The Local Government Association of Queensland has launched its annual conference in Brisbane, with ongoing impact of drought on regional Queensland, the future of waste management and the need for a big increase in federal financial assistance to local communities forming the key points.
LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said a focus for this year’s conference was the upcoming federal election and the need to ensure local councils and their communities receive a better funding deal from Canberra.
He said local councils in Queensland and all other states would be pushing election candidates hard to commit to a guaranteed flow of financial assistance to local communities of at least one percent of total federal taxation revenue.
“The value of untied Federal financial assistance flowing to councils has almost halved over the past two decades,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“That means much less money for libraries, roads, swimming pools and parks and gardens - the fabric of daily community life across the nation. It also means fewer job opportunities.”
“Local governments’ share of all taxation revenue raised in Australia is just three percent but they are responsible for managing and maintaining 33 percent of public infrastructure.”
“Local communities deserve better.”
Mayor Jamieson said another two pressing issues for local government were waste reform and the response of all levels of government to the drought gripping much of Queensland.