NGA and Regional Forum wrap-up

If the huge amount of positive feedback we received was any guide, this year’s National General Assembly (NGA) and associated events were well received and, more importantly, provided useful and productive experiences for the 800 delegates who attended from every corner of the nation.

This year’s State of the Regions report was launched at the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum and once again provided authoritative evidence of the state of regional development in our country. The report revealed four ‘pillars of growth’ that must be addressed to drive regional economic development: skills, investment capital, knowledge-creating capacity and supply chain strength. The report highlights the key role that local government has to play in relation to these pillars.

If you need assistance in understanding the forces at work in your local economy, I encourage you to obtain a copy of the report, where you can also compare performance with other regions. The 2017 State of the Regions report is available on ALGA’s website: www.alga.asn.au.

Addresses from various Ministers and Opposition frontbenchers at the NGA reinforced the importance of the local-federal government partnership and the commitment to work together to support and strengthen our communities. Councils can expect a visit from the Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Mr Stephen Jones MP, who committed at the NGA to visit every council before the next federal election, which will be quite a feat!

This year’s Assembly also considered more than 100 motions, many of which focused on subjects that impact on day-to-day council operations. Motions carried by the Assembly ranged from increasing the financial support that our sector receives through Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), to protecting and improving our communities’ critical infrastructure, and to seeking universal access to high speed broadband.

The ALGA Board will meet this month to consider the successful NGA resolutions from the Assembly and decide if they will be adopted as part of our national strategy and action plan.