A model for isolated rural communities A joint project between Kentish Council and Unitas Company Ltd aims to develop an innovative broadband model that can be used by other isolated rural communities throughout Australia. Currently, Kentish residents only have access to relatively low speed telecommunications services using a dial-up modem.
Whittlesea Conference launch pad for AXS OneView * AXS OneView – the Alternative Data Warehouse Solution AXS-One, Local Government solutions provider for over a decade, is using the 3rd annual Whittlesea Innovation Conference to launch its new business intelligence solution for Local Governments.AXS OneView incorporates a dynamic analytical engine with an industrial strength data repository and web technology to provide Councils with all the functionality associated with a data warehouse without the huge costs normally involved.
What next for Yass Shire’s historic Hume Bridges? Yass Shire Council in New South Wales has established a Landscape Committee to oversee the conservation of the historical landmarks that were the Hume Bridges, which spanned the Yass River for over a century.The Committee is seeking suggestions from the local community on how the arches may be conserved and used, and will encourage community participation with its conservation.
Bridge bashing set to save lives and Council funds A University of Technology Sydney, structural engineering expert has devised a bridge testing system which will help save lives and millions of dollars in road maintenance costs for local Councils. UTS Engineering Faculty Professor Bijan Samali bashes bridges with a special hammer to see if they are likely to collapse.
The City of Victor Harbor has recently completed the Victor Harbor Ring Road. The project is the largest ever undertaken by Council and is believed to be the first for any Council in South Australia. Approximately seven kilometres in length, the Ring Road comprises four bridge connections. It provides a safe alternative route for traffic to bypass the key commercial area of Victor Harbor, and allows for the future development of areas that previously had poor accessibility.
Unique consultancy for Australia’s saleyards * Councils are the owners and operators of the majority of Australia’s 130 plus Livestock Saleyards. Pressed for time, Councils are turning to a new specialist saleyard consultancy to complete operational reviews, business plans, and examine other key areas to improve their holding. Livestock Exchange Consultancy (LEC) was formed in 1999. Its principal aim is to provide a range of consultancy based services to the livestock exchange/saleyard industry.
Holistic approach to health and aged care needs Traditionally an area with minimal aged care services, the District Council of Yankalilla in South Australia, and its community, embarked on a project resulting in innovative health care and an aged care complex.
After eight years at the helm of the Victorian Local Governance Association, Mike Hill is bidding farewell to an organisation that he has been instrumental in establishing. He will hand over to the new CEO, Andrew Rowe, in February.
AusLink a key concern for 2003 Newly elected President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Councillor Mike Montgomery, from Moree Plains Shire in New South Wales, believes that a major focal point for Local Government in 2003 is the issue of roads and access, in particular AusLink. He said with responses to the AusLink Green Paper required by the Federal Government in early February, the subsequent release of the White Paper leading through to legislation will be of vital importance to Local Government.
Sydney to host IULA – Asia Pacific inaugural Congress ‘Local Government Leading Sustainable Communities’ is the theme of the first ever International Union of Local Authorities – Asia Pacific Congress, which will be held in Sydney from 9 to 11 April 2003.
Australian Councils are receiving growing international recognition for their efforts to address climate change. But to continue their endeavours in this field, Councils are now urging that a major successful initiative – the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign – continues. Current Federal Government funding for CCP is set to end in June this year and, to date, funding has not been renewed.
LGPro 2003 Annual Conference – leadership through innovation Sandy Hollway AO will give the keynote address, Leadership Through Innovation, at LGPro’s 2003 Annual Conference. To be held at Melbourne Park Function Centre on 20 and 21 February, the conference is set to attract hundreds of Local Government professionals from throughout Victoria and interstate.
Brisbane 13 – 16 April Brisbane City Council is hosting one of the founders of modern peace studies, Professor Johan Galtung, at the 2003 Asia Pacific Cities Summit.Professor Galtung, from Norway, will speak on his ideas for peace in the current international political climate. He is among nine local and international speakers to confirm their attendance at the Summit, ensuring a global perspective on the future of our cities.
