December 1996 Edition

  • NSW Councils charge pay TV carriers

    Metropolitan mayors have unanimously resolved that Councils in NSW should take immediate steps to begin charging pay TV cable carriers for their cable networks on public land. According to the NSW Local Government Association, while pay TV carriers have obtained temporary exemption from State and Local planning laws, they are obliged to pay Local Government charges.
  • Editorial

    Laying a xenophobic card on the table is simply not good business and the multiplier effect will have devastating results on our communities, let alone tear the heart and soul out of our communities through its divisive nature. However, reacting to the hip pocket nerve via economic repercussions is simply not good enough. Australians are renowned for giving everyone 'a fair go'. Tolerance, fairness and respect for others are the essence of healthy, safe and productive communities. It is now over to Councils to translate this National Statement on Community Tolerance into practice within their own localities through leadership and their total commitment to 'community'.
  • Tourism on the Net

    Two and a half years ago, six Councils in Western Australia pooled their resources to produce a tourism map of their region. Comprising the Shires of Chittering, Dalwallinu, Dandaragan, Gingin, Moora and Victoria Plains, six months ago the Councils decided that the map and information being developed could also be promoted on the Internet. Called the West Coast Connection, a world wide audience can, with the click of a mouse, tour the region electronically seeing all it has to offer.
  • Mornington training

    On Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Shire Council has a much closer relationship with its community than most local authorities. One of its principle concerns is to bring about meaningful and ongoing employment for its 1,100 residents.
  • Councils join Australia's 'big conversation'

    Councils all around Australia have been invited to participate in Australia Consults 1997, a grass roots consultation program on key national identity issues. It is expected that 200 Councils will join in this 'big conversation' either on, or around Australia Day 1997. Australia Consults is a simple idea - Mayors or Presidents invite the local community to a public forum.
  • Elected Members Network in SA

    With elected members having more responsibility placed on them with amalgamation, overhead cabling, and so forth, the need for them to have necessary information on these important issues to make informed decisions for their community is vital. To assist with this, an Elected Members Network has recently been established in South Australia.

  • Quality awards for LG

    Three Victorian Councils, the Cities of Port Phillip, Whitehorse and Manningham, were among 57 organisations recognised in this year's Australian Quality Awards. An increasing number of organisations are using the Australian Quality Awards assessment criteria in their pursuit of excellence and for measuring business performance.
  • Strategic approach to service delivery

    Kalamunda Shire in Perth's East has developed a Project Management System covering all aspects of service delivery. The Project Management System, introduced in Planning Services in 1995, is a best practice framework allowing decision makers to ensure strategic needs are met, and service delivery is properly managed.
  • Benchmarking the way to go at Marion

    Marion Council in South Australia is not waiting for change to forced upon it. Determined to improve its efficiency, 18 months ago Council began to examine work practices throughout the organisation. With the object of further improving the efficiency and contestability of operations, Council is now embarking on a process of benchmarking services against other organisations, both public and private.
  • Energetic about savings

    Energy costs in large organisations like Councils can be a serious drain on budgets, as well as having long term effects on the environment. In response, Melville Council in Western Australia has successfully implemented a radical Energy Management Program in its Learning Recreation Centre.
  • LG initiative to slash Australia's domestic energy bill

    Each year Australians spend $5 billion on domestic energy consumption. In the process, 48.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. According to Environs Australia, the Local Government environment network, this is not only unsustainable environmentally but unnecessary. They propose to introducte a National Energy Efficient Housing Policy to radically reduce Australia's rate of energy consumption.
  • Customer commitment

    Providing exemplary customer service is a goal of Adelaide's City of Hindmarsh and Woodville. As part of its customer service package, Council has endorsed a new 'Customer Commitment' document outlining specific methods of providing superior customer service.
  • Code of Conduct for Crow's Nest

    Following a study of the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, Crow's Nest Shire Council, its staff and Councillors have unanimously supported the introduction of a Code of Conduct. It covers all Shire business and activities.
  • Getting the best people

    Recognising employees are its most important asset, Brisbane City Council believes getting the best people and developing a highly skilled, flexible workforce is best assured by merit based career moves. To deal with instances where a staff member is aggrieved by a promotion decision, an Appointment Review Committee was established early in 1995.
  • 'Parliament of the People'

    In his Presidential address at the 3rd National General Assembly of Local Government, David Plumridge welcomed some 700 delegates, representing Councils across the nation, to Local Government's 'Parliament of the People'. Referring to 'the golden thread of Australian democracy', he said this is the right of people to be heard and to influence decision makers in the areas of government that impact on their lives. He believes the 'golden thread' is woven into the fabric of Australian society by Local Government.
  • A just and tolerant society

