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Weekly Speak CEO Column

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.

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.
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