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Investing for a smarter future

Weekly column from Council Courier e-newsletter by CEO Greg Hallam, Friday, 30 June 2017.

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).

Your 16 elected leaders signed off on a gross top line subscription increase of 2.5 percent (subject to individual council formula driven variations) but that’s before the LGM and LGW rebate to members of $1.5 m just a few weeks ago. All up, over the last three years LGAQ members have paid a nett $2 million to the LGAQ after our insurance and workers compensation arms paid special dividends to members of $11.5 million over the same period.

That's amazing value for money given the $1 billion in extra funding to councils the LGAQ has won through specific advocacy program for our members over the past few years, not to mention the service, expert advice and timely assistance we provide to members day in day out. And let’s not forget the savings of around $140 million our subsidiary companies create for their customers every year _ the cherry on the top if you like.

This year’s budget has several highlights, including funding for a dedicated Trade and Investment Advisor to work with member councils, expansion of the LGAQ’s annual TV and digital media Better Councils Better Communities campaign to $875,000, a brand new LGAQ Online and Council Business Centre service offerings at a cost of more than $2 million over the next two financial years and, of course, LG Sherlock which is being funded off budget.

There are big changes to this year’s budget as what was previously the LGAQ’s Advance stream transfers to Local Government Enterprises, the new entity with Brent Reeman at the helm. The new company, which will occupy the first floor at Local Government House, will also include Local Buy, Propel, Resolute and LGIS. Best of all, we have booked a $3.2 million dividend from that new entity in its full first year of operation.

The bottom line is that we produce enormous results for our members on next to no nett council contributions. Long may it continue.

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