Australian Local Government Association
8 Geils Court
Deakin ACT 2600
Tel: +61 2 6122 9400
Fax: +61 2 6122 9401

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The Australian Local
Government Association

16 July 2003: The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) was founded in 1947. It is a federation of associations in each of Australia's six states, the Northern Territory and the Government of the Australian Capital Territory.

In 1976 the Association established a secretariat in the Australian capital Canberra. This move reflected growing links with the Commonwealth government (Australian central government) and an awareness of local government's emerging national role.

ALGA’s policies are determined at its Annual General Meeting and by a National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra. All councils can participate and vote on national issues. The General Assembly has a wide brief to consider policy directions and convey the views of councils to the Annual General Meeting and National Executive.

The first General Assembly in 1994 produced the ‘National Agenda for Local Government’, a comprehensive statement of principles and policies on national issues affecting local communities. This was updated in 1995 and 1996 and underpins the Association's activities.

The Association's task is to add value at the national level to the work of state and territory associations and their member councils. Corporate goals are:
• to enhance the national reputation of local government and its role in the Australian system of government
• to represent effectively local government's interests in dealings with the Commonwealth government and in national forums
• to promote a local government perspective on national issues
• to develop and maintain effective working relationships with other national organisations related to local government
• to advance the contribution and expertise of councils in key national issues and programs which require strong participation by local government

The Association's programs are adjusted regularly according to need. For the foreseeable future, priority areas will include:
• maintaining and increasing local government's share of national taxation revenues through the system of Commonwealth financial assistance grants and other measures.
• gaining recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution
• guiding and monitoring micro-economic and other national reform processes impacting on local government
• further strengthening of local government's role in Australia's federal system

The Association provides the following core services to its member associations and, through them, local councils throughout Australia:
• information on national issues, policies and trends affecting local government via the Internet, circulars, newsletters, special reports, seminars.
• representation on national bodies including the Council of Australian Governments, Ministerial Councils, intergovernment committees and specialist bodies, plus the International Union of Local Authorities
• liaison and negotiation with a wide range of Commonwealth ministers and departments, shadow ministers and political parties, as well as other national organisations related to local government
• policy development to provide a local government perspective on national affairs
• special projects aimed at enhancing local government's capacity and status in key areas of national concern
• lobbying of the Commonwealth Government and Parliament on specific issues

Australia has some 692 shires and councils accountable to diverse metropolitan, regional, rural, and indigenous communities. Local councils together spend over A$14 billion each year providing a broad range of infrastructure, economic and community services. They employ some 170,000 people.

During recent years, local government has become increasingly involved in national forums. It is a member of the Council of Australian Governments, alongside the Commonwealth, States and Territories, as well as numerous ministerial councils and inter-government committees. Local government is also an active partner in a range of national strategies for economic growth, environmental management, urban development and community well-being.

World Mayor 2023