December 2000 Edition

  • Creating the future in the 'information age'

    With 30 year's experience writing and commenting on business and investment in Australia, Robert Gottliebsen, in the keynote address, looked at the impact of economics, national and global, on Councils and communities. He said rapid technology changes are fundamentally changing the way we do business. "Organisations that do not adapt will not be around in the future," he said. "However, it is vital to remember what your core business is and in the case of Local Government this is the link with your local community.
  • New look Focus for 2001

    In October, Local Government Focus, commenced its 17th year of publication. January 2001 will also mark Focus' 5th birthday as a national newspaper. Going from strength to strength, this December edition will be the last produced using the separate Green and Gold mastheads. Commencing next year, a new look, larger edition, with a combined Green and Gold masthead, will see the same edition being distributed to all Councils throughout Australia. We have also totally overhauled our web site to match the new look Focus.
  • Editorial

    After regaining control of superannuation on behalf of NSW Councils just three years ago, the Local Government Superannuation Scheme is not only a recognised leader in terms of returns on investment but is also a great example of putting triple bottom line principles into practice.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Ian Michel, President of the Western Australian Municipal Association.
  • Local Government super funds to assist regional NSW

    Having taken back responsibility for Local Government superannuation three years ago this scheme was recently recognised by Mercers as the best performing in Australia. The Super Scheme has recently established a $130 million Regional Development Trust. Working closely with Deutsche Asset Management, this Trust will provide capital for appropriate projects that will stimulate growth and jobs in outer metropolitan areas and throughout regional New South Wales.
  • Blending the old and new in Broome

    On 24 November, the Premier of Western Australia, Richard Court, officially opened the new Shire of Broome Administration building. He congratulated the Shire on a design and structure that reflects the character and history of Broome, yet is modern and fully accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Road package a good start but long term commitment essential - ALGA

    Councils across the nation welcome the Federal Government announcement of $1.6 billion for road funding, Australian Local Government Association President, Councillor John Ross, said. The package has developed from a strong case put by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) to the Commonwealth Government.
  • Community consultation - beyond the rhetoric

    How many times have you found yourself half way through a community consultation program on a delicate issue and wished you could start again. Unfortunately the process had been hijacked by a minority pressure group, which had capitalised on your lack of planning, making a conclusive outcome unlikely.
  • Mow-A-CEO delivers dollars

    At the recent 50th Anniversary Conference of the Institute of Municipal Management - Qld Division, Executive Director, Tony Wehlow, told delegates that, following a successful fund raising effort by the Institute and its members and supporters, 'we are in a position to present a cheque for $33,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation'.
  • Five green ticks for Marion

    The City of Marion has recognised the need to identify and manage the environmental aspects of its own activities by committing to the establishment of an Environmental Management System (or EMS).
  • Online Service Delivery

    Anyone following the American election will by now be sure that if it hasn't proved anything else, it's proved that every vote does count. For those people who are apathetic about contributing their voice to decision making because they think it 'won't make a difference', the election has given us food for thought about the role that the Internet could play in democracy.
  • Managing development disputes made easy

    A major Interactive Conference on managing development and environmental disputes will be held at the Wentworth Hotel, Sydney on 2-3 April 2001.

  • New roads from old concrete

    Roads built with recycled material are a concrete reality for Western Australia, thanks to the determination of local company Waste Stream Management, and the support of Kwinana Town Council. The old Thomas Road landfill site has become a success story, for Kwinana and Western Australia.
  • Managing Internet productivity

    Local Councils, Government Departments and businesses alike, are recognising the ever increasing benefits of providing Internet access to employees. But Internet access can result in countless non productive hours when employees stray. SuperScout provides the most advanced filtering technology available to eliminate Internet abuse.
  • City of Playford - a community of assets

