Dec 14, 2009

Centre of Excellence for Local Government officially open

Centre of Excellence for Local Government officially open

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 14 2009

Today, I officially opened the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government, which was funded through an $8 million grant from the Rudd Labor Government.

I also released the Centre’s first annual Project Plan, detailing its program of activities for 2010.

The Centre of Excellence is the first of its kind in Australia and is part of the Rudd Government’s historic partnership with local government to improve the way both levels of government serve local communities.

Within five months of the Prime Minister’s announcement of the successful bid, the Centre is well and truly open for business.

This initiative builds on the record $1 billion Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program, which has already supported more than 3,300 local projects.

It also complements the $25 million Local Government Reform Fund which will support projects to improve the capacity and sustainability of local governments.

The Centre will work with local governments to promote best practice and encourage innovation and professionalism within the sector.

The Centre is based at the University of Technology, Sydney, as part of a consortium with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), the University of Canberra, Local Government Managers Australia and the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia.

The Centre’s Board of Management is chaired by Margaret Reynolds, former federal Minister for Local Government, and includes the consortium partners, the Australian Local Government Association and the Australian Government.

Many local governments across the nation are already at the forefront in implementing innovative and sustainable ways to deliver infrastructure and services.

The Centre of Excellence will help increase the take-up of new skills and policies and provide an opportunity for local governments to improve their practices.

During 2010, the Centre will work with stakeholders to deliver a range of programs. They include:

  • the first ANZSOG Excellence in Local Government Leadership program (for senior managers and elected leaders);
  • a new Graduate Certificate in Local Government Leadership, as part of a national Emerging Leaders program for middle managers;
  • guidelines on asset management for small communities;
  • a national strategy to address the special capacity-building needs of small rural-remote and Indigenous local governments;
  • a national Local Government Innovation and Knowledge Exchange to showcase outstanding examples of best practice;
  • the national Local Government Skills Forum;
  • a special LGMA Management Challenge to increase women’s participation in over 100 councils across Australia; and
  • research papers and seminars on critical issues facing local government.

The Centre will also provide advice to the Government over our Local Government Reform Fund.

I congratulate the Centre’s Board and its staff and look forward to working in partnership with them and with local governments across Australia.