Tenterfield wins highest NSW Shires honour Tenterfield Shire Council has received the prestigious A.R.Bluett Memorial Award for the outstanding delivery of services to residents and ratepayers. The Award has been presented to members of the Shires Association of NSW each year since 1945.
Councils around Australia are helping residents to break the drought by saving water through land use planning, community education and regulation. More than 40 Councils have joined a voluntary Water Campaign run by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Campaign Manager, Janine Nechwatal, said these Councils were aiming to save water and improve water quality in their creeks, streams and rivers.
As the level of government closest to the people it is vital that those elected to Local Government reflect the community at large. Unfortunately, far too few younger people take such an interest in the running of their community as Kate Fitzpatrick. The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has looked at ways to bridge this gap with young people. Over the past few years, it has worked with Deakin University in setting up various research projects for students. This year the Deakin students were given the topic, ‘What is young people’s perception of Local Government and why are there so few young Councillors?’
The Local Government Association and State Government of South Australia have launched a kit to help plan around $67 million a year in cultural spending. Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts, John Hill, said the kit highlights 25 examples of ‘good practice’ Council policies, projects and activities.
We would like to thank all respondents who completed our reader survey distributed in our September 2003 edition. Our regular surveys are used for planning future editions of FOCUS, ensuring we cover the relevant issues and best practice examples that assist elected members and staff to meet the increasing expectations of their communities.
South Australia’s City of Playford has gained international recognition at the prestigious Nations in Bloom competition, held this year in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. The objectives of Nations in Bloom include the improvement in the quality of life, through the creation of liveable communities, the exchange of good practice relating to the management of the environment and the encouragement of new initiatives.
Auslink, the Keniry Report and the future of the Nationals The Good Oil by Rod Brown * Part of the armoury that the Deputy PM and DOTARS will use to win Budget funding is the Keniry Report, commissioned by the government and released in August 2003 (see www.rbda.gov.au). It deals with the growth of regional business, and follows a year of research and discussions by an independent panel, chaired by Dr John Keniry, the chairman of the Ridley Corporation.
A regular feature, this month profiling two Councillors from Victoria
‘Local Government Victoria’ launched at MAV conference In officially opening the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Annual Conference, staged on 16–17 October, Victorian Minister for Local Government, Candy Broad, announced that in line with other Government areas, such as Lands Victoria and Tourism Victoria, the Local Government Division will now be known as Local Government Victoria. She said that this consistency is very much a part of the State Government’s policy of growing Victoria together.
Brimbank scoops the 2003 Premier’s Awards Brimbank Council has scooped the pool by winning both categories in the prestigious 2003 Premier’s Award for Continuous Improvement in Local Government in Victoria. Brimbank won Category A (Whole of Council) for its Best Value process and Category B (Functional Area or Part of Council) for its new Maternal and Child Health Service model, introduced in May this year.
At the 2003 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Adelaide, FOCUS invited delegates to nominate an individual and team from their Council who are excelling in their field and promoting the organisation’s corporate goals. In this edition we showcase two more of our competition winners.
Campbelltown PALS aim to be leaders A program to develop young Aboriginal leaders is under way in Campbelltown City, south west of Sydney. Council, the NSW Department of Education and Training and the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group are running Promoting Aboriginal Leadership in Schools (PALS) to prepare Indigenous students for life beyond high school. PALS involves 31 Aboriginal students in school activities to boost their self confidence, improve their educational outcomes and reduce absenteeism.
A recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) communiqué has outlined a strong commitment to ensuring Australia’s water trading markets deliver increased productivity and efficiency to rural communities, and return environmental flows and health to our rivers and groundwater systems. However, the complexity of stakeholder issues involved in achieving this goal make this process one of the most difficult and important movements in Australia’s rural history. With this in mind, IBC Conferences is organising the 2nd A–Z of Australian Water Trading, due to be held on 10–11 March 2004 at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.
The New South Wales Government has set an objective to halve the road toll by 2010. Various initiatives have been introduced and statistics suggest that these are already having a positive impact in reducing accident rates.
Mobile skate ramp wins State award Hindmarsh Shire Council in western Victoria has won a 2003 Heart Foundation Local Government Award for its mobile skate ramp project. Council won the Small Rural and Remote Community Project category and is now contending for a national award, to be announced in late November.
IPWEAQ meets in Mackay Advocating ‘jumping into life rather than standing on the edge watching’, motivational speaker Heather Swan left no one in any doubt, at the recent Annual Conference of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia Queensland (IPWEAQ), that she knew exactly what she was talking about. Setting her goal to be the first woman to base jump from K2, one of the highest Mountains in the world, Heather outlined the amazing journey she took in her endeavours to achieve this goal.
