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It was fantastic to see such a great turnout from the NT at ALGA’s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) held from 15 to 17 June in Canberra. The NGA is an opportunity for local government representatives from across the country to come together to contribute to the debate on a broad set of national issues.

Canberra was definitely frosty, but our welcome was warm, and we had a very informative and productive time. Representing the NT, we had myself, Tony Tapsell, Mayor Tony Jack (LGANT), Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim, Ald Bob Elix, Ald Helen Galton, Brendan Dowd (CoD), Mayor Ian Abbott, Ricki Bruhn (CoP), Mayor Lothar Siebert, Deputy Mayor James Marrawal, Cr Michelle Siebert, Valentin Markez (WARC), Cr Lilly Roy, Barry Bonthuys, Gawura Wanambi (EARC), Cr Daniel Mulholland, Cr Eric Roberts, Greg Arnott (RGRC), Mayor Steven Hennessy, Stuart Duncan (VDRC), Cr Hal Ruger, Edwina Marks (BRC), President Adrian Dixon (CDRC), Rex Mooney (ASTC), Cr Braydon Williams, Cr Roxanne Kenny, Jeff McLeod (MRC), and Peter Holt and Shaun Hardy (DLG). Thank you for attending the NGA and representing our local communities on the national platform.

One of the key topics discussed was the need for the federal government to restore the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs). I know I have spoken about this before, but it is a very important issue for local government. In the NT alone, we are set to lose approximately $3 million over the next few years in untied funding. This money could have gone towards a swimming pool or a community hall, possibly even improvements to a library or one of our many beautiful parks. If the government does not restore the indexation of FAGs, then essential services, and as a result, our communities may suffer and councils will be forced to increase Rates and Charges.

For more of President Damien Ryan’s message and other news, read the LGANT Newsletter

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