Unpaid airport fees reach $10m | States cool on disaster response changes | Meet KI’s Mayor Pengilly | ALGA News 17 July 2020

Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

President's column

Place-based deals have been making headlines these past weeks, all of them positive, all of them reinforcing the key role Local Government plays in shaping our economy. The mayors of Albury and Wodonga have signed a statement of intent to develop a Regional Deal based around the two Murray River cities, and new annual reports+

Regional airport owners owed $10m by airlines, says AAA

An Australian Airports Association survey has revealed that 24 regional airports, most owned by councils, are owed $10 million in unpaid fees. The survey of 34 members of AAA also showed that 10 large and capital city airports were owed $7 million. AAA chief executive James Goodwin said that while airlines had received significant financial+

States oppose bigger federal role in emergency management

State and Territory governments say they oppose the Commonwealth being referred additional powers to deal with or respond to natural disasters. The near unanimous view emerged in submissions to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements made public last week. In its inquiry submission, the WA Government said: “The concept of a ‘national natural+

Meet the Mayor – Kangaroo Island’s Michael Pengilly

In the first of an occasional series on the elected leaders of Australia 537 councils, Kangaroo Island Council Mayor Micheal Pengilly answers questions about various aspects of his work and that of the council’s. Councillor Pengilly was born and raised on Kangaroo Island, and he continues to farm a property with his wife on the+

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Federal Government endorses Product Stewardship review findings

The Federal Government has said it supports all 26 recommendations of a review into the Product stewardship Act 2011 – including encouraging new schemes. The review was conducted by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to ascertain if the Act “is enabling and can enable the benefits that product stewardship can deliver”. Although+

National park upgrades ‘to boost struggling tourism sector’

The Commonwealth will invest $233 million on tourism and infrastructure projects to help the struggling tourism sector recover from Covid-19. The money will go towards new infrastructure and facility upgrades at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Parks in the Northern Territory, the Booderee National Park on the NSW South Coast, the Australian National Botanic+

$17m boost for SA disaster resilience and risk reduction

South Australia’s Disaster Risk Reduction Grants Program has received new Commonwealth and State Government funding totalling $16.7 million. The money is part of the Commonwealth and the SA Governments’ commitment under the National Partnership Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction to reduce the risk and limit the impact of disasters on communities across the state. Each+

Albury and Wodonga councils progress their Regional Deal

The Albury and Wodonga city councils have signed a statement of intent to develop a Regional Deal with the NSW, Victorian and Federal governments. The five parties agreed on arrangements for negotiations last week, 16 months after a pilot Regional Deal was announced. Federal Assistant Minister for Territories and Regional Development Nola Marino said a+

City Deals can remedy affordable housing shortages: AHURI

Australia’s emerging City Deals model can leverage affordable rental housing choices near employment to enhance urban and regional productivity more widely. However, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) says specific strategies are needed to ensure that jobs are brought closer to existing and planned housing and that rental accommodation remains affordable and available+

Renewing critical road assets ‘delivers economic advantages’

Renewing road networks will deliver quick benefits to communities affected by bushfires and the Covid-19 tourism downturn, according to WSP. Peter Todd, a strategic asset management advisor for the multinational engineering services firm said: “This critical period offers state and national leaders a great opportunity to invest in important road transport assets – for long-term+

Recovery from 2019-20 summer fires ‘will be prolonged’

It will take many years to restore the economy and infrastructure of bushfire-impacted areas and for their animal and vegetation biodiversity to recover. The assessment by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre is contained in a preliminary analysis of the 2019-20 bushfire season in Australia. Using linear regression analysis, the CRC researchers analysed+

Made in the shade: first annual update on Darwin City Deal

The first annual progress report on the Darwin City Deal has revealed rapid progress on plans to transform Darwin into a cooler and greener city. Cavenagh Street in the City’s CBD has been greened and shaded and energy-saving LED lighting has been installed across the city as part of the Switching On Darwin project. The+

Action plan to take NSW to ‘next phase of planning reforms’

The NSW Land and Environment Court has been given extra resources as part of the State Government’s ongoing Covid-19 planning reforms. As well as the appointment of two more commissioners to enable more cases to be heard, the court’s role has been broadened with the establishment of a new class of appeals “to help unblock+

SA Govt renews push for Parliament to pass LG reform Bill

The Marshall Government says it will limit SA councils to 12 councillors each as it continues efforts to pass its Local Government Review Bill 2020. The revised Bill also seeks to cap council CEO salaries and reduce “bad council behaviour” to minimise legal bills paid for by ratepayers. It will also introduce a mechanism to+

Victorian councils to deliver 20 new local road safety upgrades

Twenty road safety upgrades across regional Victoria have been announced under the state’s $20 million Safe Travel in Local Streets Program. The projects include new roundabouts, traffic islands, bicycle lanes, speed humps, raised intersections and pedestrian crossings in Geelong, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Portland, Port Fairy, Mildura, Shepparton, Mooroopna, Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Warragul, Drouin, and Sale. Regional+

Freight industry reference panel gets down to business

The newly established Freight Industry Reference Panel met for the first time this week to progress the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. The panel is acting as a conduit for industry views while providing advice to the Transport and Infrastructure Ministers on how strategic goals can be implemented. Its work is complementary to existing+