Western Australian communities devastated by Severe Tropical Cyclone Seroja will receive $104.5 million, the largest disaster recovery package in the state’s history.
Jointly funded by the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), the package will support disaster affected communities in 16 local government areas.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said, "These communities will continue to get the support they need, that's the commitment we're making today with this more than $100 million investment to help them build back stronger than ever before."
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the size of this recovery package highlighted the extensive trail of destruction the cyclone left in its wake in April this year.
"The extent of damage across an area of 133,000sq km within 16 local government areas in the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Wheatbelt regions has never before been seen in Western Australia."
Premier Mark McGowan said the record funding package would provide impacted communities with the support they need to undertake the long recovery and rebuilding effort.
"My Government will continue to work closely with each and every community on their rebuilding efforts to make sure together we recover – stronger than ever."
Minister for Emergency Services Reece Whitby said the WA Government had been working closely with local communities to determine their needs for the next stage of the recovery and rebuild.
"This package has been developed to provide tailored recovery initiatives, as we continue what will be a long and difficult process. We know these communities are resilient and we will continue to work with them in the coming months and years as they rebuild."
The package includes:
- Financial support for the clean-up and restoration of damaged community, recreational, cultural and heritage assets
- Funding for a community welfare and outreach program, and
- Grant programs to help residents, primary producers and small businesses with clean-up and repair.
NSW Local Government elections have been postponed by a further three months, as Greater Sydney battles to contain the worsening COVID-19 outbreak.
The election will now take place on Saturday 4 December.
This is the second time the election has been delayed, with the four year term originally set to expire in September 2020.
Announcing the new date, Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said the decision to postpone the election for a second time had been made to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the state’s communities, voters, polling staff and candidates.
Nominations for candidates to contest the poll will now open on Monday 25 October. The electoral roll, including the non-residential roll, will also remain open until this date.
Councillors elected in December 2021 will serve a reduced term of 2 years and 8 months, with subsequent elections expected to remain on schedule. This means the next election will proceed as planned in September 2024.
The 27th Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly returned to Canberra in June this year after a brief hiatus in 2020 when it was cancelled due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Read more >
At its National General Assembly in June, the Australian Local Government Association delegates unanimously passed Motion 61 calling on Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Read more >
Hobart has become the first city in Australia to ban single-use plastic takeaway food packaging as part of a wider move to become single-use plastic free. Read more >
The peak body for local government officers will receive a share of $39.8 million in Commonwealth Government funding to support women’s leadership development in local government.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women will provide $615,000 over three years for Local Government Professionals Australia to increase female leadership in the local government sector.
LG Professionals National President, Victoria MacKirdy, said, “Local Government Professionals Australia is proud to be partnering with the Office for Women on our Local Government Women’s Future Leader Program.
“Since we set a gender balance target of 40:40:20 in local government senior leadership teams to be reached by 2025 last year – that is 40 percent men, 40 per cent women, and 20 per cent unspecified – we have been actively working to make this a reality.
“This funding is a vote of confidence in our efforts by the Minister for Women and a real commitment by the Australian Government to support local government and women in the sector.”
The funded program seeks to increase female leadership in the local government sector through tailored support for women and councils.
The program will offer leadership development opportunities to women while providing support for councils to achieve the leadership gender balance target including mentoring, scholarships, board traineeships, and virtual and face-to-face professional development event attendance.
Councils will be supported through reports, cases studies and toolkit resources to ensure they are able to encourage, accommodate and foster female leaders within their workforces.