Feature: Tourism & Economic Development
Parramatta’s campaign to attract investors The business community of Parramatta in western Sydney has launched a two year marketing campaign to attract more private investment in the City. The Marketing the City project, worth more than half a million dollars, delivers a range of strategies to promote Parramatta.
World class observatory for historic Busselton Jetty Extending almost two kilometres from the shores of Geographe Bay in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, Busselton Jetty is the longest timber pier in the southern hemisphere. Also described as Australia’s greatest artificial reef, there are more than 300 marine species living under the jetty.
Maroondah City Council, in Melbourne’s east, has released a draft Tourism Strategy called Best Kept Secrets to assist the development of a local tourism industry. Chair of the Maroondah Tourism Advisory Board, Councillor Maureen Naylor, said the strategy would provide new opportunities and improve existing tourism assets in the community.
Being located midway between Brisbane and Cairns, the Mackay City Council uses the slogan “The Heart of Queensland”. According to Mayor Julie Boyd, Mackay is a very warm and welcoming community. It has a wonderful climate with easy access to long sandy beaches and an array of islands.
With more than 78,000 residents, Mackay’s population is younger than the State average, at the same time, some of the Council’s outlying mining towns rank among Australia’s wealthiest. Covering an area of 2,820 square kilometres, Council has 100 square kilometres of islands including Brampton, Keswick, St Bees and Lindeman.
With a massive capital works program, city revitalisation program and various lifestyle projects under way, Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Ken Gouldthorp, has no doubt that Mackay is “a City on the move”.
Mackay to host 2004 LGAQ Conference Mackay is proud to have won the right to host the 2004 Local Government Association of Queensland Annual Conference.
Mackay one of Queensland’s top five Councils A recent certification audit reaffirmed that Council’s quality management system is being maintained and continues to comply with the ISO 9001:2000 standard.
In addition to $2 million in its current budget for the Riverwalk project, $625,000 has been earmarked for specific initiatives under the guidance of the newly formed City Centre Revitalisation Board. Comprising business, Council and community representatives, the Board will oversee landscaping and streetscape works, a traffic and parking strategy, detailed precinct plans and a marketing strategy.
Artspace – award winning regional gallery Since opening in December 2002, Artspace Mackay has had over 30,000 people through its doors, including 15,000 in the last three months. The $3.2 million complex is ideally located in the City’s Civic Precinct which includes the Mackay Entertainment Centre, Library, Council Chambers, Senior Citizens Centre and extensive open air performance space.
Botanic Gardens to rival the very best Officially opened in May 2003, Mackay’s 33 hectares of Botanic Gardens is definitely a long term project. The idea for such a facility was first flagged in 1878 when the Department of Primary Industries established an experimental planting plot for tropical fruits and sugar cane.
Recognising the community’s desire for the development of sound infrastructure and improved facilities, Council is also mindful that the local economy has suffered from a prolonged downturn in the sugar industry. Council’s Ten Year Financial Strategy aims to deliver a sustainable and secure future for this rapidly growing City.
Multicultural community with a rich tapestry The local area multicultural partnership program is an initiative which is funded by the State Government and employs a Community Relations Officer to oversee the program The aim of this program is to ensure Council information is relevant for all cultural groups, and policies are formulated to reflect the needs of new citizens.
Goodwill, good business and friendship with sister cities Mackay has established sister city relationships with Matsuura in Japan and Honiara in the Solomon Islands. The Matsuura relationship is the most active with visits by school students and community members, and regular communication between the two cities.
Based in two locations – Council Chambers and the Gordon White Library – Council has 20 dedicated Customer Service staff.
Wastewater re-use: Mackay leads the sustainable way of the future Aiming to set new standards in wastewater disposal, Mackay has allocated $5.3 million in its 2003/04 budget for the Mackay Water Resource Project. With the project removing the need for an ocean outfall, Council is currently seeking both Commonwealth and State Government funding support.
Reducing and re-using a priority Land for a new central waste transfer station in Mackay is to be purchased by Council this financial year. The transfer station will form an integral part of the City’s new waste management strategy leading to the eventual closure of the Bayersville landfill site.
With Mackay often described as the “River City”, the beautiful Pioneer River runs right through the City centre. Its blue waters form a wide estuary running into that part of the Pacific Ocean called the Coral Sea. The River has always been the heart and sole of this Queensland Coastal City, and as such, Council is keen to make the most of its many attributes.
Rockingham gears up for tourist boom The City of Rockingham south of Perth is in the grip of a population and tourist boom. Situated just 47 kilometres from Perth, Rockingham has always attracted a steady stream of visitors from the city. In the past two years, this old seaside village has become one of the most popular coastal destinations in the south west corridor of WA.
