October 1998 Edition

  • Planning reaps rewards

    Following the opening of the Cairns Central Shopping Complex concerns were raised by traders that the heart of the CBD was now split. As a result, Council is working closely with traders to find ways to revitalise the city centre.
  • State of the art Council Chambers

    The new Administration Centre has met both the current and future needs of Council staff and the community. At the same time, it has enabled the introduction of a number of audio visual devices to assist Councillors, the media and the public during Council meetings.
  • Tropical arts and culture

    Cairns City Council values the contribution of creative arts to community life. It actively encourages residents young and old to explore their artistic potential and interests.
  • Keeping Cairns safe

    Cairns City Council has established a Community Safety Consultative Committee to address public safety issues so residents and visitors can enjoy Cairns without concern.
  • Activating young ideas

    Recognising that young people have a great deal to contribute to the community, Council provides a number of avenues for youth to explore and develop their interests. Respecting their ideas, the City can gain a lot from their enthusiasm and creativity.
  • High tech solutions

    The potential faced by many organisations for lifts, security systems, telecommunications, airconditioning, computer systems and so forth failing with the calendar change to the new millennium are being overcome by Cairns City. All aspects of the new Administration Centre will be Year 2000 compliant.
  • Gardens in paradise

    It may be difficult for readers in southern areas to imagine why there is a need for a Botanic Gardens in Cairns where lush tropical plants grow all year around. However, pressure on plant life from development occurs everywhere. The importance of its tropical vegetation is emphasised by the fact that Cairns is one of the few Local Governments to operate a Botanic Gardens.
  • Waste into profit

    In a City where dining out is a particularly attractive experience and hotels, resorts and restaurants abound, Council in partnership with a subsidiary of Queensland Lime and Cement, has developed a radical pilot scheme to find ways of utilising waste organic product from the hospitality industry.
  • Restored wetlands create new recreational space

    A project to restore wetlands, reestablish vital habitat and flora links and create recreational space in an area between Yorkey's Knob and Smithfield is underway.
  • Natural solutions for insect control

    Not only are mosquitoes pesky creatures that can ruin an otherwise pleasant evening, they can spread diseases such as Malaria, Ross River Fever and Australian Encephalitis. With wetlands all around the City, Cairns residents are particularly vulnerable. As a result, Council allocates considerable resources to the control of these pests.
  • Benchmarking community services

    The preliminary outcomes of a national project on benchmarking and best practice in Community Services and Community Development will be presented to the National Conference of the Local Government Community Services Association of Australia (LGCSAA). This project aims to address the unique position of community services when it comes to issues of competition and benchmarking.
  • Putting Council on a business footing

    As is happening around the nation, many Councils in Western Australia are moving down the path of a greater emphasis on competition. At Bunbury, located 180 kilometres South of Perth and with a population of 28,000, Council has established 14 Business Units to achieve this end.
  • Bringing Australians together

    Following several years work, the 'Reconciliation: Working Together Conference', organised by Queensland's City of Mackay attracted over 1,000 participants.
  • Low cost solution for remote communities

    A submission made by the Northern Territory Department of Housing and Local Government to the United Nations 1998 Dubai International Award for Best Practices has been awarded the status of 'good practice'. It is a low cost solution to overcome the difficulties of sharing information among isolated Indigenous communities.
  • Customer service rewarded

    The City of Charles Sturt, formed with the amalgamation of Adelaide's Cities of Woodville Hindmarsh and Henley and Grange, is committed to best practice. Its Customer Diamond Program recently won the prestigious Australian Customer Service Award for South Australia.
  • Working from home made easy

    Councils now have the opportunity to save on overheads, amenities, parking provision and travel time wasted by providing the option of staff working from home. Councils can now make use of the Implementation Package Pittwater Council has recently developed.
  • Smallest municipality a national champion

    Like many rural municipalities Murchison in Western Australia, population 210, has faced the cumulative problems that arise when changing conditions lead to dwindling incomes and population. But the Shire of Murchison refused to accept a slow death. It is determined to fight back. For its efforts the smallest Local Government in Australia, earned the title of 1998 Australian Community of the Year.
  • A building for a new era

    When Councils amalgamate, initially staff often need to be housed in a number of different locations. This is costly, time wasting and undermines a sense of corporate or organisational togetherness. As a larger corporate entity, the first Council at the new City of Cairns identified an urgent need for a new Administration Centre and Council Chambers.
  • 39 year's service to Local Government

    Cairns Mayor, Tom Pyne AM, shares the record with Sir Robert Sparkes as the longest serving current Local Government elected members in Queensland. Mayor of the former Mulgrave Shire, Tom Pyne was directly elected as the first Mayor of Cairns City Council following the amalgamation in 1995.
  • Super city three years on

    The amalgamation of the former Cairns City and Mulgrave Shire in 1995 resulted in the new City of Cairns becoming one of Queensland's top 10 Local Government areas. With a population of 130,000 people, an area of 1,800 square kilometres and annual budget of $170 million, a number of changes were necessary and are continuing to evolve.
  • Revitalising the city centre

    Working in partnership with the Cairns Port Authority and State Government, Council believes three major projects are set to give a new lease of life to the CBD. The Cityport Project, Stage 2 of Cairns Convention Centre and the Esplanade Project will all impact dramatically on the City centre.

