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Giving local government a greater say.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON SIMON CREAN MP

Giving Local Government a greater say

A Crean Labor Government will reinvigorate the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) with a new strategic agenda focussed on nation building, sustainability and security.

Under Labor, COAG will meet more regularly to ensure there is greater co-ordination between all levels of government on issues like infrastructure, housing, urban development, job creation, service delivery, crime prevention and the environment.

Labor will also remove the Commonwealth’s absolute control of COAG by allowing States, Territories and Local Government to place their own issues on the agenda.

A Crean Labor Government will also give local government a greater say in infrastructure planning by giving them a seat on Labor’s proposed National Infrastructure Advisory Council.

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council will help to remove the politics from infrastructure decisions and will promote a smarter, whole of governments approach to national infrastructure provision and maintenance.

In addition, Labor will also widen the definition of infrastructure to ensure local government has greater access to infrastructure bonds.

At the moment, infrastructure bonds are limited to road, rail and ports. Labor believes this definition must be widened to include things such as telecommunications, energy and water infrastructure.

Labor will also maintain support for the constitutional recognition of local government. It must be considered in the planning for any future constitutional referenda.

ALICE SPRINGS 4 NOVEMBER 2002