May 2005 Edition

  • Walking town meetings
    Management by walking around is a practice used by many senior executives. Getting out of the office and talking to people on the spot uncovers issues and ideas. In Greater Shepparton, this practice has been extended to Councillors who are now meeting people on site.

  • One stop shop for Narrandera Youth
    Narrandera’s new one stop shop approach, catering for the educational, social and recreational needs of its Aboriginal youth through a range of community initiatives, is one of the first such agreements in New South Wales.
  • The Corporation of the Town of Walkerville
    Although the Corporation of the Town of Walkerville is the smallest metropolitan Council in South Australia with a population of just over 7,000, the Council can proudly boast that it has reached a significant milestone this year - 150 continuous years of Local Government.

  • Qld Councils support code of conduct
    Queensland Councils have welcomed the Code of Conduct Bill introduced into State Parliament in April by the Local Government, Planning and Environment Minister, Desley Boyle.
  • LG focuses on ageing
    The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has released the results of a new survey on ageing which found a high level of awareness among Councils of ageing and the impacts it will have on their municipalities. An initiative of the Australian Local Government Population Ageing Action Plan, the survey reveals that 93 per cent of Councils believe that population ageing will have an impact on their community with 28 per cent identifying the impact as severe.
  • A taste of Melbourne during National Youth Week
    Travellers on Melbourne trams are usually content to look out of the window or read a novel. However, in April commuters were provided with refreshments. To celebrate National Youth Week, William Angliss Institute VCAL students hosted travelling public on City Circle trams.

  • Councillor profiles
    A regular feature this month featuring two Councillors from South Australia.
  • Neighbouring Councils share vision
    A shared vision by neighbouring Councils to improve people’s lifestyle was the key message from a recent forum hosted by Western Australia’s City of Bayswater. Bayswater’s Quality Lifestyle Forum attracted high profile presenters from many Councils who spoke on youth programs and beautifying foreshores. These two areas were selected as they are synonymous with all Bayswater’s neighbouring Councils.
  • Wanting to innovate? Dispense with poisonous managers!
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown *
    Innovation is the latest catch cry – and the Senate is undertaking an enquiry into ‘Pathways to Innovation’. Submissions were due on 29 April. In this context, the National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship (USA) has highlighted the findings of the Boston Consulting Group, (BCG) based on its annual global survey of innovation. Go to ITCSurveyReport.pdf.
  • A healthy LG lifestyle
    The National Heart Foundation and Kellogg are offering $30,000 in awards to assist Local Governments to continue to work towards improving the heart health of their communities. The Heart Foundation Kellogg Local Government Awards recognise excellence in encouraging heart healthy lifestyles and promote the fight against heart, stroke and blood vessel disease, Australia’s number one killer and our biggest health problem.
  • Youth help to design Victor Harbor skate park
    Young people are zipping around a new skate park in Victor Harbor thanks to the efforts of their Council. Opened in Youth Week in April, the project was financed by the South Australian Sport and Recreation Department to the tune of $150,000 with $190,000 coming from the City of Victor Harbor.

  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Mayor Fran Kilgariff, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory.
  • National Top Tidy Town for Mount Gambier
    The City of Mount Gambier has been recognised for its work in environmental practices after Mount Gambier was named Australia’s Tidiest Town for 2005. As a popular tourist destination in South Australia, Mount Gambier is world renowned for its remarkable Blue Lake.

  • Editorial
    With May being Budget month, at the time of going to press Peter Costello was within hours of presenting his tenth Budget. The Victorian and Northern Territory Governments had released their Budgets in the week prior to the Federal Budget, while the remaining States are scheduled to deliver their plans for 2005–2006 over the next few months.
  • LGANT prepares for NT election
    In readiness for the possibility that the Northern Territory election could be called as early as May, the General Meeting of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) held on 13–14 April was geared around what the major parties are proposing for Local Government. Acting President, Ray Wooldridge, said that, in the lead up to the election LGANT has prepared a document titled, Resourcing Local Government in the Future. This has been given to all parties to gauge their response to various issues raised by LGANT.

  • Thamarrurr takes up challenges
    On 6 April, Thamarrurr Regional Council hosted a visit by the Prime Minister, John Howard, his third to an Aboriginal community. In his address to the community, the Prime Minister commended efforts being undertaken to increase attendances at school. With Council and parents working together on a ‘no school no pool’ policy, enrolments at the beginning of this year swelled to 570.

Feature: Administration & Management Systems

  • Free emissions accounting tools and data for regional NRM planning
    The Australian Greenhouse Office has just released a National Carbon Accounting Toolbox and Data Viewer. These products have great potential for project or regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) planning. They were developed in collaboration with the CSIRO, the Australian National University and Geoscience Australia and are supported by NASA.
  • 2005 – Strength in Diversity Award
    Is your council responding to the challenges or harnessing the benefits of migration, migrant settlement, citizenship or local cultural diversity? Would you like to see your council’s work recognised nationally?
  • Skilled migration – helping employers
    The Australian Government is introducing a range of new measures to help employers, particularly in regional Australia, find skilled people they need when they cannot find them in the local labour market.
  • Environmental excellence on a shoestring
    The Shire of Mt Marshall is located in the north eastern wheatbelt of Western Australia. Some 649 people live in this Shire, generating a rate revenue of $840,000 per year. The Shire covers 10,134 square kilometres and is responsible for the maintenance of 1,725 kilometres of road.

