Intergovernmental Relations Intergovernmental Relations

By the end of the 2015-16 year, Queensland voters had been to the polls on three occasions for all spheres of government in under eighteen months (Federal Election was held on 2 July 2016). Thankfully for new councils, the timing meant that they had some time to settle in and take the opportunity to lobby federal candidates during the campaign period.

The LGAQ again assisted in this role, completing the federal election policy plan and providing tailored support to councils and Regional Organisations of Councils (ROCs). For the first time, the LGAQ also ran a targeted social media campaign during the election period that attracted 22,500 hits in under a week. In the long lead-up to election day, the LGAQ conducted 38 briefings with ministers, MPs, senators, candidates and political parties, pushing for commitments on proposals contained in the policy plan. Although the government’s response only addressed some issues, the plan will provide a platform for advocacy over the coming term.

The LGAQ will continue to advocate for councils to maintain the ability to use their plant hire rates for reconstruction and recovery works under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). The Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) has been an excellent partner in supporting our case with the Federal Government, demonstrating that the use of council plant and equipment saves 25 per cent of recovery costs, the equivalent of $14 million from 2010-11 to 2014-15.

MAJOR MILESTONES:

  • The successful fight by the LGAQ, councils and the State Government to have the ineligibility of day labour lifted for reconstruction works where better value for money could be demonstrated.
  • A $200 million additional investment in the June State Budget off the back of a strong LGAQ budget submission. This included further funding for the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS), Building our Regions and the Community Resilience Fund.
  • The LGAQ continued to lead in providing expert advice to the government around a number of key reports and reviews including the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Report on Transparency and Accountability in Local Government and the Review of the Councillor Complaints System – the first since the system’s introduction in 2009.
  • A $3.7 million subsidy to councils was provided by the Government for the impost of the March local government elections. The LGAQ’s view that the ECQ systems and staff could not handle another 89 elections for the four-year fixed term of State Parliament referendum, in addition to a few hundred individual local government elections were heeded on this front.