New coastal gateway to Rockingham Rockingham City Council is redeveloping 16 hectares of its waterfront town centre to create a new tourist destination less than an hour’s drive from Perth. Council and State Government developer LandCorp are developing the Rockingham Waterfront Village to cater for the City’s rapid population growth and tourist boom.
Newcastle City’s survey attracts new business A floor space and employment survey by Newcastle City Council is attracting new investment and jobs to this coastal NSW city. Council’s Floor Space and Employment Survey won a commendation award in the 2002 National Awards for Innovation in Local Government.
Migration – bringing the world to our regions The Australian Government is committed to the economic, demographic and social development of regional Australia and wants to ensure that regional, and low population growth metropolitan areas of Australia, obtain greater benefits from migration. A number of State-specific and regional migration (SSRM) initiatives have been introduced, over the last seven years, in consultation with State and Territory Governments and regional authorities. These initiatives provide for regional employers and State and Territory Governments to meet critical skill shortages and regional development objectives.
Pirate ship to be sunk for scuba divers A former pirate ship, the South Tomi, was open to the public for the first time since its arrival in Geraldton, Western Australia, as part of the town’s Sunshine Festival during October.
Liverpool building LINC between construction sector and community Liverpool City Council has launched the Liverpool Industry Network – Construction (LINC) to connect construction companies with community services and economic development to strengthen the local building industry. Liverpool, south west of Sydney, has a population of 163,500. It is expected to increase by 100,000 people over the next 20 years, making it one of the fastest growing municipalities in NSW.
Honorary Ambassador to promote Alice Springs overseas Executive Officer of the Northern Territory’s Camel Industry Association, Peter Seidel, has been named the first Honorary Ambassador for Alice Springs. He was appointed by Alice Springs Town Council to represent the town and Central Australian region overseas.
Five Councils on the golden quest trail Early Western Australian goldfields prospectors travelled far and wide in their quest for gold nuggets and fame. In March 2003, a new type of wealth was unearthed by a group of ‘modern day prospectors’ comprising the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission, the Golden Quest Trails Association, Goldfields Tourism Association, Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, Anaconda Ltd and Croesus Mining in partnership with five Local Governments, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Shires of Coolgardie, Menzies, Leonora and Laverton.
Councils to help Central Qld prosper Central Queensland Councils have teamed up with the State Government to set up a New Millennium Steering Committee to investigate economic development and ecological sustainability across the region.
The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley * Councils in England are under a statutory duty to adopt Community Strategies. These strategies are produced by Local Strategic Partnerships created through bringing together key representatives from public, private and voluntary sector organisations working within Council areas. Part of the creation of the Community Strategies is consultation with local communities. Consistently this consultation identifies the issues of affordable housing, a clean and safe environment, health and economic development as important, issues that are interconnected and which are fundamental to a good quality of life.
At a recent meeting of tourism organisations in South Australia, the Country Victoria Tourism Council Inc (CVTC) was invited to discuss its structure and relationships.
Local community driving tourism initiative The preservation of a historic stationmaster’s house has led to a morale boosting tourism initiative in the Shire of Lake Grace, in Western Australia’s southern region.
House in the sky lights up western Melbourne The award winning House in the Sky sculpture is now floodlit at night to welcome visitors to Melbourne’s west.
Print Group aids business growth The Harris Print Group, with over 110 years in publishing as well as commercial printing, knows what it takes to ensure their services and products support the requirements of their customers.
The Heritage Highway Region of Tasmania, the historic heart of the State with its many quaint villages, is rich in colonial stories of robbery, corruption and blackmail. The many visitors to this popular area are now able to tap into and experience this rich history by playing the Skulduggery games.
Councils find strength in diversity Local Governments are increasingly taking the lead in creating better communities. The new Strength in Diversity Award, for the cultural diversity category of the Australian Government’s National Awards for Local Government, recognises and rewards leadership and excellence in responding to cultural diversity. Kingston City Council (Victoria) has won the 2003 award for its innovative approach to support for newly arrived refugees.
Residents aim for sustainable tourism More than 60 people have attended public forums on the development of a Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the City of Hobson’s Bay, a popular bayside destination in Melbourne. Called ‘From the Bridge to the Beach’, the forums were held in October. They were organised by the Williamstown, Newport and Spotswood Residents’ Association and funded by City West Water.
Successful food cluster in Melbourne’s north With logistical advantages, such as close proximity to the Hume Highway, curfew free Tullamarine Airport, and the Ring Road link to major ports, when surveyed recently most businesses in the food sector in the Cities of Hume and Whittlesea said they would never move.