February 2006 Edition

  • Neighbourhood community harmony
    According to Macquarie University, Australia
  • Building respect
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    Respect is a major newGovernment initiativlaunched in January 200by the Prime Minister, TonBlair who explained it ithe following terms: “It iabout putting the law abidinmajority back in charge otheir local communities.” Thaim is to ‘eradicate the scourgof antisocial behaviour’ frosociety.
  • Local Government Flower Garden Awards for 2006 launched
    The 2006 Australian Local Government FlowerGarden Awards will acknowledge the effortof local parks and gardens teams. A nationawinner will be selected, as well as one winnefrom each State and Territory. First held i2004, the awards are organised every two yearby Bedding Plants Australia (BPA). BPA is thnational association of seedling and flowerinbloomer growers. It is well known for its nationaFlower of the Year, which has been releaseevery year for 38 years. It is part of Nursery anGardening Industry Australia.
  • City of Whitehorse nursery leads the way in water saving initiatives
    Victoria’s City of Whitehorse’s ParksWide Nursery, has receivednational recognition for a number of innovative water savininitiatives that aim to achieve a 65 per cent reduction in wateusage over 12 months. As one of the largest Council ownenurseries in Victoria, it recently won a prestigious SavewaterTaward in the garden management category for upgrading itirrigation system and installing a water harvesting and recyclinsystem.
  • Regional City status recognised
    Penrith City Council hasbeen officially recognised aa Regional City under thNSW State Government’Metropolitan Strategy. Thiwill help to ensure that the Citenjoys the benefits of Sydney’growth over the next 25 yearsCouncil will now have greateaccess to health, education anrecreation services.
  • Camera van saves time and money
    The conversion of a van into Toowoomba City Council’s new pipeline
  • Recycled paper keeps pool afloat
    The City of Geraldton in Western Australia is raising ongoingfunds for its swimming pool facility, the Aquarena, through paper recycling project. The project has raised $20,500 to datewhich has funded pool blankets for the leisure pool and a higpressure cleaner.
  • Ballarat the first Council in Australia to purchase air water machine*
    Watermakers Australia, a leadingprovider of water generation machineand tec hnologies, that produce watefrom the humidity in the air, recentlannounced that the City of Ballarat, ithe first Council in Australia to purchasthis revolutionary technology.
  • On par for environmental change
    Glamorgan Spring Bay Council’s municipality reads like a
  • Councillor profiles
    A regular feature profiling two Councillors form new South Wales
  • Opportunities for all in the City of Belmont
    The City of Belmont is a vibrant
  • Pacific Edge art conference brings delegates to Mackay
    The largest regional arts conferencein Australia will be held in MackayQueensland from 14 to 17 Septembe2006. Some 750 delegates are expecteto attend. The Pacific Edge is the titland theme of the 2006 Regional ArtAustralia’s fifth National ConferenceIt will build on the artistic and culturaconnections between Australia and thPacific region in Mackay.
  • Adelaide Hills tops customer service
    Adelaide Hills Council, located on the eastern fringe ofmetropolitan Adelaide, encompasses 800 square kilometreand has a population of almost 40,000 people. Council wanamed the Overall Council of the Year for Customer ServicQuality in Local Government at the Local Government ServicQuality Network (SQN) Service Quality Leadership Awardlast October.
  • Oldest human footprints in Australia found at Mungo, NSW
    The world’s largest collection of fossil humanfootprints have been discovered in Balranald ShirCouncil’s Mungo National Park, located in soutwest New South Wales. The footprints werfirst uncovered by Aboriginal park ranger, MarPappen, in 2003, but were only revealed publiclin December last year.
  • Nationals too dry
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    The defection of NationalParty Senator Julian McGauran, and the tacit okaby the Liberal powerbrokerto his defection, suggests thathe Nationals are not beintaken seriously – hardnuts likMcEwan, Anthony and Nixowould never have allowed ito happen.
  • Alice Springs introduces new library dress code
    Alice Springs’ Biggest Bedroom
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Alderman Kerry Moir, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory.
  • Harmony in the park
    In December, over 2,000 people gathered atSydney’s Belmore Park to promote a simplmessage of understanding and harmony. Thevent was organised by five young people whhad come together after news of the Cronullriots. All had the common goal of unitinpeople in an event removed from politics andevoid of finger pointing rhetoric.
  • Editorial
    From time to time, one of the commercial television station’s socalled ‘current affairs’ programs will run a beat up story on LocaGovernment. However, it was somewhat surprising, in early Januarythat the Weekend Australian newspaper ran a scathing articlridiculing the policy ideas of a small number of Councillors. Based othis, the editorial in the same edition asserted that Local Governmentwere running out of control and, therefore, it called for wholesalamalgamation of Councils into larger regional governmentsAppearing the first weekend after the New Year, when most peoplare well and truly ensconced in holiday mode, and with the Federaand State Parliaments not half way through their ‘long vacation’President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA)Councillor Paul Bell, is correct when he describes this attack oLocal Government as nothing more than a ‘silly season beat up’.
  • Community diversity and culture celebrated Australia wide