  • Developing communities for the future

    Speaking at the Local Government Association of Queensland's 102nd Annual Conference, President, Councillor Tom Pyne AM, said that this year's theme, 'Developing Communities for the future', aimed to give governance equal billing with economic development issues.
  • Editorial

    In this era of increased globalisation, where power and decision making are becoming more and more distant, Local Government will matter more not less, but it will matter in a different way, engaging the deepest questions of our democracy.
  • Teaching your future ratepayers about Local Government

    For some years Eryl Morgan Publications Pty Ltd, the publisher of Local Government FOCUS, has been producing School Kits. These customised Kits teach students about the vital role Councils play, in local communities and in the governance of the nation. To date over 60 Councils, large and small and from across Australia, have purchased the Kits.
  • Coastal strategy for 1,000 kms

    Australia's coastline is precious for its natural beauty. It is also vast, and for small Councils that oversee remote parts of the coast, it can be a costly and frustrating exercise in planning for sustainable development.
  • Lunchtime theatre brings Town Hall to life

    Lunchtime in a Capital City can be a hive of activity with people attending to personal business or picking up a quick snack. However, lunchtime in Perth can be enjoyed at a more relaxed pace with nourishing soup and a spot of theatre.
  • What's changed under the new Native Title Act?

    New provisions for dealing with native title applications began on 30 September, the commencement date for the recently amended Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). The amended Act significantly changes the way native title applications are managed by the National Native Title Tribunal. With many people in Local Government already involved in native title negotiations, many are no doubt wondering what those changes mean for them.
  • Managing native title in Local Government

    The Australian Local Government Association in conjunction with the National Native Title Tribunal and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, is currently preparing a detailed guide to native title for Local Government. This Guide will take account of recent amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and is expected to be available by November 1998.
  • Building innovation into contracts

    RainStorm has gained widespread acclaim through the use of their DustMag product, verified by a recent ARRB survey. Environmentally benign and 100% Australian made, DustMag has built a reputation within Australia and overseas as the single best road dust suppressant on the market.

  • High tech solutions

    The potential faced by many organisations for lifts, security systems, telecommunications, airconditioning, computer systems and so forth failing with the calendar change to the new millennium are being overcome by Cairns City. All aspects of the new Administration Centre will be Year 2000 compliant.
  • Gardens in paradise

    It may be difficult for readers in southern areas to imagine why there is a need for a Botanic Gardens in Cairns where lush tropical plants grow all year around. However, pressure on plant life from development occurs everywhere. The importance of its tropical vegetation is emphasised by the fact that Cairns is one of the few Local Governments to operate a Botanic Gardens.
  • Waste into profit

    In a City where dining out is a particularly attractive experience and hotels, resorts and restaurants abound, Council in partnership with a subsidiary of Queensland Lime and Cement, has developed a radical pilot scheme to find ways of utilising waste organic product from the hospitality industry.
  • Restored wetlands create new recreational space

    A project to restore wetlands, reestablish vital habitat and flora links and create recreational space in an area between Yorkey's Knob and Smithfield is underway.
  • Natural solutions for insect control

    Not only are mosquitoes pesky creatures that can ruin an otherwise pleasant evening, they can spread diseases such as Malaria, Ross River Fever and Australian Encephalitis. With wetlands all around the City, Cairns residents are particularly vulnerable. As a result, Council allocates considerable resources to the control of these pests.
  • Benchmarking community services

    The preliminary outcomes of a national project on benchmarking and best practice in Community Services and Community Development will be presented to the National Conference of the Local Government Community Services Association of Australia (LGCSAA). This project aims to address the unique position of community services when it comes to issues of competition and benchmarking.
  • Community services computing for the new century

    A first of its kind integrated computing solution for Local Government will give community services staff at Victoria's City of Whittlesea more time to spend on the people they are trained to help. The City's new system replaces a complicated tangle of databases and card file systems built up over decades.
  • Experience leads to better design

    Eighteen years witnessing problems associated with road maintenance led truck driver, Peter Maxwell from Tasmania's Waratah Wynyard Council, to develop an idea that has revolutionised the process of road repair.
  • Safety 'first' at Colac Otway