Warrnambool attraction ‘hooking’ visitors for overnight stays One of Warrnambool’s many great attractions has just completed a major redevelopment. Launched on 31 December 2002, it aims to encourage visitors to look beyond day trips, enticing them with an overnight stay. Located in the heart of the Shipwreck Coast region and some 260 kilometres south west of Melbourne, Warrnambool is rich in maritime history.
Nambucca’s plan for economic growth pays off In an area that is relatively small in population and with limited economic diversity, the Nambucca Economic Revival Plan aims to provide a clear path for economic growth and prosperity. Nambucca Shire is located on the mid north coast of New South Wales, some 490 kilometres from Sydney. It has a population of 17,700 and covers an area of 1,443 square kilometres.
Seeing the forest and the trees - The Good Oil by Rod Brown * Professor Peter Senge (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Arie De Gues (Chief Planner, Royal Dutch Shell) are pioneers of learning organisations and the application of systems thinking. They argue that an organisation’s only sustainable competitive advantage in a global economy is the superior performance of its people. They, and their supporters, have taken ‘scenario planning’ and ‘systems thinking’ to new levels to assist management in anticipating change in their environment.
Bathurst Island community focusing on healthy living With the new childcare facility on Bathurst Island, the development of a nutrition and family health program is helping the community to focus on healthy living.
A regular feature this month profiling two Councillors from Western Australia.
National Local Government Biodiversity Toolbox Imagine the ease with which we could protect our natural heritage if we were all using the same approach. Imagine if we developed a strategic framework to do it so that we knew we were making real gains. Imagine if we focused on outcomes rather than outputs. Thanks to a partnership forged between Environs Australia (the Local Government environment network) and Environment Australia (Commonwealth Government Department), an interactive web based tool called the Biodiversity Toolbox may well realise the above vision, that has been lacking for so long.
On 8 November 2002, UNESCO approved the Mornington Peninsula Biosphere Reserve, making what is believed to be Australia’s first designated Biosphere Reserve in more than 20 years, and the world’s first urban biosphere.
Congested Britain - The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley * The Confederation of British Industry has calculated that traffic congestion in Britain costs £20 billion per year. This figure represents the time wasted in traffic jams that would otherwise be productive. It does not, however, include the costs of the pollution it causes in terms of damage to the environment and preventable ill health.
Stirling makes recycling and waste management simpler The City of Stirling in Western Australia has embarked on a innovative and comprehensive waste management program, to promote and assist the recycling and management of wastes by residents and ratepayers.Being Western Australia’s largest Local Government, the City of Stirling has 176,000 residents who live in 66,000 households and 10,000 home units.
Inground wine storage reduces environmental impact Wine storage is set to move back inground, reducing the visual and environmental impact of the above ground stainless steel ‘tank farms’ now common in wine areas. A new storage system, developed by a group of professional engineers in the Yarra Valley, involves the use of materials technology to store wine in multiple ‘bladders’ suspended in an inground, water filled concrete reservoir.
Thuringowa buys back its waste management services The Thuringowa City Council is undergoing the process of buying back its waste management services to deliver quality services to ratepayers, by establishing a commercial waste business unit. Public dissatisfaction with Council’s contracted waste collection service, led to Council establishing its commercial waste business unit, Thuringowa Waste, which is undergoing a process of buying back Council’s contracted waste services. It is believed that Council had a commercial contract for five years prior to it taking over the business unit.
Richmond Valley Council Depot wins five star rating for stormwater pollution prevention Richmond Valley Council Depot has come up trumps in a recent assessment of its daily business activities. The assessment was conducted as part of the Stormwater Education and Assessment (SEA) Project. The work carried out at the Depot was first class and the staff are to be congratulated. The $962,000 Stormwater Trust funded project is an initiative of six New South Wales far north coast Councils all working together. They comprise Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Shire Councils.
Intelligent Cities The smart future for your Council The City of Whittlesea will present its Third Annual Technology Innovation Conference on Friday 14 February 2003. The Conference will help equip Local Government and its partners to build strategies to provide new ways of communicating, providing services and doing business, for a new generation of connected communities.
Shellharbour’s IT strategy delivers leading edge technology New South Wales’ youngest city, Shellharbour, has facilitated business efficiency and leading edge technology with the development of a comprehensive management information and back office administration system.
