February 2000 Edition

  • Innovation Awards set scene for a world first

    When Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, presented the National Awards for Innovation in Local Government last November, he was setting the scene for expansion of an environmental world first for councils. The award in the Environment Category went to the Australian Municipal Energy Improvement Facility (AMEIF), a business unit of Newcastle City Council, which has demonstrated its ability to save councils considerable expenditure on electricity.
  • Release of the 1998-99 National Report

    Useful information on the operation of Local Government in Australia can be found in the 1998-99 National Report on the Operation of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995, now available from the National Office of Local Government.
  • Funding for Local Agenda 21

    Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government announced $100,000 in Federal funding to boost the activities of Local Agenda 21, a programme for sustainable development established by and for Local Government.
  • Six communities celebrate their new Rural Transaction Centres

    Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government has congratulated six communities who celebrated the opening of their own Rural Transaction Centres (RTCs) at the close of 1999.
  • Australian Job Search Service

    Australian Job Search (AJS) is a free, comprehensive and innovative job posting and matching service provided by the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB). It is a suite of computer applications and services whose main strength is the variety of ways that it is delivered to users. It is a free and easy way for employers to recruit staff and is ideally suited for Local Government to gain wide exposure for its job vacancy advertisements.
  • New application for old technology

    The old family ice chest of a bygone era was the inspiration for a lifting device designed by a team at the City of Marion to reduce the risk of back injuries.
  • New device to improve bridge work safety

    Maintaining bridges can be dangerous work but, by adapting existing machinery, the Beaudesert Shire has made it much safer.
  • Where are the women?

    In spite of the introduction of Equal Employment Opportunity legislation 25 years ago women are still under represented in management, including Local Government. If Councils are to make good decisions on behalf of the community, decision makers should reflect community diversity, including representative numbers of women.
  • Heritage and tourism 'partners in time'

    Whether natural, cultural or Indigenous heritage, or a combination of all three, its importance as a segment of Australia's tourism industry should not be underestimated. Yet tourism operators and heritage managers have not always managed to find common ground in protecting their interests. Now, Tourism Council Australia and the Australian Heritage Commission, with a grant from the Office of National Tourism, have developed a set of Draft Heritage Tourism Guidelines.
  • Awards to recognise disaster heroes

    If you work for a Local Government, volunteer or community organisation that has been actively involved in emergency management, before or after a disaster, then Emergency Management Australia (EMA) wants to hear about it. Organisations or people who have helped to keep Australians and their property safe from disasters or assisted with the response to and the rebuilding after disasters will be recognised under a new annual Award Scheme.
  • Message from the Minister

    Welcome to the first issue of National Perspective for 2000. Throughout this year I will continue to contribute to Local Government Focus as a way of keeping everyone involved in Local Government updated with Federal Government initiatives of interest to your Council and your community.
  • CALP launched

    Commonwealth Assistance for Local Project 1999-2000 (CALP) is a comprehensive guide to Federal Government assistance and services available to support Local Government programmes, regional initiatives and community projects across Australia. The publication is a valuable resource for a wide variety of organisations, including rural and regional representative groups, Councils and other Local Government bodies, community groups and local businesses.
  • NOLG offers greater access to a variety of Federal services

    The National Office of Local Government (NOLG), part of the Department of Transport and Regional Services, advises the Federal Minister on Local Government issues. The National Office of Local Government provides advice to Local Government entities, taking a whole-of-government approach through various Commonwealth Departments.
  • Booklet helps councils with GST

    To help councils prepare for The New Tax System, the Australian Tax Office released a 40-page booklet entitled Local Government and The New Tax System.

  • Editorial

    As to which Local Government services would incur a GST, and which would be GST free, was still very much up in the air until recently, when the Federal Treasurer finally released a draft determination. With Councils expecting this information to have been released last November, this determination is now waiting on approval by the State and Territory Governments.
  • Regional action in the Top End

    Four Councils in the Top End of the Northern Territory have been meeting monthly to develop strong partnerships and improve services to their communities.
  • Greening Plan maps future for Denmark

    Growing popularity has led the Western Australian coastal Shire of Denmark to develop a Greening Plan, mapping out the local environment and identifying key features to be considered in future development.
  • Dry land salinity - help is on its way

    The battle to save Australia's productive land has received a boost with the appointment of Don Budge to the position of Local Government Dryland Salinity Officer with the Murray Darling Association. Dryland salinity is causing declining productivity on the land and increasing salinity in our river systems. Restoration costs are now estimated to exceed the value of product generated in the affected areas, presenting a problem for rural economies and their Councils.
  • Rapid response graffiti control

    Western Australia's Bayswater City Council recently launched a regionally based graffiti control program. It is based on the principle of quick eradication deterring further offences.
  • Murgon Shire fights to save local jobs

    The failure of Federal and State Governments to provide short term funding to keep open the meatworks in Queensland's Murgon Shire, has once again left Local Government to bear the burden of economic development. The closure of the local meatworks early this month has placed nearly 600 workers in the dole queue with possibly more to follow as the flow on effect comes into play.
  • Making our road infrastructure a national priority

    Concern about how the road infrastructure required over the next 20-50 years is to be provided has led to the inaugural National Rural Roads Congress. Hosted by Moree Plains Shire Council and titled 'Creating Solutions', this Congress will be staged from 5-8 March.
  • Road maintenance wins international award

    Victoria's Brimbank City Council has won an International Excellence Award for its new road maintenance system. The new strategy, established with the assistance of the Civil Construction Corporation, has been in operation for a year.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Tom Pyne AO President, LGAQ.

