Nominations for the 2018 South Australian (SA) council elections have reached a twenty year high.
A total of 1375 nominations were received by the Electoral Commission of SA (ECSA) – 41 more than in 2014.
This is the highest number of nominations received since 1995, when SA had 115 councils compared to 68 today.
Local Government Association (LGA) President, Councillor Sue Clearihan, “All candidates are to be applauded for putting their hand up to serve their community.”
The council election is a chance for residents to help shape their local area, she said, by deciding who would represent them in local decision making.
Voting in council elections is voluntary in SA, unlike state and federal elections.
Nearly 32 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2014 council elections, with participation rates higher in rural communities than in metropolitan areas.
“With around 700 positions open across metropolitan and regional councils, council elections are an incredible undertaking.
“We have a near record number of candidates, and we’re hoping to see this matched with an increase in voter participation this year, with more people engaging in this important democratic process.”
Under the theme 'all politics is local', the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has launched its federal election document outlining 12 ways political parties and their candidates can keep the election local and deliver for Australian communities.
The announcement comes on the heels of a poll published in a federal election advocacy document revealing that 81 percent of Australians agree that political candidates should focus on local issues and local communities at the next federal election.
ALGA President, David O'Loughlin, said that a stronger partnership between the Commonwealth and local government could go a long way towards delivering the positive local outcomes craved by our communities.
"Many communities today are struggling due to the growing income inequality in Australian cities, towns and regions and more needs to be done to accomplish a more even spread of prosperity within and across our communities.
"Local councils know the local people, their local businesses, and their local community clubs and organisations. So a partnership with local councils to strengthen our communities makes sense, because it is these people and businesses that create the jobs and income that are the key to innovation, increased productivity and economic growth at the local level, and in aggregate at the national level.
"The policy initiatives presented in our election document reflect our sector's presence in almost every part of the country. They are designed to benefit every community by investing in local services and infrastructure."
Mayor O'Loughlin said that an important step towards improving and maintaining the living standards of all Australians is for the next Federal Government to restore federal funding to local government to 1 per cent of Commonwealth taxation revenue, levels last seen in 1996.
ALGA has called on all politicians to deliver for local communities, through a partnership with local government, by supporting its policy initiatives at the federal election.
The poll was run in an omnibus survey by YouGov Galaxy, which does The Australian's monthly Newspoll, in June 2018.
In a first of its kind, the Regional Development Australia (RDA) areas of Tasmania and southwest Western Australia last month signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish an exclusive collaborative relationship designed to support economic growth in their regions. Read more >
Starting a family is not always easy for Osprey living in the Tweed, New South Wales. Read more >
Goondiwindi Regional Council, Queensland, welcomed the announcement that the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) will move to town.
The new office will create five new jobs for the town.
Mayor Graeme Scheu congratulated the Murray Darling Basin Authority on the decision to establish an office in Goondiwindi, stating that “having a daily connection and relationship with the regional areas that the MDBA impacts can only be a positive outcome for the region’s agriculture sector.”
It is also a major shift to see the decentralisation of government jobs back into regional Queensland.
The Mayor was not surprised that Goondiwindi had been identified as the preferred location following the recent award of Regional Australia at its Best.
The Goondiwindi office will be well placed to deliver the Northern Basin Review.
“As a community, we all benefit from this decision with dollars kept in our local economy, as well as the improved ability to engage with important policy decisions.”
As the practice of community and stakeholder engagement continues to become more critical to the success of projects, and evolves and expands, then so too does the International Association of Public Participation (Australasia) Conference.
IAP2 Australasia’s flagship event for engagement and communications professionals will see over 50 presenters share their insights on topics such as future thinking, behaviour change, engaging with First Nations, emerging areas in engagement, building trust in communities, participatory budgeting, building resilience, communication strategies, digital engagement and gamification, infrastructure engagement, connecting public participation and politicians, citizen’s jury, engaging with youth and new engagement skills, tools and techniques.
There will be keynote presentations (including keynote presenters Associate Professor Liam Smith and Shelley Reys AO), interactive and experiential workshops, panel discussions, share case studies, dive in deep with master classes and of course the presentation of the Core Values Awards at the conference gala dinner, where projects demonstrating exceptional engagement practice are recognised.
The conference will bring together engagement practitioners, community development practitioners, communications and marketing professionals and academics to explore the practice of engagement, and is generally attended by delegates from both the private and public sector, across a diversity of industries and regions in Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN countries.
All are welcome to attend – both IAP2 Australasia members and non-members. The event will be held on the Gold Coast 23-25 October, and special conference accommodation rates are available.
Discover more or register today at iap2conference.com.au.
*Copy supplied by IAP2