Vital partnerships and a clear strategic direction In recent years, Coffs Harbour City Council has experienced a highly successful period, through a range of capital works and planning, and the streamlining of its operations. Located on the mid north coast of NSW, Council services a population of more than 61,000, and is responsible for a Local Government area spanning some 955 square kilometres. The organisation’s strategic focus, efficiency and strong relationship with its local community have been recognised in the past year with two of the most prestigious awards a Council can hope to win – the Nations In Bloom Awards for Liveable Communities, and the AR Bluett Memorial Award for Local Government.
Nations In Bloom Award - international accolades for most liveable City Coffs Harbour has won the 2002 international Nations In Bloom Award, the world’s only international competition addressing management of the environment and enhancement of quality of life. In October 2002, Coffs Harbour was named the winner of Category B, for cities with a population of up to 75,000. Coffs is the first Australian city to win the coveted award, which is endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program.
Coffs Harbour takes out prestigious AR Bluett Award Coffs Harbour City Council is now recognised as one of the leading Local Government organisations in NSW, having been awarded the AR Bluett Memorial Award for 2000-2001. The AR Bluett Memorial Award is the most coveted accolade in NSW Local Government. It has been awarded annually since 1945, recognising excellence in the delivery of quality of life to the community.
Coffs Harbour offers an amazing diversity of accommodation, conference facilities, dining options, tours, attractions, natural highlights and specialist operators. Add to this the sub tropical climate and the flexibility to enjoy coastal activities one day and hinterland tours the next. Top it off with easy access by air, road and rail and the value for money that is difficult to find elsewhere, and you have the perfect venue for your next event or conference.
Over a 10 year period Coffs Harbour City Centre had experienced high vacancy rates and falling property values, increased unemployment and crime. These were all indicators for the need to revitalise the City Centre. Coffs Harbour City Council partnered with business owners, landholders, artisans and community representatives to develop a strategy for the revitalisation of the whole city centre precinct.
Council initiated the Coffs Best Value program to reduce costs and improve productivity across the organisation. A project team was formed in the 2000/2001 financial year, with representatives of a broad range of Council operations.
Protecting one of the world’s most beautiful regions Much of the success of Coffs Harbour City Council’s recent initiatives can be attributed to a strong focus on environmental protection. Projects such as the Regional Water Supply Scheme, the Coffs Harbour Sewerage Strategy, the Waste Strategy, creation of the State and Regional Parks, energy efficiency projects, and numerous planning initiatives have had a strong emphasis on environmental protection and enhancement.
Enriching Coffs Harbour’s colourful cultural tapestry After some 20 years of hard work by community groups, individuals, and Coffs Harbour City Council, the City attracted NSW State Government funding to assist with the cost of opening a regional art gallery in Coffs Harbour. The gallery was opened to the public in May 2001, with a program of exhibitions to suit all cultural tastes and to reflect the multicultural and diverse nature of the community.
Like most regional areas of Australia, Coffs Harbour faces the problem of ensuring economic growth and encouraging employment growth. In recent years a number of new strategies have been implemented to foster economic growth. These range from initiatives such as the revitalisation of the Coffs Harbour City Centre and other suburbs, to direct incentives to encourage business expansion and job creation.
Sustainability underpins sewerage strategy Sewerage systems servicing Coffs Harbour have been progressively developed over the past 45 years. However, with the pressure of population growth and the need to ensure environmental protection of the neighbouring Solitary Islands Marine Park, Coffs Harbour City Council has embarked upon a major project to upgrade its sewerage infrastructure.
Regional water project secures current and future supply Despite having one of the most water efficient communities in New South Wales, Coffs Harbour faces the challenges of a growing population and the need to ensure a secure water supply for future generations. Coffs Harbour City Council partnered with the NSW State Government and with the other members of the former Lower Clarence County Council (now known as North Coast Water), to develop a strategy to provide a secure bulk water supply to 2021 and beyond.
Coffs Harbour City Council and the local rural community have been working together to develop a Rural Lands Strategic Plan. The aim of the plan is to improve the social, environmental and economic future for the rural community, while preserving the character of the area. Hundreds of residents attended a series of workshops facilitated by consultants from the University of New England. These workshops aimed to identify the characteristics residents wish to retain in their communities, raise issues of concern, discuss potential for development and economic growth, and forge a strategic plan for the future of rural lands.