August 2001 Edition
- Rising watertables
Salinity a key issue facing urban and rural communities.
Some 300 delegates, representing Councils from all States and the Northern Territory, attended the National Local Government Salinity Summit in Echuca-Moama on 17-19 July. In the Summit Statement, drawn up at the conclusion of the three day event, delegates acknowledged that salinity is one of the most serious challenges facing urban and rural communities across Australia.
- Wagga Wagga fights salinity
After identifying urban salinity in 1993, Wagga Wagga City Council allocated $3 million to implement programs to address the issue. These programs include education, revegetation, leakage reduction and urban borefield projects.
Recent studies are indicating that many of the large private sector operators, namely banks, insurers, telecommunications, large retail operators and so forth, have moved so zealously down the path of downsizing and greater efficiencies through new technologies, that they have lost sight of their primary focus – their customers.
With people information rich and time poor, they do not want to wait on a phone queue or be selecting menu options that pass them from one set of instructions to another or message bank to message bank, they simply want someone to answer their query. In banks and retail stores, they just want someone to serve them and to avoid long queues.
The private sector may have cut costs by reducing staff numbers but it seems they are now losing out in respect to their customer relations. Councils should take heed of this and keep on ensuring their emphasis stays firmly on what they do best – delivering quality customer service.
- President's Comment
In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Alderman Dave Elliot, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory.
- Quality services acknowledged in Blayney
Blayney Shire Council is the winner of the coveted AR Bluett Memorial Award for Members of the Shires Association of New South Wales. This annual Award, for outstanding progress in delivery of Local Government services to the community, was announced at the recent Shires Association of NSW conference.
- Stanthorpe Shire to go online with AusSoft Solutions
Stanthorpe Shire Council has joined with AusSoft Solutions to extend the Shire’s GraniteNet project. Supported by funds from Networking the Nation , this project is developing an online services partnership for Stanthorpe businesses and the community.
- Community consultation key to Asset Management Plan
Local Governments exist to serve the community and, in response, many Councils have taken up the challenge of developing a customer service focus. Clarence City Council is no exception and has been at the forefront of this trend.
- Food for thought
- The Good Oil by Rod Brown *
The whole issue of building wealth – that is, wealth underpinned by tradeable production – came into clear focus during interviews we recently held with over 100 food companies. The food industry is particularly interesting for three reasons.
The interviews focused on growers, processors and support organisations around Virginia, the Barossa, the Adelaide Hills and the Riverland and resulted in 24 Action Agendas for stakeholder consideration. They formed the basis of the ‘Food for Thought’ report released at Playford City Council’s Manufacturing Prosperity Conference in Adelaide on 10 July.
- Closing the gap between Local and State Governments
by Jackie Gill
The theme ‘Conquering Space’, became a plea for partnerships between Local Government authorities, and across the three spheres of government, when Western Australia’s State Premier, Geoff Gallop, officially opened this year’s Western Australian Local Government Week Convention.
- Playford stamps its mark on the world stage
When the OEDC/French Government World Congress on Local Clusters was staged in Paris earlier this year, South Australia’s City of Playford was invited to present a paper. The Congress attracted some 1,000 delegates representing over 40 countries.
Since launching its Economic Plan, ‘An innovative City’ in 1999, the City of Playford’s achievements have been recognised widely, both within Australia and overseas.
- ACCC Rural and Regional Program *
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is developing an outreach program to ensure that communities in rural and regional Australia are more informed about their rights under the Trade Practices Act and better prepared to alert the ACCC to anti competitive practices and consumer protection issues.
- Dryland salinity – Coorong’s Local Action Plan
The Coorong community in South Australia has identified dryland salinity, caused by rising watertables, as the highest priority natural resource management issue in the area.
Currently, 57,000 hectares in the area are affected by dryland salinity, and a further 70,000 hectares are at risk within 20 years.
- Councils and Green Power *
As community leaders, Councils play a key role in educating residents and businesses about environmental issues such as greenhouse emissions and climate change. Green Power offers Councils a simple means to demonstrate their commitment to the environment, while also presenting an opportunity for ratepayers to reduce their impact.
- Exchange Solutions leads the way in the delivery of integrated e-commerce solutions for Councils *
Exchange Solutions Pty Ltd, a Brisbane based e-commerce solutions company has commenced rolling out its eagerly awaited integrated e-commerce solution for Local Government. As part of the first stage of its strategy, Exchange Solutions has been delivering e-procurement solutions to Councils.
- LIVE TELECAST – a Local Government conference first
The first session of the Perth International Public Works Conference will be televised live across Australia on Access 31 (UHF Channel 31) at 10.45am (EST) on Monday 27 August 2001. With the theme for the conference being ‘Innovation – The Key to the Future’, this session will present a panel of highly credentialed national and international speakers.
Feature: Community Services & Leisure
- Accolades for new Yarra library
The unique architecture of the City of Yarra’s newest public library has received international recognition, after featuring as the cover story in a recent edition of a world wide architecture and design magazine.
- Integrated Community Services Suite with mobile data access *
Responding to a market need for fully integrated Local Government Authority (LGA) systems, in 2000 Xpedite released its Community Services Suite (CSS) of applications. Developed in collaboration with Whittlesea City Council, the application modules cover Aged & Disability Care, Food Services, Community Services Directory, Maternal & Child Health, Preschool Enrolment, Immunisation, Family Day Care, Long Day Care, Resource and Leisure Facility Booking, and Youth Services.
