January 2007 Edition

  • Planning uncertainty
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    Four reports produced in December are likely to have a major impact on UK Councils and their communities. They are the Barker Report on Land Use Planning, the Eddington Report on Transport, the Leitch Report on Skills and the Varney Report on Public Service Delivery.
  • Council assistance required in fox DNA project
    The feral fox is a major pest in Australia, costing $227.5 million annually in stock and biodiversity losses, as well as money spent trying to control them. With land managers long trying to find the most efficient and cost effective way to control them, the University of Western Australia has initiated the Fox DNA Project.


  • National Timber Councils Taskforce formed
    In November, Mayors, Councillors and CEOs representing Councils with an interest in sustainable forestry from across Australia unanimously agreed to form a National Timber Councils Taskforce.
  • Commit to Kyoto protocols now!
    In the December edition of FOCUS we ran an article on Fremantle City Council committing to the Kyoto protocol. After much investigation, we have found that there is no register of other Australian Councils that have also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through these principles.
  • Wollongong launches discussion on infrastructure bonds
    Wollongong City Council has issued a discussion paper aiming to gain support for Federal taxation incentives for investors in community infrastructure.
  • Pushing for greater broadband access
    Pittwater Council successfully moved a motion regarding supply of broadband services at the 2006 Local Government Association of New South Wales Annual Conference. The motion proposed that the New South Wales Government make it compulsory for developers constructing dwellings in new residential land releases to provide necessary communications infrastructure.
  • Councils leading the way in broadband innovation
    The Bendigo Community Telco has been sited in the Australian Local Government Association's 2006-2007 State of the Regions report as an example for Local Government to follow in keeping up with the move to the broadband super highway.
  • Coffs Harbour recruits record number of female lifeguards
    For the first time, more female lifeguards than male have been recruited to keep Coffs Harbour's beaches safe during this summer season.



  • Pursuing social sustainability through partnerships
    In a first for Australia, Adelaide City Council and the South Australian State Government have entered into a Social Sustainability Partnership Agreement. Established in 2005, this agreement guides Council and State Government actions to develop an enjoyable social environment in Adelaide's CBD.
  • Smart WaterMark promotes water wise products
    In December 2006, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with responsibility for water policy, Malcolm Turnbull, launched the Smart Approved WaterMark campaign to industry and business leaders. He endorsed the importance of the WaterMark in helping consumers make informed choices when it comes to products that can save water around the home.


  • The Monitor delivers core communication
    Roxby Downs Administrator, Bill Boehm, said Council currently operates its Municipal Operation at an annual loss of over $1 million. He said Council is proactively building the social capacity of the community through a range of unique community development strategies and actions, as well as traditional asset management and service delivery roles.


  • Communication is more effective for trained mediators*
    Trained mediators demonstrate effective communication techniques in and out of mediation. They are better able to listen, facilitate group discussions, manage conflict, negotiate and support others in dispute.
  • Trial to reduce fuel consumption and emissions
    Located ten kilometres from Sydney's CBD, the City of Canada Bay is supporting a trial by Cleanaway, Firepower and Techenomics to improve fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Due to commence in January 2007, the trial aims to reduce exhaust emissions and the volume of fuel used by Cleanaway through its waste contract with the City of Canada Bay.
  • City of Mitcham recognised as a safer community
    The City of Mitcham has taken out the South Australian 2006 Australian Safer Communities Award for innovation and best practice in community safety for its Mitcham Bushfire Risk Management Plan.
  • Holroyd shows the way with safety innovation
    Holroyd City Council has taken out a national award for its safety system in the 2006 National Awards for Local Government. Abbreviated to Holsafe, Holroyd's Safety System of Innovation won the Local Government Leadership for Injury Prevention and Management Category.
  • In the public interest ...
    Once again, an exciting program has been set for LGPro's 2007 Annual Conference to be held at Melbourne Park Function Centre from 14-16 February.
  • Youth show bags spread the word
    At the Mount Gambier Show in October 2006, the District Council of Grant's Youth Advisory Committee (DCGYAC) handed out free YAC Packs to youth from the Limestone Coast region of South Australia.



  • Youth services + library services = verbYL
    Queensland's Livingstone Shire Council opened verbYL as a new concept in both Library and Youth Services in December 2005. verbYL is a safe, funky hang out space for young people between the ages of 13 and 25 years.


  • NAB's helping your community competition
    Kicking off at the Municipal Association of Victoria's annual conference in October last year, the National Australia Bank (NAB) offered delegates the chance to benefit a nominated community program by winning $1,000 to host a community event, attended by one of NAB's Sporting Ambassadors. Mayor Gary Bird from Horsham Rural City Council submitted the winning entry that was drawn at the conference dinner.
  • The business environment - an economic perspective for the year ahead
    By Jeff Oughton*
    The key concerns of small, medium and corporate business identified in National Australia Bank's latest surveys are the outlook for sales/demand, a tight labour market and to a lesser extent tighter financial conditions and sever drought.
  • Bundaberg City Council
    At the 2006 National General Assembly in Canberra, we invited delegates to showcase their Council's achievements by entering our competition to win a full page feature for their Council during 2007. Bundaberg City Council is the first of our winners.


  • Councils back community harmony around Australia
    In March Local Governments across the country plan to use Harmony Day (21 March) to profile the services and programs they use to promote community harmony. Five Councils in particular see the occasion as an opportunity to highlight innovative projects funded under the Australian Government's Living in Harmony programme.


  • Metro Manila seeks links with Australian Councils
    During November 2006, Councillor Allan Green from Blacktown City Council in New South Wales spent a week in the Philippines as part of a study tour.



  • Key event on economic and regional development for Qld Councils
    The Local Government Association of Queensland's Economic and Regional Development Conference, Home Grown - Economic Development, will be staged at the Radisson Resort in the Gold Coast from 7-9 March 2007.
  • What's gone wrong in the South Pacific?
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    When a lobbyist friend here in Canberra wants to get things off his chest, he uses the pseudonym of Bogong. Just before the summer break, he penned me his latest thoughts.
  • John So voted World's Best Mayor
    In December, Melbourne Lord Mayor, John So, was voted the most outstanding Mayor in the world by an international poll.




  • Pushing the agenda in 2007
    "The New Year provides an opportunity for reflection as well as looking ahead," said Councillor Paul Bell, President of the Australian Local Government Association. "2006 was a year of many successes for Local Government when important steps were taken towards our long cherished goals of Fair Funding, Fair Treatment and Formal Recognition.


  • Showcasing FOCUS winners
    At the 2006 National General Assembly in Canberra, Local Government FOCUS invited delegates to showcase their Council's achievements by entering our competition to win a full page feature for their Council during 2007.
  • Editorial
    2007 is certainly going to be an interesting year. Being a Federal election year (expected around September/October), it was surprising that neither the Prime Minister nor Opposition Leader found the time to speak at the recent 2006 National General Assembly of Local Government.
  • All systems go at recent G-20 meeting using DIGIMIC*
    Bramshaw ICS's latest simultaneous interpretation, digital microphone management and remote control dome cameras with high speed 360 degree pan function (less than 2 seconds) capable of 120 presets, plus zoom and tilt functions were in big demand over the G-20 weekend staged in Melbourne last November.


  • Hay's community health and fitness gymnasium
    In November, the Heart Foundation and Kellogg (Australia) Pty Ltd presented a 2006 National Heart Foundation Kellogg Local Government Award to New South Wales' Hay Shire Council. Council received the National Category Winner Award for the Provision and Use of Facilities to Improve Heart Health for its Hay Health and Fitness community gymnasium.