The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) are calling for local government to be given a seat at National Cabinet, to increase community representation.
ALGA President, Linda Scott, said including local governments in the National Cabinet, key ministerial meetings and forums; such as the Council on Federal Financial Relations, would help create more jobs, deliver safer roads, and reduce waste sent to landfill.
“Australians rightfully expect all three tiers of government to work closely together,” Cr Scott said.
“ALGA was previously a member of the Council of Australian Governments but wasn’t included when it was replaced by the National Cabinet in May 2020.”
“Since then, we’ve faced a pandemic, natural disasters, skills shortages, and an affordable housing crisis – all of which could have been better handled through stronger Federal, State Government and local government partnerships.
“Councils are the closest government to communities and understand the opportunities and challenges Australians face every day.
“At a grass-roots level, we are creating more jobs, reducing rubbish sent to landfill, building safer roads, reducing carbon emissions, and preparing for and responding to natural disasters.
“Councils are delivering on national priorities at a local level, but we could better work with and support State and Federal Governments with a seat at the National Cabinet table.
“Labor has committed to including local government on National Cabinet if elected, but we are asking all parties and candidates to support our request.
“Local governments are also seeking ongoing voting membership of all relevant Ministerial meetings and forums – including the Council on Federal Financial Relations.
“Decisions that are made at these meetings reach into every community so it’s important local perspectives are heard and considered.”
National Farmers’ Federation President, Fiona Simson, backed the call for local government’s inclusion on National Cabinet.
“The National Farmers’ Federation recently announced 20 regional development precincts across Australia for priority economic development, and we sought that all levels of government, including local government, be responsible for ensuring social and economic outcomes for people in the bush catch up to those enjoyed by urban Australians,” Ms Simson said.
“The only way to do this is to give local government a seat at National Cabinet.”