Breaking News

Councils support campaign for respect

All 79 Victorian councils will this year join 18 NGOs in supporting Respect Victoria to deliver its Respect Women: ‘Call It Out’ campaign, 25 November to 10 December, which will coincide with the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) and Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) will provide their expertise and reach through their networks.

The campaign this year aims to support people to understand what respect looks like, why respect is important and how to put respect into practice in their everyday lives.

Councillor Josh Gilligan, interim President of the MAV, said, “We know that men’s violence against women is more likely to occur in an environment where women are disrespected, undervalued and discriminated against. 

“We are encouraging people to ‘call it out’ when they witness disrespect towards women and when it is safe to do so.”

Tania Farha, CEO of DV Vic/DVRCV, said, “The strength of this initiative is that many councils and community organisations are working in partnership with other councils, women’s health services, victim survivors, specialist family violence organisations, libraries and local businesses as part of a locally coordinated approach to the 16 Days campaign.”

Victorian councils and NGOs are implementing a great mix of activities and events to engage their communities in conversations about ‘respect’ during the 16 Days, including webinars and expert panel discussions, multilingual social media campaigns, public art competitions, online storytelling, bystander action training, videos of local leaders talking about ‘respect’, installing giant signs and lighting up buildings in orange.

Diversity wins in Victoria

All votes are in and the tallies declared in the recent Victorian Local Government election, with diversity the clear winner across the state.

Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) figures released on Friday, show the state leads the country in terms of the proportion of female councillors, the total now reaching 43.8 percent of all councillors, a marked increase from Victoria’s own previous high of 38 percent.

MAV welcomes the election of six councillors who identify as having Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

Aboriginal Victorians taking on leadership roles in their local communities is vital to building stronger connections and embedding their needs and aspirations into the critical work and functioning of local government.

This year, there are at least 28 openly LGBTIQ+ candidates elected to 20 local councils across the state – a positive and significant increase from the 11 candidates at the 2016 elections.

Around half of the successful candidates were newly elected.

MAV CEO, Kerry Thompson said that the election results show that communities around Victoria recognise the importance of having elected representatives that reflect the diversity of the communities they represent.

“In a challenging year, it is a credit to all Victorians that there is such a significant increase in the diversity of successful candidates.

“With around 50 percent of successful candidates new councillors and the other 50 percent re-elected, we should see a good balance of fresh ideas and steady hands.”

Celebrating NAIDOC week

NAIDOC Week kicked off yesterday, 8 November with celebrations and ceremony across the country.

Usually held each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the annual event was delayed this year due to COVID-19.

NAIDOC Week came about after almost a century of protest and activism for the rights of Aboriginal people in Australia.

What started as a day of protest and mourning early in the first half of the 1900s has evolved into a week of activities that highlight not only activism and a fight for rights, but also celebration and recognition.

This year’s theme: Always Was, Always Will Be. recognises that Aboriginal people have occupied and cared for the continent for over 65,000 years.

While councils highlight community and culture during the week, LGNSW president, Linda Scott has used the event to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to have a greater voice in local government and stand for next year’s New South Wales council elections.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people represent a vital voice in local communities, but they are under-represented in local government. Currently there are just 24 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors across our state.

“We are keen to work with the NSW Government to address that through a properly coordinated and resourced campaign to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to run for council in the next local government elections in September 2021.

Sustainable recovery

Sustainable recovery Coastal erosion at C.Y. O’Connor Beach, Coogee, Western Australia.

Over forty mayors and councillors from across the country released a joint statement last month, committing to economic recovery solutions that both create jobs and tackle climate change. Read more >


It’s awards season for Local Government, with gala events all over the country – albeit mostly virtual. Still, it’s an excuse to trim your beard or put on your lipstick and get together with colleagues to celebrate the achievements of what everyone agrees has been a tough year.

Technological achievements and innovation rate highly at this level of government. 

Well done to Alpine Shire, Victoria and Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland, for their joint win at the MAV IT Awards. 

While Sunshine Coast Council has received volumes of recognition for its ground breaking International Broadband Submarine Cable project, Alpine Shire’s ‘Project Pinnacle’ proved size isn’t everything when it comes to innovation.

Project Pinnacle was the collaboration of neighbouring councils Alpine, Indigo and Towong which, for a total of around $10,000, engaged IT service provider Datacom to provide a cloud based solution that would provide a seamless digital front desk for customers and a frictionless experience for staff across the three councils. It is sometimes the little things that make the most impact.