Feature: Human Resource Management/OH&S

  • National Speaker Series: Rebuilding cities for people
    By Julie Bishop*
    Rising fuel prices, an ageing population and changing community expectations will mean that many aspects of Australian cities have outlived their usefulness, and may require significant reconstruction in the future.
  • Your business gateway for a range of government information and services
    The business.gov.au website is an online government resource for the Australian business community. It provides a wide range of online services and information helping new and existing businesses comply with government requirements more simply and conveniently.
  • Rural Medical Infrastructure Fund
    Improving access to general practioners in small communities
    Local Governments can apply for grants of up to $200,000 to establish 'walk-in walk-out' community medical centres.
  • Focus on social capital
    The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE) has recently released a new report, Focus on Regions 4: Social Capital, that aims to measure and analyse key elements of social capital for Australia and its regions.
  • Message from the Minister
    I am expecting 2006 to be a year of many achievements in Local Government and am looking forward to a productive year working in partnership with you all. This year I am aiming to see significant progress in the implementation of the initiatives agreed to by the Australian Government in its response to the Hawker Report.
  • Growing Regions Conference
    25-27 July 2006, Brisbane, Australia
  • Councils working safer
    In the wake of the Victorian Auditor General’s
  • Project: Healthy Worker encourages active lifestyle
    Tasmania’s Glenorchy CityCouncil is holding educatioand fitness programs tpromote a healthy and activlifestyle for staff. ProjectHealthy Worker is designed teducate employees on healtand wellbeing issues ansupport them to improve theioverall wellbeing.
  • World’s first inflatable resuscitation mask*
    Ideal for all Council employees trained in first aid
    Reviva Mask is a unique
  • Kempsey supports alcohol and drug testing
    Kempsey Shire Council, located 430 kilometres north of Sydneyon the Pacific Highway, has introduced drug and alcohol testinfor Council staff to increase employee safety.
  • Blue Mountains in hot competition with private sector
    New South Wales’ Blue Mountains City Council has beenrecognised among high profile private sector organisationfor its strategic human resources plan. Council received special commendation in the Best Strategic Plan category athe 2005 Australian HR Awards. The awards reflect the entirspectrum of the HR profession and are highly regarded by Hprofessionals.
  • UQ Business School has great public sector credentials*
    With former State Premier Wayne Goss,andformer Auditor General Len Scanlan, aAdjunct Professors, UQ Business School hagreat public sector credentials.
  • Coaching – a critical leadership tool
    Coaching is fast becoming a necessary tool in the managementof staff. A recent survey found that 92 per cent of respondentbelieved that coaching, applied appropriately, can hava positive impact on an organisation’s bottom line. Witsignificant pressure on people to perform, today’s knowledge workeneeds a new approach. Through coaching rather than directingmanagers can communicate more effectively with their staff. Thinot only results in increased performance and engagement, but alshelps with retention and leadership development.
  • Tackling fire safety
    With increasing fatalities from fires in homesand accommodation facilities, Snowy RiveShire Council, along with the New South WaleFire Brigade, are leading the way to educatthe community and visitors to the area on thimportance of fire safety measures within thcommunity.
  • NSW aspiring leaders program
    In 2006, Local GovernmentManagers Australia (LGMANSW will again run its versuccessful Aspiring LeaderProgram. This prograprovides an opportunity foaspiring leaders in LocaGovernment to participate ia three day offsite workshop.
  • MAV investigates workforce planning
    A recent research project by theMunicipal Association of Victori(MAV) and the Departmenfor Victorian CommunitiesLocal Government VictoriDivision (LGV), has identifiesignificant workforce issuefacing Councils that must baddressed to avert future servicshortages. As the deliverof services, expectations andemographics of communitiechange, Local Governmenmust have a capable workforcwith the right skills, in the righquantity, who are deployed ithe most effective way.
  • Finance professionals taking care of business
    The inaugural National Local Government FinanceProfessionals Conference will be held on the 7–9 Ma2006 at the Novotel Northbeach in Wollongong. NSis co-organising the Conference which will be in lieu oits State Conference, and will be held biennially. Ththeme for the National Conference is ‘Taking Care oBusiness’ and will provide an opportunity for GeneraManagers/CEOs, Directors, Chief Finance Officers anFinance Managers from over 650 Councils nationallyto share their insights, skills and knowledge.
  • VLGA governance training goes international
    The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) will soon commence training of Local Government Mayors in the Philippines.
  • The slip fall dilemma*
    Ask most people what the major cause of injury is in Australiaand the answer would probably focus on car injuries oindustrial accidents, but the real answer is the slips anfalls that occur mostly in our everyday lives. According ta leading insurance broker up to 90 per cent of all publiliability claims are related to slippery floors.
  • WALGA looks at skills shortage
    A shortage of skilled workersacross Western Australia haLocal Government increasinglusing consultants to fill key positionsWestern Australian Local GovernmenAssociation (WALGA) Chief ExecutivOfficer, Ricky Burges, said a recent surveof Councils found the occupations thawere most in short supply were plannersengineers, accountants and buildinsurveyors, but that there were shortageacross all areas of operations.
  • Become a mediator for the sleeping giant
    “Industry leaders believe Local Government is a relativelyuntapped resource for mediators offering alternative disputresolution (ADR),” said Steve Gibbeson, Training Managefor the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre (ACDC). Ifact, experts believe Local Government is a ‘sleeping giantwhen its potential to employ ADR in resolving both externaand internal disputes is examined.”
  • Contractor management system spreads OH&S message
    South Australia’s City ofCharles Sturt has introducean Integrated ManagemenSystem (IMS) for contractomanagement that brings thCity’s contractors up to prequalification standard iOccupational Health anSafety. The IMS was procurethrough the Civil ContractorFederation and is a partnershiwith contractors in the City.
  • DIMA and Local Government join to encourage stronger communities
    One of many challenges facing Australia today is the preservation of harmonious and cohesive communities. This challenge is complex but rewarding. For Local Government, its challenge is to provide strong leadership and vision, and to build links between different community groups.
  • National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group provides unique opportunity
    The National Indigenous Youth Leadership Group (NIYLG) is an impressive group of young Aboriginal people comprising Australia's only national consultative forum for Indigenous youth.