May 2006 Edition

  • Historic agreement to start addressing cost shifting
    On 12 April, representatives from all three spheres of government signed an historic agreement to help counter cost shifting.

  • The IGA in a nutshell
    The IGA provides a framework to improve the way the three spheres of government relate to each other to achieve the best possible outcomes for communities.
  • Editorial
    The recent sign off on the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) by representatives from the three spheres of government has been welcomed by Local Government as a first step in addressing future cost shifting to Local Government.
  • President's comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Mayor John Rich, President of the Local Government Association of South Australia.
  • Battle of the Cans workshop for skatepark makeover
    Alice Springs Town Council recently held a 'Battle of the Cans' workshop as part of National Youth Week. Teams of young artists and volunteers competed in the battle, giving a much needed makeover to a local skate park.
  • FOCUS website turns ten
    It is now ten years since we started putting all editions of Local Government FOCUS online.
  • Vandal resistant bus shelters to promote public transport
    The City of Melville in Western Australia is installing new vandalism resistant bus shelters to encourage higher patronage on public transport.
  • Global warming - let's watch China
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    I have been a long time sceptic of many claims emanating from environmental groups. But a colleague, a top Canberra lobbyist, insists that global warming is the next 'really big' issue for the Australian Government.
  • Urban/rural friendship alliance
    On 5 May 2006 Hobsons Bay City Council and Buloke Shire Council established a friendship alliance, when the Mayors of Hobsons Bay, Councillor Carl Marsich and Buloke Shire, Councillor Reid Mather, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU establishes an Urban Rural Friendship Alliance that will foster and promote links between the two communities.
  • SEGRA Adaptable Regions: open minds open opportunities
    28-30 August 2006, Northern Tasmania, Launceston
    'Adaptable Regions: open minds open opportunities' is the theme for the tenth national Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference (SEGRA).
  • Launceston's rich diversity demonstrated through film
    As part of Harmony Day celebrations and It's About Us 2006, during March Launceston City Council supported three Harmony Film Screenings.

  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we are featuring two Councillors from the Northern Territory.
  • Tatiara Council: 'the good country'
    Tatiara District Council is located in the northern section of the Limestone Coast area of South Australia. The Tatiara region includes the townships of Bordertown, Keith, Mundulla, Padthaway and Wolseley and the smaller communities of Willalooka and Western Flat.
  • Amenities for all
    The Tatiara district's biggest tourism opportunity lies on Dukes Highway, which passes through the district. Dukes Highway is the major road connecting Adelaide to Melbourne.
  • Long term management of Council's assets helps to plan for the future
    Tatiara has 1,900 kilometres of roads. Of this, 466 kilometres are sealed, with the remaining 1,077 kilometres being unsealed rubble roads. Council has recognised that it needs to gain a better knowledge of all its assets so it can better plan for the future.
  • Economic development opportunities
    Tatiara recognises that to make the district even stronger and more diverse it needs to actively promote economic development. With this aim, Council has invested several million dollars in recent years to develop new industrial estates at both Bordertown and Keith, located well away from residential areas.
  • Taipei and Perth exchange artists
    The City of Perth has launched the Taipei and Perth Artist Exchange Program. The exchange offers a reciprocal residency of two months for an artist from Perth to travel to Taipei and an artist from Taipei to travel to Perth.

  • Butt free City - please butt it, then bin it
    In March, Darwin City Council mounted a local campaign during 'Butt Free City Week' to help combat the seven billion cigarette butts littered in Australia every year.
  • Ten tips for presentations
    By Tanya Makin*
    There is currently public debate about abandoning the common use of PowerPoint. Yet most memorable business presentations are those that use it well as a genuine visual resource, which enlivens what is said and does not dominate. Here are some ideas that may help you be remembered for the right reasons.
  • Local Government sets precedent
    The Coorong District Council was one of the first Councils in Australia to incorporate the environment into their strategic and development plans.

  • Election fatigue
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    By the time that you read this article the District Council elections will have taken place. In England elections in District Councils are either in thirds (one third of the Council has to face election every year) or every four years. Every fourth year the elections for the County Council are held in two tier Local Government areas. Confused? Think about the public!

Feature: Administration and Management Systems

  • Latrobe City Council chooses Avand's DataWorks for electronic document management and compliance*
    Latrobe City Council in southeast Victoria has chosen Avand's DataWorks enterprise content management software to replace its legacy records management system and take the Council to full compliance with Public Records of Victoria (PROV).
  • Plan for Liverpool's future cements regional status
    Liverpool City Council has prepared a draft Strategic Plan for its City Centre. The plan sets a framework for managing growth over the next 25 years and cements Liverpool's status as the regional centre of south west Sydney.

