February 5, 2021
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has given a wish list to the Federal Government which it says will give councils a lead role in driving Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery.
The ALGA says the government needs to prioritise local jobs, infrastructure investment and community wellbeing initiatives to get the economy back on its feet, and local government has a proven track record of delivering all three.
“Now more than ever, Federal Government support for local governments to assist our communities is vital for creating local jobs and strengthening community wellbeing,” LGA President Linda Scott said.
Cr Scott noted that councils now employ nearly 200,000 people and own, manage, and maintain community assets worth more than $457 billion.
“Australian local governments are expert at job-creation to suit local economic conditions, and we welcome the opportunity to supercharge these efforts as part of Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19,” Cr Scott said.
Measures outlined in ALGA’s submission include:
- Continuing the $1.5 billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, with a focus on sustainable transport initiatives
- Establishing a targeted disaster mitigation program of $200 million a year for four years
- Restoring Financial Assistance Grants to at least 1 per cent of Commonwealth tax revenue
- Establishing a local roads investment program to address first and last-mile freight efficiency issues
- Providing $120 million a year over four years for local government arts and culture projects, and
- Providing funding of $100 million a year over four years for local government circular economy innovation
The ALGA estimates these initiatives would create more than 31,000 jobs and boost GDP by $4.65 billion.