April 2006 Edition

  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we are featuring two Councillors from the Northern Territory.
  • Rockingham lends Telwatta a helping hand
    The community of Western Australia's City of Rockingham has raised $35,000 for the tsunami devastated village of Telwatta in Sri Lanka. Together with a further $10,000 collected by the Perth Sri Lankan community, the funds have gone into reconstructing the village.
  • Collie just pips Singleton as Australia's tidiest town
    Australia's premier community based environmental action program, the Australian Tidy Towns Awards 2006, has been won by Collie in Western Australia, making this the third win for WA in the past ten years.
  • Lowy is more than Westfield and soccer
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    Frank Lowy is best known for his Westfield empire and his role in the rebirth of soccer in Australia. He has also quietly established the Lowy Institute in Sydney, comprising a team of analysts that provides excellent insights into world affairs.
  • New Chief Executive for the ALGA
    In March, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) announced that it had appointed Adrian Beresford-Wylie as its Chief Executive. He will take up this post on 1 May.
  • Mount Barker makes the top five
    South Australia's Mount Barker was recently voted the fifth most desirable town in Australia for sea/hills change by The Australian newspaper.

  • Heart Foundation Kellogg Local Government Awards
    The Heart Foundation and Kellogg are providing $30,000 and recognition to award initiatives that help create healthy communities.
  • Editorial - LGAT releases first Council Cost Index
    To assist its Council members in assessing the real costs of operations and delivering services, the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) has recently released its first Council Cost Index.
  • Free ABS statistics online
    The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produces statistics on economic, social and demographic issues that affect all Australians.
  • President's 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.
  • LG leadership in the face of adversity
    Crossing the North Queensland coast early on Sunday 20 March, Cyclone Larry extensively damaged private and public property. Many were left homeless, and local businesses and households were days, and sometimes weeks, without power. As Larry moved inland and formed into a low pressure system, torrential rains caused further damage.

  • Palmerston - a place for people
    Roads, Rates and Rubbish aren't the only Rs covered at the City of Palmerston. Council is also very keen on the fourth R - Relationships. Building strong relationships with the community underpins all aspects of what Council does.

  • Suburban venue for Bike Week ride
    Competition was fierce but friendly at the Western Australian Department of Infrastructure's first suburban Parliamentarians Bike Ride for Cycle Instead Bike Week 2006. Held in March in the City of Gosnells, it was the first time the event has been held outside of Perth CBD.
  • Thuringowa library launches new era in audio technology
    Located in northern Queensland, the Thuringowa Library has introduced new technology for sight impaired residents. The Audio Navigator is a hand held device, similar in size to a remote control. It allows users to listen to recordings of books and daily news services.
  • Leadership is women's business*
    The 18th Women, Management and Employment Relations Conference on workplace relations, negotiation and equal opportunity will be held on 27-28 July 2006 at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney
  • Nest egg for the future
    Crows Nest Shire Council in south east Queensland has captured the imagination of the community with an innovative, holistic natural resource management (NRM) project that mixes planning, policy, on ground works and incentives.
  • Capturing value
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    Many Council areas are suffering from an acute shortage of affordable housing for their local residents. This is being caused by a shortage of housing and a shortage of land on which to build housing. This is leading to a buoyant housing market pricing local people out of the market and an ever escalating price of land.
  • Melbourne certainly put on a great show
    Melbourne's recent hosting on the 18th Commonwealth Games was overwhelmingly endorsed as a huge success by visitors and locals alike. The crowd reception and support for Lord Mayor John So - to some extent at the expense of his Federal and State counterparts - certainly received a deal of media coverage around the nation.

Feature: Technical Services and Engineering

  • A formula for building bridges
    Maintaining ageing assets with limited funding is not a new problem for Councils. However, the removal of non feasance and the introduction of a new Road Management Act in Victoria poses new challenges, with extra responsibility on Councils to maintain, inspect and repair road assets.

  • Community engagement critical
    Transport experts attending the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Transporting Communities into 2030 Conference gave a healthy report card to the Melbourne 2030 policy framework but felt Vancouver had the edge as most liveable city for its strong focus on integrated metropolitan planning and community engagement in decision making.
  • Future Directions in Engineering and Technical Services
    Future Directions is a regular feature. This month we interviewed Brendan Dowd, Director Technical Services Darwin City Council, Northern Territory.
  • Getting serious about stormwater
    By Peter Diprose*
    In spite of increasing optimism in and acceptance of stormwater as a potential re-use resource, horror stories from stormwater practitioners still abound.
  • Staff input improves new maintenance truck
    The City of Stirling's Engineering Operations' maintenance truck is used to carry out road maintenance and repair of the City's infrastructure. When the truck was due for replacement, staff were approached and encouraged to provide innovative ideas.

