The Federal Government has announced that the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) will return in 2024.
Set to be held on Friday 5 July in Canberra, the ACLG will provide local governments throughout Australia with the opportunity to directly engage with Federal Ministers from across portfolios, harnessing the power of collaboration to drive effective local change.
The 2024 ACLG is expected to attract around 600 local government representatives, including Mayors and Shire Presidents, Councillors, CEOs, as well as a range of peak body representatives.
It will build on the success of last year’s forum in June – the first in a decade.
The 2023 ACLG saw representatives from 296 councils participate in discussions on housing supply, energy transition, roads and community infrastructure, along with skills attraction and development.
The ACLG is a core pillar of the Federal Government’s local government agenda, which is bringing local leaders back to the table, and forging continued support for the sector, including:
- Doubling Roads to Recovery funding from $500 million to $1 billion per year
- Increasing road Black Spot funding to $150 million per year
- Merging the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Bridges Renewal Program into a new, $200 million Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure program
- Delivering an additional $250 million to Phase 4 of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, to improve the safety of local roads across the country
- Establishing transparent grant programs available to councils, such as the $600 million Growing Regions Program, the $400 million Regional Precincts and Partnerships Program, the $200 million Thriving Suburbs Program, and the $150 million Urban Precincts and Partnership Program
- Advancing nearly $1.8 billion in disaster payments to councils to fast-track local repair works and to improve resilience
- Helping councils kickstart the enabling infrastructure needed to address housing supply challenges, through a $500 million Housing Support Program
- Supporting councils progress energy efficiency projects and achieve zero emissions, through the $100 million Community Energy Upgrades Fund.
To maximise participation, the 2024 ACLG will align with the annual Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) National General Assembly, which will take place from 2 – 4 July 2024 in Canberra.
Federal Minister for Local Government, Kristy McBain, said, “We recognise local governments go that extra mile for their community, which is why we’ve brought them back to the table and why their expertise is central to the positive changes we want to make.
Ms McBain said that getting everyone in the same room to discuss how challenges can be tackled and opportunities maximised has a huge impact on strengthening service delivery, forging fit-for-purpose programs, and delivering money where it’s needed most.
“We’re building on the success of last year’s ACLG and renewing our commitment to this key forum in 2024, because local government shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to whole-of-government policies.”
ALGA President, Cr Linda Scott, said, “We were thrilled to work with the Government on the 2023 ACLG and look forward to partnering on this year’s event, immediately following our 2024 NGA.
“Last year’s ACLG provided us with an opportunity to come to the table and engage with Ministers on what our communities, big or small, need – and to look at how we can partner to strengthen the delivery of vital services.”
Cr Scott said that there is no such thing as a quiet day in local government and communities are calling for more services than ever before, which is why shared priorities and partnerships across all levels of government are needed.
“Through our continued advocacy and productive discussions at the ACLG, we have secured significant funding increases for local government, including more money for roads, disaster recovery, energy efficiency, and enabling infrastructure for housing.
“I am delighted the ACLG will be back again this year, and I sincerely thank the Albanese Government for working with us to deliver better outcomes for our communities.”