September 1998 Edition

  • Who's who at Holdfast Bay

    Adelaide's Holdfast Bay was established in 1997 following the amalgamation of the former Glenelg and Brighton Councils. Extensive customer training carried out by the new Council soon identified the need for an internal directory. Developed inhouse, the directory provides a profile of all Council personnel.
  • Toowoomba leads the way in job training

    "Providing job opportunities for young people in regional areas is a major issue for all communities," said Councillor Barry Parker from Toowoomba City Council. Toowoomba is tackling this issue directly by providing funding of $305,000 to continue to employ 23 trainees and apprentices at Council.
  • Learning curve smoothed out

    While Local Government staff must have training and experience to match the requirements of their job, elected members who are charged with the responsibility of making policy decisions may come to Council without any particular qualifications. To assist in this regard, the Western Australian Municipal Association's Municipal Training provides an Elected Member Professional Development Program.
  • Tax reform - Councils urged to take pro Local Government line

    A popular session at the WAMA Annual Conference was Tax Reform and Financial Issues presented by Bernie Fraser, former Chairman and Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and Councillor John Campbell, President Australian Local Government Association.
  • Forward planning to manage an era of change

    Shrinking funding and the introduction of competition policies and accountabilities is changing the face of Local Government according to Mayor Marilyn Baker of Playford City Council in South Australia. She said this means that the ability to identify high priority community needs and target service delivery must become a priority focus.
  • Partnerships - a key to regional development

    The Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Alex Somlyay, has described partnerships with and between local governments as a key to the success of the Government's Regional Australia Strategy. The Commonwealth Government's Regional Australia Strategy, outlined in the 1998-99 Budget Statement, represents an unprecedented level of funding and assistance for regional Australia.
  • GreenWeb - Sydney

    Councils and Communities Working in Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation The GreenWeb - Sydney: Vegetation Management Plan was initiated by the Sydney Regional Organisations of Councils in response to concern about the loss of bushland in the Sydney metropolitan region and the uncoordinated and ad-hoc approach to its management. The GreenWeb encourages a consistent and cooperative approach to revegetation in the Sydney Region.
  • 'Towards Best Practice'

    The NSW Local Government and Shires Associations (NSWLGSA), with seed funding under the Local Government Development Programme, have undertaken the development of an electronic information exchange to record and link information relating to benchmarking and best practice relevant to Local Government in NSW.
  • Moving Forward in Regional Cooperation and Community Planning!

    In May 1996 sub-regional partners consisting of the ACT and NSW Governments, NSW councils of Yass, Yarrowlumla, Gunning, Queanbeyan and Cooma-Monaro, and the Commonwealth commenced a strategic planning project to develop a Framework for improved co-ordination of planning and provision of human services in the ACT and Sub-region.
  • Whistle while you work

    As people strive to be more efficient in a competitive work environment they often work longer hours, fret about their performance and forget to enjoy what they do. Ironically, the resulting stress can lower workplace performance and productivity. Not so at Victoria's City of Ballarat where almost all staff have attended one of a series of full day seminars aimed at keeping balance in their lives.
  • Peer review a winner

    A Council Advice Program in Western Australia is going from strength to strength. Under the program, Councils involved are visited by a team of three people.
  • Community skills

    Training and development for staff is an obvious responsibility for Councils. However, Maroochy Shire has taken the concept a step further by instituting a free communication skills program for its residents.
  • Remote area program for Community Government Councils

    Twenty five Aboriginal Community Government Councils will benefit this year from the Northern Territory's Remote Area Management Project (RAMP). RAMP conducts training sessions for Councillors which cover topics such as the role and responsibilities of Councils, strategic planning and the recruitment process.
  • Training made easy

    A comprehensive Induction Program and Staff Manual developed by Manningham City Council's Aged and Disability Services is successfully guiding new staff through the hazards of their many and varied workplaces. This is making the task of induction much easier at Manningham and elsewhere.

