Stronger intergovernmental partnerships in 2002
At the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Annual General Meeting on 28 November 2001, Councillor John Ross was re elected President. From the District Council of Tatiara, and representing the Local Government Association of South Australia, this is Councillor Ross’ third term as National President. In a recent FOCUS interview, he said that a major priority for 2002 is ALGA’s ongoing work to achieve Constitutional Recognition
of Local Government, thereby cementing a real partnership with the other spheres of government.
Local Governments, diverse communities and Harmony Day
Whether you are from the nation’s smallest Local Government area or the
biggest, promoting community harmony and cohesion is an important Local Government role.The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), in partnership with Local Governments across Australia, is organising this year’s National Harmony Day, to be held on 21 March.
As we commence another new year, it seems no time since we celebrated the new millennium. Now two years since the world joined together to welcome in the year 2000, it is interesting to reflect on what many people, particularly the exponents of social or organisational change, were predicting. That is, the start of a new century encourages people to be more open to change and think outside the square. The added bonus of a new millennium further excited the futurists. But two years on, and as far as Australia is concerned, dramatic or far reaching change has not so far eventuated.
Local Government can show the way... *
It’s 9.00pm, 25 December and the rest of the family has hit the sack. It’s been a great day, I sat quietly, thinking of what events and ‘feelings’ may be rippling throughout my local community tonight – in particular, how people may be feeling about the refugees and asylum seekers in Woomera or those other places our Federal Government has allocated to them. It struck me, like a star in the night, that maybe Local Government, the first level of government in this rich and generous country, could show some badly needed leadership, and offer to assist in placing refugees by coordinating the rebuilding of some of our decimated rural and regional towns.
A cleaner environment with improved stormwater technology
The rains came pouring down over the heads of spectators and participants alike, as Blacktown City Council conducted a rain simulation, celebrating the installation of their stormwater cleansing technologies.
International award for Toowoomba
Toowoomba City Council’s entry in the International Nations in Bloom competition has won a bronze award as one of the most liveable cities in the world. Currently in its sixth year, Nations in Bloom aims to encourage best practice, innovation and leadership to develop improved quality of life in individual communities.
Reader survey feedback
We would like to thank all respondents who completed our reader survey sent out in the October 2001 edition. The survey assists our planning of future editions of FOCUS, ensuring we are covering relevant issues and best practice examples that assist elected members and staff to meet the increasing expectations of their constituents.
Innovation systems - not the preserve
of boffins - The Good Oil by Rod Brown *
Innovation policy will underpin the Federal Government’s efforts to position Australian industry over the next three to five years. One of the biggest plays is the commitment to the Cooperative Research Centres Program (CRC), which was announced before the last election by the then Industry Minister, Senator Nick Minchin.
Southern Grampians unlocking the secrets of a ‘learning community’
Victoria’s Southern Grampians Shire, has been selected to help Australia work out what makes a learning community ‘tick’. RMIT University has received $10,000 to develop a case study of Southern Grampians Shire to be published as a guide for other communities around the country.
‘Gearing up down under’
International Local Agenda 21 Conference
The Steering Committee for the Sustaining our Communities Conference invites you to attend this International Local Agenda 21 event to be held from 3 – 6 March 2002 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The Conference will provide a timely forum to discuss Australia’s Local Government approaches to sustainable development and advise Australia’s input to the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in September 2002.
Sir Henry’s Federation journey
As part of Stanthorpe Shire Council’s Centenary of Federation celebrations, in October, guests were invited to board the Federation Steam Train. The journey was reminiscent of the trip taken by Federation father Sir Henry Parkes to Tenterfield to deliver his Federation Oration in 1889.
Your Home – a positive success
For the first time in Australia, practical information on every key topic relevant to environmentally sustainable housing design is available at one convenient source, and it is being snapped up as fast as it can be printed and distributed across Australia. Your Home is a Federal Government initiative that gives building professionals and the public access to the most comprehensive package of home design material ever produced.
Aboriginal Coordinating Council assisting DOGIT communities
The Aboriginal Coordinating Council is a statutory body established under the Queensland Community Services (Aborigines) Act 1984. It was established to enable Aboriginal Community Councils to become Local Government bodies.
Reconciliation initiatives at Port Adelaide Enfield
Port Adelaide Enfield Council has put in place various initiatives as part of its ongoing reconciliation process.The Aboriginal Advisory Panel was formed by Council, after representatives of the Kaurna Aboriginal Community Heritage Committee (KACHA) addressed Council on a number of issues.
Councils key partners in natural resource management
From an alliance of 16 Councils in northern Victoria to cooperation between seven low rate base Shires in the Western Australian wheatbelt, Local Governments throughout Australia are proving that regional partnerships are the secret of successful natural resource management.
Climate change in action *
Extreme weather events around the nation have plagued the traditional Christmas/New Year festive season. Icy winds, hail and an offshore wind twister met the Sydney to Hobart Fleet, while NSW was ablaze with fire. This is a taste of local climate change impacts due to the greenhouse effect long predicted by scientists. Local Government has recognised the dire need for community action and is leading the way in reducing greenhouse impact locally.
Lismore’s 100 million worms turning green waste into dollars
Opened last October, Lismore’s organic waste reprocessing facility, containing 100 million worms in a 120 metre long automated greenhouse, is believed to be the largest of its kind. Needing to make major changes to, and improvements in, the management of organic waste and mixed solids, extensive consultation with the community led to the Lismore Vermiculture Plant being developed.
Volunteers play a big part in excellence award
Western Australia’s Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) won this year’s Premiers Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management, in the ‘Sustainable Environment’ category for their Eastern Hills Catchment Project (EHCMP). The Award recognises outstanding performance and achievement by agencies or work teams in the protection, conservation or enhancement of the natural environment in WA.
Brisbane hosts national drugs conference
In December last year, Brisbane City Council hosted what it believed to be the first national drugs debate in Australia. International and national drug experts were among the 350 delegates gathered in Brisbane on 4-5 December, to examine the role of Local Government in responding to the drugs crisis. The event was jointly hosted by the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) and Brisbane City Council. Brisbane hosted the event to encourage more understanding of the very real drug problems within the Australian community.
Technology streamlines Council meetings and increases transparency
A new system used at Alexandrina Council in South Australia, involving laptop computers and a digital projector, has reduced duplication in preparing Council papers.
Inverell Shire Council is aware of the potential economic and social benefits to rural communities that the Internet offers, its ability to bring the world to Inverell’s doorstep and likewise take Inverell, its products and services, to the world.
Improved e-business at Darebin *
AXS-One, a leading provider of financials and e-business solutions for Local Government, recently released its Enterprise version 7.0. The first Local Government to take advantage of the newest version was the
City of Darebin, one of Victoria’s largest Councils. AXS-One Enterprise version 7.0 is the first of future planned releases that expand business processes across Council operations and out
to suppliers and business partners.
Going for gold
Three Councils’ Olympic dream
In the 2001 National Innovation Awards in Local Government in the Business and Regional Development category, three Councils, Cabonne, Orange and Blayney, were the Rural Winner for their ‘Ophir Gold 2000 – Our Olympic Dream’ project.
Call for greater asset management renewal
A recent study into infrastructure asset conditions has called for Councils to implement asset management strategies and plans for asset renewal.