In spite of recent State elections, by elections and opinion polls showing a drop in support for the Howard Government, and with the backdrop of an economic slowdown, there was little in the Budget to assist struggling rural and regional communities and no joy for the unemployed or under employed.
After many frustrating years and a fund raising struggle over the past two years, Nguiu Community Government Council proudly opened it swimming pool complex in April, with special guest, champion swimmer Leisel Jones. The cost of the swimming pool project has been a major challenge and is perhaps the most important facility project undertaken by Council and community for many years.
The Shire of Broome recently released a discussion paper for a proposed Jetty to Jetty project, which will provide information on the historic, environmental and indigenous culture of Broome.
Eden Monaro is more than politics - The Good Oil by Rod Brown * The seat of Eden Monaro has been a litmus test in federal elections since the early 1970s, and the press is forever pushing stories about governments’ use of grants to attempt to woo voters. However, this masks the fact that this region has deep seated problems that require government/industry collaboration.
Local Government FOCUS is pleased to announce its support of the Economic Futures North Queensland Conference to be held on the 24-25 July 2001.The inaugural ‘Economic Futures: North Queensland Conference’ will be held at the Jupiters Hotel in Townsville.
On 6 June, Queensland Day, Murilla Shire Council took an innovative step in staging the Murilla Vision Millennium Roadshow/Expo at the Carlton Crest Hotel, Brisbane. Mayor of Murilla Shire, Councillor Roderick Gilmour, said that 6 June was deliberately chosen for this event as the Expo expresses what Queensland Day is all about – celebrating the Shire’s future, lifestyle, business and industry.
Since last reported in March, Cooperative Purchasing Services (CPS) General Manager, Ian Holden, advises that there has been significant activity in establishing its e-Procurement Service, with over 100 suppliers in varying stages of having their products and services accessible for online purchase.
The fifth Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) national conference is being hosted by the City of Thuringowa, in tropical north Queensland from 10-12 September at Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Townsville.
Taroom Shire Council, in the central Queensland highlands, and its local State Emergency Service units have developed a unique location marking system to protect the rural sector, residents and visitors.
Once again the Local Government Annual Conference was jointly hosted by the Local Government Association of Tasmania, the Tasmanian divisions of Local Government Managers Australia and Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia and the Local Government Community Development Association of Tasmania.
Two years ago Launceston City Council, set off down a path to ensure its strategic plan did in fact ‘come from a community mandate’. Armed with a strong belief that Councils are neither the font of all knowledge or alone in leading the community, Launceston used a community planning tool known as ‘future search’.
Once again, there were a number of international delegates at this year’s Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) National Congress and Expo. Some attended as part of an officer exchange program, while others represented their nation’s affiliate organisation with LGMA. Bruce Romer, President of the International City/County Management Association (USA); James Hehir, Senior Vice President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (UK); Darryl Griffin, President of the Society of Local Government Managers of New Zealand; and Thoka Mashiane, President of the Institute of Local Government Management of South Africa, each presented an overview of the issues confronting Local Government within their nations at the International Roundup session of the Congress.
The Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale in Western Australia covers some 920 square kilometres. It is located 50 kilometres south of Perth and has a population of approximately 10,500 residents. The Shire is currently undertaking the first Local Authority case study in Emergency Risk Management in Australia, the outcome and results of this project will be available to all Local Authorities to pursue their own Emergency Risk Management programs.
The Glenelg Shire welcomed the State Budget announcement that brings rail standardisation a step closer for Western Victoria. The announcement is the result of a four year campaign by Councils in Western Victoria to bring the economies of North West and South West Victoria closer together.
Through its program ourbrisbane.com, it is anticipated that within two years one quarter of all Council’s customer contacts will take place on line. As a consequence, it is predicted that about 25 percent of data transaction positions, which are generally held by women, will be phased out. To address this, Council has introduced a program that will assist female employees to upgrade their skills in Information Technology (IT), enabling them to apply for newly created IT jobs. To date, 250 women have expressed interest in the program.
Council’s Integrated Water Management Project is a positive step in improving the sustainability of water and sewerage provision in Brisbane, focusing on the whole urban water cycle. The project focuses on the interruption to the water cycle through catchment and supply, storm water management, and finally outfall into the ocean.
This year, Riverfestival and Riversymposium will see the City celebrating the importance of its key natural attribute in August. This timing coincides with Brisbane’s hosting of the 2001 Good Will Games.
Brisbane City Council has initiated a unique water recycling program that is the first of its kind in Queensland.Brisbane Water, a business unit of Council has invested $18.3 million in the construction of a sophisticated dual membrane treatment plant to recycle effluent from its Luggage Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.
As the fastest growing region in Australia, Council is committed to investing effective and innovative measures to reduce pressure on our city’s road network and better manage transport and traffic in and around Brisbane. In 1998, Council developed Brisbane’s Integrated Transport Strategy. This strategy comprehensively addresses the critical issues for the city’s future and provides real solutions.
The Dieback Working Group recently appointed a new Project Coordinator, Paul Zuvela , to assist in the fight against the Phytophthora cinnamomi (dieback) disease that is decimating native bushland in Western Australia.
A new environmental initiative known as Living Waters – Living Communities was launched last year in Warringah. The project, a first of its kind to be run in Sydney, is a partnership between Warringah Council and Northern beaches environment group, Oz GREEN, and is assisted by the NSW Government through its Stormwater Trust.