  • Flat earth or level playing field

    The Western Australian Municipal Association (WAMA) selected the theme, 'Flat Earth or Level Playing Field' for its Annual Conference staged as part of Local Government Week from 23-29 August. Then President of WAMA, Councillor Ken Pech, said the notion of a level playing field demands a sense of fairness with everyone playing the same game. However, he believes a 'level playing field' is as much a myth as is 'a flat earth'.
  • Election '98: major Party policies for LG

    Federal Minister, Alex Somlyay said that, under the Coalition's Tax Package general rates; water and sewerage charges; charges for regulatory and licensing services, such as zoning, planning fees and dogs; and fines and penalties, like parking fines, would all be GST free. On the issue of Financial Assistance Grants, the Minister said that the Commonwealth will make the payment of GST revenue to the States conditional on the maintenance of growth of general purpose and road payments to Local Government in line with present arrangements. Shadow Minister, Senator Belinda Neal said Labor will seek an Agreement between the Commonwealth and Local Government, and Constitutional Recognition for Local Government. We will fund Local Government using Financial Assistance Grants. We will maintain the Local Government Development Program and revitalise regions with a regional development program closely involving Local Government.
  • Editorial

    With the Federal Election campaign in full swing, tax reform continues to be a major issue. The Coalition is arguing that, as we move towards the next millennium, Australia needs tax reform with a GST. On the other hand, the Labor Party asserts it can deliver tax reform but without the need to introduce a new tax.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a State Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Margaret Vigants, President - Local Government Association of the Northern Territory.
  • Creating a civic centre

    A proposal to redesign and update the Alice Springs Town Council site will provide an opportunity to create a cultural and community centre for the Town.
  • Cambridge four years on

    Just four years since its establishment, Western Australia's Town of Cambridge has come a long way with a number of major projects and achievements gaining strong community support and much interest from other Councils.
  • What makes the Murray Mallee special

    People of the Murray Mallee region, which straddles the border conjunction of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, have been asked to help identify the region's place in our national heritage.
  • Laidley makes connections

    Laidley Shire Council, in conjunction with Queensland Transport, is developing the first Integrated Local Transport Plan (ILTP) for a rural Shire in Queensland. The outcome will be a strategic local transport plan that aims to integrate all forms of transport and land use over the next 25 years.

  • 'Towards Best Practice'

    The NSW Local Government and Shires Associations (NSWLGSA), with seed funding under the Local Government Development Programme, have undertaken the development of an electronic information exchange to record and link information relating to benchmarking and best practice relevant to Local Government in NSW.
  • Moving Forward in Regional Cooperation and Community Planning!

    In May 1996 sub-regional partners consisting of the ACT and NSW Governments, NSW councils of Yass, Yarrowlumla, Gunning, Queanbeyan and Cooma-Monaro, and the Commonwealth commenced a strategic planning project to develop a Framework for improved co-ordination of planning and provision of human services in the ACT and Sub-region.
  • Whistle while you work

    As people strive to be more efficient in a competitive work environment they often work longer hours, fret about their performance and forget to enjoy what they do. Ironically, the resulting stress can lower workplace performance and productivity. Not so at Victoria's City of Ballarat where almost all staff have attended one of a series of full day seminars aimed at keeping balance in their lives.
  • Reducing risks in child care

    An innovative child safety video titled 'Child Safety Made Easy', produced by Victoria's Hume City Council, is an invaluable resource for childcare workers and families across Victoria. It highlights major causes of childhood injuries, and promotes simple steps to prevent these injuries, in an easily understood visual format.
  • Traineeships create winners all round

    Many Councils actively encourage improved employment opportunities in their communities through promoting local business and investment opportunities. But Victoria's City of Whittlesea has taken this a step further, utilising its own position as a large local employer to provide clerical and administrative traineeships.
  • TQM enhances customer service

