Lobbying Canberra

Speaking at Queensland's recent Centenary Annual Conference, David Plumridge, President of the Australian Local Government Association, highlighted the important work carried out by ALGA in promoting the interests of Local Government to national decision makers in Canberra.

He said that advocacy in taxation matters, such as the recent sales tax issue; achieving the same level of Financial Assistance Grants in light of massive budget cuts; and the Association's key role in the development of performance indicators for the industry, are just some examples.

"The National General Assembly, to be held in Canberra in early December, will again send a clear message about the strength of Councils from across Australia to decision makers," David Plumridge said. "With the leaders of all major Parties addressing the Assembly, I urge as many elected representatives as possible to attend."

Turning to the recent Federal Budget, David Plumridge was very critical of cuts affecting services to remote communities. He said that it is vital Local Government reaffirms its support for reconciliation and social justice.

Further cuts to the regional development program, coastal management, the Local Government Development Program, labour market programs, Internet access at public libraries and road funding to remote communities are all of major concern to Councils and their communities.

"Reducing the public sector to the point where it is unable to deliver services is a critical issue we must address," he said. "Local Government faces a testing time.

"The National Assembly is vital to clearly stamp Local Government's position in the early years of the Howard Government."