Australian Local Government Association President, Linda Scott, has congratulated incoming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the new Labor Government.
“We look forward to working with our new Federal Government to build a stronger future for our nation that leaves no community behind,” Cr Scott said.
“Working together we can deliver a better future by reducing cost of living pressures, acting to prevent climate change, cutting the waste we send to landfill, closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, better protecting our communities against natural disasters, and building safer roads and cycle paths.
“Labor’s $750 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program extension will support councils to build new libraries, community centres, sporting facilities and playgrounds right across the country.
“Millions of Australians will also benefit from our new Government’s $200 million per year Disaster Ready Fund that will help protect high-risk communities from fires, cyclones and floods.”
Cr Scott said sustainable funding for councils and communities – particularly in regional and rural areas – remained a priority.
“Federal Financial Assistance Grants to local governments have slipped from 1 per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue in 1996 to just 0.55 per cent today,” Cr Scott said.
“Labor has committed to providing fair increases to Financial Assistance Grants, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that all councils remain sustainable, and every community is a liveable one.”
Cr Scott said she was also looking forward to representing local government on National Cabinet.
“For the past two years local government has been excluded from National Cabinet, which has limited our ability to partner with other tiers of government,” Cr Scott said.
“Labor’s commitment to including local government on National Cabinet will ensure local voices are heard and considered and deliver better outcomes for all Australians.”
New Federal Government congratulated by Queensland councils
The peak body representing Queensland councils has issued its congratulations to Anthony Albanese on his election as Prime Minister.
Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) CEO, Alison Smith, said the LGAQ looks forward to working with Mr Albanese and the new government to progress the needs of Queensland councils and their local communities.
“On behalf of the LGAQ, I would like to congratulate Mr Albanese and his team on their election win,” Ms Smith said.
“Mr Albanese spoke yesterday of the need for all three levels of government to work together, and we look forward to working with the new Federal Government as they begin to roll out their election commitments, including additional funding for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, disaster management and policies to help ease the housing crisis.
“The LGAQ also looks forward to working with Mr Albanese and his team to progress Labor’s commitment to a fair increase in Financial Assistance (FA) Grants funding.
“The LGAQ and the Australian Local Government Association have been campaigning for FA Grant funding to be restored to at least one per cent of Federal taxation revenue, as it was in the 1990s.
“As a former Minister for Local Government, we know Mr Albanese understands just how crucial this funding is to ensuring every local community is a liveable one, so we look forward to working with him and his new Cabinet to progress a meaningful FA grant increase.
“We are hopeful he will ensure councils, as the level of government that is closest to the community, are once again represented at the National Cabinet, as with its predecessor, Council of Australian Governments.”
Ms Smith said the LGAQ is eager to discuss further measures to address the housing crisis including the need for a National Housing Summit.
“This initiative doesn’t just have the support of Queensland councils, but also of twelve other key peak bodies, because it touches every community and every industry,” Ms Smith said.
On behalf of the LGAQ, Ms Smith thanked the former Coalition Government for the good working relationship it has established with Queensland councils and its commitment to local communities.
Find Council’s coverage of the Federal Election here.