September 2004 Edition

  • Local Government Week in WA
    With the theme One Voice, Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) held its Local Government Week Convention in Perth from 7–10 August 2004.
  • Giving new life to river
    Kempsey Shire Council working with Nestlé has began rehabilitating and revegetating a section of Macleay River. This is possible due to Nestlé funding the project with a $44,000 donation.
  • 11th National General Assembly of Local Government
    Canberra 7–10 November 2004
    The theme for the 2004 National General Assembly – Seize the Moment – reflects the emerging opportunities for Australian Local Government to drive and achieve its vision for sustainable and successful communities, from our city centres to our central deserts.
  • Interactive kiosk at Brimbank
    In a groundbreaking first for Local Government in Victoria, a state of the art, custom designed and built interactive self service kiosk has been installed in the foyer of Brimbank Council’s main municipal office. Installing the $18,000 kiosk was the culmination of an innovative 12 month joint partnership between Council and Melbourne based Neo Products Pty Ltd.
  • Windproof ashtrays for outdoor diners *
    Outdoor and kerbside eating is fast becoming a customer favourite, but onepuff of wind can leave diners fuming with irritation, or worse, ashen facedIn addition, local streets, footpaths, parks, gutters and waterways arlittered with cigarette butts, ash and embers.
  • The Blueprint for Building Better Communities
    The major parties have been asked to support the needs of local communities with the launch of the Australian Local Government Association’s Blueprint for Building Better Communities. The Blueprint calls on major parties to provide Local Government with a fair share of national taxation revenue, develop stronger partnerships with Local Government, support sustainable public transport, boost regional development and provide further assistance to enhance councils’ use of information technology.
  • Councillors more trustworthy than politicians
    Research commissioned by the Local Government and Shires Associations of New South Wales has revealed that people have more trust in Councillors than in State or Federal politicians. Results of the survey of people across the State were officially released in August at the launch of Local Government Week.
  • ASG Merit Awards Program recognises excellent teachers
    The inaugural program of ASG Community Merit Awards, presented in conjunction with Local Governments throughout Australia recognised 88 teachers in 2004. Complementing the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) were additional awards made to teachers nominated by parents and school communities for their excellence in teaching.
  • Youngest ever Mayor is new MAV President
    The youngest Mayor in Victoria’s history is now the Municipal Association of Victoria’s President. Councillor Geoff Lake from Monash City Council was elected last month.
  • Councillor profiles
    A regular feature, this month we have interviewed two Councillors from Queensland.
  • Small community turns a dream into reality
    Circular Head community’s method of turning a dream into the reality serves as a model for small rural and isolated communities across Australia. Circular Head is a small rural community in the far North West of Tasmania. Its residents are resourceful, fiercely independent with a strong work ethic and a “we can do it” attitude.
  • Chinchilla Shire launches major history
    What is believed to be Australia’s largest regional history published by a Shire was launched recently by the Mayor of Chinchilla, Councillor Bill McCutcheon. The twin volume Chinchilla history books, Footsteps Through Time, was written by leading Australian author and historian, Dr Tony Matthews.
    The new era of industry policy

    The Good Oil by Rod Brown *

    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.
  • Longest running Junior Council
    In Melbourne’s western suburbs, Primary School children have been acting like Councillors for the past 40 years. Hobsons Bay have been participating in the what is believed to be the longest running Junior Council in Australia. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in October, this is a unique program designed to give year five and six students from Hobsons Bay primary schools an insight into the workings of Local Government.
  • Redland ready for worldwide library online enquiries
    Queensland’s Redland Shire Council unveiled a new library management system in August that allows people to access Council’s library services online, any time, from anywhere in the world by the Internet.
  • Presidents 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.
  • Labor welcomes Blueprint
    The Australian Labor Party was quick off the mark in regard to its response to the Blueprint. Just one day after ALGA launched its Blueprint, the Shadow Minister for Local Government, Daryl Melham, released Labor’s commitments to Local Government.
  • Editorial
    In his address at the recent Local Government Association of Queensland’s Annual Conference, Geoff Allen from the Allen Consulting Group emphasised the fact that building and upgrading infrastructure plays a substantial role in economic growth. He added the quality of our built infrastructure is a key factor in our competitiveness in the global marketplace as well as improving the liveability and sustainability of our cities, towns and regions. However, he went on to say that, particularly at the Commonwealth and State levels, over the past two decades public infrastructure spending in Australia has not kept pace with economic growth.
  • Federal Election 2004
    With his address at the Local Government Association of Queensland’s annual conference coinciding with the first official day of the Federal election campaign, President of the Australian Local Government Association, Councillor Mike Montgomery, said that this gave him the perfect opportunity to officially launch Local Government’s election policy statement – The Blueprint for Building Better Communities.

