Editorial – Local Government demonstrates leadership and vision

The National Local Roads Data System has created a database that aggregates existing sources of local road information into one simple, consolidated system. Accessible to ALGA, Local Government Associations, Councils and other approved groups, this is a valuable and much needed tool to develop cases for Federal involvement, assistance and financial support for local roads. 

Demonstrating its strategic approach in delivering for local communities, the National Local Roads Data System has also been designed to show Local Government’s credibility, capacity and leadership at a national level.

With its Sustainable Cities National Action Plan, ALGA is calling on all spheres of government to work together on urban development issues, and it rightly stresses that these issues must be tackled in tandem with climate change.

ALGA President, Councillor Paul Bell, said that urban development has to reduce its ecological impact and demonstrate best standards in infrastructure and design. This National Action Plan provides for local or regional Urban Actions Plans covering vital areas, such as water and stormwater including reuse, protection of urban green wedges, domestic and industrial waste minimisation, efficient energy use and renewable energy alternatives, sustainable transport and eco efficiency principles for housing and other building developments.

For some time, Councils around the nation have undertaken various projects and programs that are working to address many of these critical areas, and our Engineering and Technical Services feature in this edition provides a comprehensive snapshot of many of these initiatives.

Climate change is now firmly on the agenda and is already looming as one of the key Federal election issues.

Visiting Australia in March, British Economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, warned that the world risks a temperature increase of around five degrees Celsius in the next century, unless immediate action is taken.

He said if we continue with business as usual, this will be “absolutely planet transforming”.

Similarly, documents obtained from the United Nations Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change and aired recently on the ABC’s 7:30 Report predict more droughts, fires, floods and storms for Australia. This report states temperatures will rise by 6.7 degrees by 2080 resulting in almost all of the Great Barrier Reef suffering from coral bleaching.

Climate change is certainly a matter of concern for all governments worldwide, and this concern must be translated into immediate actions.