100 years of nationhood: Celebrations provide opportunities for the future Around the nation, over the next 12 months, Councils are organising a multitude of events to celebrate 100 years of nationhood. "Councils and their communities are making this work on the ground," said Australian Local Government Association President, Councillor John Ross. "At the same time, 100 years on, the celebrations enable us to reflect on a number of things, including how Local Government should be recognised in the Federal Constitution and how reconciliation might be progressed."
Community development professionals will hold their national conference 'Riding the Rapids of Change: Skills and Values for Developing Cohesive, Just and Vibrant Communities' at the Sheraton Hotel in Perth from 20-23 March 2001.
The milestone of 100 years of nationhood has promoted a long overdue, wider understanding of our Federal system of government. As well as providing an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved over the last century, we are also conscious of where we have failed and how, as a nation, we can move on to become a better, more inclusive society.
In December, the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail won the prestigious National Heart Foundation Award for best recreational facility in Australia. The announcement was made at the National General Assembly of Local Government, where a trophy and cheque for $9,000 were presented.
Councils across Australia are undertaking positive measures to ensure the health and sustainability of their local communities. In NSW, 23 Councils have asked their energy suppliers to source their electricity requirements from clean renewable sources instead of fossil fuels such as coal.
The more things change, the more they stay the same: A decade of turmoil and reform effort has done little to advance Local Government in our system of governance, by Dr Chris Aulich * The celebration of Federation offers a wonderful opportunity to examine the role played by Local Government in our system of governance. Far from being an integral part of the new federation in 1901, Local Government was, like Sleeping Beauty, laid to rest for nearly a century. It was not a formal partner in the new Federal Constitution, surviving only through State Legislation which tightly defined what Local Governments were able to do. Activities not specified under the Local Government Acts were considered ultra vires or beyond Council's authority.
Constitutional reform for Vic by Councillor Geoff Hayes* The Constitutional Convention held on 30 November 2000 at Parliament House in Melbourne was by all accounts a great success. The meeting of representatives from Local Governments across Victoria demonstrated the new and profound strength held by the community through this sphere of government.
Councils are quickly realising the many advantages Australian JobSearch (www.jobsearch.gov.au) has to offer. A free service for all Councils and businesses within their area, this website is a quick and easy means to link job seekers with employers in the local region.
What will 21st century measures of Local Government's environmental performance achieve? by Dick Osborn A question often asked during the first century of nationhood was 'What roles do Local Governments play in environmental and natural resource management?' The 1944-46 Rural Reconstruction Commission gave that question a good shake. It noted the incidence of water erosion on farmlands is affected by how Councils manage road reserves. The century ended with a thorough analysis by CSIRO's Division of Wildlife and Ecology on the roles of Local Government in managing remnant vegetation.
Local Government is increasingly being expected to deal with biodiversity, bushland management and threatened species issues. Both State Legislation (various similar Acts in different States) and Commonwealth Legislation (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) put the onus on Councils to develop and implement local and regional Biodiversity Strategies and to assess Threatened Species impacts of all activities, both private and Council actions, within their Local Government Area.
With the Australian community's commitment to recycling one of the highest in the world, Councils or their contractors are collecting huge volumes of waste paper and cardboard. To assist in this process, Inverell Shire Council in northern NSW is experiencing the benefits of a Trethewey Industries HD 200A Autobaler.
TechOne acquires ProClaim to offer an integrated solution for Councils * Two of Local Government's most successful software systems, Finance One and ProClaim will fast track an integrated software solution in financial management and property and ratings systems. The move follows the acquisition last month of ProClaim Software by Technology One.
The role of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is to apply the Trade Practices Act (TPA) without fear or favour, for the benefit of consumers throughout Australia. This means consumers of all kinds, including household consumers, small, medium and big business, farmers, and Local, State and Federal Governments.
Australia's beaches are some of the nation's most famous icons. Yet increased coastal urbanisation is threatening our coastlines and oceans. Future environmental impacts are likely to arise from Australia's' sewerage systems which discharge about 10,000 tonnes of phosphorous and 10,000 tonnes of nitrogen into coastal waters each year.
Conventional stormwater management has focused mainly on avoiding flooding. Only in recent decades has there been an increasing focus on managing stormwater quality. However, most efforts have been focused on end of point engineering solutions incorporating litter and gross pollutant traps. These do not treat many of the significant polluting nutrients and heavy metals that impact on urban waterways. More importantly they do not address the problem at its source.
Sydney's Kogarah Council is creating a new Town Square with 'best practice' stormwater harvesting, treatment and reuse. The exciting redevelopment is in partnership with Sydney Water, the Institute for Sustainable Futures and the development company, High Trade Pty Ltd.
GeoCatch, a community based management body working to improve the health of the Vasse River has been granted $250,000 over three years from the Commonwealth Government's Clean Seas Program to help clean up the river.
In early 1999, a Woolgoolga commercial grower of hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers approached the Coffs Harbour City Council about using reclaimed water for his business. The grower's own water supply from the farm was unreliable during drought periods, it was also of lower and variable quality compared to the reclaimed water produced from the Woolgoolga Water Reclamation Plant.
Latrobe's outdated sewerage system has come up smelling roses with $1.5 million in Commonwealth Clean Seas Program funding, which is contributing towards a $3 million state of the art treatment system.The main aim of the project is to halt the discharge of effluent into the Mersey River in Northern Tasmania.
Public concern over the health of Gulf St Vincent has highlighted the impacts of pollutants flowing from the century old industrial zones in Port Adelaide. Some areas are severely degraded as a result of concentrated industrial development, uncontrolled landfilling and liquid waste disposal.
South East Queensland's Moreton Bay is one of three significant habitats for migratory wading birds in Queensland and is recognised internationally as a Ramsar site. The Bay supports healthy populations of dugongs and turtles in close proximity to a major city, a phenomenon not found elsewhere. The Bay also sustains 10%-15% of Queensland's commercial fisheries.
Australia's first constructed wetland using mangroves to clean up shrimp farm effluent is at Mission beach, in Northern Queensland. It is a project funded by the Commonwealth Government's Clean Seas Program, the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and shrimp producer, Fortune Enterprise Pty Ltd.
Deforestation and urbanisation have created major water quality problems in Australia's largest coastal lake on the Central Coast of NSW. Stormwater related problems in Lake Macquarie include elevated nutrient and bacterial pollution and increased sedimentation associated with catchment erosion.
The Port Lincoln Wastewater Treatment Plant discharges its secondary treated effluent to local bays. Water pollution could pose a threat to eco tourism, export tuna farms and a resort marina which moors Australia's largest tonnage fishing fleet.