With green waste comprising about one third of the domestic waste stream, the Federal Government is moving to ban green waste from landfill in some States by the year 2000. In response, the Town of Cambridge is the first Council in Western Australia and only the third nationally, to divert residential green waste from landfill using 240 litre mobile garbage bins.
Bayswater City Council was a key player in the development of the $200 million Galleria Morley Shopping Complex. Opened in September 1994, this is Western Australia's largest and highest profile shopping centre. Recognising the importance of this new retail outlet, Council has established the City of Bayswater (Shop Front) Information Centre in a prime location within the Complex.
In population terms, Gold Coast is Australia's second largest Council. Formed in March 1995 following the amalgamation of the former Albert Shire and Gold Coast City, this 'Super Council' serves a population of approximately 340,000 and has an annual budget of $425 million.
Gold Coast is Australia's seventh largest City and with over three million tourist visits per year, Australia's tourist capital. The most popular destination in Australia with international visitors, Gold Coast is very much a World City.
Even with its great climate, international status and annual growth rate, the Gold Coast City Council is aware that to attract new business, it must compete with every other region and Council in Australia.
Gold Coast City Council is offering residents an opportunity to directly guide development of a major conservation plan for the City. Community members have been invited to form a Key Stakeholder Group, which will play a significant role in developing Council's Nature Conservation Strategy. Council's decision to develop the Strategy reflects its commitment to ecologically sustainable development.
Throughout Australia, the issue of water conservation is vital for the long term sustainability of our economy and environment. At Gold Coast, this issue is exacerbated with the constant influx of tourists. To help reduce water usage, Council's Gold Coast Water has produced a 'Waterwise Manual of Best Practices' specifically for the area's large number of hotels and resorts.
Late last year, the South Australian Government instigated structural reform for Council boundaries. With an emphasis on Councils working towards voluntary mergers, and a continuing role in the process by elected members, amalgamations have been taking place, albeit slowly. However, the State Government's recent move to sack the Council of Adelaide City now threatens to derail the process.
In Melbourne's City of Moreland, Optus vehicles have been impounded and in NSW Councils are threatening to send in teams of workers to rip down cables if rates they intend to impose are not paid. Western Australian Council's have found a strong ally in the shape of the State Government. The Court Government has said an emphatic 'no' to the use of its power poles to string up cables. Much to the consternation of the telecommunication giants this issue is not just going to disappear.
Concerned about matters affecting the safety and lifestyle of its residents, the City of Unley has produced a landmark report covering its five year trial of a 40 kilometres per hour residential speed limit. Its five year trial found that 40 kph was safe, convenient and popular.
Seven months on, the new City of Port Adelaide Enfield has received wide community support. The merger of the two former Councils occured on 22 March. The former Cities of Port Adelaide and Enfield were amongst the first South Australian Councils to voluntarily merge under the current restructure process.
According to the Western Australian Municipal Association (WAMA), rural communities are being asked to carry an inequitable share of the Federal Government's attempt to balance the books. As well as $150 million cut from Regional Development Programs, a further 40 percent has been slashed from the Rural Community Access Program.
Council has developed a number of quality improvement strategies including a Customer Service Charter. The Charter is a positive way of formalising a matching of services provided by Council with the needs of customers.
The biggest community infrastructure program in the history of north west Victoria is currently being undertaken by Council with construction of The Alfred Deakin Centre. At a cost of $11 million, the new Centre will provide residents and visitors to the area with over 5,000 square metres of community facilities, ideally located on Mildura's main boulevard.
Mildura Rural City Council and Wentworth Shire in NSW, have joined forces to produce a Food Safety Kit and introduce a Food Hygiene Audit System for local food proprietors. It has been distributed to every food outlet in the two Council areas and has been well accepted.
Remnants of previous eras in a City's history can leave present day residents with unsightly, dangerous or other planning disasters. These are often placed in the 'too hard' basket because of cost or other considerations. It takes vision and enterprise to tackle difficulties like these. A major project to improve the appearance and access to the Murray River for both residents and visitors would see the rail line rerouted around the town. This would open up the River precinct for further development.
Teachers and library staff from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have produced a model for mounting programs online. It includes access to learning resources and course information, a range of communication functions, administrative services and monitoring methods.
At a time when the future of Chiildcare is under a cloud, due to Federal Goverment funding cuts, Glen Eira Council in Melbourne's south east has every reason to be proud of its performance in this service area. Glen Eira has gained the highest possible level of Quality Assurance and Accreditation for each of Council's five Childcare Centres.
Concerns about the potential for injury from needles and other medically contaminated waste has seen Wingecaribee Shire in New South Wales introduce a comprehensive policy covering the disposal and transport of all kinds of waste which has been contaminated by human body fluids.
Dorset Council in north west Tasmania has developed planning strategies in the world to recognise the fundamental role of a healthy environment for a healthy economy and high quality of life. It has attracted interest from other Local Government bodies not only in Australia but overseas.
Mildura Rural City Council was established in January 1995 as a result of the amalgamation of the former Mildura City Council and former Shires of Walpeup and Mildura. The new Municipality has the largest area, and with 46,000 residents one of the largest populations in country Victoria. It is uniquely situated at the crossroads of the three States - Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
Located in the warmest region of Victoria and ideally situated to exploit the beauty of the Murray River, and the unique environment of the Sunraysia and Mallee districts, it is little wonder that tourism plays a significant role in the local economy. Keen to maximise on these attributes, Council provides various infrastructure and works with industry groups to develop ideas and events to attract people to the district.
Speaking at the recent Annual Conference of the NSW Local Government Association, the Premier Bob Carr said that is it impossible for this country to work without an effective partnership between Federal, State and Local Government. The partnership between the State Government and Local Government must be based on cooperation. Any decision on amalgamation must be made at the local level, initiated locally and agreed to by the Councils and communities concerned.
In Melbourne's City of Moreland, Optus vehicles have been impounded and in NSW Councils are threatening to send in teams of workers to rip down cables if rates they intend to impose are not paid. Western Australian Council's have found a strong ally in the shape of the State Government. The Court Government has said an emphatic 'no' for the use of its power poles to string up cables. Much to the consternation of the telecommunication giants this issue is not just going to disappear.
David Plumridge, President of the Australian Local Government Association, has highlighted the important work carried out by ALGA in promoting the interests of Local Government to national decision makers in Canberra. The National General Assembly, to be held in Canberra in early December, will again send a clear message to decision makers about the strength of Councils from across Australia. He said that the National Assembly is vital to clearly stamp Local Government's position in the early years of the Howard Government.