October 2004 Edition

  • WALGA achieves major win for planning and development bill
    The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has achieved a major win for its member Councils on the Government’s Planning and Development Bill. The State Government has accepted key arguments put by the Association concerning the reduction of Local Government planning controls.
  • RSPCA working with LG for better animal welfare services
    Local Governments play a major role in safeguarding the welfare of animals as they are responsible for enforcing legislation and educating pet owners. Many Local Governments are now working with the Victorian branch of the RSPCA to provide better animal welfare services.
  • Councillor profiles
    A regular feature, this month we have interviewed two Councillors from the Northern Territory.
  • Reform issues key on the agenda at LGMA NSW conference
    New South Wales Minister for Local Government, Tony Kelly, said recently that the State Government had expected the current reform process to take longer than it has. Speaking at the Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) – NSW Division Annual Conference staged at Batemans Bay in September, he said the amalgamation of Glen Innes and Severn on 15 September left no more ‘donut’ councils in the State.
  • Young people need real jobs, dignity and self respect
    It is recognised that Local Government is uniquely positioned at the heart of our communities. Subsequently, local Councils significantly shoulder the responsibility of ensuring communities’ sustainable futures. With that in mind, it is imperative that Local Government has a key stake in the future of young people. Traditionally, Councils have been heavily involved in providing social and interactive solutions to issues around young people within their constituency.
  • Local Government body calls for ban on James Hardie products
    The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) has called for a ban of James Hardie products across all Victorian Councils until the company provides for victims of asbestos related diseases. It was one of the first government bodies to do so.
  • Leadership by Scully on truck speeds
    The new era of industry policy

    The Good Oil by Rod Brown *

    It was thus absolutely refreshing to note the leadership displayed by New South Wales Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, on 14 September in announcing that heavy vehicle operators will be held responsible if their trucks are caught travelling in excess of 115 km/h. Speed limiters, introduced in 1991 as a mandatory safety device, will henceforth be deemed to be defective if a heavy vehicle is caught at these speeds.
  • Mosman ban on outdoor smoking
    Leading the field in anti-smoking regulations, Mosman City Council has banned smoking within 20 metres of dining areas on public land. Such smoking bans in public spaces have been already been in place in New York, Los Angeles, Ireland and Norway. Mosman Deputy Mayor, Andrew Brown, said Council was the first in Australia to take this step.
  • Library Express back on track
    Frankston Library express – Victoria’s first railside book lending service organised by a Local Government – will run for the rest of this financial year. Launched in February as a pilot program, Frankston Library express has allowed rail commuters travelling from Frankston Station to browse through and borrow from 300 popular current fiction and non fiction titles.
  • ALGA to work with PIA on planner shortages
    The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) will work with the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) to implement mutually acceptable solutions to the nationwide shortage of planners. The PIA’s recent report, Planners for Tomorrow, makes several recommendations to address planning workforce issues.
  • Presidents Comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Lynn Mason, President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania.
  • Editorial
    Once new graduates or experienced staff are employed by councils, whether this be as town planners or any of the many Local Government professions, it is vital that these people are not later lost to the sector. As recent graduates build their careers, the lure of promotions and other inducements from the private sector, and other areas of the public sector, can lead to the loss of good staff. When this occurs, Councils not only loose the investment they have made in training and nurturing of these people, but untold levels of intellectual property and potential future leaders.
  • New South Wales reform process gains momentum
    In March 2003, there were 172 councils in New South Wales. As of 15 September 2004 there are now 152 councils, a reduction of 12 per cent. Speaking recently at the Local Government Managers Australia – NSW Annual Conference, Local Government Minister, Tony Kelly, said that the structural reform process has progressed faster than the Government had expected.

