Bringing local government leaders back to the table

The Albanese Government’s moves to bring local government back into the national conversation are expected to result in record attendance from councils at the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) National General Assembly next Friday in Canberra.

The assembly will put local government priorities on the national stage, with officials able to engage with cabinet ministers and discuss the opportunities and challenges being faced in their areas.

In the lead up to the event, the Albanese Government is also bringing forward $2.78 billion in financial assistance to ensure councils have funds ready to deliver the services we all rely on.

This represents 85 per cent of the Financial Assistance Grant allocations for 2024-25, which the government will pay to states and territories before 30 June to flow onto councils as soon as possible.

This early payment of next year’s allocation will help councils facing immediate cash flow pressures, ensuring they can continue to deliver for their communities. 

This further demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to working with local governments to manage cash flow pressures as they build liveable communities.

The 2024 ACLG National General Assembly runs from 2–4 July in Canberra and is expected to be attended by more than 750 local government representatives, including mayors, shire presidents, councillors, CEOs, and a range of peak body representatives.

The National Awards for Local Government will also be presented next week at the ACLG Gala Dinner on Thursday evening – celebrating the innovation and expertise of the local government sector on the national stage. 

Quotes attributable to Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:

“We know local governments have been facing a range of challenges including financial sustainability and economic barriers, workforce shortages and natural disasters. 

“That’s why it’s important we stand side by side to identify how we can work together to overcome these challenges, which is exactly what we are doing by bringing forward these vital cash payments and hosting the ACLG National General Assembly.

“The ACLG is a core pillar of the Albanese Government’s local government agenda, with representatives from 271 councils participating at the assembly last year, discussing critical topics such as housing supply, energy transition, roads and community infrastructure.

“Through this agenda, we are continuing to work with local councils to ensure they can deliver outstanding services to communities and make their regions great places to live, work and thrive.”

Quotes attributable to Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Minister Kristy McBain:

“Councils go that extra mile for their community, which is why we’ve brought them back to the table as a trusted delivery partner, and why their expertise is central to the positive changes we want to make.

“Getting everyone in the same room to discuss how we can tackle challenges and maximise opportunities has a huge impact on strengthening service delivery, forging fit-for-purpose programs, and delivering money where it’s needed most.

“We’re building on the success of last year’s ACLG assembly and renewing our commitment to this key forum in 2024, because local government shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to whole-of-government policies.”

Quotes attributable to Australian Local Government Association President Linda Scott:

“We are delighted the Australian Government has responded to our call and delivered an early payment of Financial Assistance Grants to Australia’s 537 local governments.

“This untied funding is critical for councils, and bringing forward 85 per cent of their 2024-25 allocations will greatly assist with budget planning and certainty for next financial year.

“We sincerely appreciate every dollar of federal funding we receive, which helps to build and maintain local pools, libraries, cultural centres, cycleways and skate parks that are vital for vibrant, liveable communities.”