Qld council reps jet in for chat about value for money

FLYING fox management, local infrastructure funding and indigenous issues will be top of the agenda as more than 600 Queensland council representatives gather in Cairns.

Mayors and council chief executives are arriving in Cairns for the annual Local Government Association of Queensland conference, starting today.

The three-day conference will cover a range of issues facing councils around the Sunshine State, focusing on the theme "Value for Money".

And as councils face rising costs and largely stagnant rate bases, LGAQ president Margaret de Wit said the biggest issue for all councils was financial sustainability.

She said councils all over Queensland were coming under increasing pressure to do more with less.

"Councils are keen to play their part in ensuring the Newman government's four economic pillars continue to underpin a thriving economy,'' Cr de Wit said.

"The business of local government requires striking a good balancing act between maintaining healthy finances and meeting the expectations of the community we serve.''

While roads, rates and rubbish remain key responsibilities, the rising cost of local infrastructure and managing growing populations of flying foxes in regional areas will also be key issues.

The conference will also hear from leading Queensland figures including Premier Campbell Newman, Local Government Minister David Crisafulli and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney.

Councils have put together more than 80 motions for debate during the conference, ranging from natural disaster funding to subsidies for new residential developments.

Motions that get endorsed by the LGAQ conference will then form the key planks of future lobbying efforts to state and federal governments.

This year's conference will also include the largest-ever number of delegates from Queensland's 17 indigenous councils.

Indigenous councillors will also hear from federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion before an "indigenous leader's forum" before the conference proper.