Koala funding, polling place operations and regional assistance motions to go to LGAQ annual conference

Redland City Council has voted in support of three motions to be put to the 126th Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference in Cairns on 17 – 19 October 2022.

The annual conference, which brings together local government delegates from across Queensland, is an essential forum for Councils to advocate on behalf of their community.

Council has agreed to table a motion calling for available state and federal koala funding to be better directed and coordinated in support of conservation and protection efforts at the local government level.

Redland City Acting Mayor, Cr Julie Talty, said that while Council welcomed current state and federal funding, more help was needed following the formal listing of koalas as endangered earlier this year.

“The Redlands Coast is home to one of the most significant urban koala populations in Australia, which is why Council has committed to a new five-year Redlands Coast koala conservation and action plans on 1 July this year.

“Council’s motion calls for increased state and federal coordination and funding directed for these locally based conservation programs that will make a real difference to supporting our koala populations,” Cr Talty said.

A motion calling for the trial of a reduction or elimination of vote canvassers and how to vote cards at election polling places will also be taken to the conference.

The motion argues for the ability of local Government to trial the reduced or eliminated vote canvassing and distribution of how-to-vote cards at the 2024 local government elections.

Cr Talty said feedback from the 2020 Local Government elections, where vote canvassers were reduced due to COVID-19 health regulations, showed many voters preferred not having vote canvassing and how to vote cards at the polling stations.

“The motion calls for local councils to be given the ability to determine the appropriate amount of election material at polling stations in consultation with local electoral officers.

“A third motion calling for regional funding support for specific regional challenges within LGA’s is an essential part of Council’s ongoing calls for recognition of specific local challenges and areas of disadvantage that may not fit the broader regional funding models.

“Despite historically having amongst the highest indicators of socio-economic disadvantage in Queensland, the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) consistently miss out on regional funding programs targeting areas of long-term disadvantage.

“Our motion argues that targeted financial support programs should respond to the needs of Queensland communities, including those in the South East, based on need rather than geography.”

“The LGAQ annual conference is an important forum for canvassing and carrying forward new ideas for local government, and Council looks forward to the discussion on these issues.”