  • Making our road infrastructure a national priority

    Concern about how the road infrastructure required over the next 20-50 years is to be provided has led to the inaugural National Rural Roads Congress. Hosted by Moree Plains Shire Council and titled 'Creating Solutions', this Congress will be staged from 5-8 March.
  • Road maintenance wins international award

    Victoria's Brimbank City Council has won an International Excellence Award for its new road maintenance system. The new strategy, established with the assistance of the Civil Construction Corporation, has been in operation for a year.
  • Editorial

    As to which Local Government services will incur a GST, and which will be GST free, is still very much up in the air. With Councils expecting this information to have be released last November, it appears now that the best they can expect is early February. In January, Acting Leader of the Opposition, Simon Crean, slated the Government for this indecision. He said that Councils are unable to plan for the year ahead.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Peter Woods OAM, President Local Government Association of NSW.
  • Hurstville's 24 hour call service

    Residents of Sydney's Hurstville City Council can now get a personal response to phone calls on a range of Council services 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
  • Community playground attracts international interest

    A community developed playground in Victoria's City of Greater Shepparton is receiving national and international attention. The playground attracts between 140,000 and 200,000 visitors per year. The adventures, exploration and imaginative fun themes, keep children at Ardmona Kidstown busy for hours.
  • Dry land salinity - help is on its way

    The battle to save Australia's productive land has received a boost with the appointment of Don Budge to the position of Local Government Dryland Salinity Officer with the Murray Darling Association. Dryland salinity is causing declining productivity on the land and increasing salinity in our river systems. Restoration costs are now estimated to exceed the value of product generated in the affected areas, presenting a problem for rural economies and their Councils.
  • Which government is that?

    Customers presenting to the service counter at George Town Council may have business with Council or they may be seeking service from State or Commonwealth Departments. For 18 months, the three spheres of government have operated from the same location with two counters at the George Town Council Service Centre in the Council Chambers.

  • Australian Job Search Service

    Australian Job Search (AJS) is a free, comprehensive and innovative job posting and matching service provided by the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (DEWRSB). It is a suite of computer applications and services whose main strength is the variety of ways that it is delivered to users. It is a free and easy way for employers to recruit staff and is ideally suited for Local Government to gain wide exposure for its job vacancy advertisements.
  • 'Disappearing' managers indicate healthy staff

    Regarding staff as the most valuable of all Council assets, Victoria's City of Casey has undertaken a comprehensive program of staff health promotion.
  • Where are the women?

    In spite of the introduction of Equal Employment Opportunity legislation 25 years ago women are still under represented in management, including Local Government. If Councils are to make good decisions on behalf of the community, decision makers should reflect community diversity, including representative numbers of women.
  • Awards to recognise disaster heroes

    If you work for a Local Government, volunteer or community organisation that has been actively involved in emergency management, before or after a disaster, then Emergency Management Australia (EMA) wants to hear about it. Organisations or people who have helped to keep Australians and their property safe from disasters or assisted with the response to and the rebuilding after disasters will be recognised under a new annual Award Scheme.
  • Message from the Minister

    Welcome to the first issue of National Perspective for 2000. Throughout this year I will continue to contribute to Local Government Focus as a way of keeping everyone involved in Local Government updated with Federal Government initiatives of interest to your Council and your community.
  • CALP launched

    Commonwealth Assistance for Local Project 1999-2000 (CALP) is a comprehensive guide to Federal Government assistance and services available to support Local Government programmes, regional initiatives and community projects across Australia. The publication is a valuable resource for a wide variety of organisations, including rural and regional representative groups, Councils and other Local Government bodies, community groups and local businesses.
  • NOLG offers greater access to a variety of Federal services

    The National Office of Local Government (NOLG), part of the Department of Transport and Regional Services, advises the Federal Minister on Local Government issues. The National Office of Local Government provides advice to Local Government entities, taking a whole-of-government approach through various Commonwealth Departments.
  • Booklet helps councils with GST

    To help councils prepare for The New Tax System, the Australian Tax Office released a 40-page booklet entitled Local Government and The New Tax System.
  • Innovation Awards set scene for a world first

    When Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, presented the National Awards for Innovation in Local Government last November, he was setting the scene for expansion of an environmental world first for councils. The award in the Environment Category went to the Australian Municipal Energy Improvement Facility (AMEIF), a business unit of Newcastle City Council, which has demonstrated its ability to save councils considerable expenditure on electricity.
  • Release of the 1998-99 National Report

    Useful information on the operation of Local Government in Australia can be found in the 1998-99 National Report on the Operation of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995, now available from the National Office of Local Government.
  • Funding for Local Agenda 21

    Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government announced $100,000 in Federal funding to boost the activities of Local Agenda 21, a programme for sustainable development established by and for Local Government.
  • Six communities celebrate their new Rural Transaction Centres

    Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government has congratulated six communities who celebrated the opening of their own Rural Transaction Centres (RTCs) at the close of 1999.