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Weekly Speak Weekly Speak

Farewell to a great leader

Mayors like the late Butch Lenton, who sadly passed away last Sunday, are the reason I'm still working at the LGAQ after 25 years. Leaders like Butch are my inspiration and drive me to want to come to work. They are, simply, people worth fighting for.

Explaining the funding game

One of the most common inquiries I get as I travel around the State visiting member councils is about federal Financial Assistance Grants, or FAGs as they are known in the local government sector.

Nudging toward a solution

Behavioural economics, choice architecture, nudge theory. The lexicon of academia can sound a little daunting. Doubly so to those in local government whose work to better service their community does not allow...

Taking stock of a big year

As we head towards the LGAQ’s 121st annual conference, it’s time for some reflection about how we go about representing the State’s local government sector as its peak body. We tend to move at the speed of light, jumping from one big initiative to the other...

Time to act in the public interest

Never let it be said that the local government sector in Queensland waits around for others to decide what is best practice in terms of transparency and accountability.

Wisdom of the crowd

A decade or so ago, I was lucky enough to read a book titled The Wisdom of Crowds by James Suroweicki. His argument was that extracting information from groups and making decisions accordingly is better than one person in that group guiding the decision.

Raising the standard

If campaigning in the 2016 local government elections marked a low point of bad feeling and aggression, then the deterioration of public debate since means that the 2020 elections risk being nothing short of a blood sport.

A new campaign low

The Ipswich mayoral by-election to be conducted tomorrow has heralded the apogee of dirty gutter level campaigning. How low can it go?

Towering above the rest

Weekly column from Council Courier e-newsletter by CEO Greg Hallam, Friday, 11 August 2017. The Bush Councils Convention 2017 was a ripper - every aspect of it. The World Theatre...

Action beats playing blame game

On the road for most of this week, I have been thinking about the differences between the environment in which local councils operate and the influences that are brought to bear on our federal political colleagues in Canberra.

It pays to belong, literally.

The number 21 carries magic qualities our society. It was for generations the point that young men and women were said to come of age, after a very decent party of course. It's also a biblical number, associated in the main with resurrection _ that is, the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. In the last decade, it's become Gold Lotto’s favourite promotion for Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day and the like: a guaranteed $21 million pot at the end of the rainbow

Storm warning for Canberra

The battle to ensure our national Government understands the challenges Queensland’s local communities face and recognises its role in overcoming them never ends.

Bush councils, big problem solvers

I might be biased but it’s always struck me that while state and federal governments can talk about eloquently about innovative solutions to the nation’s challenges _ things like energy, employment, climate change _ local councils quietly and without fanfare keep on doing their part to implement said solutions for the benefit of their communities.

Evolving with firepower

The LGAQ’s business entities have a long and successful history servicing the needs of Queensland’s local councils. But as the challenges of local government change and grow in complexity, it stands to reason that the way we go about helping councils to serve their communities needs to evolve as well.

Investing for a smarter future

Today marks a year since the LGAQ Policy Executive convened for the first time this term, an occasion that is coinciding with its passing of the 2017-18 LGAQ budget. (see list of achievements).

Bonfire of the civilities

In the depths of a Canberra winter, civility broke out between the major political parties at this year’s Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly _ warmth where you didn't expect it.

Bucketing down

All sorts of buckets were dropped this week, from a very council-friendly State Budget that deposits another $400 million into council piggy banks, to the pile of you-know-what left under parliamentary privilege courtesy of Cairns independent MP Rob Pyne.

Great communities recognised

I was humbled this week to accept from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk a Queensland Great award to the Local Government Association of Queensland.

Diving into big data

I want to share with you an exciting new project that the LGAQ has launched. It promises to deliver big benefits for councils and put local government in Queensland at the forefront of driving the benefits of technological change.

A lost opportunity

Here’s a story of how an insular mindset is the enemy of innovation.
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