Stopping litter from being washed into waterways is a message being reinforced by Victoria’s Wyndham schools. As part of a Wyndham City Council and Wyndham Litter Prevention Taskforce project, local school students have been stencilling a simple message onto stormwater pit lids.
Brighton Council has approved a proposal from Tasmanian company Total Energy Services Tasmania (TEST) to construct and operate a $120 million plant that will convert waste to energy. The decision follows comprehensive environmental, public health and planning research.
The City of Melbourne recently released its second Greenhouse Action Plan and is on track to reach the targets it set for 2010. Council aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 30 percent by 2010 and by 20 percent by 2010 across the municipality as a whole.
The coastal zone has a special place in the lives of Australians. Most want to live there and if they can’t, they want to take their holidays there. It contains diverse ecosystems and a high proportion of Australia’s industrial activity occurs in the zone.
Tea Tree Gully Council in Adelaide recently awarded a major STED (Septic Tank Effluent Drain) contract to local contractor, SA Directional Boring Pty Ltd (SADB), in conjunction with Dalton Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd (DCE). This contract follows the successful trial completed by eco-global (DCE’s construction arm) last year.
A Model Development Control Plan (DCP) has been launched by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG). This will provide Councils with a planning mechanism for consistent and coordinated protection and management of wetlands across the Sydney coastal region.
The Huon Valley Protection of Priority Vegetation Project is an exciting environmental rehabilitation project which aims to protect remnant bush and riparian vegetation. The project, administered through the Huon Healthy Rivers Project, provides grants to community groups and landowners wanting to undertake environmental rehabilitation work in the Huon Valley, located 40 kilometres south of Hobart.
The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Ltd has developed a Regional State of the Environment Report for the 1999-2000 financial year. The report is a unique visionary document for the region, fulfilling the legislative reporting requirements for the WSROC member Councils – Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Holroyd, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith.
The stakeholder hearings for the United Nation’s Commission for Sustainable Development, held last month in New York, brought the global issue of long term, sustainable management of energy and transport in local communities into the international spotlight.
Lord Howe Island is a microcosm of the problems facing Local Government authorities around Australia. Suitable landfills for solid waste disposal are increasingly difficult to locate, and wastewater is expensive to treat to environmentally acceptable standards.The Cooperative Research Centre for Waste Management and Pollution Control (CRC WMPC) assisted the procurement of an integrated waste management system for Lord Howe that is likely to have application in many mainland communities throughout Australia.
This year’s national conference of the Institution of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) will be based very tightly around the theme that innovation is the key to the country’s future. The Burswood Convention Centre in Perth, Western Australia will be the venue and the conference will be held 26-30 August.
The vinyl industry is providing around $500,000 a year to boost the recycling of PVC bottles through the kerbside collection system. The program, launched by Senator Robert Hill, Environment Minister, is part of the industry’s commitment under the National Packaging Covenant to increase the recycling rate of PVC bottles from five to 25 percent.
Following Livable Brisbane released in 1993 and Living Suburbs in 1996, Brisbane City Council has recently distributed for public comment its draft plan Living in Brisbane 2010. This sets out priorities for maintaining and enhancing the City’s livability over the next decade.
With over 870,000 residents, an area of 1,367 square kilometres and some 7,000 FTE staff, in population terms Brisbane City Council is almost three times the size of the next largest Australian Local Government. As distinct from the largely CBD based Capital Cities in the other States, Brisbane manages an extensive urban area comprising some 200 distinct neighbourhoods or villages.
Council’s Living Villages initiative is designed to breathe life into Brisbane’s suburbs. Local shopping areas help to define the nature of a neighbourhood and have great potential to become the cultural and physical hub of communities, as well as healthy centres of commerce.
With a vision for the revitalisation of the inner north eastern suburbs using the Brisbane River as the centre piece, in 1991 Lord Mayor Jim Soorley established Brisbane’s Urban Renewal Task Force. Adjacent to the CBD, this area had a number of vacant industrial sites and disused buildings. Moreover it detracted from the City’s key natural attribute, the Brisbane River. Ten years on, and some five years ahead of schedule, the Task Force has seen some 400 projects through to fruition.
Council has introduced a range of flexible work and leave arrangements to help employees balance their work and family/life commitments, such as job sharing, working from home, linking programs, purchasing leave, cultural and ceremonial leave, and career breaks.The key drivers behind the initiatives are both social and business-based.
Brisbane’s 2010 draft plan Living in Brisbane 2010 aims to create a city that is efficient and affordable, well designed, easily accessible, able to grow while protecting character and serving residents successfully. Council’s Divisional Manager of Community and Economic Development, Pauline Peel, said that Brisbane is committed to creating a strong sense of community and is actively seeking ways to strengthen social cohesion.
Brisbane residents or visitors with queries about the ourbrisbane.com portal will be able to receive a response around the clock, seven days a week.From mid 2001, Council’s award-winning call centre will provide a full customer contact service for the new Brisbane portal, integrating all contact channels including telephone calls and emails.
At a regional level, Lord Mayor Jim Soorley has demonstrated significant leadership working with the 18 Councils in South East Queensland on various planning and environmental matters. These include transport, water catchment and air quality issues.Comprising Councils from Noosa in the North, Gold Coast in the South and Toowoomba to the West, this region has over 2.3 million residents. As the fastest growing region in Australia, the population is expected to reach 3.2 million by the end of this decade.