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.