December 2006 Edition

  • Editorial - A snapshot of 2006
    2006 has seen a number of firsts for Local Government as well as ongoing challenges. The following summarises our opinions on how Local Government continues to step up to the mark.
  • President's comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor John Rich, President of the Local Government Association of South Australia.
  • Future directions in case management*
    A Decade of Difference: Journeys taken and the Road Ahead is the theme of the 10th National Conference of the Case Management Society of Australia (CMSA). It will be held in Melbourne on 15-16 March 2007.
  • Youth peers enhance living in Holroyd
    Fourteen young people from Holroyd City graduated from an innovative project at a Mayoral ceremony in November. The Peer Education Project targets young people aged 15 to 19 and encourages them to contribute to the wellbeing of their communities.

  • First mobile skate ramp installed in NT
    Located approximately 100 kilometres south of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Coomalie Community Government Council recently installed a mobile skate ramp. Skateramps Australia's Mobile Fun Box is the first to be installed in the Northern Territory.
  • Youth Groups: tips for getting started and keeping going
    *By Karen Coombs
    *Karen Coombs is the Youth Development Officer at King Island Council. Karen works closely with the King Island Youth Action Group (KIYAG) to organise activities for young people and provide support and advice. Below are ten points she believes are key in initiating a youth group.
  • King Island Youth Action Group
    Established in 2001, the King Island Youth Action Group (KIYAG) provides a forum for 12 to 25 year olds to represent the views of King Island's young people.
  • Revitalising our heartland
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    I have just read a compelling report on how America's heartland can be revitalised. Many of the report's findings have direct parallels to Australia. Those of you in regional Australia - please read it!
  • Funding the future
    The City of Greater Bendigo is working with the Bendigo Traders Association (BTA) to launch a promotional fund to market businesses in the city centre.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we profile two Councillors from Western Australia.
  • Recognising LG's high achievers
    At the 2006 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Perth, FOCUS invited delegates to nominate individuals or teams from their Council who are improving their Council's operations and meeting community needs. In this edition, we showcase two more of our high achievers for 2006.
  • Austral Bricks' energy and life cycle analysis of clay bricks*
    Austral Bricks has added an Embodied Energy and Life Cycle technical paper to its series of technical papers on clay bricks. Austral Bricks' Group Technical and Engineering Manager, Cathy Inglis, said all manufactured products have an embodied energy component.
  • Electronic Community Cards replace traditional library cards
    In what is thought to be an Australian first, the Charles Sturt Library Service has replaced its old traditional library cards with a new Community Card. All library members and users of community centre programs have been issued with the card.
  • Challenging opportunity?
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    It's arrived. Finally, after all of the speculation, the Local Government White Paper has been published. Titled, Strong and Prosperous Communities, the White Paper runs to a mere 170 pages in volume one, 59 pages in volume two and 28 pages in the accompanying document inviting Councils to bid for unitary status or to become pathfinders for enhanced working in two tier areas.

Feature: Business Efficiency and Sustainability

  • Auburn 2030 guides Council decision making
    New South Wales' Auburn Council has developed a key policy planning document - Auburn 2030. The document is a long term vision reflecting the expectations and future needs of the Auburn community.
  • Digital signatures: streamlining processes for paperless operations*
    Various Councils are rolling out digital signature solutions which are putting them at the forefront of delivery documents both internally and to third parties. With today's Councils burdened by labour and paper intensive processes the call to cut costs and improve efficiency and services has never been higher.
  • Future directions in Business and Sustainabilty
    Future Directions is a regular feature. This month we interviewed Penny Holloway, President LGMA NSW and General Manager North Sydney Council, NSW.
  • WA financial management awards
    Eight Western Australian Councils have been recognised in the State Minister for Local Government and Regional Development's Financial Management Awards. Some 32 Western Australian Local Governments competed in the awards, which were announced in August.
  • Douglas Shire takes out Qld planning award
    Douglas Shire Council's recently adopted planning scheme, designed to manage future development on the ecologically unique Daintree Lowlands, has received the highest honours at the Australian Planning Institute's annual Queensland Awards for Excellence.
  • City of Fremantle adopts Kyoto protocols
    The City of Fremantle has adopted global Kyoto targets and committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions between 2008 and 2012 to at least 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels.
  • Go global: Global Business Law at La Trobe*
    "Legal practice is global," says Head of La Trobe Law School, Professor Gordon Walker. "Real life challenges, such as the Australian US Free Trade Agreement, the Chinese demand for energy resources and the European Union's status as Australia's leading trading partner, mean that many legal and non legal professionals need to expand their knowledge to respond to such issues."
  • Local Government and sustainability reporting
    By Phil Hughes*
    Sustainability reporting is used to drive internal performance management, promote quality governance, strengthen stakeholder engagement, and demonstrate higher levels of performance.
  • New governance guidelines for South Australian Councils
    The Local Government Association of South Australian (LGASA) in collaboration with Standards Australia has developed new governance guidelines for the State's 68 Councils. The guidelines were approved at the LGA's Annual General Meeting in October and represent an Australian first.
  • Customer service backfill program
    Hobsons Bay City Council is using its Customer Service Team as an in house "temp" agency, placing highly skilled and well trained officers into temporary positions throughout the organisation.
  • Melville wins water efficiency award
    The City of Melville has taken out the Local Government Water Efficiency Category of the Western Australian Water awards 2006. Held in Perth in October, the Awards were presented by the Western Australian Department of Water and the Water Corporation.
  • Presenting a well researched, clearly documented case
    The ALGA has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to prepare a report titled, A Practical Way Ahead: National Financial Sustainability Study of Local Government. Its findings were released on 4 December and can be accessed at
  • Resolutions
    Some of the key resolutions debated and carried. A full list of all Resolutions is available on the ALGA web site at
  • What the politicians said
    A snap shot of key issues raised in the addresses by various Federal MPs at the General Assembly.
  • 2007 General Assembly in Darwin
    Next year the National General Assembly on Local Government will be staged in Darwin from 26-29 November. In inviting delegates to the Northern Territory next year, Local Mayor of Darwin, Peter Adamson, said that it is anticipated that the General Assembly will be just as successful as in 2002 when Alice Springs hosted the event.