The year of the VIP - Presidents comment

Article image - The year of the VIP - Presidents comment Mark Crawley, National President, Local Government Professionals Australia

Local government can be seen from the outside by our communities as a bit of a monolith – but we in the sector know what really makes up our councils are passionate individuals with a mindset of community service. In taking the baton from our outgoing President, Tony De Fazio, at LG Professionals Australia’s National Congress a little over a month ago, I’ve vowed to keep our organisation a Federation that focuses squarely on these local government professionals.

To ensure this commitment to the individuals we serve who truly make our sector so strong with their innovative ideas and passion for their communities, I’m making 2019 through to 2020 the year of the VIP: Value, Integrity and Partnerships.

Value

With a firm base in Canberra established over the last year, LG Professionals Australia will be continuing to capitalise on its central location to advocate for local government professionals and the sector as a whole.

In carrying our members’ local priorities to politicians and the federal government, we more recently pushed for renewed support for untied grants for councils right ahead of the federal election by illustrating to federal politicians just how crucial funding like the Financial Assistance Grants is for keeping vital services for local communities across the country afloat.

This wasn’t a siloed effort though – it was only by reaching out to councils across the country and between metro and regional Australia that we could harness the unique perspectives that really show where that funding is needed.

Integrity

Integrity is important to me and to our organisation. The reputation of our sector has been tarnished by a small number of executives and elected members in the past and we need to do more to enhance the reputation of Local Government with the other levels of Government and - more importantly - the community as a whole.

We made sure we addressed this in the recent National Congress we held in Darwin, but it is an ongoing conversation and one that we know is being heard internationally in our sector.

Partnerships

There’s a danger in taking the ‘local’ in local government a bit too literally. While we’re all serving the particular needs of our unique local communities, we’re really at our best when we communicate as a sector, and that extends beyond international borders.

We brought together voices from across the globe to speak on issues just like that of integrity at the National Congress.

These international partners are a wealth of local government insight and relationships that our organisation will continue to nurture.

The first step to all of this though is communication. I address our sector fortnightly, and LG Focus readers can hear from me too right here: lgprofessionalsaustralia.org.au/memberships/local-government-update/