  • Bland Shire on the road to effective asset management
    Bland Shire Council's Asset Management Policy and associated Road Hierarchy and Service Levels were adopted by Council in March. They are the crucial first steps in an organisation wide approach to effective asset management that focuses on service delivery to the community.
  • Charles Sturt funding road renewal backlog
    The funding backlog is a national issue as Councils struggle with limited finances to meet works costs and manage risks. In 2002, South Australia's City of Charles Sturt recognised a significant shortfall in the state of its road network and realised the importance of making long term financial decisions to meet service levels and community expectation.
  • Taking a statewide approach to the Infrastructure Asset Renewal Gap
    By Peter Drummy*
    An exciting new initiative to assist Councils to more accurately determine their asset management funding requirements has been introduced by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) as part of its Statewide Asset Management Step.

  • Volvo G900 graders at the cutting edge*
    Volvo has introduced a three model G900 motor grader range, engineered from the ground up by Volvo with help from industry experts - its customers.
  • Alice Springs to host 2006 Local Roads and Transport Congress
    Local Government's key forum for roads and transport issues - the National Local Roads and Transport Congress, will be held in Alice Springs on 9-11 July. Core issues for delegates will include the development of a national Local Government roads and transport strategy.
  • Magnetic Island helps Nemo and friends
    Townsville City Council, together with its business unit, Citiwater, is relocating and upgrading its Horseshoe Bay wastewater treatment plant on Magnetic Island. The new plant will protect the ecosystems of both Magnetic Island and the surrounding World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
  • Nationwide call for water reuse information
    Water supply and its useage rates extremely high on the agendas of most spheres of government. To better understand and plan for future needs, the Lower Murray Working Group is researching all available information on what Australian Councils are doing to reuse water and in particular potable reuse.
  • The City of Playford
    The City of Playford is the most northern Local Government area of metropolitan Adelaide. Formed in May 1997 as a result of an amalgamation of the former City of Elizabeth and the District Council of Munno Para, the City is one of South Australia's largest Councils covering a large and diverse area of 364 square kilometres of urban and rural areas.
  • Providing optimum services now and into the future
    By Mayor Marilyn Baker
    For the City of Playford, financial sustainability is about ensuring we are in a position to provide the best possible services for our ratepayers now and well into the future.

  • A model for financial sustainability
    By Tim Jackson CEO
    The financial performance of the City of Playford has undergone a dramatic turnaround since Council was created in 1997 through the amalgamation of the Cities of Elizabeth and Munno Para.
  • Working with other Councils on financial sustainability
    By Wendy Campana, LGA (SA) Executive Director
    The City of Playford Council has been a strong participant in activities generated by South Australia's Local Government Association to address financial sustainability issues for Councils.
  • Financial sustainability - it can be done
    When the City of Playford was formed in May 1997, it inherited an annual operating deficit (before capital revenue) of $10 million and a significant asset maintenance backlog. By 2005 this had been significantly improved to a net operating deficit (before capital revenue) of $3.19 million, despite significant increases in spending on developing and maintaining assets.

  • Munno Para library service
    The new Munno Para Library Service is proof that financial constraints can lead to innovative ways of funding community services.
  • Playford Civic Centre makeover
    A shining statement of confidence in the future of the City of Playford is the $12.6 million Civic Centre opened in March 2004.

  • Urban regeneration for Playford North
    The Playford North Urban Regeneration Project is the most significant urban regeneration/development project in metropolitan Adelaide. The project encompasses all aspects of residential development and community life to redress issues currently evident in the Peachey Belt, an area encompassing Smithfield Plains and Davoren Park in the northern part of the City of Playford.
  • Elizabeth Regional Centre revitalisation
    Following amalgamation in 1997, it was clear a turnaround was essential for the City of Playford's future financial sustainability.

  • Population policy: Prosperity through People
    The State Government adopted and distributed a Population Policy for the State, 'Prosperity through People', in March 2004. This advocates a population increase for the State to an optimum population of two million by the year 2050.