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Simmons urges Peacocke to mend bridges not insult councils



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DAVID SIMMONSMINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT - MINISTER FOR FAMILY SUPPORT

Federal Minister for Local Government, David Simmons, says NSW Local Government Minister, Gerry Peacocke, should be trying to improve his relationship with NSW Councils rather than trying to spike Local Government's efforts to construct worthwhile infrastructure and create jobs through the Local

Capital Works Program.

"Mr Peacocke's relationship with local authorities in NSW is so bad that the NSW Local Government and Shires Association would not invite him to nominate a representative to join the Committee which is assessing the proposals coming in from NSW councils," Mr Simmons said.

"The Committee in NSW is the only one in Australia that does not have a State or Territory representative. .

"Since his paternalistic and unhelpful attitude towards Local Government has resulted in his being outside the process, Mr Peacocke is*not in a position to know what sort of proposals are being submitted let alone comment on them."

Mr Peacocke's comments followed press reports of a media conference involving Mr Simmons and the President of the Australian Local Government Association, Cr Graeme Frecker, on 7 September.

Mr Simmons and Cr Frecker told the media that they were very encouraged by the speed of response by councils and the calibre of the projects that have come forward to the State and Northern Territory Committees.

No councils have indicated that they will be unable to participate in the Program because of the requirement for a 10-20% contribution.

8 September 1992

SIMMONS URGES PEACOCKE TO MEND BRIDGES NOT INSULT COUNCILS

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"Mr Peacocke's phony concern for councils, and his assertion that NSW is being discriminated against is not borne out by the facts," Mr Simmons said.

"I am looking forward to seeing the hundreds of projects proposed by NSW councils within the $105 allocated to that State. "And I know that the Local Capital Works Program will make a very significant contribution to many local communities and local economies in all parts of NSW.

"If Mr Peacocke was concerned about Local Government and respected by Local Government in his State, he would know how welcome the Local Capital Works Program is to councils.

"He should spend time mending bridges with Local Government rather than insulting them with his ill-informed and ill-considered attacks on this Program which represents a major breakthrough for Local Government in Australia."

Media inquiries: Lesley Boaden - (06) 277 7240; a/h (06) 292 6658 Minister Simmons' Office ■ M