  • A platform for women
    As recently as 1981, married women were not allowed to work at Broken Hill City Council. Today, Council is far beyond old fashion values and is setting a precedent by supporting a philosophy of increasing women's participation in Local Government.
  • Future directions in Administration and Management Systems
    Future Directions is a regular feature. This month we interviewed Gary Bensley, Executive Manager, Corporate and Community Division, Hornsby Shire Council, New South Wales.
  • Fair terms and conditions for Councils the key*
    CIT Group is one of the largest publicly listed financiers in the world today. Originally known as AT&T Capital in the early 1990s, the CIT Group is now a fortune 500 company with offices in over 26 countries.
  • Endorsing transparency on expenses
    In April, the Local Government and Shires Associations of New South Wales endorsed accountability, transparency and caps on expenses for elected Councillors and senior staff.
  • Mediation grows in LG dispute resolution*
    Mediation continues to be a growth area for Local Government, if full attendance at an Australian Commercial Disputes Centre (ACDC) Local Government Mediation Course earlier this year is any indication.
  • New careers kit helps Council's address skills shortages
    In March, President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT), Councillor Lynn Mason, launched Council Careers. This information kit and website has been designed to promote careers and job opportunities in Local Government.
  • Hobsons Bay in tune with 'Baychat'
    In April, a weekly online, radio style program was launched on Hobsons Bay City Council's website. 'Baychat' is believed to be the first magazine style audio program of its type for a municipal Council.

  • Planning course tackles staff shortage
    The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is delivering a course to address a shortage of qualified planners in Queensland Local Government.
  • Information at your fingertips
    Kempsey Shire Council's newly developed Knowledge Management System provides a wide range of information at your fingertips, and the ability to answer those often asked questions quickly in the customer service environment.

  • SCU offers flexible study programs*
    Southern Cross University offers a range of flexible study programs ideal for people wanting to upgrade their skills or looking for a career change.
  • Destinations Rockdale sets out a 20 year vision
    A marina, jetty, central park, sporting facilities, civic administration centre, canal and traffic solutions to a busy boulevard strip are all part of Rockdale City Council's 20 year vision.

  • PSU and WTS join forces for a superior parking enforcement solution*
    PSU International is pleased to announce the signing of an exclusive distribution agreement with an international company, Wilson Technology Solutions (WTS), for the distribution of PSU International's EnforceIT Mobility, Processing, and Permit systems in the Australasian region.
  • Improving the business paper process*
    InfoCouncil is a technology advantage being offered to Councils. It is a contemporary, stable and economical package for managing Local Government business papers.
  • World's best at Banyule
    Banyule City Council has developed and implemented a simple, cost effective and powerful certification program that could be adapted by Local Governments throughout Australia.
  • Council complaints process streamlined
    Amendments to the Queensland Local Government Act in 2005 required all Councils to formally adopt a process by March 2006 for managing and resolving complaints. Bordering the western boundary of Toowoomba in Queensland, Jondaryan Shire Council has introduced a process to formalise its existing procedures to deal with complaints fairly, promptly and professionally.
  • Nucleus shares knowledge
    New South Wales' Southern Councils Group (SCG) has developed an Internet based knowledge management system. 'Nucleus' uses powerful and user friendly components that allow users to update, maintain and create new content on a consistent basis.
  • Hurstville budget shows substantial decrease in Council deficit
    The release of Hurstville City Council's draft budget for 2006/2007 shows Council is on track to substantially reduce its budget deficit.
  • Regional rates administrator addresses staff shortage
    With limited access to skilled staff in the rating profession, Councils are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain staff with the appropriate Local Government knowledge.
  • Watershed Inter-governmental Agreement signed by Local Government Ministers
    On 12 April 2006, Local Government Ministers from the Australian, State and Territory Governments and the President of the Australian Local Government Association signed the Inter-governmental Agreement Establishing Principles Guiding Inter-governmental Relations on Local Government Matters.

  • Message from the Minister
    In previous editions of Local Government - A National Perspective I have been keeping you up to date with progress on the Government's response to the Hawker Report. I am very pleased to announce that one of the biggest achievements in this process came to fruition on 12 April 20
  • Meeting your regional recruitment needs
    Employing a skilled migrant may be easier than you think. The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) has a useful tool to help you find a great candidate for your unfilled, skilled jobs - the Skill Matching Database.

  • National Awards for Local Government
    Showing Local Government's true colours for 20 years
    This year marks the 20th anniversary since the inception of the National Awards for Local Government, previously known as the National Awards for Innovation in Local Government. Since 1986, the Awards have recognised, rewarded and promoted the innovative and leading practices of Local Government.
  • Providing safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians
    The Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC) leads and coordinates national activities to prevent workplace death, injury and disease, and improve workers' compensation arrangements and the rehabilitation and return to work of injured workers.