    Wyndham City Council has achieved significant advances in its customer service through its innovative TQM Through Customer Service Teams training course. The course, which is quite unique, combines Total Quality Management, customer service and teambuilding.
  • Training made easy

    A comprehensive Induction Program and Staff Manual developed by Manningham City Council's Aged and Disability Services is successfully guiding new staff through the hazards of their many and varied workplaces. This is making the task of induction much easier at Manningham and elsewhere.
  • National Business Award to Council Manager

    Robin Batt, Cultural Centre Manager at Frankston City Council in Victoria, has won the 1998 Mobilenet Corporate and Government Award as part of the 1998 Telstra Business Women's Awards. Robin's role in establishing, managing and directing the Frankston Cultural Centre has seen it develop an impressive record of achievement, growth, creative programming and financial credibility.
  • What you need to manage in addition to technical skills

    Developing a vision for a City is one thing, getting it to actually happen is another. How the day to day work achieves the long term vision requires a management framework which sets priorities, delivers agreed standards of service and reinforces the guiding principles of the organisation. The Launceston City Council has recently developed the 'How We Do Our Work' model to guide management performance. It is based around the criteria used by the Australian Quality Awards.
  • Partnerships - a key to regional development

    The Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Alex Somlyay, has described partnerships with and between local governments as a key to the success of the Government's Regional Australia Strategy. The Commonwealth Government's Regional Australia Strategy, outlined in the 1998-99 Budget Statement, represents an unprecedented level of funding and assistance for regional Australia.
  • GreenWeb - Sydney

    Councils and Communities Working in Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation The GreenWeb - Sydney: Vegetation Management Plan was initiated by the Sydney Regional Organisations of Councils in response to concern about the loss of bushland in the Sydney metropolitan region and the uncoordinated and ad-hoc approach to its management. The GreenWeb encourages a consistent and cooperative approach to revegetation in the Sydney Region.

  • NSW Managers shape their future

    The NSW Division of the Institute of Municipal Management (IMM) staged its Annual Conference in Sydney from 27-29 July. Using the theme 'It's Our Future ... The Way Ahead', then President, Stuart McPherson said that the program provided delegates with another chance to have their thinking challenged.
  • Less than 500 days to go!

    Popular sessions at the NSW IMM Annual Conference were those relating to the impact of the Year 2000 Bug. Tony Gates, Manager Year 2000 Compliance Project at the NSW Office of Information Technology, told delegates, with less than 500 days to go, it is vital for all organisations, public and private, to recognise they have a problem they must do something about.
  • Editorial

    Intense lobbying over recent months by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and its member State and Territory LGAs has paid off with the announcement that Council rates, water and sewerage charges will be GST free under the Federal Government's Tax Package. However, ALGA believes that despite this exemption Councils and their communities still face a massive GST bill of hundreds of millions of dollars per year on Council services.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a State Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Peter Woods OAM is President, Local Government Association of NSW and President, International Union of Local Authorities (Asia-Pacific Region).
  • NSW acknowledges management excellence

    The innovative capacity of Local Government to achieve greater efficiency and provide better service delivery to their communities has been acknowledged by the 1998 NSW Institute of Municipal Management and Sydney Morning Herald Management Excellence Awards. Local Government demonstrated once again that it is capable of finding creative solutions to manage the range of functions and services that come under its auspices. This year 49 entries were received across the four Award categories.
  • Pros and cons of Local Government management

    In delivering the Presidential Address at the recent NSW Institute of Municipal Management Annual Conference, Stuart McPherson*, pointed to the fact that Local Government salary packages for senior managers still regularly gain attention from the daily press. The following is an abridged version of his speech.
  • Off again, on again Tas amalgamations

    A successful Supreme Court action by three Tasmanian Councils, Devonport, Central Highlands and Southern Midlands, has resulted in the postponement of Council elections scheduled for August. This has also put on hold Council amalgamations which would have seen Tasmanian Councils reduced from 29 to 14.