With partnerships between Councils and communities rapidly gaining momentum in the field of community development, Brisbane City Council has taken this idea one step further with the creation of multidisciplinary regional Community Development Teams. The Teams are based in four suburban locations throughout Brisbane and represent staff from the Department's sections of Parks, Cultural Services, Recreation and Sport, Community Health and Community Services.
With a population of just 1,800 Barcaldine Shire in central Queensland has one of Local Government's lowest rate bases. While still in the grip of drought, Council has demonstrated a fighting spirit in its determination to provide all the services needed to ensure a high quality of life for members of its small community. It has fought hard for State and Federal Government funding to implement and maintain a range of programs.
Deniliquin Council, the Town of Port Headland and Maribyrnong City Council are amongst 54 recipients of grants totalling $760,000 under the first round of the Australian Experience 1996 Program. An initiative of the Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities Ltd, the program aims to support a diverse range of cultural activity throughout Australia particularly in regional areas.
When the City of Hindmarsh Woodville in Adelaide decided to produce a walking brochure, it consulted those who know the area best - its residents. Council believed a competition would be the most effective method of encouraging residents to share their favourite walks so the 'Winning Walkers' competition was launched early this year. Four walks were then selected for the brochure, titled 'All in a Day's Walk'.
Known euphemistically as 'Nappy Valley', due to its high proportion of young families, Happy Valley in South Australia is also very aware of the increasing needs of its older residents. Providing information on services to aged residents and their carers is a key priority. An information booklet specifically for senior citizens has been the main focus of the campaign. It enables seniors to tap directly into the services available in the community.
The Australian Census was conducted on 6 August. Designed to track demographic and socio economic changes over the past five years, it is an interesting exercise to also look at the changes that have occurred in Local Government over this same period. In 1991, Australia had a total of 885 local authorities. Currently, there are 732, a 17 percent reduction. The trend has been towards having fewer Councils, however this is not uniform across the nation.
The Brisbane City Council's Human Resource Division Manager, Lyn Russell, has been named Australian Business Woman of the Year. Lyn Russell was awarded the Australian Business Woman of the Year title for both her work in transforming the Council, and its 7,000 strong workforce, through workplace reform into a competitive and customer service oriented organisation.
Western Australian Minister for Local Government, Paul Omodei, recently announced the five members of the new Local Government Advisory Board. It will oversee constitutional changes within Local Government, including representation and boundary issues.
Councils spend large amounts of time and resources dealing with the results of stress caused by heavy vehicles using local roads. One way to reduce this problem is to check that vehicles do not exceed load limits. In South East NSW this task is undertaken by the South East Weight of Loads Group. Queanbeyan Council has taken on the secretariat responsibility for the Group and dealing with any breaches of the law for all 14 Councils in the Group.
Sewerage may not be the most glamorous area of Local Government activity but its proper management is critical to the local and wider environment. Achievement of a 99 percent removal of phosphorous enables the water to be recycled for irrigating Council's treatment works ground and the adjoining nursery. For the last eight years, sludge from the treatment works has been composted with mulched green waste making a perfect fertiliser.
Penrith City Council in Sydney's outer west has arrived at an innovative way to recycle Council buildings which have outlived their usefulness for modern City management. Recognising a need to coordinate access to a variety of community services for people with multiple needs, Council has undertaken to house 23 separate Community Organisations in its old Administrative Centre.
In the film 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert', the City of Broken Hill in western New South Wales was depicted in a whimsical light, remote from the fashions and trends of life in Sydney with all the stereotypes of an outback industrial town - old fashioned, good hearted and a bit rough around the edges. In reality, Broken Hill has a rich community of talented artists and a strong cultural history dating back to its establishment.
Glenorchy City Council in Tasmania takes seriously the need to provide services for its youth. At a time when there is high youth unemployment and disillusionment is common, the need to direct the energy and potential of young people in a productive way is essential.
Deniliquin Council, the Town of Port Headland and Maribyrnong City Council are amongst 54 recipients of grants totalling $760,000 under the first round of the Australian Experience 1996 Program. An initiative of the Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities Ltd, the program aims to support a diverse range of cultural activity through Australia, particularly in regional areas.
The Australian Local Government Ministers' Confernce in 1995 passed a resolution to improve services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. One response to this resolution was the establishment of reviews in each State and Territory to document case studies where local authorities are working with indigenous communities in innovative ways, and to develop resources materials for Councils.
Situated right next door to the Nation's Capital and the picturesque southern highlands of NSW, Queanbeyan offers all the benefits of a rural environment with clean air, beautiful scenery, access to the Snowy Mountains and the south coast plus all the advantages of modern city living. Covering an area of 52 square kilometres, Queanbeyan has a very active population of 27,7000 people, keen to share their skills and interests to enhance community life.
With a population ten times larger and with facilities and services accompanying its status as the national capital, Canberra's standards are the immediate benchmark for Queanbeyan. While this places pressure on Council to conform with Canberra's service standards, at the same time, Queanbeyan citizens have all the advantages of a major City just 15 minutes away along with country living
Local Government today involves much more than simply looking after roads, rates and rubbish. Queanbeyan is determined to run as a viable enterprise providing ratepayers with the best value for money. This commitment to efficiency is reflected in Council's development of business plans, investment stratgegy and use of modern technology.
In June, FOCUS went Online. As well as providing access to a range of articles presented in each edition, we encourage Councils to use the Internet as a new avenue for submitting material prior to publication. We welcome discussion, feedback or further input. As our home page states, 'discover what Councils are doing across Australia to shape community life', this direct access to a world wide audience is an exciting prospect.
At a time when it is important to consolidate the growth of towns and cities to avoid additional infrastructure costs and intrusion into valuable land, Lismore City Council in northern New South Wales has developed an innovative way of encouraging medium density housing development. By sponsoring Medium Density Design Awards, Council's planning strategies have been greatly assisted.