Taking our advocacy efforts to the capital

Published on 10 July 2024

Baw Baw Shire was represented in Canberra last week at the 2024 Australian Local Government Association’s National General Assembly.

Baw Baw Shire Mayor Cr Annmarie McCabe and East Ward Councillor Michael Leaney, who is Chair of Peri Urban Councils Victoria, travelled to Canberra to represent the shire and peri urban areas at a series of forums, group discussions and round tables, joining over 1,200 local government leaders from across Australia.

Over the three-day event from 2 to 4 July, the councillors met with and heard from Members of Parliament and other government officials to discuss important issues that matter most to Baw Baw Shire.

Representing Peri Urban Councils Victoria, Cr Leaney held discussions with peri urban councils from interstate to encourage greater cooperation nationwide to advocate for better funding and support of growth areas.

Whilst in Canberra, Crs McCabe and Leaney also had the opportunity to attend the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) Conference on the 5 July. The national awards were presented, recognising the achievements of Council’s across the country. A series of panel sessions were held providing meaningful interaction between Federal members and Local Government.

Cr McCabe expressed her enthusiasm about the trip, highlighting it as an important milestone for Council’s advocacy efforts as well as learning what is happening across the sector, Australia wide and hearing more about the Federal Government’s future direction.

“This trip is another example of our advocacy efforts and ensuring that the needs of Baw Baw Shire’s residents are heard, and I was delighted that Cr Leaney and I could represent the Shire in Canberra,” said Cr McCabe.

“The conferences were a chance for the Federal Government to hear from us and other local government leaders about what better support Council and the community could be receiving.” 

During the ACLG conference, Cr Leaney took the opportunity to highlight issues facing regions like Baw Baw during a special panel session on Peri-Urban Councils and regional cities.

“Each and every opportunity to represent and advocate for our community in Canberra is valuable and worthwhile, especially as Chair of the Peri Urban Councils of Victoria – it’s important that we are front of mind and ensure that our unique challenges are recognised so we can get the support we need.” said Cr Leaney.

“Vital community infrastructure, roads and recreation projects remain among Baw Baw Shire Council’s key advocacy priorities. We continue to pursue both the State and Federal Governments to gain grant funding and appropriate policy settings to secure our future and enable us to accommodate the growth that’s occurring in all peri urban areas.”

Peri Urban Councils Victoria is comprised of five member Councils, including the Bass Coast Shire Council, Baw Baw Shire Council, Golden Plains Shire Council, Moorabool Shire Council and Surf Coast Shire Council.

This group represents a key part of Council’s advocacy efforts, shaping discussions around urban planning, management and funding across Australia.

To learn more about Council’s advocacy priorities visit https://www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/Advocacy or email advocacy@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au


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