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Mayors warn of looming crisis in outer suburbs

Mayors warn of looming crisis in outer suburbs Caption: (rear) Mayor Henry Zelones, City of Armadale, Perth; John Erren, President at Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, WA; Mayor Ann Ferguson from the District Council of Mt Barker, SA; Mayor Glenn Docherty, City of Playford, Adelaide; Mayor Karen McKeown, Penrith City Council, Sydney; Mayor Adele Hegedich, Wyndham City Council in Melbourn (front right); Mayor Stevan Kozmevski, City of Whittlesea, Melbourne and Mayor Tracey Roberts, City of Wanneroo, Perth (front left)

Mayors from outer suburbs around the country gathered in Canberra last week to vent their frustration at the piecemeal approach to infrastructure in our great outer suburbs. Read more >

Terms of rate cap misleading, says MAV

The Municipal Association of Victoria has said ratepayers have been “misled” by the terms of the Victorian Government’s 2.5 percent rate rise cap, as individual rates could still go up.

Victorian councils – excluding those granted a variation – will measure their total rate revenue in accordance with the cap. But, as this is a revaluation year in which property values are re-assessed, individual ratepayers could still see their rates increase.

Councillor Bill McArthur, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), accused the State Government of peddling a “populist policy”.

“Of immediate concern to councils is how the Government ‘sold’ its populist policy to the community and what they haven’t adequately explained to ratepayers,” said Cr McArthur.

“We believe the majority of people will feel misled by the Government when they receive their rates notice, even though most councils will be complying with the 2.5 per cent rate cap.

“The Government’s ‘fair go’ rates as they’ve called it has led many community members to believe their rates notice will not be more than 2.5 percent higher than it was last year.

“However, 2016 is a property revaluation year and all Victorian properties were revalued as at 1 January. Rates paid by individuals will depend on their new property valuation relative to other properties within their municipality.

“Some ratepayers will pay less than the 2.5 per cent cap and others will pay significantly more, but the overall rates collected by a council won’t exceed the rate cap, unless they were granted an exemption from the cap,” said Cr McArthur.

“It’s a common misunderstanding that as property values rise, councils collect more money overall, but they don’t. Higher property values only change how much each property owner pays towards the total council rate revenue, which must stay within the State’s rate cap.”

Survey reveals why councillors stand

Survey reveals why councillors stand

A Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) survey of successfully elected councillors has revealed the most common reasons that motivated them to stand for council and their campaigning tips for election hopefuls. Read more >

Tropical conference tackles resilience

Tropical conference tackles resilience

A key theme of “Resilience in the Tropics” will underpin expert presentations and discussion when the second Future of Tropical Economies Conference (FTEC) is held in Cairns later this year. Read more >

Mayor demands federal action on infrastructure

Mayor demands federal action on infrastructure

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams yesterday issued a strong message to Canberra on behalf of the people of South East Queensland – it’s time to get SEQ moving again. Read more >

New look campaign to promote regional city living

New look campaign to promote regional city living

Real-life testimonials tell the story of ‘Regional City Living’ in a new campaign launched today. Read more >

This month

Action on emissions

Australian councils are addressing climate change at a grassroots level. Read more >


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Arts fever running high in the winter months

The City of Casey in Victoria is hosting a bumper program of winter arts events, encouraging residents to get moving, making and creating throughout the colder months. Read more >

Action on gender equity

The Baw Baw Shire Council in regional Victoria has endorsed a Gender Equity Action Plan, to help in the prevention of violence against women. Read more >

Flexible rates for struggling dairy farmers

Colac Otway Shire Council in Victoria is offering lenient rate payment times to residents impacted by the dramatic drop in dairy prices. Read more >

Advocating for desperately-needed infrastructure funds

Read more >

Goal posts are constantly shifting

President’s comment Read more >

Permit processing for heavy vehicles improved

Processing times for heavy vehicles permits have improved across local government areas in three of the five surveyed states, according to data from the National Heavy Vehicle Register (NHVR). Read more >

Councils form alliance to grow region

Three local governments in the Great Southern region in Western Australia have formed an alliance to further economic development and future prosperity of the region. Read more >

Domestic violence message shared in rural communities

Each May, Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is held across Queensland. Bundaberg Regional Council helped spread the message in rural communities. Read more >

Mayor calls for diversity

The Mayor of the City of Greater Bendigo has urged community members from diverse backgrounds to consider running for Council. Read more >

Looking for verve - The Good Oil by Rod Brown

Read more >

Speed it up campaign

A campaign by the Sunshine Coast Council is hoping to demonstrate the need for faster internet in the region. Read more >

Women’s leadership on the agenda

The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) is encouraging women who are seeking a leadership role and to help shape the future of their communities to stand as candidates in local government elections this October. Read more >

Pop-up shop engages the community

Tweed Shire Council in New South Wales has been recognised for outstanding community engagement for a pop-up shopfront educating on foreshore revitalisation. Read more >

Partnership with Ozius wins national award*

Brisbane-based spatial technology start-up Ozius Spatial stands among the industry leaders after winning an award at the 2016 National Planning Institute of Australia Awards this month. Read more >

Councillor profiles - This month from Mayor Karen McKeown, Penrith City Council, New South Wales

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Mayor Bob Pynsent, Cessnock City Council, New South Wales

Read more >

Youth precinct upgrade

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has received a Lotterywest Grant for $1.393 million towards the redevelopment of the town’s Youth Precinct. Read more >

New recruits welcomed

Isaac Regional Council in Queensland recently welcomed its largest ever intake of trainees and apprentices, with 14 new recruits added to the fold. Read more >

Playspace best in state

A playground in the City of Monash in Victoria was recentley dubbed the state’s best new playspace, in the Parks and Leisure Australia awards. Read more >

Aboriginal Centre for Excellence takes shape

Planning is underway for a proposed Aboriginal Centre for Excellence to be located in Greater Western Sydney. Read more >

Sharing responsibility for safer spaces

The City of Darwin has launched its Safer Vibrant Darwin Plan 2016-2019 and a new public space activation project, Faces In Spaces. Read more >

Cheer Up Hut celebrates South Australian legacy

As part of ongoing Anzac Centenary remembrances, a “Cheer Up Hut” was recently re-created in South Australia. Read more >

It’s a new dawn with IPWEA’s Sustainability in Public Works Conference 24-26 August 2016*

Written by Dr. Stephen Lees Director Sustainability, IPWEA Australasia Read more >

Solar-powered bins for the capital

The Australian Capital Territory recently announced a trial of three solar-powered, self-compacting rubbish bins. Read more >

BMX project peddles ahead

The wheels are in motion on construction of a new BMX track and pavilion in the City of Casey in Victoria. Read more >

Safety first

Southern Downs Regional Council in Queensland has taken home the award for Excellence in Road Safety at the 2016 National Awards for Local Government for their work with backpackers. Read more >

Thinking green a hit with residents

Residents of the City of Swan in eastern Perth have embraced free workshops on how to live more sustainably. Read more >

Water conservation saves invaluable park

One of Victoria’s most ecologically valuable parks was on the brink of eradication before being revitalised by a water conservation project by Moonee Valley City Council. Read more >

Sports precinct a step closer

The plan to build a new sporting precinct in regional New South Wales is a step closer following a decision by Orange City Council. Read more >

Committee to advise amalgamated council

It will be “business as usual” for residents in amalgamated area according to the former Mayor of Manly. Read more >

Infrastructure on show

Local government representatives were among the more than 2500 attendees at infrastructure industry Expo, CIVENEX, last month. Read more >