A new chapter in Indigenous affairs | Single touch environmental approvals | Meet Scenic Rim’s Mayor Christensen | ALGA News 31 July 2020

President's column

It is a rare privilege to have signed such an important agreement on your behalf. The new Closing the Gap partnership, signed by the Commonwealth, the states and territories, and the Australian Local Government Association on Monday, has been hailed as a new chapter in the national effort to reduce Indigenous disadvantage. It sets new+

Indigenous peaks front and centre of new Closing the Gap plan

A new national agreement to redress entrenched inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians came into effect this week. The latest Closing the Gap agreement sets 16 new national socio-economic targets in areas including life expectancy, birthweight, early childhood education and development, Year 12 and tertiary qualifications, employment, incarceration rates, household safety, and the proportion of+

National Cabinet agrees to quicker environmental appraisals

A nationwide “single-touch” environmental approvals process will be introduced after a National Cabinet meeting last week agreed to legislative changes. The changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would see new national standards enacted and the state and territories accredited to carry out environmental assessments and approvals on the Commonwealth’s behalf. Legislation for+

Meet the Mayor – Scenic Rim’s Greg Christensen

Greg Christensen was elected to the Scenic Rim Regional Council as Mayor in 2016 and successfully re-contested the 2020 election for a second term.  With a professional background in human resources and business improvement, along with a varied career with companies like CSR, Holden, and OneSteel, Cr Christensen is presently the executive officer of Step+

More News

City of Busselton lands 2020 National Award for Local Government

The City of Busselton’s airport upgrade supporting a growing tourism and freight industry has been recognised with a National Award for Local Government. The awards celebrating “the best of Australian local government achievements” were announced by Federal Local Government Minister Mark Coulton last week. Busselton won the Boosting Productivity through Infrastructure Award for engineering the+

Regional Connectivity Program taking new funding applications

Local, state and territory governments are being encouraged to apply for funding under the Commonwealth’s $53 million Regional Connectivity Program. Examples of projects that could be funded under the Program include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband+

Great Artesian Basin management plan updated for 2020s

The Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan has been updated to align more closely with national strategies and frameworks, including the National Water Initiative. Encompassing new technical knowledge, improved sustainable water resource management practices, and changing social and political contexts, the new Basin plan is described as building “on the success of the first Strategic+

Qld container refund scheme ‘at risk of missing KPIs’

Queensland’s container refund scheme, Containers for Change, is under-performing and needs a design overhaul, says a national environmental group. The Total Environment Centre (TEC) published a review of the scheme last month which claims the current rate of container return is about 40 percent (plus 14 percent from kerbside), well below the 85 percent target+

Ex fire service chiefs call for climate-related disaster response

Former fire and emergency service leaders have called for a national climate disaster fund to help protect Australians from an “unprecedented era of climate-related disaster”. Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ECLA) are also calling for better-resourced fire and land management agencies, and the acquisition of a medium and large aerial firefighting capability for state and+

New DRFA funding for flood-hit western NSW councils

The NSW shires of Bogan, Central Darling, Cobar, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Lachlan, Parkes, and Warrumbungle are to get disaster assistance to repair flood-damaged infrastructure. The widespread flooding in February originated in Queensland, and was exacerbated by heavy rainfall in Western NSW catchments. The assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements+

Qld Govt reboots 2017 building acceleration program

Building projects demonstrating a “flow-on economic benefits to local communities” will be eligible for co-funding under a new Queensland Government initiative. The $200 million Building Acceleration Fund, announced this week, will see funding provided as an interest-free loan where a proponent also co-invests 10 to 50 percent of the total infrastructure project cost. Fund administrators+

Early Learning Matters Week showcasing council-run centres

Local councillors, along with state and federal MPs, are being encouraged to take part in Early Learning Matters Week starting on 3 August. The event aims to give policymakers a first-hand glimpse of the important work of early childhood education and care providers, a sector in which local government is involved in every state. In+

New guidelines for improved public transport accessibility

The Australian Human Rights Commission has published new guidelines to facilitate compliance with disability standards for accessible public transport. Developed with the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Australia and Communications, the guidelines provide information on the operation of the equivalent access provisions of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Cth), and their+

5G safety fears ‘not justified by the scientific evidence’

The Federal Government is stepping up its campaign to counter misinformation about the safety of Fifth Generation (5G) mobile phone technology. According to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, there is no evidence that 5G causes adverse health impacts. “This position is supported by decades of studies, as well as scientists and+

Natural disaster inquiry given until October to finalise report

The Federal Government has given the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements two more months to complete its work. Royal Commission chairman Mark Binskin sought to extend the reporting date from 31 August to 28 October to enable the inquiry to complete a more comprehensive report. The Royal Commission was established on 20 February+

SA Deputy Premier tapped for Local Government Ministry

South Australia Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Vickie Chapman is the state’s new Planning and Local Government minister. She replaces Stephan Knoll, who resigned last Sunday along with two other Marshall Government ministers. In one of his final ministerial tasks, Mr Knoll approved the constitution of five new Regional Assessment Panels for SA. They are: Eyre+