From a local government perspective instability at either federal or state government level can present regional communities with significant challenges, particularly when it comes to certainty with regard to planning and funding of critical major infrastructure.
More and more the responsibility for facilitating and driving economic growth to secure the future prosperity for our respective communities is falling on councils.
Unfortunately in most cases councils can only play that important role if we have funding support and/or the opportunity to work in partnership with state and federal governments.
For this reason councils put in significant time and effort into building the relationships and establishing the partnership frameworks to deliver the strategic infrastructure and economy building projects needed to grow our regional economies.
All too often changes of government, leadership or major ministerial reshuffles can create uncertainty and in a worst case scenario can undo years of hard work, planning and goodwill.
Now, again, our council and community have had that uncertainty delivered on us with this most recent federal upheaval at a time when our region is finally starting to recover from both economic downturn and natural disasters.
The call I would like to put out to both major parties on behalf of our community is enough is enough.
In the area of funding there also needs to be a rethink of programs such as the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility/Fund which was announced with great promise but unfortunately has not delivered on expectations.
We understand that this is being considered by the Federal Opposition who last year suggested that up to $1 billion dollars of NAIF funding could be made available as direct grants for tourism and other enabling major infrastructure.
This is something that most northern Australia local governments would be likely to support and hopefully something both sides of politics will seriously consider in the lead-up to the coming federal election.