February 2002 Edition

  • Roads to Recovery – one year on

    In November 2000, the Federal Government announced its Roads to Recovery program. This $1.2 billion funding boost for local roads over four years earmarked $850 million to be spent in rural and regional Australia. As the largest injection of funds into local roads by any Australian Federal Government, it aimed to improve Local Governments’ capacity to repair and upgrade local roads.
  • Getting the most from grants

    The District Council of Mount Remarkable in rural South Australia received funding of $985,079 over the four years of the current Roads to Recovery program. Of this, $219,765 was allocated for the first year.
  • President’s comment

    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Julie Hansen, President of the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA).
  • Naracoorte Lucindale Council heart of the Limestone Coast

    Naracoorte and Lucindale are situated in the south east region of South Australia now known as The Limestone Coast. Naracoorte Lucindale Council has a population of just over 8,500.
  • Corrigin under the big lights

    With the help of the Shire of Corrigan, and the local sports clubs, the transformation of a simple sports oval into a quality all purpose facility, has attracted many more sports and recreational events to the Shire. Corrigin, in Western Australia, with a population of 1,276 people, is a small rural community. Sport forms an integral part of the community’s social fibre.
  • So you want an entrepreneurial economy? - The Good Oil by Rod Brown*

    Last month’s edition of LG FOCUS provided some stirring sentiments from Bernie Millane (City of Whitehorse) about Local Government taking the lead in rebuilding some of our regional areas. The same edition referred to entrepreneurial things in train at Kalgoorlie-Boulder. It got me thinking about some smart things happening overseas. I am throwing them on the table for you to draw your own conclusions – on the basis that while we live in the greatest country in the world, we can always learn from others.
  • The economic future of Victoria

    Want to hear about the Victoria's economic future? Interested in staying ahead of the competition? The AEC Group Limited is proud to present one of its popular Economic Futures events on Thursday 18 April, which will be staged at the Mercure Hotel, Melbourne.
  • Making things happen in Sarina

    Sarina Shire is a vibrant coastal community of about 1,441 square kilometres situated on the east coast of the Mackay Region of Queensland. Its urban centre, Sarina, is located approximately 950 kilometres north of Brisbane and some 34 kilometres south of Mackay. The estimated population of Sarina as of 30 June 2000 was 10,051 and continues to grow at a rate of approximately 1.8 per cent, the second highest in the Mackay Region behind Whitsunday Shire.
  • Councillor profiles

    A new regular feature in response to feedback from our 2001 Reader Survey
  • Kiama Municipal Council

    The Kiama community has been very fortunate for the initiatives that its Council has undertaken in the development of community services since 1953. Council is now recognised as a leader in innovation and service provision, especially for a coastal/rural Council with a population of less than 20,000 people.
  • One year into the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy

    The Commonwealth Government’s $240 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy is about encouraging local community organisations, businesses, individuals and different levels of government to work in partnership to develop practical and new projects from the ground up. Across Australia, Local Government professionals are providing vital support to communities, building community spirit and economic, social and environmental development through self help projects and activities. The Stronger Families and Communities Strategy aims to draw on the unique skills and capacities of these groups so that each can make a contribution to the communities in which they work and live and provide local solutions to local problems. It clearly shows what can be achieved when governments and communities work together. Since January 2001, almost 300 projects throughout Australia have been approved for development.
  • Melbourne celebrates a new park

    On Australia Day, the City of Melbourne officially opened its first new central city park in more than a century. A joint project between Council and the State Government, Birrarung Marr stretches along the north side of the Yarra River from Federation Square to Melbourne Park.
  • Putting public liability centre stage of COAG agenda

    “Current proposals to address the issue of public liability have been broadly welcomed by Local Government and should now be considered during the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments,” said Councillor John Ross, President of the Australian Local Government Association. “In the context of addressing spiralling public liability insurance premiums, the issue of non feasance, otherwise known as the ‘Highway Rule’ is high on the agenda.
  • Fishing in the desert

    Fishing in the desert? Sounds bizarre doesn’t it! It is in fact an ingenious project of Western Australia’s Coolgardie Shire to ignite tourism back into its local area.
  • National plan of action to combat racism

    Recently many Australians have expressed concern about the growing tensions in the community arising from issues such as how we treat refugees and asylum seekers, our involvement in the war against terrorism and the unresolved question of reconciliation between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians. These concerns all seem to have a common point – how do we as a community, as a nation, approach and resolve issues that require an understanding and acceptance of diverse cultural values and lifestyles?
  • How a simple newsletter can bring a community together

