August 2004 Edition

  • Long term financial planning model
    The South Australian Financial Managers Group has continued to develop its highly innovative Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) model. Developed by a group of South Australian Local Government financial management professionals, the framework attempts to standardise long term financial planning to allow Local Governments to accurately compare and contrast financial results and define benchmarks.
  • Local Government’s premier Information Technology conference
    Coffs Harbour 16–19 November 2004
    2004 sees the seventh Information Technology Conference for Local Government – IT2004, scheduled for 16–19 November in beautiful Coffs Harbour. Hosted by Coffs Harbour City Council, the conference provides a forum for Local Government managers and support staff to network, learn and exchange ideas.
  • Recognising Council high achievers
    At the 2004 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Melbourne FOCUS invited delegates to nominate an individual or team from their Council who has excelled in meeting their Council’s and community’s needs. In this edition we showcase two more of our winners for 2004.
  • QLD councils celebrating communities
    Last month from July 19 to 25, 80 Queensland councils hosted community focused events as part of Local Government Week, an annual event aimed at creating a better public understanding of the roles and responsibilities of Local Government.

  • Councillor profiles
    A regular feature, this month we have interviewed two Councillors from South Australia.
  • New power station a major boost for Chincilla
    After many false starts, a new 750MW power station will provide much needed energy to the Chinchilla district in western Queensland. The Queensland Government’s CS Energy Ltd has awarded the contract to Siemens and Hitachi to build the Kogan Creek Power Station.
  • Silly Season in full swing
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown *
    As I write Federal agencies are in limbo awaiting the announcement of the election date. Departments are busily preparing briefs for incoming (or returning) Ministers, and processing grant applications. Meanwhile the politicians and journalists are in a lather. The Silly Season is in full swing.
  • ALGA welcomes new Minister
    The President of the Australian Local Government Association, Councillor Mike Montgomery, has welcomed the appointment of Jim Lloyd as Federal Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads saying it has come at a critically important time for Australia’s 675 Councils. The ALGA was one of the first groups to meet with the new Minister.
  • Solar power first in Queensland
    Logan City Council has developed the state’s first automatic solar powered leachate collection system operating at a former tip which is now a major park. The system has saved money and helped prevent environmental damage.
  • Third A–Z of Australian Water Trading conference *
    29–30 November 2004, Rydges Jamison, Sydney
    The National Water Initiative, state reforms and the road towards effective trade

    IBC’s A–Z of Australian Water Trading conferences are the definitive guide to water trade across the nation. With sweeping changes on both the national and state levels of water reform, the industry is certainly taking the next step in the reform process. This conference, to be held in November, is the ideal time for the key stakeholders from across the nation to gather under one roof and help pave the future direction of Australia’s water trade markets.
  • South Australian review looks at longer terms
    Compulsory voting, increased allowances and four year terms are among the changes to the Local Government structure suggested in a review by South Australia. Due to be completed in October, the Local Government Elections Review is a Local Government Association initiative thatenjoys State Government support and will help direct the future of Local Government inSouth Australia.
  • Editorial
    Acclaimed thinker and writer, Phillip Adams, told the Urban Local Government Association of Queensland (ULGA) conference held recently in Caloundra that the ‘sea change’ trend – people moving to the coast away from the cities – continues to be one of the most difficult challenges facing Local Governments. He said without careful examination and investment, sea change towns could easily become ‘see-death’ towns.
  • 5th National Roads Congress
    Delegates from Councils in all States and Territories attended the Australian Local Government Association’s fifth National Local Roads Congress staged in the Barossa Valley, South Australia on 11–13 July. ALGA President, Councillor Mike Montgomery, said that it is vital to show strength in numbers. With more than 530 delegates this was the largest Roads Congress to date.

