Wednesday, 22 July 2020


Shellharbour City Councillors are calling for the restoration of local government representation at a national level, through the new National Cabinet.

The National Cabinet comprises the Prime Minister, State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers. It was initially established to perform a crisis leadership role in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local government was excluded from the National Cabinet when Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new body would broaden its reach beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to make decisions across areas previously dealt with by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has served as the voice of local government at COAG since its inception in 1992, ensuring the forum considered the impact of decisions on councils and the communities they represent.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said that the knowledge and grassroots expertise of local government was vital to bushfire, drought and COVID-19 recovery efforts.

“The decision to exclude local government from the National Cabinet excludes the voice and input of local communities into intergovernmental decision-making at the highest level,” Cr Saliba said.

“The National Cabinet lacks a grassroots view of the impact of decisions on local communities and how these decisions play out in rural and remote areas.

“Decisions at National Cabinet will have far-reaching consequences for Australia’s future, and they need to be informed by all three tiers of government.

“The Shellharbour City community wants, and expects, the three tiers of government to work together on issues of fundamental importance to Australia’s future.

“Our willingness to work collaboratively with the Australian and NSW Government remains undiminished.

“Working together will secure the best possible economic and social outcomes for the country as the COVID-19 pandemic gives way to broader recovery efforts. To ensure this, local government needs to have a seat at the National Cabinet table,” Cr Saliba said.

Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 0448 361 008


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Last updated : Thu 23 Jul 2020