February 2007 Edition

  • Futuristic' new version next from Aurion*
    At its inaugural User Conference on Queensland's Gold Coast last October, Brisbane based Human Resource Management provider, Aurion, previewed upcoming changes and enhancements to its Version 10.
  • Project Connect boosts women's leadership role figures
    South Australia's City of Salisbury has seen an 11 per cent increase in the number of women in leadership positions since 2003 as a result of its Project Connect.

  • New Technical College for Bendigo
    The Greater Bendigo City Council has agreed to sell a central site for the establishment of a Federal Government backed Australian Technical College.
  • Future Directions in Occupational Health and Safety
    Future Directions is a regular feature. This month we interviewed Max Roberts, Risk and Safety Management Officer, Huon Valley Council, Tasmania.
  • Local students assist Council with OH&S solutions
    During WorkSafe week 2005, Ballarat City Council hosted a Mindshop Excellence Program, involving six year ten students from Ballarat Grammar.

  • Innovative scholarship program assists Councils to address planning skill shortage
    A survey commissioned last year by the New South Wales Department of Local Government found that planning was the greatest area of skills shortage among Councils.
  • People before technology
    When Goulburn Mulwaree Council began updating its technology systems in 2005, it made an important decision to concentrate on the contributions that staff could make to the process, in addition to the capacity of the software and its price.
  • Councils enforce Essential Fire Safety Measures compliance*
    Essential Fire Safety Measures are any measures, including items of equipment, forms of construction or fire safety strategies that are implemented in a building to ensure the safety of persons using the building in the event of fire.
  • Study at a time and place of your choosing with OTEN*
    About 38,000 students have been studying by distance with TAFE NSW - Open Training and Education Network (OTEN) without having to find the time to attend formal classes. OTEN offers an extensive range of courses/qualifications for updating skills for careers, a change in career or for trying out a new direction in life.
  • Improve your corporate image*
    Improve your corporate image with the Corporate Profile His and Hers collection. It's a completely coordinated range of corporate shirts, polos, office wear and safety clothing, with many different styles in various colour combinations.
  • Integrated risk management in the workplace*
    From modest beginnings in 1989, ESP - Environmental & Safety Professionals has grown to become a leading consultant in the environmental, occupational health and safety, training and hazardous material fields. To compliment and extend these services the parent company, Enviro-Net Australia, recently acquired The Safety Business, with both companies operating out of the same offices.
  • Light commits to slip, slop, slap
    Located north of Adelaide, Light Regional Council is educating its outdoor workforce on the dangers of UV radiation, heat stress and wet weather.

  • Creating a flexible workplace culture
    By Kerry Fallon Horgan*
    With the present skills shortages, globalisation, technological advances, an ageing workforce, the new workplace values of Gen X and Ys and greater diversity in the workplace, there is now even more reason for employers to move to make flexibility at work a reality.
  • Traineeships tackle an ageing workforce
    With the appointment of a new General Manager in December 2005, Coffs Harbour City Council reviewed its vision and identified the creation of youth employment opportunities as a key area to be developed.
  • Skilling up
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    In January's article I detailed two of the four important reports produced in the run up to Christmas in England. The remaining two reports I said that I would cover this month are Lord Leitch's report, 'Prosperity for all in the Global Economy: World Class Skills' and Sir David Varney's report, Service Transformation: a Better Service For Citizens and Businesses, a Better Deal for Taxpayers.
  • Online program improves induction process
    Together with human resource consultants, Chandler Macleod, Mackay City Council has developed and successfully trialled a working model of an online induction program for the entertainment industry, via its Mackay Entertainment Centre.
  • Local leisure membership promotes good health for staff
    Over the past decade, staff at Port Stephens Council in New South Wales have been keeping fit and healthy thanks to a Workers Health Initiative. The corporate program was developed by Council to increase staff health and well being across the organisation.

