LGAQ has announced that its 127th Annual Conference, held on 16-18 October, is set to be the biggest yet, with several new inclusions to the event program joining returning industry favourites. 

The 2023 event theme is, ‘Stronger Councils, Stronger Communities’, referring to the dedication and strength that Queensland councils put into making their towns and regions great places to live. 

LGAQ said that with the 2024 Local Government Elections on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to come together to knowledge-share and double down on advocacy issues that matter most to communities. 

The 2023 Gladstone conference is set to include the following events: 

Council Showcases

One of the most popular sessions at the Annual Conference, 2023’s Council Showcases are a series of council case studies of an innovation or a new initiative from a coastal, resources, First Nations, rural and remote, and SEQ council. 

This Conference LGAQ has an extra ‘CEO’s pick’, taking the total number of showcases to six.

Council Forums

Council Forums are an excellent opportunity to join together with council peers to discuss, share, and debate key issues. 

This is also an opportunity for councillors to talk with each other and the LGAQ Policy Executive members about ways the LGAQ can help and support councils. 

Indigenous Leaders Forum (ILF)

The ILF is an opportunity for Indigenous Leaders to gather and discuss issues of importance to their communities. ILF will be finishing at 2pm so delegates attending the ILF can also attend any Monday afternoon sessions that are of interest.

State Government, Opposition and Federal Government updates

Giving presentations throughout the Conference are Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and the Territories, Kristy McBain, and Leader of the Opposition, David Crisafulli.

Roads and Transport Forum

The Roads and Transport Forum has been extended by an extra 30 minutes following the previous year’s feedback. 

CEO Speed Dating

CEO Speed Dating with LGAQ CEO, Alison Smith, is back and will be held during the lunch breaks on day two and day three. It’s an opportunity to sit down one-on-one with Alison and have a chat. 

Motions

For the second year in a row, the conference has seen a record-breaking number of motions. At this conference, a full day will be dedicated to motions, which will enable more time for debate of A and B motions. 

Awards

There will be several awards handed out over the Annual Conference period and following feedback from the previous year, they’ll be streamlined into a shorter part of the program.

Time to Shine

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) is again offering a $10,000 marketing package for the best tourism idea from a Queensland council. 

LGAQ said that there were many great entries for 2023, so it will be no easy feat for the TEQ judging panel to pick a winner.

Long Service

Long Service Certificates will be awarded on the night of the gala dinner to acknowledge mayors and councillors for their service to the local government sector. LGAQ said that it’s a well-deserved moment of acknowledgement in front of local government peers.

LGAQ Journalism Award

The LGAQ Regional Journalism Award is dedicated to showcasing excellence in reporting in regional Queensland. The award honours the memory of ABC journalists John Bean, Paul Lockyer and Gary Ticehurst. The 2023 winner will receive a $15,000 prize.

Alison Woolla Memorial Award for Local Leadership in Preventing DFV

The Alison Woolla Memorial Award was established to recognise domestic and family violence (DFV) leadership in our Queensland community, in honour of late Mayor of Aurukun Shire Council, Alison Woolla. 

The 2023 winner of the award will receive a $5,000 cash prize and will host the hand-crafted artwork created by Brisbane artist Laura Vincent for 12 months.

Butch Lenton Memorial Bush Council Innovation Award

The Butch Lenton Memorial Bush Council Innovation Award, a Peak Services initiative that carries a $10,000 bursary, was created to recognise innovation in Queensland’s bush councils and celebrate the contribution the late Mayor of Winton Shire, Graham ‘Butch’ Lenton, made to his beloved community and local government in Queensland. 

Step your way to $10K

A new prize for the 2023 conference – a fun members’ gift for delegates to collect at the LGMS trade booth – a pedometer to wear while at the conference. Aiming to promote engagement with exhibitors and sponsors, and also steer someone on their way to winning a $10,000 LGMS Prize towards a wellbeing initiative for their Council and/or community. 

Gala Dinner

The Gala Dinner is always a much-anticipated event, and in 2023 will have an optional dress-up theme of Oktoberfest. There will be award presentations, live music and dancing as always.

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