November 1998 Edition

  • Sustainable growth in reginal Australia

    Urban and northern population drift, combined with a continued low reproduction rate, will lead to the depopulation of some regional areas, according to statistician, Brian Doyle. Brian Doyle, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, was speaking at the second annual Sustainable Economic Growth in Regional Australia conference, held in south east Queensland in November.
  • Torres Strait Festival celebrates community and culture

    The Torres Strait Cultural Festival, held recently, has reinforced the rich and unique culture of Island community in far north Australia. Islanders from across Torres Strait converge on Thursday Island every two years to celebrate their cultural identity.
  • Landmark of Australian democracy

    A $4.2 million Centre celebrating one of the most significant events in Australia's history was opened earlier this year. The Eureka Stockade Centre, developed by the City of Ballarat, portrays the events which led to the historic uprising which pitched miners in an armed struggle against colonial authorities.
  • Encouraging travellers to stay

    Council assistance in promoting the local region as a stopover for travellers has been enthusiastically welcomed by South Australia's towns of Quorn and Hawker. Situated at the southern gateway to the picturesque Flinders Ranges, local businesses were concerned about economic opportunities being missed with too many people simply passed through the towns without realising how much there was to see and do in the area.
  • Tourism support brings sustainable development

    The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley in Western Australia is a natural destination for tourists seeking an outback experience. With tourist numbers expected to continue to grow, the Shire assists local industry to make the most of the economic opportunities this brings via the provision of infrastructure and through its planning role.
  • Spa leads to a healthy economy

    Booringa Shire Council in South West Queensland has taken an innovative step to ensure economic security for the Shire through its natural assets. The Great Artesian Spa, opened in April 1998, in the town of Mitchell, capitalises on a unique feature of the Shire.
  • Planning regional tourism accommodation

    The Tourism Task Force has recently published a two-part guide for Councillors and developers considering future regional tourism accommodation development.
  • People, places and partnerships

    In his address, President of the Australian Local Government Association, Councillor John Campbell said that the National Assembly's theme, 'People, Places and Partnerships', is very appropriate as Local Government prepares for the next millennium. The remainder of 1998 and 1999 will be critical for ALGA as tax reform legislation is introduced into Parliament.
  • What makes people happy?

    As a nation we place enormous faith in the ability of economic growth to make us feel happier. Yet in his Keynote Address at the National Assembly, Dr Clive Hamilton, Executive Director of The Australian Institute, stated there is very little evidence to validate this widely held belief.
  • What the Federal politicians said

    Extracts of speeches delivered at the 1998 National General Assembly of Local Government.
  • LG leadership in reconcilitation

    The Indigenous Issues Briefing has become an annual forerunner to the National Assembly. It provides the opportunity for local Councils to discuss issues and opportunities to improve the planning, coordination and delivery of services to Indigenous communities.
  • Urgent attention needed to bridge widening regional gap

    A crisis is looming for Australia's urban and rural regions unless the Federal Government takes urgent and bold action, according to a report released at the Regional Cooperation and Development Forum staged in conjunction with the National Assembly. The 'State of Our Regions' report, prepared for the Australian Local Government Association by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, outlines the major trends and challenges for Australia's urban and rural regions.
  • GST uncertainty

    President of ALGA, Council John Campbell has called for urgent clarification as to which Local Government activities will be subject to a GST. Councillor Campbell said many Council activities fall into a grey area, where it is still uncertain if a GST will apply.
  • Building partnerships with young people

    Speaking at the National Assembly Mia Handshin, Youth Advocate and delegate at the Constitutional Convention, urged Councils to see their young people as citizens who have something to contribute now. She said if youth are seen as tomorrow's citizens with only something to contribute in the future then their sense of belonging is undermined.
  • Sydney and Surf Coast take National Innovation Awards

    Sydney City Council has won the prestigious 1998 National Award for Innovation in Local Government, while Surf Coast Shire took out the National Rural Award.
  • Jabiru - the gateway to Kakadu

    Originally established as a service town for employees of the Ranger uranium mine, Jabiru township is now preparing to change its character to meet changing circumstances. Each year, increasing numbers of people pass through Jabiru when they come to see the unique landscape and cultural experience of Kakadu National Park.

