A key parliamentary committee has urged the Federal Government to strive for greater co-operation with local councils to attract trade and investment to regional Australia.
In a report exploring steps to encourage foreign investment into Australia, the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment recommended Austrade engage in more partnering and cooperation with all levels of government, including councils.
The report followed a series of submissions from the Local Government Association of Queensland and other councils in the State on how local government was a crucial promoter of trade and investment in Queensland.
“These submissions may only represent local government perspectives from one state but helped to highlight cooperation and coordination as an area for improvement,” the committee’s report said.
“The LGAQ emphasised that greater coordination between all three tiers of government for trade promotion and investment facilitation is needed."
The Association has partnered with Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) in programs aimed at building the capability and skills of councils in attracting foreign investment to their regions.
However, the LGAQ pointed out in its submission to the committee that such efforts need to be in conjunction with all levels of government “so that it does complement current initiatives and does not lead to overlap or duplication”.
“Working with the three tiers of government in a coordinated approach will position Australia in what is now a very globally competitive market for investment attraction strategies,” the Association’s report said.
When she announced with partnership program between the LGAQ and TIQ, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said her Government was keen to ensure regional councils were well-equipped to identify and promote regional investment opportunities.
“Local governments understand the positive impact that export success and investment can have on local economies. By working together, we can further strengthen Queensland’s export performance,” she said.