COAG includes local government in major reform

By Staff Writer

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the inclusion of local government in reviewing Australia’s emergency management arrangements and in future planning of major cities.

ALGA president Cr Geoff Lake said the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) “unanimously supported” local government’s inclusion in the working group to improve the coordination of emergency management arrangements.

“This decision recognises the vital role that councils have played in dealing with the recent Victorian bushfires and the Queensland floods and in pandemic planning in response to the global outbreak of swine flu,” Cr Lake said.

“Councils all over Australia are at the forefront of disaster mitigation, preparedness and response.

“This has been recognised by the Prime Minister and state and territory leaders…by their agreement to give local government a key role in future emergency planning.”

Cr Lake said local government was well placed to help develop the tephone based early warning emergency system.

“We think that councils can bring a valuable perspective to how an early warning system might be rolled out effectively at the local level and we are pleased to be able to bring that perspective through the COAG working group,” he said.

Local government has also joined the COAG taskforce examining the future planninf for major cities.

“Local government has for some time advocated for increased Australian Government involvement in planning for our major cities,” Cr Lake said.

“Our cities are vital to the economic, social and environmental future of our nation and we look forward to developing a smarter partnership between the three levels of government in building a brighter future for Australian cities.”

He said the makeup of the taskforce reflected the collaborative effort of all three spheres of government in planning for the future.

Related Story: Business calls on COAG to speed up reform

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