Push button safety in Perth
By world standards, Perth is a relatively safe and secure city. However, the City of Perth has taken steps to improve safety further and increase people’s sense of security. As part of the Perth SafeCity initiative, Council has upgraded emergency communication poles in six city locations to make them easier to see and raise public awareness of their purpose.
Call for fair rating for wind farms
The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has called for wind farm operators to pay a fair share of property taxes. The Association presented its case to a State Government panel considering changes to the Electricity Industry legislation recently.
Stronger, more confident and effective councils The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley* Many people, whether as citizens, customers, Councillors, members of staff, partners, regulators or Government, make New Year resolutions about Local Government and how they would like it to change. Few often feel that their resolutions come true.
ALGA and LGAT promote online services
Two new initiatives show that Local Government Associations are blazing a trail in Internet development. Both the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) have developed products to help all Local Governments.
Local Government will struggle financially with our ageing population
The Productivity Commission has warned that Local Governments will struggle under current funding arrangements to properly provide as Australia’s population ages. Responding to the release of the Commission’s draft research report, then Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President, Councillor Rae Perry, said Local Government faced serious budgetary pressures.
Wins all round through Green Streets program *
Green Streets is Australia’s first integrated sustainable mainstreet program. This unique program fuses economic, environmental, social and cultural elements to create sustainable behaviour change within the small to medium business sector. The aims of the program are to reduce both the costs and associated environmental impacts of the small business sector by raising awareness of environmental issues, finding solutions and inspiring action.
Renewal project in Dallas and Broadmeadows
Urban renewal is a constant and difficult challenge for Local Governments. By addressing this challenge, Hume City Council in Melbourne’s north, won a 2004 National Local Government Award for its innovative Better Living in Broadmeadows and Dallas Urban Renewal Project.
Improved web services in SA
South Australian ratepayers have saved more than $2 million and will continue to save more than half a million dollars a year as a result of a two year program providing improved online services. An initiative of the Local Government Association has 60 of the State’s 68 councils using one sophisticated web publishing system.
Footprints Eco-challenge - Meet the teams
A group of 20 people will soon find out how much impact they have on the environment. Footprints – tread lightly into the future is a sustainable lifestyle initiative run jointly by Lane Cove, North Sydney and Willoughby Councils. The program is assisted by a $60,000 grant from the New South Wales Government’s It’s A Living Thing program.
Sydney Mayors call for mass transit system
A meeting of Mayors and Councillors from eight Councils in inner Sydney has called for action on increasing traffic and transport congestion in the region. The meeting unanimously agreed to call on the New South Wales Premier Bob Carr to urgently seek solutions to mass transit problems in their Local Government areas, including Sydney, Marrickville, Canada Bay, Leichhardt, Randwick, Waverley, Botany and Woollahra.
Mount Barker Library wins innovation award
Mount Barker Council’s Community Library in South Australia has won the 2004 Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries with series of programs reaching into the community. The award is named in honour of the late Jim Crawford, Chairman of the Libraries Board of South Australia from 1977 until 1987, who established the blueprint for development of the public library system.
Councils continue to carry more cultural costs
Launceston City Council has teamed up with public and private sector groups to create a new tourist attraction in Tasmania. Council’s Riveredge project won the Tourism Development category of the 2003 National Awards for Local Government.
Showcasing our local treasures
Visions of Australia is one of the Australian Government’s most successful cultural programs. It provides funding to tour exhibitions of a wide range of cultural material, from art and craft, social history and science, to artefacts and items of Indigenous heritage. Since its inception in 1993, it has provided almost $19.6 million in grants for more than 500 exhibition projects across the country.
Alice Springs safer and tidier
The community is strongly supporting a move by Alice Springs Town Council to be the safest and tidiest town in the Northern Territory.
Environmental award for beach management
The influx of eight million visitors each year to Manly beaches on Sydney’s north shore has meant that firm steps need to be taken to preserve one of Australia’s most beautiful and popular tourist attractions. The Manly community of 38,000 must handle this influx which every day of the year could seriously damage the environment.
Golfing great launches the Growling Frog
Whittlesea Council in Victoria has unveiled a new golf course that meets both the needs of discerning golfers and stringent environmental standards. Graham Marsh, one of Australia’s golfing greats and internationally renowned course architect, launched the Growling Frog Golf Course in December.
It’s raining horses! The Good Oil by Rod Brown* The Deputy Prime Minister allegedly offers the independent member for New England an overseas posting to skedaddle. The Federal Police cannot find evidence of any wrongdoing. Everyone gets very indignant. So call for a Senate Enquiry! The trigger to the episode was the government’s announcement of $6 million for the Tamworth equine centre in the election lead up. Funny how history repeats itself. Not too long ago the Keating/Howe Government was being accused of pork barrelling with its Regional Development Program (RDP), and it actually funded the Scone Equine Centre!
FOCUS tops media survey
Local Government FOCUS recently commissioned the Centre for Local Government Research to undertake a survey about Local Government publications with Local Government representatives. Telephone surveys were conducted with randomly selected Chief Executive Officers (and equivalent), Mayors, Councillors and Senior Council staff from Councils across Australia.
