas

The Australian Energy Regulator’s price comparison service has been improved to enable households and small businesses to make more informed energy choices. Energy Made Easy is a free and independent service enabling NSW, Queensland, South Australian, Tasmanian and ACT residents to find and compare electricity and gas plans available in their local area. The Regulator+