Councils given chance to air infrastructure concerns


Government will meet local councils in November to discuss infrastructure issues

Local councils will be expected to bring a road infrastructure wish-list when the Rudd Government holds a one-day summit of the Australian Council of Local Governments in November.

The Government last week announced it will host Australia’s 565 local councils at Parliament House to build and improve infrastructure vital to reducing congestion and improving traffic flows.

Local government peak bodies and the local government and planning ministers from state governments will also be invited.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Local Government Anthony Albanese says the summit will help the Government as it develops a new regional and local community infrastructure fund.

He says the fund will be established next year to support local communities.

The president of the Local Government Association of Queensland, Paul Bell, says the summit will highlight a number of issues facing local councils.

"The focus of the council’s agenda reflects the challenges currently facing local government, particularly in the area of financial sustainability and community infrastructure," Bell says.

He says the summit shows the Rudd Government is keen to work with local councils to deliver outcomes.

The meeting has been scheduled for November 28 may change because there are some local government elections the following day.

As well as focusing on road infrastructure, the summit will also look at councils’ economic capacity to improve communities and growth issues.

Constitutional recognition for local governments will also be discussed.

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