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LGAQ gets top Mark

Weekly column from Council Courier e-newsletter by CEO Greg Hallam on Friday, 21 October 2016.

Well, the LGAQ has a new President, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson. Delegates to the 120th LGAQ annual conference yesterday gave their endorsement to Mark’s vision of where he wants to take the Association over the next four years.

Under Mark’s leadership, I look forward to what I think will be one of the most exciting and transformative periods in the LGAQ’s long and proud history. He has some mightily compelling ideas and the determination to implement them so watch this space.

I pay tribute again to Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill for her vigorous interim leadership of the LGAQ, which she managed with her usual good humour, energy and aplomb.

I truly think this year’s annual conference was one of the best we have had in recent memory. Professionally run and organised as always by the inimitable Bron Browning and her team, the conference certainly had its share of news.

“Come on, feds”. That was the phrase of the hour among conference delegates following the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement at the conference that it would reimburse its share of the $11 million councils outlaid using their own plant and equipment cleaning up following the flooding of 2013 and 2014.

So far, Justice Minister Michael Keenan has refused to release funds to cover this cost, which is spread across 30 of the state’s smallest local councils. 

Canberra has taken the cost of using council-owned plant and equipment out of the range of disaster recovery activities eligible to be reimbursed under the very complex Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

With the State Government’s commitment now locked in, it is time for the Turnbull Government to use some common sense, stop hiding behind bureaucrats, and do what is right for Queensland communities.

I’ll finish off with what I think is one of the most valuable pieces of advice for leaders that I have heard, and it comes from our legendary general manager of advocacy, Greg Hoffman, who will leave the LGAQ next week after a 50-year career in local government.

In a speech to the conference gala dinner on Wednesday, Hoffy had this to say: “True leaders listen and learn and acknowledge they don’t know it all. True leaders know the balance between competition and collaboration, appreciating that humility too can achieve lasting change usually far better than conflict.’’

What a class act.

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