Itís been a huge month in local government, with barely a day gone by without a council or council-related issue in the news. This increased profile has, in many ways, highlighted just how important the role of councils is and how crucial it is that they take that responsibility seriously.

This issue of Local Government Focus covers a vast range of issues, from the recent ALGA National Assembly, to developments in flood mitigation and infrastructure funding, to our feature on Financial Sustainability & Asset Management, which highlights the myriad ways councils are striving to run more efficiently.

In connection with this, energy efficiency has become a critical concern for councils, and a number of articles in the feature examine the role of clean energy in financial sustainability. Similarly, the National Assemblyís discussion of the carbon tax and climate change enlightened many as to how councils, with careful planning, and by taking advantage of Federal Government funding programs, can benefit from the clean energy economy.

Local Government Focus very much enjoyed the ALGA National Assembly in Canberra and it was great to put faces to a number of the names that have appeared in these pages. It was an event with a definite buzz of excitement, as local government seems poised for a big change in its place in the national psyche, and within the governmental structure.

Exciting times! We look forward to the next few months and the interesting stories that we are sure will crop up as a result of what is, in many ways, an historic moment.