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Don’t discount local government’s role

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August 24, 2017

‘‘Councils do more than just roads, rates and rubbish to maintain the health and wellbeing of their community,’’ Cr Attley said. ‘‘If the business of local councils was limited to road, rates and rubbish, there would be no subsidised childhood immunisation services and our GPs and hospitals would be overwhelmed,’’ she said.

Local government plays a pivotal role in providing services on behalf of state and federal governments.

Victorian Local Governance Association president Marg Attley said this was recognised by both tiers of government.

‘‘Councils do more than just roads, rates and rubbish to maintain the health and wellbeing of their community,’’ Cr Attley said.

‘‘If the business of local councils was limited to road, rates and rubbish, there would be no subsidised childhood immunisation services and our GPs and hospitals would be overwhelmed,’’ she said.

‘‘There would be reduced kindergarten and aged care services, leaving parents and carers having to rely on for-profit services; there would be no local libraries, and there would be a reduced number of community sporting grounds for rest and recreation.

‘‘Our parks and playgrounds would be left unmaintained and therefore unable to support residents to relax and enjoy the company of their friends and families.’’

VLGA chief executive officer Kathryn Arndt said not only was the scope of the business of local government complex and critical to delivering a range of services to residents, councils were also at the forefront to lead social change — they were required to advocate on behalf of their community to government as provided for under the Local Government Act.

‘‘And like their state and federal counterparts, councillors are held accountable for their actions,’’ Ms Arndt said.

‘‘Citizens ultimately determine their local government representation every four years,’’ she said.

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