By Rob O'Brien
The case for local government to be enshrined in the Australian constitution will be made when the president of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) addresses the National Press Club (NPC) next month.
ALGA President Cr Geoff Lake will give his nationally televised address at the NPC in Canberra on March 31. It will be the first time an ALGA President has addressed the NPC.
According to ALGA, Cr Lake's address will focus on local government reform, climate change, health, transport and how local government can play a constructive role into the future.
He will argue that local government has a key role to play in realising 'co-operative federalism' and will offer a perspective from his position as a member of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on how intergovernmental relations have changed under the Rudd Government.
Cr Lake told ALGA members that the Rudd Government had made local government a focal point of his policy with the rollout of the Community Infrastructure Fund during the Global Financial Crisis
“The Australian Government is increasingly engaging with local government as a partner in key policy areas,” he said. “The coming years are a period of great opportunity for local government to build on this collaborative relationship and focus on a long term local-federal government partnership.”
In his speech Cr Lake will share some of the findings from recent polling commissioned by ALGA into the public's attitude towards the Constitution and constitutional change.
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