‘Historic moment’ for councils as ACLG returns

The reconvened Council of Local Government will meet in June for the first time in more than ten years.

Linda Scott
Linda Scott

Local government minister Catherine King announced on Wednesday the ACLG will be held in Canberra on June 16 following ALGA’s National General Assembly.

The minister says the meeting will give back to local government the central role in national matters it deserves.

“Re-establishing the Australian Council of Local Government will bring mayors, shire presidents and local government stakeholders together with Commonwealth Ministers, and the Prime Minister,” Ms King said in a statement.

“This is an opportunity to bring local councils to Canberra to speak directly with Ministers and myself over the pressing issues impacting the sector.”

Historic return to table

ALGA president Linda Scott has hailed what she described as a historic return to the fold for ACLG.

“This is a valuable opportunity for Australian councils to speak directly to federal ministers about the key issues and opportunities for our communities,” Cr Scott said.

“This is an important moment for local government in Australia.”

The ACLG was established as an annual meeting in 2008 however it was dissolved in 2013 by the former government.

Councils still had a voice via the Council of Australian Governments, but claimed they had been sidelined after the former government announced in May 2020 it was killing COAG off and replacing it with a National Cabinet.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese committed to resurrecting the forum during his election campaign and as reported by Government News foreshadowed an announcement about its return last September.

Cr Scott said holding the ACLG at the end of ALGA’s general assembly will provide a unique opportunity for local government leaders and stakeholders to engage with Commonwealth ministers.

“Importantly, the ACLG will follow and be informed by the discussions at our National General Assembly, which is the biggest annual gathering of local government leaders in Australia,” she said.

While details of the ACLG meeting are being finalised Government News understands it will be an open forum, with local government representatives invited to raise general issues affecting the sector.

Registration for the ACLG will open in coming weeks.

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