A NEW campaign from the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) claims more than eight in 10 Australians agree that federal political candidates should focus on local issues and local communities at the next election.
Under the theme “all politics is local”, the ALGA has launched its federal election document outlining 12 ways political parties and their candidates can keep the election local and deliver for Australian communities.
ALGA president David O’Loughlin said a stronger partnership between the federal and local governments could go a long way towards delivering positive local outcomes.
“Many communities today are struggling due to the growing income inequality in Australian cities, towns and regions and more needs to be done to accomplish a more even spread of prosperity within and across our communities.
“Local councils know the local people, their local businesses, and their local community clubs and organisations. So a partnership with local councils to strengthen our communities makes sense, because it is these people and businesses that create the jobs and income that are the key to innovation, increased productivity and economic growth at the local level, and in aggregate at the national level.
“The policy initiatives presented in our election document reflect our sector’s presence in almost every part of the country. They are designed to benefit every community by investing in local services and infrastructure.”
He said an important step towards improving and maintaining the living standards of all Australians was for the next federal government to restore its funding to local governments to 1 per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue – a level of funding not seen since 1996.
“The erosion of the Financial Assistance Grants to councils seems to have slipped under the radar for successive governments so far.
“The result, of course, is that councils are getting less money from the federal government to address their local priorities and fund the roads, parks, libraries and other assets that make up the fabric of our local communities.”
For more information or to read the document, head to allpoliticsislocal.com.au.