The 2014-15 year was a busy time on the intergovernmental relations front. Significant achievements in the last six months of the Newman Government included a state indemnity and comprehensive training to assist councils manage and enforce rules covering domestic asbestos, reduced administrative requirements under the Queensland Plan and clear recognition of council concerns about State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER). Positive outcomes were also achieved in relation to alcohol-fueled violence, disaster district boundaries and housing.
The second half of the 2014-15 year saw a change of government, with Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor Party claiming the Treasury benches following a shock turnaround in the LNP’s electoral fortunes.
This required a change in strategic focus on the policy agenda of the new State Government.
Concurrently, federal issues continued to develop including Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) and the Federation and Taxation white paper process.
The change of State Government with the pivotal role now played by the cross-bench has required a re-ordering of intergovernmental priorities. Our focus is squarely on building relationships with ministers, ministerial officers and departmental staff and pushing the broad range of issues that impact local governments in Queensland whilst engaging the Opposition and the cross-bench for their support.