New GG pledges to listen to local government in first official public speech

Australia’s new Governor General Sam Mostyn has made her first public address at a national meeting of local government in Canberra.

Governor General Samantha Mostyn

Ms Mostyn addressed the National General Assembly of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) on Wednesday,  just two days after being sworn in as the 28th Commonwealth Governor General, saying she looked forward to engaging with the sector during her term.

“I’m delighted that you’re the first gathering of leaders from across the country that I’m spending time with today on only my third day in the job,” she said.

“I want to say how much I’m really looking forward to engaging with you during my term.”

In her swearing-in speech in the Senate on Monday, Ms Mostyn summed up her aspirations for her role saying care had a deep and resonant place in Australia’s identity.

She revisited that theme in her address to ALGA, saying local government was trusted because of its care and empathy for the community.

“It’s local government that is consistently the highest ranked level of government when it comes to community trust,” Ms Mostyn said.

“That’s why the themes of care kindness and respect emerge so clearly as my focus, and no group understands what can be achieved through kindness, care and respect than all of you, you are all at the coalface of addressing challenges in the community.

“Its your work and leadership that can and does build community trust.”

Ms Mostyn said her first official meeting in her office was with the mayor and deputy mayor of disaster-hit Lismore Council, and she looked forward to listening to other local governments during her term.

“I want to visit all of you, all around the country and be visible and listen to you when I come to visit and then take all these messages back where I can to whoever I can.”

Ms Mostyn also acknowledged the service of ALGA President Linda Scott who retires from the role in September after four years of service.

In what was her last address to the NGA before retiring, Cr Scott said it had been an honour to serve for four years.

“On a personal note this is my last president’s address to this conference,” she said.

“I want to say that this has been the honour of my life. It has been the best, most wonderful role that I have ever had.

“I have had so much support and strength and an incredible experience in the honour of representing local government in this role over the last four years.

“I have so much faith in the incredible ability of local governments to do so much more.”

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