Adelaide recognised for its heritage work
Adelaide City Council has been recognised for its track record in preserving historic buildings by Australia’s peak architectural body. The Royal Australian Institute of Architects commended the Council for its commitment to preserving the heritage and character of the City’s buildings, streetscapes and the public realm at Year of the Built Environment 2004 National Awards ceremony held at the Sydney Opera House last December.
Top range of speakers for LGPro’s 2005 Conference
International and national experts will take the stage as keynote speakers at LGPro’s 2005 Annual Conference to be held at Melbourne Park Function Centre on 16–18 February 2005. Contributing to the conference theme, ‘Building Tomorrow’s Communities Today’, the opening address will be delivered by international strategic planning expert, Clem Sunter, who will discuss Games Foxes Play – Planning for Extraordinary Times.
New ALGA Executive 2004–2006
Following the defeat of former ALGA President, Ms Rae Perry, at Local Government elections in Victoria in November, President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), Councillor Paul Bell, was elected by the ALGA Board of Directors to fill the casual vacancy.
Australia’s three spheres of government have acted quickly to provide aid to tsunami ravaged areas in South Asia and Africa. Within the devastated areas and around the world, the human spirit – first of bravery and sacrifice and then generosity and direct on the ground support – has risen out of this disaster. Local Governments and their staff in Australia are, and will continue to be, involved. Through this recovery program they will be building even stronger bridges than those constructed of steel and cement, bridges that draw people together permanently through both the good and bad times.
2005 – The challenges ahead
President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Councillor Paul Bell, believes that the major challenge for the ALGA team and State Associations during 2005 is bringing the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to finality.
Access and equity committee making a difference
Bega Valley Shire’s Access and Equity Committee has been making a real difference over the past two years. The committee was established by Council in 2002 to ensure that people with a disability or with limited mobility have input into Council’s planning and decision making processes.
National interest in annual portrait prize
The Bega Valley Regional Gallery is attracting national interest with its annual portrait prize. This year will be the fourth year the gallery has hosted the annual Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award, named after the local portrait artist who provides more than $13,000 in prize money each year.
Council extends hand of friendship to new nation
Bega Valley Shire Council has extended the hand of friendship to one of the newest nations on earth – Timor-Leste. In October last year, Council formally endorsed the establishment of a friendship arrangement between the Bega Valley Shire and the Barique/Natarbora region in Timor-Leste.
Busy year on planning front
It has been a busy 12 months for Bega Valley Shire Council planning staff. The planning services section was restructured to help deal more efficiently with an ever increasing number of development applications and significant progress was made on a number of important planning initiatives.
Unique partnership enters its fifth year
A unique partnership between Bega Valley Shire Council and a local philanthropic body designed to maximise the amount of funding going to local community groups has entered its fifth year.
Memorandum of Understanding remains a source of great pride
Bega Valley Shire Council’s Memorandum of Understanding with Aboriginal communities in Eden, Bega and Wallaga Lake continues to attract recognition from around the country and remains a source of great pride for everyone involved. The Memorandum was signed in 2001 by Council, all three Aboriginal Land Councils and Native Title holders in a bid to strengthen the relationship between Council and the Shire’s Aboriginal population and to pursue the objectives of reconciliation.
Construction to start soon on new office
Work is expected to start early this year on redevelopment of the Bermagui Community Hall to incorporate a new Bega Valley Shire Council branch office and library, a Rural Transaction Centre, Community Technology Centre and visitors’ information centre.
It’s no surprise: our beaches are just tops
Judges from the Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach Challenge have confirmed what Bega Valley Shire residents have known for decades: the region’s beaches are among the best in NSW, if not Australia. A number of Bega Valley Shire beaches were recognised at a regional level in this year’s Clean Beach Awards including Tathra Beach, which was named best overall beach on the NSW South Coast and Merimbula’s Main Beach, which was highly commended.
Looking to the future Steady progress on major projects Steady progress is being made on plans to construct a pipeline between Bega and Yellowpinch Dam, near Merimbula, to address long term water supply problems in the south of the Shire. Yellowpinch Dam is one of two water storage areas on the Tantawanglo-Kiah water supply system, which services thousands of Bega Valley Shire residents including those in Candelo, Wolumla, Tura Beach, Merimbula, Pambula, Pambula Beach, South Pambula, Eden and Boydtown.
Work continuing on integrated plan
Staff from Bega Valley Shire Council and the NSW Premier’s Department are continuing work on the Shire’s new Social Plan for 2005–10. The aim of the partnership between Council and the Premier’s Department is to create a stronger link between the needs identified in the Social Plan and the work of NSW Government agencies.
New section provides a consistent approach
The establishment of a new Customer Service and Administration Section is enabling Bega Valley Shire Council to provide a more consistent approach in its dealings with customers according to section manager Kylee Cowgill.
Plan for the future on public exhibition
Comment is being sought on one of the most important documents in Bega Valley Shire’s 24 year history. The Shire’s Draft 20 Year Plan was approved for public exhibition late last year with steps now being taken to ensure as many people as possible get the opportunity to comment on the document before the exhibition period closes at the end of March 2005.
Opening represents major step forward says Mayor
The official opening of the upgraded Tathra Sewage Treatment Plant represents a major step forward in the Bega Valley Shire’s development according to Mayor David Hede. Cr Hede said the $4 million upgrade had delivered a key piece of infrastructure for Tathra, both as a township and a popular holiday destination, while at the same time achieving important environmental outcomes.