New ALGA president elected
Sydney City Councillor Linda Scott has been elected President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).
Councillor Scott was elected to the position unopposed at ALGA’s annual general meeting last week – and will succeed David O’Loughlin, whose second (and maximum) two-term stint as ALGA President ended this week.
Cr Scott is also the current President of Local Government NSW (LGNSW), where she has been a tireless campaigner for NSW councils, particularly on the issues of adequate and sustainable funding.
In this role, she successfully secured the doubling of library funding for all NSW local government libraries, led a state-wide campaign to save recycling, and successfully advocated for fairer and more transparent electoral funding laws.
She said she will adopt a similar approach while ALGA President.
“I am honoured to have been elevated to this national role,” she said, “and I’m committed to looking after the best interests of local government and the people they serve”.
“Councils are the level of government closest to the community – and contrary to what many people might think, our responsibilities encompass much more than ‘roads, rates, and rubbish’.
“Local governments directly employ nearly 200,000 people, control assets worth more than $425 billion, and have an annual operational spend of more than $38 billion.
“Councils run pools, art galleries, childcare and emergency management centres – they deliver meals on wheels, nurture small business, and tackle homelessness and violence against women among many other things.
“They do all this with a revenue base that is significantly smaller than other levels of governments.
“I see promoting local government’s contribution to the success and prosperity of our communities – and campaigning for it to be adequately funded in that endeavour – as one of my main tasks in this new role.”
Cr Scott also said she would continue to campaign for a reversal of ALGA’s exclusion from National Cabinet during her two-year term.
“ALGA was a foundation member of COAG until it was abolished and replaced by the National Cabinet in May. What that effectively means is that decisions about people are being made without community input,” she said.
“It’s fundamentally undemocratic, and I will fight for ALGA to regain a seat at the table of first ministers.”