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Weekly Speak CEO Column

Time for some fairness from Canberra

The events of this week demonstrate what happens when our federal parliamentarians become too absorbed in their own day-to-day political ambitions.

Hewn from the same stone

Here at the LGAQ we have 24 staff - accounting for 20% of our combined total workforce - that have worked in one or more councils. That's hundreds of years of combined council service. In short – we know our potatoes.

Walking away from indigenous housing

There is still much to be done to ensure the country’s First Peoples have all the advantages that other Australians enjoy as a matter of course.

Delivering the sizzle and the sausage

Welcome back everyone from the books, beach, fishing line, or the tractor and the Channel 9 cricket commentary team. To paraphrase the famous Sir Les Patterson: 2018 – we’re up it.

Buiochas le Dia

Poor old Queensland Local Government has endured some hardships but against it all there have been some magnificent achievements by councils and decent goals kicked by the LGAQ - it wasn’t all bad news - far from it.

Christmas presents writ large

As the year draws to a close I am in the mood to reflect on some of our brightest and boldest achievements for our membership.

Back to business

On Monday, LGAQ President Mayor Mark Jamieson and I met Premier-elect Annastacia Palaszczuk at 1 William St, making your Association the first organisation to deal with the likely incoming Government following last Saturday’s state election.

Played hard, done good

Five words sum up the LGAQ’s 2017 state election efforts - we did our very best. The 2017 Election LGAQ Scorecard shows that to be true.

Outback for thinking

This week marks my last week on the road for 2017 having visited the Blackall-Tambo, Barcaldine and Longreach shires dotted along the Matilda Highway. Great country, even better people.

Bombshells fail to jolt focus on the future

The Supreme Court handed down a ruling against the validity of the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s past three years’ rating which parts of the media did their level best to turn into a statewide crisis. It isn’t.

What’s ours is yours

It’s a good time to gently remind our members of what a tight ship the LGAQ runs despite the occasional rubbish attacks in social media from some of the fruit loops who like to attack local government from the fringes.

Stilettos, Signals and Superstars ….

Amidst the flurry of letters and meetings that the almost 90 policy motions passed at the LGAQ annual conference has generated, I am reminded that it will soon be a year since I returned to work for the Association. Officially, I am yet to have my performance review but perhaps I can take some heart from the fact I am no longer typically greeted by the words … ‘Well, you have some big shoes to fill….’

Million dollar show

It was a week of big announcements at our Annual Conference in Gladstone. There were so many amazing moments during the three days...and we had the national spotlight on us, too.

It's showtime, folks

From Monday, Queensland’s local government family descends on Gladstone for the LGAQ’s 121st Annual Conference. We are aiming for the star of the show to be the launch of a path breaking initiative and - dare I say it - a world first, LG Sherlock.

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.
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