There is no doubt that the 'federation' of State and Territory Local Government Associations that forms the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) will always have a variety of interests to be served. Inevitably, there will be differences in priorities of the 'smaller' States as against those of the 'larger' States; rural and urban issues; variations in Local Government powers and responsibilities across the country, the list goes on.
It was not unusual to spot roller blading Carmen Mirandas swishing through the streets of Kogarah in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics 2000. The colourful spectacle of the mobile Carmens and other street performers, as well as a multitude of dishes from around the world, contributed to the international flavour of Kogarah Council's Olympic Street Festival.
A revolutionary new reversible stage features in redevelopment plans for Northcote Town Hall which are currently being reviewed by the community and local business leaders in the City of Darebin, Victoria.
National Accounts statistics show that Australia is enjoying one of the longest periods of growth in its history. But the $A is in free fall and we have a chronic current account deficit. How do you reconcile the two?
CivEnEx 2001, in February next year, will feature 250 outdoor and 80 indoor stands, making it the leading public works and construction trade fair in Australia and the Pacific Region. After ten years in Penrith, NSW, the event run by the NSW Division of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia, has a new name and a new location at Warwick Farm Racecourse near Liverpool in Sydney's west.
Most Councils know about the Internet and the World Wide Web and many have web sites, however there is still little real knowledge as to why and how to optimise the benefits and opportunities of the online world.
So your Council is spending an ever increasing amount on community consultation programs as a reaction to last minute protests against Council decisions. There is also an unhealthy level of disquiet in the community they are not being consulted or kept informed on key issues. Added to this, Council is struggling to meet community needs in a whole range of areas due to budget cuts or changing priorities. You acknowledge there is an urgent need to refocus but are concerned the more consultation your Council provides, the more the community wants. How do you respond?
A landmark Indigenous Land Use Agreement signed in the Torres Strait on 6 September breaks new ground in Australia's efforts to address native title and indigenous land rights. The agreement is a major step towards concluding four years of negotiations between the Kaurareg people, traditional owners of the Strait's populated inner islands, the local Council and the Queensland Government.
Hobart's Brighton district has transformed itself. Once shunned, the district now attracts new residents and businesses largely due to a range of environmental projects. Prior to 1999, the district had 165 unoccupied public housing dwellings. People refused to move in even though their housing situation was desperate. Today, Brighton has a waiting list for public housing.
Through an innovative approach to wastewater management, Shoalhaven City Council is contributing to cleaner coastal waters. The Northern Region Reclaimed Water Management Scheme will be the largest effluent recycling scheme in NSW. It is a cooperative project involving the Shoalhaven City Council, the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation and local farmers.
Melbourne's City of Port Phillip has won two United Nations Association of Australia World Environmental Day Awards for local government. Council received awards for "Overall Excellence in Environment Management" and "Best Specific Environmental Initiative" for a 236 unit Housing Development at the former St.Kilda works depot.
Recovery, Reuse and Recycling wastewater and stormwater are high on the agenda to improve the quality of Perth's coastal waters. With an injection of $3m, the Commonwealth Government's Clean Seas Program is supporting a range of integrated projects in Western Australia's water recovery and reuse program.
In recognising the value of reviewing service delivery on an ongoing basis, Port Phillip Council recently appointed former Victorian State Auditor-General, Ches Baragwanath, and chair of the Women's and Children's Metropolitan Health Service Board, Helen Davison, to a rolling three year 'sustainable value' review of all of its services.
Manly Council's Waste and Cleansing Group has taken delivery of a new piece of equipment that will ensure Manly's beaches not only look better, but they will be cleaner too. The new 'Beach Rake' will be gentler on the beach, increase safety and reduce labour costs.
Queensland's Logan City Council is set to streamline its administrative and building approval processes and dramatically improve its customer service through the integration of key corporate systems with MapInfo GIS (Geographic Information System) implementation.
When Holroyd City Council developed its Domain Creek Dual Water Quality and Flood Mitigation Project it incorporated the innovative use of a sports playing field with a detention basin to protect downstream properties from floods (quantity), treatment of stormwater (quality) and irrigation of the field using stormwater (reuse).
It was a proud achievement for the City of Melbourne's Hotline to be judged the best Victorian call centre in its class at the Australian Teleservices Association (ATA) Awards held in Melbourne recently.
"When the well is dry, we know the worth of water," said Abraham Lincoln and no comment could be more applicable to an arid country like Australia. And no product is better intended for our conditions than the Waterless Urinal; an odour free, durable, hygienic urinal that disposes of waste without the need of water.
Refurbishing a 1960s style hall to fit the needs of a community at the start of the new millennium has resulted in a number of practical and financially positive outcomes for Wyndham City Council. It will also mean that the inadequate and unused former Centenary Hall will be a part of a new Community Cultural Centre, the jewel in the crown of Werribee's newly revitalised CBD.
Local Government is perfectly poised to take advantage of the new Internet based trading communities to deliver tangible benefits to their constituents, both buyers and sellers. Trading communities will work more effectively when there is already a financial tie in between the sponsor organisation, that is Council, and the consumer and supplier.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. We are constantly reminded of the pressures imposed on our water resources and their related ecosystems. In twenty years time, Adelaide's citizens face the prospect of only being able to drink Murray River water, three of every five days. Salinity is making the river water undrinkable while sediments threaten to choke the Murray's mouth.
The Commonwealth's Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) supports the Clean Seas Program (CSP) with over $40m funding. The program encourages changes in conventional water management to reverse damage to the marine environment caused by runoff and sewage.
On World Environment Day, Senator Robert Hill, the Minister for Environment and Heritage, launched a combined stormwater and wastewater management project for Parafield in Adelaide. The Parafield project is part of the $8.2 million commitment by the Commonwealth Government for the Urban Stormwater Initiative (USI), under Living Cities.
Wetland systems have been part of our natural landscape for millions of years. They play an important role in natural water treatment. Constructed wetlands are now featuring as an effective tool in improving the water quality in Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay.
A recent Senate Inquiry has raised concerns over the impacts of stormwater and wastewater discharges on the health of Adelaide's Gulf St Vincent. These pollution streams are equivalent in volume to the city's mains water demand, much of which comes from the Murray River.
Improving stormwater quality from tropical catchments draining into the Great Barrier Reef is a major challenge. The Commonwealth Government's Clean Seas Program and Urban Stormwater Initiative are assisting Townsville's new approach to managing stormwater pollution in tropical conditions.