  • Native vegetation management and Local Government
    A Victorian example by Nina Rogers *
    The statistics are concerning. An estimated 66 per cent of Victoria’s native vegetation has been cleared over the past 170 years. On private land, 92 per cent of native vegetation has been removed. Protecting, managing and restoring native vegetation are seen as key to protecting the long term productive capacity and environmental values of land and water resources.
  • Improving palliative care in local communities
    Providing care for people who are dying and their families is a hallmark of a humane and caring society. The Australian Government, through the National Palliative Care Program, is helping to improve palliative care in Australia.
  • Novice driver education programme trial
    2004 Young Driver Safety Forum
    In 2003, 17 to 25 year olds accounted for a quarter of all road deaths, even though they made up only 12 per cent of the population. During 2003 the Australian Transport Council, comprising Australian, State and Territory Transport Ministers, began exploring the options for a best practice national programme of driver education, in light of the continuing high rate of fatalities among young and inexperienced drivers.
  • Australian Government Regional Information Directory
    Everything you wanted to know about Australian Government services – in one book!
    With 640 entries, the 2005 Australian Government Regional Information Directory (formerly the Commonwealth Regional Information Directory) is the most comprehensive guide ever to the Government’s services for the millions of people who live in Australia’s regions.
  • Climate change affects Australia’s environment
    Australia’s unique environment is under pressure. Threats such as land clearing, salinity and invasive species are making our natural assets vulnerable. Climate change exacerbates existing threats such as increasing frequency of fires, and contributes to more persistent droughts. The gradual rise in temperatures may eventually go beyond the tolerances of some species.
  • Message from the Minister
    National Awards for Local Government 2005
    The National Awards for Local Government for 2005 were launched on 2 May and I would encourage as many councils as possible to enter. The Awards play an important role in promoting best practice in Local Government across a wide range of functions from engineering and planning to promoting cultural diversity and healthy lifestyles.
  • Bendigo gets set for a brighter future
    Bendigo looks set to reap many benefits from the recent Bendigo +25 three day Future Search Conference. This brought together 100 members of the community to create a shared vision for the municipality for the next 25 years and beyond.

  • Strategic measurement system for Hobart
    Hobart City Council’s Strategic Measurement System (SMS) arose from the desire to accurately measure progress in achieving the overall strategic direction for the City and to be able to communicate that performance in a simple and meaningful way.
  • Streamlining strategic planning *
    Any recent visitor to the City of Maitland or its not too distant neighbour, Singleton, could not help but notice the growth taking place in these long established cities of the NSW Hunter Valley. It is therefore no surprise that the Councils in both locations have seen the need to streamline corporate planning. Both decided to implement OutcomeManager supplied by iPLATINUM.
  • Halve your data capture costs by using intelligent forms
    By Arthur Lagos *
    The challenge facing all Local Governments is to provide more services to their ratepayers at lower costs. All Councils need data from their residents and ratepayers – to assess applications for building approvals, all manner of licenses, check compliance, develop policy and make decisions.
  • Big savings for Council’s through Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS)
    The Victorian Government is urging local Councils to take advantage of Australia’s best telecommunications deal through a whole of government initiative known as the Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS). Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Marsha Thomson, said the TPAMS deal was offering the best overall commercial terms in telecommunications procurement currently available in Australia.
  • Onkaparinga project management system
    The City of Onkaparinga has developed a project management system that has raised the standards of program and project management across the organisation.
  • Seamless purchasing at Melbourne
    After years of manual purchase requisitions, processing of cheques and invoices, the City of Melbourne has introduced a seamless process that allows staff to perform purchasing functions on their personal computer.
  • Surveys streamline performance management
    By Sue Loukomitis *
    With increasing demands on Local Government to deliver more with less, it is not surprising that a far greater emphasis is being placed on performance management. Simply put, performance management is designed to ensure that the goals of an organisation are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Improving the business paper process *
    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.
  • London Council using eBay to sell abandoned cars
    In what is believed to be a first for Local Government, a London Council is selling abandoned cars on eBay. The online auction site has been used by many private sellers and now Local Governments are using it to improve selling results.
  • Capital works and budgetary evaluation program assists Gosford
    Gosford City Council has developed a computer software solution to assist units evaluate capital works projects and form their budget. Performance Management Auditor, Rod Kidd, said the program called FLEXEVAL, allowed Gosford to design a questionnaire enabling project submissions to be assessed and ranked on an equal footing.
  • Future directions in corporate management
    An interview with Jamie Parry, Manager Corporate Services, Perth City Council
  • Leading edge software reduces costs and improves rates modelling
    The South Australian Local Government Association (LGA) is working to reduce costs for Councils by using leading edge rates modelling software. South Australian Councils using the software will be better prepared to analyse the relationship between Council rates, rating options, valuations and socio economic factors in their communities.
  • Tackling skills shortage and youth unemployment
    Across Australia, Local Governments are looking at various youth training programs to overcome a skills shortage. Councils, particularly in remote areas, are targeting school leavers and introducing trainee programs to attract young employees to Local Government.
  • Advanced Data Integration automates meetings to the minute *
    Advanced Data Integration (ADI), better known for its popular information management software, DataWorks, has developed a unique process management utility, Minutes Manager. Minutes Manager provides task specific information management tools for the typical Agenda to Minutes to Actions process. Benefits for Local Governments are mainly time saved from time consuming activities like annotating meeting minutes and tracking meeting actions through to completion.
  • RFID – think, and then rethink *
    Have you seen the latest Holden Monaro with 40” low profile wooden wagon wheels? I did not think so. Every revolution in technology needs to be coupled with a revolution in thinking; a paradigm shift.