Breaking News

Tasmania's troubled waters

Tasmania's troubled waters

The Tasmanian Government yesterday released the draft legislation it will present to Parliament in order to take over TasWater. Read more >

New complaints system for Queensland

New complaints system for Queensland

The Queensland Government will introduce an Independent Assessor to consider all complaints against councillors, in a move to reform local government. Read more >

Australia Day change up to each council says ALGA

 Australia Day change up to each council says ALGA

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has clarified its position on the contentious resolution for councils to lobby the Federal Government to change the Australia Day date. Read more >

Building tomorrow

Building tomorrow Delegates in the main conference room.

Smart tech and building liveable communities were key points on the agenda at the Australian Local Government (ALGA) 2017 National General Assembly in Canberra. Read more >

Letter to the editor

“Smart Cities…for everybody”

Dear LG Focus,
What a worthwhile experience it was last month, attending the National General Assembly in Canberra.   Delegates from around Australia gathered to listen, learn and participate.

Our Governor General painted a realistic picture as he opened the event. What a mix of councils of different sizes, both geographically and socially we have in the wide brown land.

A theme of many of the guest speakers, was looking to the future, with technology leading the way, to build so-called ‘Smart Cities’.
Hearing some of the presenters, all of whom had no doubt reached and travelled far in their educational experience, there seemed to be a scrim of unreality lowered between some of what was being proposed, and the real world.
 
Some points to keep in mind:

  • Many of our students don’t finish Year 12 and go onto university.
  • We are being challenged to find jobs for ‘everyone’ so, as a community, that values ‘everyone’, we can all feel a sense of belonging and contribution.
  • We have a problem with some of our young people feeling undervalued. All jobs can provide value.

When in Canberra, I caught a bus to the Assembly from my accommodation. It had a driver. We conversed, and here was a chap happy in his work as a bus driver.

As I walked from the bus stop I passed the council workers responsible for the rubbish bins. Once again, people at work, doing their bit: rubbish collectors.

I also passed the gentleman with his cleaning trolley full of brooms, mops and buckets: a cleaner.

My point is, as we discuss and plan for modern ‘places’ with the white knight of ‘technology’ riding the steed of ‘data’, we need to be honest about our priorities and try to design and plan for everybody. This means jobs at all levels.

Maybe doing away with the bus driver, the rubbish collector, the parking officer, etc. might not be as ‘efficient’ as the technological alternative, but, for those families, it’s a job for mum or dad.

Thanks,
Councillor Mark Radford
Horsham Rural City Council

Councils still work towards equity

Councils still work towards equity From left: Marianne Saliba (NSW), Janet Davidson OAM (WA), Betty Gill (SA), Coral Ross (VIC), Viginia Haussegger AM, Rebecca Hersant (QLD), Helen Harris OAM (VIC), Alwyn Friedersdorff (TAS), Missing from the photo is NT Rep Katrina Fong Lim.

“Progress towards 50:50 is not inevitable,” Virginia Haussegger AM told the annual Australian Local Government Women’s Association Networking Breakfast at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National Assembly. Read more >

This month

Building tomorrow

Smart tech and building liveable communities were key points on the agenda at the Australian Local Government (ALGA) 2017 National General Assembly in Canberra. Read more >


Editorial

A discussion on the ground at the National General Assembly centred on the lack of female speakers on panels – particularly those focused on technology. Read more >


Letter to the editor

Read more >


Councils still work towards equity

“Progress towards 50:50 is not inevitable,” Virginia Haussegger AM told the annual Australian Local Government Women’s Association Networking Breakfast at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National Assembly. Read more >


Councils muster recycling pride

The District Council of Orroroo Carrieton in South Australia has taken out the top prize of the MobileMuster awards this year. Read more >


Reconciliation effort rewarded

A walking trail in the Rural City of Wangaratta has won the top award for Indigenous reconciliation for Victorian local governments. Read more >


NGA and Regional Forum wrap-up

ALGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin. Read more >


Fending off the rate capping threat - President’s comment

Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg, President Local Government Association of South Australia Read more >


New website accessible for all

Digital accessibility for all, whether that be for people with disability, those who are ageing, or residents who are culturally and linguistically diverse, is the aim of the City of Cockburn’s new website. Read more >


Skills and support for small business

Inverell Shire in northern New South Wales is up-skilling small business owners by bringing renowned trainers to the region. Read more >


Game of drones

Western Downs Regional Council in southwest Queensland is positioning itself to become known as Australia’s ‘home of drones’. Read more >


Sustainable dog bag switch

Noosa Council’s decision to introduce compostable dog waste bags could rid landfill of over a million plastic bags annually. Read more >


A focus on towns not industries? - The Good Oil by Rod Brown

Professor Richard Holden of University New South Wales (UNSW) says we should provide tax incentives to coax expanding firms into regional centres, rather than propping up failing industries. Read more >


Sun shines on large-scale solar

The Burdekin Shire Council in Queensland recently approved construction on what will become one of Australia’s largest solar farms. Read more >


Buying local boosts business

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s “local preference” guidelines, local suppliers are reaping financial benefits. Read more >


Councillor profiles - Mayor Mary-Ann Brown Southern Grampians Shire Council

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Councillor profiles - Mayor Drew Jessop Hume City Council

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Koala population thrives

Wollondilly Shire Council in New South Wales is protecting koalas across the region. Read more >


Fresh lick of paint celebrates local history

Colourful electricity boxes in Fraser Coast Regional Council are spruiking local history – including the region’s famed Mary Poppins connection. Read more >


South Australian council says welcome

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield has become the first council in South Australia to join the Welcoming Cities Network. Read more >


High Achievers - Building Services Unit Break O’Day Council

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High Achievers - Clarence Positive Ageing Advisory Committee Clarence City Council

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Remote recycling

Roper Gulf Regional Council in the Northern Territory is simultaneously encouraging recycling and up-skilling local students. Read more >


Fifty years in local government

After a career of more than 50 years in the local government sector, General Manger of Lake Macquarie City Council, Brian Bell, has called it a day. Read more >


Tourism training for jobseekers

Moira Shire Council in northern Victoria is offering free tourism training for those seeking work – including placement at its Visitor Information Centres. Read more >


Tributes flow for West Daly mayor

The West Daly region in the Northern Territory lost a leader early this month when Mayor Harold Wilson passed away. Read more >


High commendation for dunny run

A Tweed Shire Council accessibility project that evaluated accessibility of public toilets has earned national praise for combining the expertise of Council staff with the lived experience of people with a disability. Read more >


Burning right tonight

The ACT Government has called on residents to remain wary of the air pollution caused by wood heaters. Read more >


Banning the bag

City of Canada Bay has become the first council in New South Wales to officially offer support to Clean Up Australia’s #BanTheBag campaign. Read more >


New head for LG Professionals

The Chief Executive Officer of City of Palmerston in the Northern Territory, Mr Ricki Bruhn, has been formally inducted as the 2017-2018 LG Professionals Australia National President. Read more >


Gluten free audit a success

The City of Busselton in Western Australia has carried out a local ‘gluten free’ test with pleasing results. Read more >


Fast tracking high-rise fire safety checks

In the wake of the Grenfell fire tragedy in London, the Inner West Council is fast tracking a fire safety audit of all high-rise with external cladding within the New South Wales local government area. Read more >