- Families benefiting from Stronger Families and Communities Strategy
Families and communities throughout Australia are winners under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, announced in the 1999-2000 Budget. The Commonwealth Government committed an additional $240 million to prevention, early intervention and capacity building initiatives to support and strengthen Australian families and communities. Administered by the Department of Family and Community Services, the Strategy underpins the important role that families and communities play in nurturing children, caring for people in need and linking people to jobs and opportunities.
- Small Town Renewal Kit
The Western Australian Municipal Association (WAMA) has welcomed the launch of a resource kit that will assist rural and remote Councils to revive their communities.
- Burra – a story of revitilisation
Burra, located 160 kilometres north of Adelaide and with a population of 980, represents an exciting story of revitalisation made possible through the combination of heritage presentation, creative tourism marketing and the contribution of a local action and preservation group.
- Time to board the bus
A new bus service for local young people has been launched in the City of Wyndham. Located midway between Melbourne and Geelong, public transport is a key issue for Wyndham.
- Tenterfield creates history….again!
Tenterfield’s Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts began an important new chapter in an already illustrious history when Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson unveiled the restored and refurbished facility on 21 July 2001.
- Velo-city 2001
International conference focusing on pedal power
Edinburgh and Glasgow will host the international cycle planning conference, Velo-city 2001, on 17-21 September 2001. Launched in 1980, Velo-city has quickly became the world’s premier conference for people interested in the part cycling can play in town planning, transport reform and civil engineering.
- Homecare winners at Bass Coast
Bass Coast Shire Council’s homecare team are the winners of the 2001 Victorian Community Services and Health Industry Training Award. The award recognises the commitment that Bass Coast’s homecare team has shown to creating a learning culture among staff.
- Maroochy sports and recreation groups come up trumps!
Following two years of planning, lobbying and submission writing, Maroochy Shire Council has recently received a State Grant of $500,000 to assist in the development of a $1.25 million Regional Soccer Facility.
- New strategic directions for ASC’s Active Australia program
Australia’s sports system has received a huge boost thanks to the Federal Government’s new sports policy, Backing Australia’s Sporting Ability – a More Active Australia. Under the new policy, sport in Australia will have government funding of close to $550m over four years.
The policy provides significant support through the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) for increasing the numbers of people of all ages involved in grassroots sports in schools, clubs and community environments under the Active Australia banner.
- Providing the best experiences for young people in sport
Sport can provide children with many positive experiences. Research has shown that young people who have positive sporting experiences are healthier and fitter; more coordinated and physically competent; often develop good social skills; develop leadership, teamwork and cooperation skills; work well and enjoy other people’s company; and study and concentrate better.
- Helping sporting clubs be the best they can be
The Active Australia Provider Network
Increasingly local sporting clubs are under pressure to respond to the changing social and economic needs of their communities as well as catering to a more demanding client group. The need for continuous improvement is critical to their viability.
- Indigenous Sport Program
Councils across Australia can benefit by tapping into the resources and services available through the Indigenous Sport Program (ISP). The ISP is a national strategy based on a simple concept – sport and recreation opportunities help build the capacity of individual Indigenous people and Indigenous communities.
- Sport Education
Increasingly, the Australian sporting landscape is characterised by issues such as litigation, ethics, safety and harassment. A major future focus must be sport education - to ensure that officials, administrators and coaches are trained to meet these challenges.
- COUNT ME IN Online
For some years sport and physical activity providers across the country have been accessing parts, or all of, the Active Australia Disability Education Program (DEP). The DEP delivers courses on a diverse range of issues to do with the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport and physical activity.
- Providing solutions for community sport
The Australian Sports Foundation
If you require funds for sports equipment, sport facilities or sending teams to National Championships, the Australian Sports Foundation has solutions. The ASF offers Councils and non profit organisations the opportunity to work with, and tap into the generosity of their communities to raise funds for major facility projects.
- Sport & recreation volunteers on strike!
Imagine the turmoil if all of the sport volunteers in your region suddenly went on strike. No more volunteers regularly devoting their time, expertise and resources to all levels of sport.
- It’s only a hop, step and jump to Active Australia Day
The third annual Active Australia Day will be held on Sunday 28 October. The national event is designed to promote the benefits of maintaining regular sport and physical activity in our lives. Numerous Councils from across the country and thousands of sports clubs, along with schools and Indigenous communities, will coordinate local community activities, to encourage all Australians to realise the benefits of regular physical activity.
- SportNet – helping sport embrace information technology
The City of Onkaparinga in South Australia, as part of its Internet strategy, has a comprehensive community sport and recreation directory and communicates with sporting clubs via email.
- Joint celebration in Brighton
To celebrate National Tree Day on 29 July, and to mark the Centenary of Federation, each of the eight schools in Tasmania’s Brighton Municipality planted 100 specially selected native shrubs and sheoaks around their respective school grounds.
- Access Expo 2001 not to be missed
25-27 October – Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Access Expo is a comprehensive three day exhibition of products and services for disability, rehabilitation and aged care. Now in its 16th year, Access Expo includes over 100 companies, government departments and service providers, who share ParaQuad Victoria’s mission, to enable people of all abilities to maintain an independent lifestyle.
- Grants and community involvement enhance Alice Springs’ parks
On 26 July, Northern Territory’s Minister for Local Government, Dr Richard Lim, presented a cheque to Alice Springs Deputy Mayor, Jenny Mostran, for development of Kurrajong and Gosse Street Parks. The Special Purpose Grant of $70,000 will provide play equipment, park furniture and shade structures in the two community parks.
- Let there be light
In July, the Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Councillor Julian Hill, unveiled a world first in public lighting on the City’s popular foreshore.The ‘DIO light’ public lighting along the foreshore reduceselectricity consumption by up to 80 percent, significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces visual pollution by providing directed light.