ALGA pushes for federal funding to combat climate change
FEDERAL assistance to help deal with the effects of climate change is among the requests contained on a federal election wish-list unveiled by Australia's peak body for local government on Tuesday.
The Australian Local Government Association has used its national assembly in Canberra to release the election document, A 10-Point Plan for Resourcing Community Priorities, outlining policy proposals in the lead up to the September 14 election.
ALGA's call for federal help to combat climate change and better arrangements for natural disaster mitigation came a day after a Climate Commission report warned climate change posed a threat to more 120,000 homes in Queensland and New South Wales through a combination of rising sea levels and extreme storms.
And on Sunday, ALGA released its annual State of the Regions report, warning some local communities would become "uninsurable" against natural disasters because the cost of insurance was soaring in line with the increasing incidence of floods, fires and cyclones.
Top of ALGA's election agenda is constitutional change to protect commonwealth payments to local government.
ALGA president Felcity-ann Lewis called on both sides of politics to make helping communities a major plank of their election campaigns.
"Local government has a lot more to offer Australian communities but it needs the appropriate support and resources to do so," the City of Marion Mayor said.
"ALGA is fully aware of the critical need for investment in local communities across Australia to ensure that all Australians, wherever they live, enjoy an appropriate level of services and infrastructure and equal opportunities.
"Commonwealth investments through local governments strengthen local communities and help to deliver on national objectives such as regional equity. In periods of economic challenge, such investments can deliver fiscal stimulus at the local level resulting in greater employment, diverse economic activity and increased productivity."
The two-day national assembly, which has been attended by 1000 local government leaders, finished on Tuesday.
ALGA's 10-POINT PLAN
1. Constitutional change to support continued direct Commonwealth payments to local government.
2. More sustainable funding to meet local community priorities.
3. Better and safer roads through a permanent Roads to Recovery program.
4. Agreement that funding should accompany new responsibilities and put an end to cost shifting.
5. Support for community infrastructure.
6. Help to adapt to climate change.
7. A coordinated approach to national biodiversity.
8. Better arrangements for natural disaster mitigation.
9. Investment to improve online business capacity.
10. Adequate funding to deliver municipal services to indigenous communities.