    Sure, the City of Playford manages its assets well, but this is not where our asset management stops. The City of Playford has taken asset management a step further than a preoccupation with its own. We are taking an interest in our community of assets - everyone's assets in the City that work together to form a community. They are all interlinked and interdependent, and together form the community's infrastructure - the means by which a resident can move, shop, go to school and work and borrow a book.
  • Transforming from 'roads, rates and rubbish'
    - Wollongong City Council selects mySAP.com Local Government Solution
    Australia's eighth largest city, Wollongong, boasts some of Australia's most picturesque coastline and bushlands. It's also a city whose Council is positioning itself to be one of the country's leading adopters of technology in Local Government. This is strongly evidenced by its decision to deploy mySAP.com Local Government Solution - a solution that supports the full range of Local Government requirements, developed by SAP Australia and Deloitte Consulting.
  • Finance One interfacing a breeze for Rocky

    Interfacing the leading financial management software, Finance One, with three other new business applications simultaneously was as smooth as a summer breeze for Rockhampton City Council. For this medium sized Council with 24,000 rateable properties, located halfway up Queensland's tropical coast, interfacing software applications was initially a 'scare issue' but one that, after considerable planning and review, was successfully resolved. Acting Director of Corporate Services, Thomas Upton, who had overall responsibility for the project, said initial concerns had been resolved with the assistance of staff from Finance One and the various business applications.
  • Creating a better future together

    The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Town Council and Tangentyere Council is set to benefit both Councils and all residents in Alice Springs.
  • Using Council web sites for electronic service delivery

    Australian Councils have been quick to recognise the Internet as an invaluable tool for transparency and community promotion. However, most Council web sites only have very limited Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) capacity. Burnie City Council in Tasmania has addressed this issue with Sydney based e-commerce company 'commerce@work', cooperatively developing a new innovative Local Government product called 'e-council'.
  • Thuringowa awarded 'Best Practice' UK study tour grant

    Thuringowa City Council has been awarded a study tour to the United Kingdom to assess Best Practice in the delivery of Local Government services to the community. Council was named winner of the prestigious 'In search of Best Practice Grant' at the Institute of Municipal Management's State Conference in Brisbane.
  • Why 'e' equals 'c' in Brisbane

    Part of Brisbane City Council's 'Smart City' strategy has been the development of seamless customer service. An underlying principle has been that 'e' is in harmony with 'c' where 'e' equals electronic and 'c' the customer.
  • Barcode scanner saves time and money

    Recently Toowoomba City Council approached Gripon Australia to help automate its cash receipting. The task set was to receipt different types of notices, such as rates notices and dog registrations, without the need for the operator to manually key the data into the computer system.
  • LG creature of the State well and truly over - PM tells Assembly

    "My message today, on behalf of the Federal Government, is that there is great respect and support for the key role of Local Government in the governance of Australia," the Prime Minister stated. The old idea that Local Government is purely a creature of State Government and dealt only with State Governments is well and truly over."
  • Local Government at the edge of the 21st century

    The 5th National General Assembly of Local Government, staged in Canberra from 3-6 December, was very much about what the major parties have on offer as Australia enters an election year. A number of Federal politicians addressed the Assembly, including the Prime Minister, John Howard; Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley; Leader of the Democrats, Meg Lees, Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson; and various Ministers and Shadow Ministers.
  • National road funding campaign launched

    The national campaign aimed at ensuring long term Federal Government commitment to improved road funding was launched at the General Assembly.
  • Too many people and places left behind

    Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley told delegates that he was pleased to be invited to address this 'grand assembly of the people's deputies'. He said that with 730 Local Government bodies, employing in excess of 140,000 workers, an annual expenditure of more than $9.7 billion and contributing around 1.6 percent to the nation's GDP, these are just some of the reasons why the Labor Party wants to strengthen the hand of Local Government.
  • A realistic fixed share of Federal funding - Why is there a lack of political will?