  • Social justice in a culture of competition

    Speaking at the 7th National Conference on Local Government and Community Development, Frank Hornby said that the diverse cultural and social structures of Australian's cities and towns and isolated rural areas call out against a fixed central system of economic and social policy. A system which narrowly defines public morality as a short term helping hand for the less fortunate.
  • Landmark for new Century

    As Homebush Bay takes shape for the 2000 Olympics, this environmentally sensitive development is being described as an icon to rival the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, according to a promotional video.
  • Editorial

    A number of organisations, both public and private sector, were in there vying for the recent Australian Customer Service Awards. Winning two of the four Categories, and the overall Qantas Special Award, plus two High Commendations is definitely a feather in the cap for Local Government. Competing against the best in the private sector for these National Awards illustrates Local Government's commitment to providing quality service at an affordable price.
  • President's comment

    In each edition, we feature the views of a Local Government Associate President. The following is from Mayor Rosemary Craddock, President Local Government Association of South Australia.
  • Call for entries for Annual Report Awards

    Organisations committed to excellence, accuracy and responsibility in reporting to stakeholders should enter the prestigious 1999 Annual Report Awards (ARA). Some of Australia's largest publicly listed companies, as well as many government and not for profit organisations, have accepted the Awards as the benchmark for excellence in annual reporting.
  • LG scoops Australian Customer Service Awards

    With six of the 18 finalists in the 1998 Australian Customer Service Awards being Councils, there is little doubt Local Government not only mixes it with the best in the private sector but can better them.
  • Teaching the community about water management

    Water supply and management are an important responsibility of Local Government in many States. Recent experiences in Sydney have highlighted issues which are often taken for granted, but much of the discussion has not been fully informed. To help increase public information about this crucial resource, the Australian Water and Wastewater Association (AWWA) has embarked on a Water Education Project.
  • Councils aim to turn the tide on climate change

    Halting rising seas and the erratic weather extremes predicted to accompany global warming lie behind the worldwide linking of Local Government in the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program. With the completion of a successful pilot involving 30 Councils across the country, CCP Australia has expanded its program for Councils to reduce greenhouse gas emissions &endash; the prime cause of global warming.
  • Tax reform summit raises many questions

    Local Government in Western Australia recently had the opportunity to discuss the implications of a GST through a Tax Summit, titled 'Taxation Reform: Back to Basics - An Examination of Key Issues for Western Australia.' Organised by the Western Australian Municipal Association (WAMA), delegates heard from a range of speakers regarding the likely effects of the Howard Government's proposed tax changes.
  • Regional benchmarking

    Queensland's City of Logan recognised that data which had helped improve efficiency in its roads and drainage operations was limited by its internal nature. To achieve a broader evaluation of its efficiency, comparison with other operators was necessary.
  • Two Way Rental Finance Plan

    The Two Way Radio Division of Motorola is offering its' customers a new approach to financing their mobile business communications needs. By signing up to Motorola's Two Way Rental Finance Plan, Councils will enjoy several significant advantages, not the least of which is the all in one nature of the package of finance, hardware, installation and training.
  • International Year of Older Persons

    1999 has been designated as the United Nation's International Year of Older Persons (IYOP). The IYOP will provide an opportunity for government, business, the community and families to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of older people. Local Government authorities have a key part to play in ensuring that the International Year has a lasting effect on the quality of life and wellbeing of older Australians.
  • Brisbane offers Gold to its Seniors

    Abseiling, plane flying lessons, roller blading, sea kayaking, South American dance, Tai Chi, bush walks, belly dancing and trails riding are not the activities you would normally associate with older Australians. In Brisbane, however, these are options, along with 40 others, which are offered to the senior citizens as part of an innovative scheme which challenges the accepted notions of age appropriate activity.