    For smaller Councils, even a simple newsletter to residents is difficult to initiate. However with participation from the local community, Urana Shire in New South Wales, with a population of 1,554, has been able to do exactly that.
  • CivEnEx 2002 bigger and better

    CivEnEx 2002 will be held at the Sydney Showground at Homebush Bay in Sydney’s inner west on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 May 2002. Sydney Showground provides a new all weather site for CivEnEx with undercover stands and outdoor exhibit areas. Exhibitors and visitors will be impressed with the access and amenities that the venue provides.
  • Granito Tiles – maximising on design and safety *

    Two recently opened projects in Victoria and New South Wales have become benchmarks for innovative design in public leisure precincts. The Lane Cove Aquatic Leisure Centre boasts the latest in pool design, featuring stylish aesthetics with practical function. Part of this equation is Granito Tile, porcelain ceramic tiles made in Australia.

Feature: Human Resource Management/OH&S

  • Local Government Rural Online

    Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) has launched a Rural Online Project which aims to provide practical support to senior Local Government officers employed in rural and remote locations through a web site facility.
  • Sustainable Regions Programme – off to a keen start in 2002

    Strong Local Government involvement is already a key feature of the $100.5 million Sustainable Regions Programme. The Sustainable Regions Programme is the centrepiece of the Government’s Stronger Regions, A Stronger Australia package released last year. Sustainable Regions is about building on a community’s existing efforts to create strong and sustainable futures, with the Government partnering their development by supporting local ideas and actions and helping to provide the tools to make it happen.
  • Elvis and Co ‘Fly in’

    The devastation of the recent Christmas bushfires in NSW has demonstrated the untiring efforts and professionalism of volunteer firefighters and all involved in the efforts to save lives and homes.Given the unprecedented duration and ferocity of the bushfires, the Federal Government has paid around $700,000 to reimburse NSW for the transportation cost of two S-64 Air Crane Helitankers to augment existing firefighting resources.
  • Improving OH&S in a difficult work environment

    The Aged and Disability Support Services (A&DSS) at Manningham City Council have adopted a systems approach to develop a comprehensive Health and Safety Management System.In a work environment such as aged and disability support, where traditionally occupational health and safety has been ignored and difficult to control, this new approach comes as a positive improvement.
  • Assessing job candidates identifies best training investments

    Matching training to people is not a simple matter. Steven Dahl* examines how candidate assessment can be valuable in developing the best training programs for new recruits.
  • Global Learning Village for Hume

    A concept to create new opportunities for disadvantaged local communities through access to information and technology, has been unleashed by the Hume City Council in Victoria. The $10.2 million project is the first of a series to be financed by the State Government, under Reinvesting in Communities, through its Community Support Fund.
  • Community Jobs Project at Banyule

    Banyule City Council’s Community Jobs Project ended in December 2001 with the launch of ‘The Essentials – Youth Support Pack’ produced by 13 young local participants.
  • Glenorchy keeps its employees fit

    In a commitment to providing staff with opportunities to increase their fitness levels, Glenorchy City Council has established a number of programs to improve heart health.Initiated through its Property and Recreation Department, the Glenorchy City Council Employee Health Program is made up of five fitness component programs.
  • Warwick tackles men’s health

    Warwick Shire in south east Queensland has developed a Men’s Health Program to assist men in leading healthier lives. The Warwick Community Health and Warwick Indoor Recreation and Aquatic Centre identified the need for men to take responsibility for their own health, and the fact that men often leave health problems until it is too late.
  • National online careers for Local Government *

    The National Local Government Career Centre, www.lg.newjobs.com.au, was launched in November 2001 as a result of the success experienced in the NSW market. First established in November of 2000, the NSW specific site listed over 800 jobs for Councils in its first year and has become a valued tool for job seekers and Councils alike.
  • Best training at Brisbane Water

    Brisbane Water has been recognised for its proactive contribution to the water industry by winning the Queensland Public Sector ‘Best Learning and Development Initiative Award’ at the 2001 Queensland Training Awards last year. A commercial business unit of Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Water is responsible for water and wastewater services for 840,000 residents, commercial and industrial customers.
  • Increased productivity, efficiency, and safety with Cargo Drawers *

    Cargo Drawers Australia, a proudly Australia owned and operated company, has specialised for over 14 years in manufacturing an exciting and innovative range of cargo drawers suitable for all styles of vehicles such as vans, utilities, four wheel drives, station wagons and even trailers.
  • Taking control of workers’ comp

