ESSENTIAL: Local Goverment Assocation of Queensland chief executive officer Greg Hallam says transparency is important.
ESSENTIAL: Local Goverment Assocation of Queensland chief executive officer Greg Hallam says transparency is important. contributed

LGAQ boss defends Gympie council's membership

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

THERE has been much community debate recently as a result of reports regarding the value of Gympie Council's membership with the Local Government Association of Queensland.

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Let me please make something perfectly clear.

Queensland councils, and the communities they represent, benefit significantly from their ongoing relationship with LGAQ, and indeed the value they receive in many cases surpasses the costs incurred.

First Council meeting after the 2016 election. Photo Renee Albrecht/Gympie Times
First Council meeting after the 2016 election. Renee Albrecht

The net benefit for Gympie Regional Council has resulted in membership costs for this year of only $25,984. Last year, rebates fully covered ALL membership costs.

By working together and through economies of both scope and scale, the annual memberships paid by councils are returned in many multiples.

Gympie regional council Daryl Dodt, Mal Gear, DAn Stewart, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Leitch, Glen Hartwig, James Cochrane, Mark McDonald and Hilary Smerdon.  Renee Albrecht/Gympie times
Gympie regional council Daryl Dodt, Mal Gear, DAn Stewart, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Leitch, Glen Hartwig, James Cochrane, Mark McDonald and Hilary Smerdon. Renee Albrecht

These benefits manifest themselves in many tangible ways including through securing critical funding for councils and regions, legislative improvements, and access to valuable support services.

A formula is used to calculate the LGAQ membership levy for each council to ensure fairness and equity across all local governments. The true costs paid by councils over the past several years have been close to zero - with rebates, discounts and distributions returning to councils.

Gympie Regional Council bring down their first budget under Mayor Mick Curran.   Mayor Mick Curran addressing council.    Photo Greg Miller / Gympie Times
Gympie Regional Council Mayor Mick Curran Greg Miller

The LGAQ publishes the discounted membership rates for all councils on its website in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

Glen Beckett,

General Manager LGAQ