Feature: Community Services

  • Framework for the future
    Moira Shire Council has developed a ten year framework to protect assets, meet the needs of a growing municipality and achieve long term financial sustainability. The framework is outlined in the 2004/05 to 2013/014 Strategic Resource Plan.
  • Business opportunities on the Murray
    Potential and existing businesses in Moira Shire are looking forward to a new future with the help of a marketing and business support information pack. Moira Shire – a new future on the Murray highlights the advantages and niche business opportunities available in the Shire. Business and lifestyle, new possibilities and a commitment to growth feature prominently under the themes of advantage, opportunity and attitude.
  • $350M development a boon for local economy
    People’s attraction to water for recreational and lifestyle reasons does not necessarily have to be coastal. In spite of being a long way from the sea, Moira Shire is experiencing one of regional Victoria’s highest growth rates, largely due to the Murray River running along its northern border.
  • Living Murray
    A cross border alliance
    “With 293 kilometres of Murray River frontage, water is a major issue for Moira Shire and its community,” said the Mayor, Councillor David McKenzie. “Lake Mulwala is the greatest single point of diversion for irrigation on the Murray system. The Shire’s tourism and residential development boom is very much related to Lake Mulwala and the River. On top of this, the regional economy is heavily dependent on the $2.7 billion generated annually from our 657 irrigated dairy farms.”
  • Junior Council – giving young people a voice
    This is the third year that the Moira Junior Council has been giving young people experience in decision making. With seven secondary colleges in the Shire, there are 42 Junior Councillors. Each school has six representatives, three from Year 9 and three from Year 10, and one teacher coordinator.
  • Looking after our rural mates
    Few rural towns were untouched by the recent drought. Many regions are still reeling from its impact and some areas are yet to come out of it. Before any Federal and State Government funding relief was announced, Moira Shire took action. It was the first Council in Victoria to do so.
  • Airpark get away to ‘golf heaven’
    With more and more people seeking a better work and lifestyle balance and shorter working weeks, weekends away and the like are definitely on the increase. Although it is only three hours drive from Melbourne, Moira Shire has an interesting offer for owners of light aircraft who like to get out of town for the weekend.
  • Country welcome a winner
    Using a community partnership approach, Moira Shire’s A Country Welcome has assisted newly arrived refugees to join in a range of existing social and recreational activities, as well as create new activities. A Vic Health funded project, it has tackled issues including language, cultural awareness and employment/education.
  • Wetland swamped with success
    Improving water quality, enhancing flood protection, encouraging eco tourism and providing passive recreation facilities are the cornerstones of a multi million dollar Kinnairds wetland development in Numurkah in the south of the Shire.
  • Foreshore at the forefront
    Moira Shire Council’s $1.2 million Yarrawonga Foreshore Reclamation Project was short listed for the Victorian Engineering Excellence Awards 2003. The project saw 1.2 hectares of land reclaimed along the southern shore of Lake Mulwala creating a 420 metre wall and path along the shore, a pool enclosure and new parklands.
  • Risk vital in managing assets
    With risk management the key plank of its asset management program, Moira Shire uses the Australian Standard for risk management, AS4370 for all its inspections.
  • Communication a key part of building bridges
    Moira Shire Council is directly responsible for the maintenance, repair and upgrade of 58 bridges on its 3,574 kilometre road network. Almost half are old timber bridges with load limits ranging from five to 15 tonne.

  • Country living at its best
    Strategically located just three hours drive north of Melbourne, Moira Shire offers an attractive country lifestyle combined with good access to regional centres such as Shepparton, Albury/Wodonga, Wangaratta and Echuca/Moama. The Shire’s northern border is the Murray River on the New South Wales/Victoria border. Covering 4,057 square kilometres, it is the largest Shire in north east Victoria.
  • Progressive Shire builds on strong community
    “Growth, combined with a shift in perceptions across rural Victoria, is assisting in making Moira a very progressive Shire,” said the Mayor, Councillor David McKenzie. “We have strong communities with people willing to be involved and get things happening.
  • Tourism snapshot
    Moira Shire has a significant tourism industry built around the natural assets of the Murray River and excellent sport and recreation facilities. Stretching from Yarrawonga in the east to Barmah in the west, attractions include wineries, historic homesteads, galleries, craft shops, licensed clubs, water sports, fishing, beaches, forests, lakes, rivers and wetlands.

  • Logov Expo 2004
    Queensland’s premier exposition of construction plant, materials, equipment and services to Local Government. This event will be held at Meakin Park, Logan City on 6 and 7 October 2004, and admission is free. Logov Expo 2004 gives you the opportunity to see the latest innovations in products, equipment, machinery, services and materials for Local Governments.
  • New chapter opening in Timor-Leste relations
    The Victorian Local Governance Association and the Municipal Association of Victoria have joined forces to further cement relationships between Victorian Councils and their communities and the thirteen districts of Timor-Leste.
  • Youth employment to break the drug cycle
    Brisbane City Council’s ‘working on’ program is moving from strength to strength. It was named Queensland’s best public sector training initiative at the 2003 Queensland Training Awards, and went on to be a joint winner of the National Initiative Awards later in the year. Not content with that accolade, it took out the 2003 National Award for Local Government in Social Development.
  • Enhancing regional communities through skilled migration
    Skilled migrants help fill critical skill shortages and contribute both economically and socially to regional communities. The Australian Government is committed to attracting more skilled migrants to regions in Australia where they are needed the most, and has a range of regional migration programs. In partnership with State, Territory and Local Governments and regional authorities, the Australian Government continues to implement new regional migration initiatives to encourage skilled migration.
  • Warringah wins cultural award
    An event featuring Tongan Dance Groups, the Maori Haka, Rhythm and Blues, funk and crew of hip hop rappers has been highly commended in the inaugural New South Wales Local Government Cultural Awards.
  • Youth centre with a broader focus
    Shoalhaven City Council’s Nowra Youth Centre is nearing completion. It comprises four separate offices – with one office dedicated to the Koori Habitat, two meeting rooms, an art workshop area, music room, games area, Internet café, television lounge and car parking at the rear of the facility. Council’s Youth Development Officer, Liam O’Sullivan, said the building would become a focal point for a broader range of activities for young people in the city.
  • Walking Bus – promoting safety and exercise
    Students at Orrvale Primary School in Victoria’s Greater Shepparton will be walking and catching a bus at the same time. The school along with the Greater Shepparton City Council, Goulburn-Murray Water and Telstra Country Wide worked together to create a walking bus program to ensure a safe route for the children to school.