    During the General Assembly, a national statement on community tolerance was passed unanimously. This statement was handed to Kim Beazley, Leader of the Opposition and the seconder of the bipartisan motion passed recently by the Federal Parliament, to present it to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on behalf of those present, who represent and reflect the aspirations of communities across Australia.
  • Dispelling the 'truths'

    Professor Don Aitkin, Vice Chancellor at the University of Canberra, presented the keynote address. Speaking on the topic, 'Local Government and the future of communities', Prof Aitkin said that over the past 40 years our country, like most others, has undergone a series of powerful changes. However, he believes the values of those who govern us are changing in a counter productive way.
  • What the politicians said

    Comments by Federal Politicians representing all major parties who spoke at this year's General Assembly.
  • Best practice exchange

    Various examples of Councils working to achieve best practice in national Local Government issues were presented during the Assembly in concurrent workshops. Featuring a number of case studies submitted by Councils and Voluntary Regional Organisations of Councils from around Australia, they demonstrate innovative and interesting projects across a range of categories furthering the Local Government national agenda.

  • Planning for new millennium

    With an emphasis on a practical appreciation of planning, conservation and development, the recent National Congress of the Royal Australian Planning Institute (RAPI) had the appropriate theme 'Implementing the Vision: Reflections and Directions'. It attracted almost 500 delegates, with Councils represented from across the nation.
  • Editorial

    How we are perceived by the global community it vital. Laying a xenophobic card on the table is simply not good business and the multiplier effect will have devastating results on our communities, let alone tear the heart and soul out of our communities through its divisive nature. Australians are renowned for giving everyone 'a fair go'. Tolerance, fairness and respect for others are the essence of healthy, safe and productive communities. Councils, being closest to the people, are ideally placed to show leadership and reaffirm their total commitment to 'community', that everyone in our community contributes to what makes it great and our nation strong. This is particularly vital as we open our doors and host the rest of the world at the 2000 Olympics.
  • Best practice environment management

    Dubbo City Council in inland NSW has embarked on an extensive 20 year plan to determine the future health of its rural and urban environment. Council is determined to improve the district's ability to sustain and develop its current industry and lifestyle.
  • Building relationships

    Building Relationships is Victoria's response to 1995 resolution by Commonwealth, State and Territory Local Government Ministers, to develop strategies for improving the delivery of Local Government services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Using a series of case studies, involving several Victorian Councils and their Koori communities, 'Building Relationships' is a useful tool for Councils and Aboriginal organisations wanting to work together to develop more effective relations and culturally relevant services.
  • Councils join Australia's 'big conversation'

    Councils all around Australia have been invited to participate in Australia Consults 1997, a grass roots consultation program on key national identity issues. It is expected that 200 Councils will join in this 'big conversation' either on, or around Australia Day 1997. Australia Consults is a simple idea - Mayors or Presidents invite the local community to a public forum.
  • LG Act review in Tas

    Following a reasonable settling in period, the Tasmanian Local Government Act 1993 is currently being reviewed. The impact of the National Competition Policy and other policy reforms demand the Act be revisited to ensure Councils have the capacity to carry out these changes.

  • Quality awards for LG

    Three Victorian Councils, the Cities of Port Phillip, Whitehorse and Manningham, were among 57 organisations recognised in this year's Australian Quality Awards. An increasing number of organisations are using the Australian Quality Awards assessment criteria in their pursuit of excellence and for measuring business performance.
  • Quality certification for entire organisation

    Manningham City Council in Melbourne's East has not only talked about quality assurance it has implemented a program earning it quality certification under international standard ISO9001. Manningham believes it is the first Local Government authority in Australia to achieve quality certification for the entire organisation.
  • Setting priorities

    With responsibility for $74 million of ratepayers money, Parramatta City Council is determined to fulfil residents wishes when it comes to expenditure. For a tiny fraction of their budget, Parramatta has, for the past four years, invested in community surveys to ascertain the priorities and requirements of the electorate.
  • Melbourne first debt free Capital City

    Back in 1990 Melbourne City Council took on a mission to make the City debt free. In October this year, it achieved that aim, and believes it is the first Capital City in Australia to do so.
  • Self managing work teams at Bankstown

    In a major change initiative, Bankstown City Council has replaced a traditional command and control hierarchy with self managing work teams. Given the responsibility, skills, 'time out' and support, staff are not only better positioned to compete but in the long run will have increased job satisfaction and security.
  • Full steam ahead with a secure future

    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.
  • World City

    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.
  • Attracting new business

    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.
  • Community input for Nature Conservation Strategy

    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.
  • Tourism and water conservation

    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.