Alpine and Sunshine Coast councils will advance to the international stage becoming Australia’s entries in the LOLA International awards for Excellence in Municipal IT.

Technology implemented for the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s Briggs Park floodlighting system has been recognised with the Best Use of Technology Award at the Parks and Leisure 2020 WA Awards of Excellence ceremony.

Northern Midlands Council, Tasmania, was recently recognised for delivering best practise in community football facility development with its Campbell Town War Memorial Oval project. Council was lauded for its emphasis on community consultation and high-quality inclusive amenities.

Tweed Regional Museum has won a MAGNA! – a prestigious Australian Museums and Galleries Association award for its Land, Life, Culture exhibition.

To the huge list of high achieving council staff who have invested their time and effort in creating excellence, who have gone above and beyond good enough, who have cared enough to enter their project for examination and ranking against their peers, good job. Congratulations to you all. Keep aiming to be better. It’s the only thing that’s worthwhile. 

Unique fundraising effort supports local family

Unique fundraising effort supports local family The Schmitt family were presented with Esperance Council’s fundraising efforts during an event at the Shire Depot, attended by Lylah’s parents, CEO, Shire President, councillors and employees.

Shire of Esperance, Western Australia, has recently raised close to $11,000 towards a customised mobility van for local girl, Lylah Schmitt and her family. Read more >

This month

Sustainable recovery

Over forty mayors and councillors from across the country released a joint statement last month, committing to economic recovery solutions that both create jobs and tackle climate change. Read more >


Read more >

Unique fundraising effort supports local family

Shire of Esperance, Western Australia, has recently raised close to $11,000 towards a customised mobility van for local girl, Lylah Schmitt and her family. Read more >

Media lab gives access to digital culture

Georges River Council, New South Wales is kick-starting digital creation at a local level, with its libraries now offering a range of state-of-the-art digital technology, both for in-house use and for loan from its freshly minted media lab. Read more >

Reflect. Respect. Celebrate on Australia Day 2021*

In 2020, the National Australia Day Council (NADC) launched a new campaign, The Story of Australia, calling on Australians to reflect, respect and celebrate on Australia Day as we’re all part of the story. Read more >

Mayor Marianne Saleba President Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) – President’s comment

Read more >

Building reconciliation locally

An important first step was taken along the path to reconciliation last month when Town of East Fremantle, Western Australia, hosted the first meeting of its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group. Read more >

Developer contributions drive more affordable housing

Lake Macquarie City Council, New South Wales, is proposing to support the development of more affordable housing across the City by introducing an 85 percent discount on development contributions. Read more >

Monster Mine preserved for posterity

Regional Council of Goyder, South Australia, has had a grant funding success with the promise of $295,000 from the Federal Government’s $33.5 million program for heritage upgrades nationwide. Read more >

Building youth resilience

More than 20 years of experience working with youth proves Andrea Bax is well suited to her new role as Community Resilience Coordinator, Bundaberg Regional Council, Queensland. Read more >

Multilingual children’s books

Greater Shepparton City Council, Victoria, Best Start Early Years program has launched two locally developed multilingual children’s books, as part of the Greater Shepparton Book Bag Program. Read more >

Improved facilities prepare for future floods

Goondiwindi Regional Council, Queensland, has finished $83,000 worth of upgrades to the flood evacuation assembly point in Inglewood to better prepare for future flooding events. Read more >

Gawler Civic Centre wins national award

Town of Gawler, South Australia, Civic Centre restoration project received the prestigious President’s Award at this year’s national Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Awards for Planning Excellence on 24 September. Read more >

Opportunities for local government in the new Commonwealth-State architecture – The Good Oil by Rod Brown

The establishment of National Cabinet at the outset of COVID-19, and the subsequent cessation of the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) process, put a few noses out of joint. But don’t despair because the new intergovernmental architecture brings opportunities for local government. Read more >

Library supports people with disability

Logan City Council, Queensland, has created a new sensory-friendly space at Logan North Library that will help break down learning barriers for people with disability. Read more >

Creative event series

Shellharbour City Council, New South Wales, has found new ways to support and showcase its local creative community following the COVID-19 lockdown period. Read more >

Wellbeing Advisory Committee supporting staff

When you see images or footage of Soa ‘The Hulk’ Palelei, his imposing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) persona and 6’4”, 130kg frame leave you thinking he’s a tough character inside and out. Read more >

Lead the Charge*

L-Series Loaders boast new front-end features and more Read more >

Councillor profiles – Erin Thompson Mayor City of Onkaparinga

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Councillor profiles - Neil Martinson Mayor Renmark Paringa Council

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