  • Mobile Fun Box for Mount Marshall youth
    With an area of 10,500 square kilometres and only 650 residents, providing entertainment for young people is a difficult challenge for Western Australia’s Mount Marshall Shire Council. Last year the Shire’s Junior Council identified a need for additional recreational opportunities, particularly as the swimming pool was closed for six months of the year.
  • Involving young people in the planning and developing of open space areas
    At the City of Onkaparinga in South Australia, 45,000 young people, which is almost one third of the city’s population, are under 20 years old. The Council saw a clear need to tap into the skills, energy and ideas of its young people developing the Creating Places program. This very successful program won the Youth Engagement Award in the 2003 National Awards for Local Government.

  • Active After-school Communities
    Primary school-aged children across Australia are becoming more obese, physically inactive and subsequently less healthy. The Australian Government has made a strong commitment to this challenge with $116 million over four years for the Building a Healthy, Active Australia package to address declining activity and poor eating habits among our children and young people.
  • Continuing growth in Gosnells
    The City of Gosnells Town Centre Revitalisation Scheme is a remarkable success story. Commenced in 1997, it is a unique strategy to generate sustainable revitalisation of the City’s declining town centre and ageing suburbs. Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Jardine, said for the first time a Council became the driver responsible for a major revitalisation, rather than simply passenger in a State Government driven initiative.
  • No turf wars in Cairns
    Turf is the latest venture arising from the Partnership Cairns initiative. The program allows local businesses to sponsor projects that enhance the appearance of the city and its surrounds.
  • Repaying the debt with community pride
    Frankston City Council, in Melbourne’s south east, is one of several Victorian Local Governments that has developed a strong and enduring partnership with Community Correctional Services in recent years. These partnerships allow people on community based orders to assist with Council projects. As well as repaying their debt to society, it helps develop community pride.
  • Getting rid of gum
    If you know how hard chewing gum is to remove from a shoe, imagine how hard it is to clean off the footpaths. Local Governments spend a fortune on the scourge with each council spending $9,000 a year to get rid of the non biodegradable mess.
  • National Mainstreet conference
    Delegates from across Australia and New Zealand will be converging on Melbourne for the 2004 Mainstreet Conference being held at the Grand Hyatt from 26–29 September. Co chairs, Councillor Claude Ullin from the City of Stonnington and Matthew Gould Manager of the Victorian Government’s StreetLife Program said the conference will provide delegates with an insight into the latest development trends and revitalisation strategies behind Mainstreet communities, towns and city centres.
  • Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens now World Heritage
    After seven years of lobbying by Melbourne City Council, the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens are now safely on the World Heritage List. The building, which featured the first sitting of Federal Parliament, is the only complete surviving example of the international exhibition building type and gardens popular in the 19th century.

  • Geraldton babies are Born To Read
    Parents in the Geraldton City Council in Western Australia are being encouraged to read to their babies through an innovative program called Born to Read.

  • Civil Renewel
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley *
    Civil Renewal is about local people being active in the protection and improvement of the quality of life in their local communities. It is also about organisations that can have an impact on the quality of life in communities, being actively engaged with those communities to ensure that the potential to protect and improve the quality of life is realised in practice.

  • Airport purchase a boon
    In 2001 Burnie City Council in Tasmania received a disturbing report about its regional airport. Lionel Young, who is the Council’s Manager Business Development and now a director of the airport, said the report showed declining patronage and poor operations. The airport was likely to close if these trends were not addressed. Burnie City Council decided to step in, ultimately deciding to buy and run the airport.