Feature: Best Practice

  • Focus on families and the community
    A leader in servicing the diverse needs of families and the community, Casey already features Australia’s largest Family Day Care Scheme and Victoria’s largest Maternal and Child Health Service. A new and exciting initiative is the development of Family Resource Centres that enables a range of services for children and families to operate from a central point in the community.
  • Young people leading the way
    The City of Casey is home to Victoria’s largest youth population with around 40,000 young people aged between ten and 25 years. Casey’s Mayor, Councillor Rob Wilson, said that providing advice, support and dynamic programs for these young people is the key focus of Casey’s Youth Services Team.
  • “Men’s business”
    In an Australian first for Local Government, the City of Casey has appointed a Men’s Program’s Officer to boost the range and accessibility of targeted men’s programs, complementing the existing family and children’s services strategies. Rob Koch’s appointment to this new position uses his expertise in family support and men’s workshops, and enables him to develop and trial a variety of programs to address the many issues experienced by men, their families and the broader community.
  • New age learning opportunities for Casey students
    Casey has partnered with a number of businesses and education providers to develop a ground breaking education initiative. It is aimed at developing a number of programs which will enhance the technological skills of young people and creating long term employment opportunities. This initiative, known as ICE (Information, Communications and Electronics), has the potential to enhance secondary education curriculum across Victoria.
  • Facilitating business, learning and jobs
    Supporting Casey’s businesses
    The City of Casey’s Business Development Unit has a strong focus on creating the best possible environment for promoting business opportunities and business investment.
  • Casey’s coastal town set for major upgrade
    Casey’s southern region borders Western Port, and includes a number of picturesque coastal hamlets. One of these hamlets is Tooradin, a burgeoning tourist attraction linking the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island. To further develop and promote the tourist potential of this coastal town, Casey, in partnership with the State Government, Tooradin and District Sports club and wider community, collaborated on the Tooradin Village Strategy.
  • A 30 year vision for City CBD
    The Fountain Gate Narre Warren Central Business District (CBD) is poised to evolve into a true regional urban CBD of national importance. This has arisen from a combination of aspects including its central location to a region of up to half a million people; its significant development opportunities that can be channelled to create quality public places and active streets; its sheer land size; unique level of accessibility, particularly to railways, freeways and highways; and its potential to provide a strong civic heart.
  • Casey ARC makes a splash
    The Casey ARC is the region’s premier aquatic and recreation centre. Since opening in September 2001, thousands of residents have enjoyed its state of the art features. It also exceeded expectations, delivering strong financial returns well ahead of schedule.
  • Casey Fields – Our Fields of Dreams
    Casey Fields, also known as Casey’s ‘Fields of Dreams’, is a 70 hectare site in Cranbourne East currently being developed to feature a broad range of premier active and passive sporting and recreation opportunities to be enjoyed by thousands of people of all ages.
  • Victoria’s largest and most vibrant municipality
    The City of Casey is Victoria’s largest municipality and one of Australia’s fastest growing. Located 35 kilometres south east of Melbourne, Casey is 400 square kilometres in size and has five distinct geographic regions stretching from the foothills of the Dandenongs to the coastal villages of Western Port.
  • World’s best suburb
    The City of Casey is finalising plans for a dynamic new suburb in the centre of the municipality, which will lead the world in sustainable living. The area in Cranbourne North will include around 6,000 to 7,000 houses for an expected population of 20,000 people. A core driver of this project is to provide innovative solutions to the typical problems of suburban growth.
  • Casey C21
    A Vision for Our Future
    Casey’s dramatic growth requires effective planning to ensure the service and infrastructure needs of the community are delivered. ‘Casey C21: A Vision for Our Future’ is an integrated strategic plan designed to guide decision making and planning in areas such as land use, community development, economic development, infrastructure, recreation and people services.
  • IT tools for increased sustainability *
    Energetics is a global, integrated energy and greenhouse solutions organisation that is committed to the development and implementation of world class environmental business solutions. Energetics has 21 years of experience in the development of successful and innovative environmental products and services.
  • Northam Eco Retro demonstration house
    Thinking nationally and acting locally is a slogan to which we are all familiar. Northam Shire Council in Western Australia has put this slogan into action with the building of house designed to save energy and water. The Eco Retro House shows the average person how they can make changes and modifications to their existing house to produce savings in energy by reducing power and water consumption.
  • Bagela Asphalt Recycler helps Lake Macquarie in sustainability *
    In August Lake Macquarie City Council took delivery of a Bagela 10000 recycler. This is being set up as an automated unit in the Teralba quarry to process 5,000 tonnes of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) per annum.
