Dec 11, 2008

ALGA Constitutional Summit Resolution

Alga Constitutional Summit Resolution

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 11 2008

The Rudd Government has welcomed the resolution passed at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Constitutional Convention, which concluded in Melbourne today.

It is an important next step for local governments to develop an agreed position on the issue of recognition of local government within the Australian Constitution.

The Rudd Government and Federal Labor have a longstanding position of advancing constitutional recognition of local government.

Today’s resolution builds on the momentum created by the first meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) on November 18, which was hosted by the Prime Minister at Parliament House.

At the ACLG meeting, mayors and shire presidents told us that they want local government to be recognised as the legitimate third sphere of government.

Local government leaders also said that it was incumbent upon them to raise awareness and support for constitutional recognition within their own local communities.

Without strong grassroots support, any proposal is likely to be unsuccessful.

The time is right for this debate, with local government playing a greater role within our communities than ever before.

The Rudd Government looks forward to working with ALGA, and through the Australian Council of Local Government, to determine the next steps forward.

The Rudd Government has provided record funding to local government including:

  • $300 million in new funding in 2008-09 for the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program;
  • $1.9 billion in financial assistance grants this year alone;
  • $1.75 billion for local roads through the Roads to Recovery program over the next five years – $250 million more than the previous government; and
  • Funding through other programs such as the $512 million Housing Affordability Fund and $2.25 billion Caring for Our Country program.