  • Governing diversity brings unity

    One of the best things about the creation of the Yarra Ranges Shire was the strengthening of this area's common identity. With the one Local Government decision making body, regional issues such as tourism and major infrastructure can be addressed in a more integrated manner.
  • On the road

    Stretched end to end, the road network of Yarra Ranges would take you from Melbourne to Bundaberg in Queensland. This includes some major highways, which come under the umbrella of VicRoads, but there are also numerous smaller roads.
  • Abundant business opportunities

    Yarra Ranges enjoys a wide range of industry, including many small businesses producing goods ranging from gourmet foods and wine, arts and craft to timber. With large numbers of young people in the community, Council is keen to promote new business opportunities which will provide employment and blend with the many natural assets of the Shire.
  • Supporting staff in a change environment

    While most sectors of the workforce have experienced a high degree of insecurity in recent times, Victorian Local Government employees have had to deal with an unusually high level of change. This includes amalgamation and the introduction of Compulsory Competitive Tendering. At Yarra Ranges, the creation of a Bid Support Team greatly assisted staff in gaining the necessary expertise and confidence to deal with changes brought about by a more competitive environment.
  • Youth Works

    Young people make up a high percentage of Yarra Ranges' population. However, many live in relatively isolated circumstances making it difficult to find employment and have access to advice and information. Council supports this vulnerable group with what is believed to be the largest youth services program of any Local Government in Victoria.
  • Support for Indigenous heritage

    Yarra Ranges was the first Local Government in Victoria to employ an Aboriginal Community Development Officer. The Shire has a significant Koori community of 750 people and the appointment of Joy Murphy has greatly enhanced the ability of the Indigenous community to interact with Council and access services.
  • Balancing fire safety with conservation

    Balancing the value of the natural environment with the need to minimise bushfire risk is a vital concern for the Shire of Yarra Ranges. While residents value their scenic environment, the very factor that attracts people to the area, the bushland setting, is the same factor which could cost them property damage or even loss of life.
  • Trails around the Shire

    While thousands of daily visitors usually arrive by car, many appreciate that there is more to enjoy in the Shire than can be seen from a vehicle. To provide healthy leisure activity for residents and visitors alike, Council is developing a network of trails.
  • Environmental preservation a key priority

    While Yarra Ranges' residents value their environment, how best to preserve it is a major issue for Council. While there is extensive public land in the Shire there is also a great deal of private land containing important remnant bushland.
  • Recovering from disaster

    Shortly into the new Council's first term tragedy struck Yarra Ranges when bushfires swept through the Dandenong Ranges. Widespread property damage and loss of life resulted. Council was among the first organisations to respond by coordinating relief centres, organising an emergency communications centre, carrying out evacuations and providing information.
  • Spring in the valley

    Each Spring, Derwent Valley highlights its scenic attractions which help draw thousands of people to Tasmania. 'Spring in the Valley Festival', an initiative of Derwent Valley Council, accentuates the features which make the valley so attractive. It also promotes active and passive recreational opportunities for local people and visitors.
  • Lismore and Cootamundra rewarded for arts promotion

    The 1998 Dorothy Helmrich Award, given 'in recognition of outstanding contribution to arts and cultural development' in regional NSW, has been awarded to Lismore City Council and Cootamundra Shire Council.
  • Landmark of Australian democracy

    A $4.2 million Centre celebrating one of the most significant events in Australia's history was opened earlier this year. The Eureka Stockade Centre, developed by the City of Ballarat, portrays the events which led to the historic uprising which pitched miners in an armed struggle against colonial authorities.
  • Traineeships link surf to snow

    Victoria's Surf Coast Shire has launched an innovative scheme to overcome seasonal variations in economic activity in the Shire and reduce local youth unemployment. Under the scheme 14 unemployed young people from the Shire have been selected to work for the six warmer months of the year in the local surfing industry. During the remaining six months they will work on the snowfields of Mt Hotham and Falls Creek.
  • Planning regional tourism accommodation

    The Tourism Task Force has recently published a two-part guide for Councillors and developers considering future regional tourism accommodation development.
  • Managing a diversity of interests

    Following amalgamation of the former Shires of Upper Yarra, Lillydale, Sherbrooke and Healesville in 1994, the Shire of Yarra Ranges became one of the most extensive Local Government areas in the State. It is also one of the most diverse. The Shire stretches from suburban Lilydale to remote wilderness areas in the Warburton Ranges nearly 80 kilometres away.
  • Council goes 'on the road'

    With residents and businesses scattered over 2,500 square kilometres, the newly elected Council at Yarra Ranges soon recognised the need to develop a comprehensive communication strategy. The aim of the strategy was to overcome drawbacks distance creates through meaningful two way communication.

