The impact of local government can be felt in every community across Australia. Whether it’s providing accessible early childhood education and care, aged care, maternal and child health services, garbage collection, garden maintenance, road construction and maintenance, water and sewerage, libraries, recycling services, swimming & leisure centres, playgrounds, sporting facilities, homelessness services, or playing an integral role in responding to climate change and natural disaster reconstruction and recovery, or maintaining and improving local infrastructure, communities are relying on local government services more than ever before.
Despite this, Commonwealth Government investment in local government, services has declined from around 1 percent of Commonwealth Tax Revenue to around 0.55%.
Local government employs more than 200,000 Australians across the country. Local government jobs are good, union jobs. It is unacceptable that the extreme financial pressure caused by reductions in funding have caused local governments to reduce services, try to drive down wages and conditions, outsource jobs to labour hire providers, and in some instances privatise or shut down services altogether.
Over time the quality of the services and the quality of the jobs is being eroded. If we lose these services, it will take a long time and a significant investment to ever get them back. Now, with a Federal Labor Government we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn back the tide and build long term sustainable local jobs and services for generations to come.
That’s why the ASU/USU is calling for an increase to Commonwealth funding for local services: so that communities and workers get what they deserve.
The Commonwealth provides funding to local government for fundamental ongoing staff costs and maintenance through Financial Assistance Grants. The ASU/USU are moving an amendment to the ALP National Platform that this funding should return to 1% of Commonwealth Tax Revenue. This could be partnered with a fair jobs code for local government that ensures the investment delivers excellent services with union won conditions (under state or federal collective instruments) and well paid secure jobs.
The ALP National Platform aspires to deliver a modern Australia. You can’t deliver a modern Australia if you don’t appropriately fund and modernise local government.
We hope we can count on your solidarity. DOWNLOAD FLIER HERE
Graeme Kelly OAM
United Services Union (NSW)
ASU Victoria and Tasmania Authorities and Services Branch
The Services Union (QLD)
ASU South Australia and Northern Territory Branch
ASU Western Australian Branch
Assistant National Secretary
Australian Services Union