    Colac Otway Shire Council has become one of the first Councils in Australia to achieve Initial Level SafetyMap accreditation for all areas of its operation. SafetyMap is a risk management system for occupational health and safety..
  • Working from home made easy

    Councils now have the opportunity to save on overheads, amenities, parking provision and travel time wasted by providing the option of staff working from home. Councils can now make use of the Implementation Package Pittwater Council has recently developed.
  • Natural gas for fleet

    Liverpool City Council, located in one of Sydney's most smog affected areas, is the first Council in Australia to start converting its cars from petrol to compressed natural gas (CNG).
  • A building for a new era

    When Councils amalgamate, initially staff often need to be housed in a number of different locations. This is costly, time wasting and undermines a sense of corporate or organisational togetherness. As a larger corporate entity, the first Council at the new City of Cairns identified an urgent need for a new Administration Centre and Council Chambers.
  • 39 year's service to Local Government

    Cairns Mayor, Tom Pyne AM, shares the record with Sir Robert Sparkes as the longest serving current Local Government elected members in Queensland. Mayor of the former Mulgrave Shire, Tom Pyne was directly elected as the first Mayor of Cairns City Council following the amalgamation in 1995.
  • Super city three years on

    The amalgamation of the former Cairns City and Mulgrave Shire in 1995 resulted in the new City of Cairns becoming one of Queensland's top 10 Local Government areas. With a population of 130,000 people, an area of 1,800 square kilometres and annual budget of $170 million, a number of changes were necessary and are continuing to evolve.
  • Revitalising the city centre

    Working in partnership with the Cairns Port Authority and State Government, Council believes three major projects are set to give a new lease of life to the CBD. The Cityport Project, Stage 2 of Cairns Convention Centre and the Esplanade Project will all impact dramatically on the City centre.
  • Planning reaps rewards

    Following the opening of the Cairns Central Shopping Complex concerns were raised by traders that the heart of the CBD was now split. As a result, Council is working closely with traders to find ways to revitalise the city centre.
  • State of the art Council Chambers

    The new Administration Centre has met both the current and future needs of Council staff and the community. At the same time, it has enabled the introduction of a number of audio visual devices to assist Councillors, the media and the public during Council meetings.
  • Tropical arts and culture

    Cairns City Council values the contribution of creative arts to community life. It actively encourages residents young and old to explore their artistic potential and interests.
  • Keeping Cairns safe

    Cairns City Council has established a Community Safety Consultative Committee to address public safety issues so residents and visitors can enjoy Cairns without concern.
  • Activating young ideas

    Recognising that young people have a great deal to contribute to the community, Council provides a number of avenues for youth to explore and develop their interests. Respecting their ideas, the City can gain a lot from their enthusiasm and creativity.

  • Tax reform - Councils urged to take pro Local Government line

    With the Federal Election campaign in full swing, tax reform continues to be a key 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. ALGA is lobbying that, if a GST is introduced, Local Government, like the States, should have a guaranteed share of revenue raised, and similarly, under Labor's tax platform, Local Government should also have a guaranteed fixed percentage of taxes raised.
  • 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

    In this era of increased globalisation, where power and decision making are becoming more and more distant Local Government will matter more not less, but it will matter in a different way, engaging the deepest questions of our democracy. As well as losing its control over sovereignty, National Governments are too far removed to answer the needs of the community. On the other hand, Local Government is, at least potentially, equipped to address people's worries and frustrations.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a State Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Anthony Bisdee, Acting President Local Government Association of Tasmania.
  • Electronic village for Yarra Ranges

    Victoria's Shire of Yarra Ranges has announced an ambitious program to knit its scattered community together through Y.net - an Internet based computer network.
  • Preserving roadside treasures

    Development in Australia since settlement by Europeans two centuries ago has seen many species unique to Australia lost to us for ever. While public attention is often focused on national parks and forests, many rare species can be found in the less romantic setting of our roadsides. It is here Local Government can play a key role.
  • What's changed under the new Native Title Act?

    New provisions for dealing with native title applications began on 30 September, the commencement date for the recently amended Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). The amended Act significantly changes the way native title applications are managed by the National Native Title Tribunal. With many people in Local Government already involved in native title negotiations, many are no doubt wondering what those changes mean for them.
  • Managing native title in Local Government

    The Australian Local Government Association in conjunction with the National Native Title Tribunal and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, is currently preparing a detailed guide to native title for Local Government. This Guide will take account of recent amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and is expected to be available by November 1998.
  • Compulsory Competitive Tendering under the microscope

    Speakers at the recent 'CT 1998 Competing Solutions' Conference were agreed on one thing - competitive tendering is here to stay. In the United Kingdom where the Labour Party in Opposition were critical of CCT, now in power, their Best Value policy may alter the style but not the substance of Competitive Tendering.