  • Social justice in a culture of competition

    Speaking at the 7th National Conference on Local Government and Community Development, Frank Hornby said that the diverse cultural and social structures of Australia's cities and towns and isolated rural areas call out against a fixed central system of economic and social policy. A system which narrowly defines public morality as a short term helping hand for the less fortunate.
  • Landmark for new Century

    As Homebush Bay takes shape for the 2000 Olympics, this environmentally sensitive development is being described as an icon to rival the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, according to a promotional video.
  • Editorial

    A number of organisations, both public and private sector, were in there vying for the recent Australian Customer Service Awards. Winning two of the four Categories, and the overall Qantas Special Award, plus two High Commendations is definitely a feather in the cap for Local Government. Competing against the best in the private sector for these National Awards illustrates Local Government's commitment to providing quality service at an affordable price.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a State Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Bill Bott, President New South Wales Shires Association.
  • MAV sets new direction

    Speaking at the Association's recent Annual Conference, President Brad Matheson, said that, in response to member Councils' needs, a far greater emphasis is now being given to policy and advocacy.
  • LG scoops Australian Customer Service Awards

    With six of the 18 finalists in the 1998 Australian Customer Service Awards being Councils, there is little doubt Local Government not only mixes it with the best in the private sector but can better them.
  • 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. Produced in two editions, one for Primary students and the other for the Secondary level, the key is they are tailored to reflect the style and operation of your particular Council. That is, they teach students in your area about Local Government using your Council as the example.
  • King Island protects its natural environment

    Mainland Australians are familiar with King Island in Bass Strait through its famous dairy products. King Island recently obtained Natural Heritage Trust funding to sustain and enhance the environment which supports this and other industry on the Island.
  • International Year of Older Persons

    1999 has been designated as the United Nation's International Year of Older Persons (IYOP). The IYOP will provide an opportunity for government, business, the community and families to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of older people. Local Government authorities have a key part to play in ensuring that the International Year has a lasting effect on the quality of life and wellbeing of older Australians.
  • Brisbane offers Gold to its Seniors

    Abseiling, plane flying lessons, roller blading, sea kayaking, South American dance, Tai Chi, bush walks, belly dancing and trails riding are not the activities you would normally associate with older Australians. In Brisbane, however, these are options, along with 40 others, which are offered to the senior citizens as part of an innovative scheme which challenges the accepted notions of age appropriate activity.
  • Call for entries for Annual Report Awards

    Organisations committed to excellence, accuracy and responsibility in reporting to stakeholders should enter the prestigious 1999 Annual Report Awards (ARA). Some of Australia's largest publicly listed companies, as well as many government and not for profit organisations, have accepted the Awards as the benchmark for excellence in annual reporting.
  • City of quality and diversity

    The recently launched City Plan for Victoria's Stonnington City Council will build a combined future for the former inner urban municipalities of Malvern and Prahran. A key focus of the Plan is recognition of the diversity that characterises Stonnington formed in 1994.
  • Partnerships the way ahead

    The New South Wales Local Government Association staged its Annual Conference at Coffs Harbour from 17-20 October. Attracting more than 600 delegates from across the State, speakers included the Premier, Bob Carr and Opposition Leader, Peter Collins.
  • Recognising self improvement

    The prestigious Bluett Awards are given to Councils that have achieved the most valued, or greatest relative progress, over the previous 12 month period.
  • Motorola Two Way Rental Finance Plan

    The Two Way Radio Division of Motorola is offering its' customers a new approach to financing their mobile business communications needs. By signing up to Motorola's Two Way Rental Finance Plan, Councils will enjoy several significant advantages, not the least of which is the all in one nature of the package of finance, hardware, installation and training.
  • 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.