    "We have long supported that Local Government should be the recipients of a realistic fixed share of Federal funding," Meg Lees , Leader of the Democrats said. "Why has this not been forthcoming? It is not because of the lack of money so it must be the political will.
  • State of the Regions - the gap widens

    The General Assembly began with a full day Regional Cooperation and Development Forum on Sunday 3 December. Some 250 delegates looked at the issues rising from ALGA's 'State of the Regions' report which was released at the Forum.
  • Knowledge based communities

    Speaking on a Canadian Federal Government program that is delivering Internet access to rural and remote communities, Sandra Rosano from Industry Canada said that it is important to interpret trends in Internet use. "There is increasing access but are people making the best use of the information that is available?" she said.
  • LG's work in reconciliation recognised

    During the Assembly, Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Dr Evelyn Scott, presented ALGA with a Reconciliation Award. She said that Local Government has proved itself as an agent for positive change.
  • Building social capital

    Our society is experiencing a new type of poverty, the poverty in human relations, where a growing number of people are materially rich yet socially poor. The end result is record rates of loneliness, family breakdown, street crime and community disengagement.

  • Local Government super funds to assist regional NSW

    Having taken back responsibility for Local Government superannuation three years ago, Councillor Woods said that this scheme was recently recognised by Mercers as the best performing in Australia. The Super Scheme has recently established a $130 million Regional Development Trust. Working closely with Deutsche Asset Management, this Trust will provide capital for appropriate projects that will stimulate growth and jobs in outer metropolitan areas and throughout regional New South Wales.
  • New look Focus for 2001

    In October, Local Government Focus, commenced its 17th year of publication. January 2001 will also mark Focus' 5th birthday as a national newspaper. Going from strength to strength, this December edition will be the last produced using the separate Green and Gold mastheads. Commencing next year, a new look, larger edition, with a combined Green and Gold masthead, will see the same edition being distributed to all Councils throughout Australia. We have also totally overhauled our web site to match the new look Focus.
  • Editorial

    After regaining control of superannuation on behalf of NSW Councils just three years ago, the Local Government Superannuation Scheme is not only a recognised leader in terms of returns on investment but is also a great example of putting triple bottom line principles into practice.
  • President's comment

    Each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Chris Vardon, President New South Wales Shires Association.
  • Designing for safer communities

    When we think of crime prevention, we generally think of mechanical security devices, such as alarms and locks, or organised security, such as police and guards. However, there is another form of crime prevention which is referred to as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
  • Lismore's 'first in Australia' organic reprocessing

    Former NSW Premier, Neville Wran, recently launched Lismore's 'first in Australia' organic reprocessing facility. A massive worm farm will convert the organic material collected from Lismore residents into worm castings and liquid for resale.
  • Road package a good start but long term commitment essential - ALGA

    Councils across the nation welcome the Federal Government announcement of $1.6 billion for road funding, Australian Local Government Association President, Councillor John Ross, said. The package has developed from a strong case put by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) to the Commonwealth Government.
  • Community consultation - beyond the rhetoric

    How many times have you found yourself half way through a community consultation program on a delicate issue and wished you could start again. Unfortunately the process had been hijacked by a minority pressure group, which had capitalised on your lack of planning, making a conclusive outcome unlikely.
  • Manningham tops in customers service

    Manningham Council's ongoing commitment to excellence in customer service has been further recognised at the Australian Customer Service Awards, by winning the National Award in the Category of Medium Business.
  • Five green ticks for Marion

    The City of Marion has recognised the need to identify and manage the environmental aspects of its own activities by committing to the establishment of an Environmental Management System (or EMS).
  • Online Service Delivery

    Anyone following the American election will by now be sure that if it hasn't proved anything else, it's proved that every vote does count. For those people who are apathetic about contributing their voice to decision making because they think it 'won't make a difference', the election has given us food for thought about the role that the Internet could play in democracy.
  • Managing development disputes made easy

    major Interactive Conference on managing development and environmental disputes will be held at the Wentworth Hotel, Sydney on 2-3 April 2001.

