Friday, July 8, 2022

Parties tied on B- report card says LGAQ

Labor and the LNP are tied on a score of ‘B-‘ in the final Federal Election report card released by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) ahead of polling day tomorrow.

LGAQ CEO, Alison Smith said both major parties had made commitments throughout the campaign to meet the requests councils have made on behalf of their local communities, such as funding for disaster mitigation, road projects, improved digital connectivity and the continuation of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

“Councils right across Queensland have been working hard alongside the LGAQ and the Australian Local Government Association to ensure local communities remain front of mind for the major parties throughout this election campaign, because the funding councils seek is critical to ensuring every community is a liveable one,” Ms Smith said.

“We have welcomed key investments in road funding by both parties, as well as local announcements and investment into the pressing issue of securing long term water supply for Queenslanders. 

“However, councils are disappointed that two of the biggest issues impacting the liveability of Queensland communities – the current housing crisis and the call to restore Financial Assistance Grants (FA Grants) to at least one per cent of federal taxation revenue – have not been adequately addressed during the campaign.” 

Ms Smith said that a national campaign by the local government sector to restore FA Grants to where they were in the 1990s had fallen on deaf ears.  

“Both parties have committed merely to ‘indexation’ – not an increase –  in FA grants, which is exceedingly disappointing for our member councils and the communities they represent,” she said.  

“This is the funding that helps local communities survive and grow. It ensures every Queenslander has access to good quality infrastructure and services, no matter where they live.

“This funding must be increased.”

Ms Smith said while there had been some steps made by Labor to addressing the critical issue of housing in the spirit of collaboration that councils are urging, as well as movement by the LNP, both parties had ignored calls for a national summit to bring all stakeholders together to approach the worsening crisis. 

She said with more than 14,000 voters having already visited the LGAQ’s campaign website – www.voteforlocal.com.au – which assesses how the major parties have responded to a set of council funding priorities that ensure every Queensland community is a liveable one, the major parties were “ignoring the National Housing Summit and FA Grants requests at their peril”. 

“Those visiting our website include voters in marginal seats like Longman, in Queensland’s southeast, and Leichardt, in the far north,” Ms Smith said.

“Queenslanders care about the issues councils are raising – like housing and real, fair funding for Financial Assistance Grants – because they know focussing on these issues is critical.

“We will continue to campaign strongly with whichever party forms government following Saturday’s election to ensure these issues are addressed.”

Read the final scorecard here.

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