Mayor of North Sydney Genia McCaffery has been elected president of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).
The peak local government body represents Australia’s 565 councils and shires.
Cr McCaffery was previously president of the Local Government Association of NSW. She has a Bachelor of Economics degree with Honours and has worked in the areas of research, youth, unemployment and public advocacy.
“The desire to make a difference is what attracted me to local government and I am particularly honoured to be president in the Year of Women in Local Government,” she said in a statement.
Cr McCaffery will lead ALGA through an important period in local-federal relations, as the Federal Government prepares to hold a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government.
“Along with the ongoing work of constitutional recognition and infrastructure funding, I hope to address planning and natural resources management during my time as president,” Cr McCaffery said.
She said local government’s top priorities for the coming year included advancing the case for increased funding for local government, campaigning for a parliamentary inquiry into local government funding, renewing and replacing much needed community infrastructure in partnership with the Federal Government and campaigning for a permanent Roads to Recovery funding program.
ALGA will also lobby the Government for a strengthened Cost Shifting Inter-Governmental Agreement, which is due for review in 2011; ensure the interests of local councils and communities are addressed in any population inquiry; and keep local government interests at the forefront of climate change policy.
Cr McCaffery replaces Monash councillor Geoff Lake, who will return to full-time work at a national commercial law firm.
The new president paid tribute to Cr Lake, describing him as an “energetic and hard-working advocate for local government”.
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