  • Colac Otway leads the way with satellite technology for land management

    Colac Otway Shire has taken the initiative to install the latest Global Positioning System (GPS) Base Station in a growing network being established across Victoria. A new Global Positioning System (GPS) Base Station, launched in November, provides Colac and surrounds with access to high accuracy differential GPS correction data.
  • Managing Internet productivity

    Local Councils, Government Departments and businesses alike, are recognising the ever increasing benefits of providing Internet access to employees. But Internet access can result in countless non productive hours when employees stray. SuperScout provides the most advanced filtering technology available to eliminate Internet abuse.
  • Tas Central Portal - cooperation pays off

    Three Tasmanian Councils have joined forces with local businesses and community groups to create the Tasmania Central Portal.
  • Transforming from 'roads, rates and rubbish' - Wollongong City Council selects mySAP.com Local Government Solution

    Australia's eighth largest city, Wollongong, boasts some of Australia's most picturesque coastline and bushlands. It's also a city whose Council is positioning itself to be one of the country's leading adopters of technology in Local Government. This is strongly evidenced by its decision to deploy mySAP.com Local Government Solution - a solution that supports the full range of Local Government requirements, developed by SAP Australia and Deloitte Consulting.
  • Finance One interfacing a breeze for Rocky

    Interfacing the leading financial management software, Finance One, with three other new business applications simultaneously was as smooth as a summer breeze for Rockhampton City Council. For this medium sized Council with 24,000 rateable properties, located halfway up Queensland's tropical coast, interfacing software applications was initially a 'scare issue' but one that, after considerable planning and review, was successfully resolved. Acting Director of Corporate Services, Thomas Upton, who had overall responsibility for the project, said initial concerns had been resolved with the assistance of staff from Finance One and the various business applications.
  • Using Council web sites for electronic service delivery

    Australian Councils have been quick to recognise the Internet as an invaluable tool for transparency and community promotion. However, most Council web sites only have very limited Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) capacity. Burnie City Council in Tasmania has addressed this issue with Sydney based e-commerce company 'commerce@work', cooperatively developing a new innovative Local Government product called 'e-council'.
  • Managing change and uncertainty

    Whether it is the impact of new technology, different management strategies, the introduction of new processes, voluntary structural reform, or new legislative requirements, we all have to manage ourselves and our staff through change and uncertainty.
  • Barcode scanner saves time and money

    Recently Toowoomba City Council approached Gripon Australia to help automate its cash receipting. The task set was to receipt different types of notices, such as rates notices and dog registrations, without the need for the operator to manually key the data into the computer system.
  • Message from the Minister

    I am delighted to feature in this issue of National Perspective, the winners and commendations from the 2000 National Awards for Innovation in Local Government. A record 386 entries were received this year and the calibre of projects reflected the tremendous work being done across Australia to improve service delivery to local communities.
  • National Winner Whittlesea City Council VIC - GPS and Mobile Computing in Fire Prevention

    Fire has always been a major force in shaping the Australian continent and its management has been an essential skill long recognised by those who make Australia their home. By harnessing a variety of readily accessible computer capabilities, the City of Whittlesea has developed a system which quickly identifies the location of potential fire hazards, capturing the information and generating fire hazard notices so preventive steps can be speedily taken.
  • National Rural Winner Inverell Shire Council NSW - Partial Enclosure and Heating of Inverell and District Memorial Olympic Pool

    Inverell Shire Council, with the nearest heated pool 130 km away, looked long and hard at the problem and decided to try something not done before. It split its 50m pool in half. It could heat a smaller volume of water while still using the existing water treatment and circulation system.
  • National Awards for Innovation in Local Government 2000 Winners


  • Forum delivering already

    The Northern Australia Forum was held in Katherine, Northern Territory from 17-20 October 2000. Over 200 people, including 100 delegates representing the ten regions across northern Australia (generally defined as the area north of the Tropic of Capricorn), spent three days determining the future direction of sustainable development in the North.
  • Forum expands northern exports

    Three regions represented at the Northern Australia Forum will join with Federal, State and Territory Governments to improve and increase access to professional export and trade assistance services through the opening of TradeStart offices in Alice Springs, Carnarvon and the Kimberley.