    Rising Workcover premiums have always been a challenge for Local Governments. In tackling this issue Hunters Hill Council in New South Wales, in consultation with KMRM Risk Management Pty Ltd, developed the Hunters Hill Council Risk Management Program.
  • Frankston’s PRIDE

    The objective of Frankston PRIDE (Promoting, Recognition and Innovation, Delivering Excellence) was to revisit its organisational approach to performance management using a broader range of perspectives, and ensuring a link between performance at the coal face and corporate goals.Four business units at Frankston City Council have been involved in developing the corporate strategic plan and performance measures.
  • Competency standards for staff development

    Beaudesert Shire Council is believed to be the first Council in Queensland to implement the competency standards contained in the Local Government Training Package. The Project will provide Council with a comprehensive list of competencies for its 400 employees. As a result, training and development will be specifically targeted to job requirements.
  • Keeping up to date in HR

    Local Government in Queensland employs over 33,000 people in a wide range of occupations. It is essential that industrial relations, human resources and training personnel remain abreast of the various issues affecting Councils and the management of their staff. Each year, as part of a commitment to keeping Local Government informed, the Local Government Association of Queensland presents a two day human resources conference. It covers a range of critical human resources issues impacting on employment and work.
  • A regional approach to human resources and training

    A regional approach to human resources and training, put in place by the Human Resource and Joint Training Team at the Hunter Region Organisation of Councils (HROC), is proving a good example of the efficiencies obtained through voluntary structural reform. Developed in response to increased training needs of its member Councils, HROC had identified significant opportunities to reduce duplication, achieve economies of scale and create synergy through collaboration.
  • Customised OH&S at Burwood Council

    A trial approach to Occupational Health and Safety management has lead to Burwood Council adopting a bottom up Systematic Approach to Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Online government workplace related issues *

    Does your Council need convenient access to information about government employment assistance, workplace relations, superannuation, occupational health and safety issues and a host of other workplace related issues? Want to know how to get staff, where to find specific training courses, perhaps do some research on skill shortages? Then the one place to find all this and more is www.workplace.gov.au
  • Message from the Minister

    Welcome to this first National Perspective for 2002. It gives me great pleasure to write to you for the first time as Federal Minister with responsibility for Local Government. I intend to keep you informed through these pages of Federal Government initiatives of interest to you and your communities.
  • Councils taking the lead

    From the Pilbara to Boonah, from Tumut to Alice Springs, from Whittlesea to Parkes, Local Government representatives have been getting together to hear about the positive things that leading councils have been busy doing around the country. Since the Leading Practice Seminar Series started in 2000, winners of the National Awards for Innovation in Local Government have shared their experiences with 111 other Councils around Australia.
  • The Year of the Outback

    Australia’s world famous Outback will be celebrated in 2002 in a year that will showcase its people, destinations, achievements and beauty.
  • Brisbane hosts Commonwealth Local Government leaders

    Local Government leaders from around the globe gathered in Brisbane to attend the annual Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) conference from 3-5 October 2001. The CLGF is based in London and is the voice of Local Government in the Commonwealth. The CLGF grew from recognition of the crucial nature of Local Government in the democratic process and a Commonwealth wide trend towards decentralisation.
  • New candidates for the Australian Rural Leadership Program announced

    The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation announced in January the names of the 32 successful candidates for the 9th intake of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP).Through the National Office of Local Government (NOLG), the Department of Transport and Regional Services has again provided a scholarship for a person with a Local Government background to complete the prestigious ARLP.
  • Protecting Australia’s biodiversity
    The vital role of Local Government

    As home to some 10 per cent of the world’s known species of flora and fauna, 80 per cent of which exist nowhere else on earth, Australia has a special responsibility for protecting and conserving our biodiversity. That is why, after a review of the 1996 National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity, the Commonwealth has worked closely with the States and Territories to develop National Objectives and Targets for Biodiversity Conservation 2001-2005.
  • New structure for Federal Department

    The Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services has new organisational arrangements, effective from 1 January 2002.
  • Recognition for women taking action in Australia’s regions

    The vital role women play in driving economic and social change within their communities has been recognised with the publication of Women Taking Action: Making a Difference in Regional and Rural Communities. Women Taking Action is a series of stories about women who have been a major force for change within their community, often without seeking or receiving recognition.
  • Holistic approach to working in LG

    An innovative program at Maitland City Council, the New Horizons Program, is providing employees with a more holistic understanding of the role and functions of each business group inside and outside of Council. This annual year long training program is undertaken by 15 Council employees selected on the basis of merit, across the professional, technical and trades based areas of Council.