Federal Local Government Minister, Mark Coulton met with newly elected President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Cr Linda Scott today, kicking off a fruitful partnership in joint delivery of critical infrastructure and services benefitting all Australians.
Meeting with Cr Scott on the sidelines of the ALGA National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Wagga Wagga, Minister Coulton congratulated Cr Scott on her appointment, saying the widely respected City of Sydney Councillor brings a wealth of experience to the high-profile national role.
“Cr Scott’s record of achievement on the City of Sydney Council speaks for itself, securing funding for and delivery of essential community infrastructure,” Minister Coulton said.
“Similarly, Cr Scott has a stellar record of achievement as the current President of Local Government NSW and as Vice-President of the Australian Local Government Association.
“Cr Scott is a strong advocate for funding and resourcing that is commensurate with the importance of local government in delivering services and infrastructure to benefit all Australians.
“Today was a valuable opportunity to hear Cr Scott’s constructive ideas for how our two levels of government can work even more closely together. I look forward to partnering with Cr Scott and the local government sector to rebuild the economy following COVID-19.”
Minister Coulton said Cr Scott will be a valuable partner for the Australian Government in rolling out record support for local government – a sector that is critical for delivering essential services and that employs around 194,000 Australians.
“Today was an opportunity to highlight this record commitment and discuss how we can optimise delivery of this support for local roads and community infrastructure, which will be important in helping councils and their communities recover from the pandemic and its effects,” he said.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government’s community-led recovery plan empowers local governments to deliver roads and community infrastructure through investment in shovel-ready projects.”
Minister Coulton said there was no better example than the $1.5b billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, which assists local government to deliver local jobs and support local businesses.
“I also look forward to working with Cr Scott on the longstanding Financial Assistance Grant program – which this year is delivering a record $2.6 billion directly in untied payments to local government – to ensure it is delivering support where it is needed,” Minister Coulton said.
“The Coalition understands the local government sector houses invaluable professionalism and expertise and is the closest level of government to the people it serves.
“I look forward to working with Cr Scott through mechanisms such as the Local Government Ministers’ Forum with state and territory governments and the ALGA, which will ensure all levels of government are aware of the impact of COVID-19 on councils and are sharing ideas on how to respond.
“I am also confident that Cr Scott will continue to represent the sector at the highest levels, as a member of the new National Federation Reform Council, established following the abolition of COAG.”