Kempsey Shire Council has shown its support for local government to be represented on the newly formed National Cabinet as a key partner in driving economic recovery.
A mayoral minute was put before council at the September meeting which called for councillor's support to send letters to the respective members of State and Federal Government to express council's disappointment that Local Government is not represented on the newly formed National Cabinet and seeks their assistance in requesting that First Ministers review the decision to exclude Local Government.
The motion also included that council seeks a meeting with local Federal and State Members to discuss in more detail the importance of having Local Government representation on National Cabinet.
Councillors voted unanimously to support the move by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) to seek membership of the Cabinet, reflecting their similar position on the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG).
Mayor Liz Campbell said the changing focus of the National Cabinet has made it important to include local government.
"The focus of the National Cabinet has shifted from just the wellbeing of Australians and managing the health response, which was the main focus at the outset of the COVID crisis," she said.
"National Cabinet has since broadened its agenda to include a focus on managing coronavirus impacts across Australia, with a focus on economic growth. Local Governments are willing and necessary partners in developing and implementing reform.
"We are skilled in driving recovery at a local level, we've seen that with the bushfires in late 2019. Getting it right on the ground is Local Government's area of strength."
The President of ALGA had been a member of COAG since it was convened by Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1992.
Local Government was included because all parties recognised that Australia has three levels of government.
"The challenge facing National Cabinet over the coming months is unlike any which has faced Australian governments in recent times," mayor Campbell said.
"It will require the concerted, coordinated and complementary efforts of all three levels of government to rebuild consumer confidence, support business and recreate millions of jobs.
"This should be an example of all three levels of government working together."
"Local Government supports economic growth through regional development policies and initiatives, strategic and land use planning, targeted investment attraction, prioritisation of local procurement, and focusing their annual investment on infrastructure that serves the community and business alike.
"Australians expect their three levels of government to be working together, and to see evidence of that."