  • National benchmarking through market research
    Local Governments can now benchmark the performance of their units against Councils throughout Australia. Called the Local Government Benchmark Database, this market research tool enables Local Governments to see how their services rank in national terms. Developed by the market research consultancy, the Centre for Local Government Research, the database is part of a suite of cutting edge market research products designed to give cost effective information to the Local Government sector.
  • Emergency Services Directory
    Perth North Region and Avon Emergency Service Directories (ESD) is the result of a successful joint venture and involving seven Local Governments, four State Government departments and a non government organisation. It is an accurate and reliable mapping product for use in emergency service delivery.
  • Councils fighting tight budgets
    By David Cains *
    Council average rates needs have blow out a further 30 per cent over the past three years, far exceeding the weakening increases in incomes from ratepayers. As a result, council receivables are becoming an increasing problem.
  • Responsible service in action
    Best practice resource recovery and recycling
    From a cutting edge Alternative Waste Technology facility, to smaller localised waste management solutions, Waste Service NSW works with customers to help them achieve their resource recovery goals. We have over 30 years’ experience reliably serving the greater Sydney area through Australia’s largest integrated waste management network. Below are some examples of how we have used our depth of skills and knowledgeto responsibly provide ecologically sustainable solutions that deal with waste locally.
  • Cooperative approach improves road safety
    Rural Local Governments, as a roads authority, face the risk of being sued each time a car crash occurs on the public road network. Creating a road safety partnership is the key aim of the Crash Investigation and Reporting Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) developed by Wollondilly Shire Council in New South Wales.
  • CouncilConnect wins accolades
    Not content with being a highly commended in the National Awards for Local Government, the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s CouncilConnect has just received another prestigious accolade. It was the State winner of the Australian Institute of Project Management Tasmanian Chapter announced in September 2004. The project will now be judged against the other state finalists at the AIPM National Conference in Perth.
  • New England Smart Communities Project
    Citizens in Uralla now have the opportunity to connect to broadband following an innovative project by their Council. Uralla Shire Council has become the anchor of a broadband operation of which the whole community can take advantage.
  • Inaugural Australasian Technology and Innovation Expo (TIE)
    The Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ) will present the first premier Technology & Innovation Expo (TIE) on 1–3 December 2004 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. TIE is purposefully different focusing on demonstrations, showcases, product launches and creating a learning environment, featuring only five keynote international and national speakers throughout the expo.
  • Managing compliance
    Many organisations are reeling over the uncertainty and confusion surrounding areas of corporate governance and compliance management. Most organisations are desperately trying to find out which rules and regulations apply to them to avoid the precedence set in the United States where large fines have been issued for non compliance.
  • Best practice in business papers
    It seems that everyone is being asked to do more with less these days, so it’s important to find that extra edge. InfoCouncil is a technology advantage being offered to councils. It is a contemporary, stable and economical package for managing Local Government business papers. Here’s a snapshot of how it works.
  • Returns all round from mulching
    Alice Springs has produced more than 8,000 cubic metres of high grade mulch since a new green waste processing facility opened at the Alice Springs Landfill in November 2002. From a small shipping container on five acres of land at the back of the Alice Springs Landfill, Lucky Derrington and Justin Presley make mountains of mulch. No power, no running water and no airconditioning – just lots of green waste to process, flies and a mobile phone for contact with the outside world. And they love it!
  • New environmental power system for Aquatic Centre
    Featuring a new environmentally friendly source, the final designs of the $17.5 million Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre in Melbourne’s western suburbs were put on public display in September. Cogeneration is when energy and heat is produced at the same time. Maribyrnong Mayor, Councillor Joseph Cutri, said the new Aquatic Centre, designed by architects, Daryl Jackson and Prior and Cheney, was phenomenal.
  • Independence, opportunity and trust
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley *
    The challenge for Central Government is clear – will it devolve real power as well as responsibility to Local Government? This challenge is not one sided and also has big implications for Councils. Councils in England are diverse not just in geography and political control but in their capacity to be effective Local Government.
  • Ecological sustainability a priority for Dorset
    Dorset Council in Tasmania has already blazed some trails with its Sustainable Development Strategy and it has taken the concept further with its statement on Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). Environmental Health Officer, Peter Hoffner, said the statement involved a comprehensive examination of catchment areas, fencing streams, stormwater pollution, waste water and solid waste management.