Feature: Training and Development

  • Launceston and Comalco form partnership
    An exciting new community education partnership between Comalco Aluminium and Launceston City Council’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) was launched last month. This new centre of educational excellence will provide an exciting, interactive learning environment for children aged between four and 12 years of age.
  • Capturing graduates in New South Wales
    Australia is facing a skills shortage and attracting high quality graduates is going to become more challenging over the coming years. Recruitment is also a difficult, costly and an expensive business. In response to this issue, ten councils across New South Wales have come together to offer exciting graduate opportunities in a range of disciplines in Local Government.
  • Disability awareness training program
    Disability awareness training was introduced into South Sydney’s Council operations because staff needed a way to work with people with mental health issues. Training was included as part of Council’s competency system.
  • Set yourself apart in Local Government
    Graduate education for professional development
    Monash University Graduate School of Business (GSB) offers a range of graduate programs for people to improve their career skills. The GSB’s Department of Management offers courses that cater for a variety of interests and career aspirations. These courses attract people from all three spheres of government, as well private sector businesses and industries, and the not for profit sector.
  • Co Pilots program spreads its wings in Tasmania
    The Launceston City Council and Esk Education District’s Co Pilots program received the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s Award for Excellence in Community Development and the overall Gold Award earlier this year.
  • RockyCORP
    Balancing people with responsibilities
    Rockhampton Council was recently shortlisted as a state finalist as Large Employer of the Year by the Queensland Department of Employment and Training. It is the first time that a Local Government has been selected as a finalist. The other nominees are SeaWorld Nara Resort and Greenslopes Private Hospital.
  • Issues and opportunities for NT Local Government
    An Issues and Opportunities for Local Government Workshop will be held at Darwin City Council on 15 October. This professional development opportunity for CEOs and managers has been organised by Local Government Managers Australia – SA/NT Division. The Northern Territory is entering a new era of change with the Government’s Building Stronger Regions – Stronger Futures program and the implementation of new ways of providing services to Indigenous communities post Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service (ATSIS).
  • Macquarie Valley education and training program
    Wellington Council has been recognised for its innovative management after it saw an opportunity when the Macquarie Valley Weeds Advisory Committee needed to develop a coordinated training package. Occupational Health and Safety and Weeds Coordinator, Bryson Rees, said the package has been adopted by Local Government across New South Wales and has now been recently launched nationally.
  • Value adding puts investigators in front
    For the past 16 years Education Design Systems has offered a variety of courses to meet investigative and protective services educational needs. Central to this is the popular three day Investigation Methods Course which deals with all aspects of the investigation of administrative, disciplinary and regulation breaches as well as the investigation process for criminal matters.
  • Bonus scheme gets results
    A bronze in the most recent Australian Business Excellence Awards is strong evidence that things are moving ahead at the Baulkham Hills Shire Council in Sydney’s Northwest.
  • SAFE approach at Marrickville
    Linking the environment to employee health and safety is the focus of an innovative new management system at Marrickville Council in New South Wales. General Manager, Candy Nay, said the Safe and For the Environment system (SAFE) integrates moves to protect the environment with employee health and safety in a way that no other system has achieved.
  • CPA’s Directors Register growing strongly
    CPA Australia’s practical initiative to provide businesses with greater access to talent for key board and board committee positions continues to grow strongly. Launched to the business community earlier this year, the CPA Directors Register aims to help companies looking for independent directors provide a more diverse representation at the board table.
  • Council’s role in harness training
    After a year of working closely with Melton Shire Council located on both the city fringe, the Bendigo Harness Racing Training Centre is about to open a branch. Economic Development Manager, Chris Guthrie, said the centre was now looking for 10 to 15 trainees to work in the harness racing industry. A similar intake is expected each year.
  • Nedlands wins national award for business excellence
    The City of Nedlands in Western Australia has pulled off a David versus Goliath achievement to win the Australian Business Excellence Awards. The awards, regarded as Australian’s most prestigious business awards, recognise excellence in business practice and organisational efficiency.
  • Home based business Virtual Campus
    The City of Casey, in partnership with Chisholm Institute, has developed a Virtual Campus for home based businesses as a result of consultation with the sector.
  • Staff education in KPIs at Holdfast Bay
    Before undertaking a mid year review of its five year strategic plan, staff at Holdfast Bay Council in South Australia were trained in the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are a valuable tool in all forms of strategic and corporate planning.
  • Capacity building
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley *
    In recognising the increasing challenges being faced by Councils, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister commissioned research into the capacity gaps in Local Government. The results of this research, I am sure, will be similar for councils in Australia.