  • A regional approach to reduce waste to landfill in metropolitan Adelaide
    Six Councils in the southern and western region of Adelaide have come together to develop a Regional Waste Management Strategy and Plan.
  • The Field Days are back
    Mark your diaries for 16 & 17 May 2007
    The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (NSW), organiser of CivEnEx - "The Engineers Field Days", has announced the move to a brand new venue.
  • Sydney City plans for a safer Oxford Street
    The City of Sydney's popular Oxford Street precinct will become safer for the thousands of people who visit every weekend to dine, shop and visit pubs and clubs.
  • Australia Day celebrations around the nation
    On 26 January, Local Governments around the nation celebrated Australia Day with festivals, entertainment and citizenship ceremonies.
  • Cowra community supports local family
    On Australia Day, hundreds of residents joined with Cowra Shire Council to send a message to politicians that they are 100 per cent behind the Lai family. Jung (John) Chun Lai, his wife and three children have lived in Australia for nine years, and members of the Cowra community for the past six years.

  • Kwinana's Indigenous cultural tours promote community harmony
    Western Australia's Kwinana Town Council received a Commendation Award in the National Awards for Local Government's Capacity Building - Strengthening Indigenous Communities category. Council received the award for its Spectacles Yargan Cultural Tours, which demonstrate how Local Government can successfully work with industry and local Indigenous communities to promote and foster Indigenous culture and community harmony.

  • Wellington Shire Council
    At the 2006 National General Assembly in Canberra, we invited delegates to share their Council's projects and initiatives to win a full page feature in FOCUS. This month we feature Wellington Shire Council, Victoria.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Tasmania.
  • LGMA National Congress in Hobart
    The 2007 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress offers the best of the best from within and outside of Local Government. Informative presentations are delivered through keynote sessions by prominent leaders addressing the theme "Power and the Passion - the Power to make a difference. The Passion to Lead".
  • Student Council prompts leadership skills
    High school students in the Shire of Gingin are addressing youth issues through a Student Council initiative.
  • Engaging young people through film
    As part of the 2006 Bayside Film Festival, Bayside City Council delivered an educational filmmaking project to more than 200 secondary students and local youth. The Bayside Youth Documentary Project aimed to develop skills of investigation and expression through the experience of making short documentary films.

  • City of Salisbury shaping the future
    City of Salisbury's City Manager, Stephen Hains, said development figures recently released by the City reconfirm that Salisbury's level of investment is leading South Australia.
  • Blundstone - the Tassie icon
    The Good Oil *By Rod Brown
    The Australian Greens say the closure of Tasmania's Blundstone boots factory highlights the need to scrap efforts to sign a free trade agreement with China.
  • Council golf course survives drought
    The City of Brimbank's Keilor Public Golf course has remained open for 18 holes of golf through the summer. Located in Melbourne's western suburbs, Keilor, like most courses around the country, needed to address the drought and has done so by totally resurfacing its 18 holes.
  • Native Title Forum in Melbourne
    On 7 December 2006, the Attorney-General announced four amendments to the Native Title Act. The Amendments focus on creating a more effective process for everyone in the Native Title system, and are deemed to support the wide intent of Native Title.
  • Council achieves Milestone 4 for community water conservation
    The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), has awarded Sutherland Shire Council Milestone 4 for its community water conservation. This follows Council being the first Local Government in Australia to receive Milestone 4 for its corporate water saving initiatives in 2005.
  • President's comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Bill Mitchell, President of the Western Australian Local Government Association.
  • Editorial: Communities play key role in supporting migrants
    On Australia Day, Councils and communities large and small once again celebrated in various ways their pride in our nation. An important part of most celebrations is the opportunity for our newer, and in some cases not so new, residents taking the step to become Australian citizens.
  • QLD's LAMP program shines light on multicultural issues
    The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is promoting access, participation and cohesion in Queensland's culturally diverse society through a partnership program involving State and Local Governme

  • Managing new directions
    In Public Works Engineering, we often see reference to 'change' and 'new directions' in conference themes, but it is not always clear why. The Public Works profession is a dynamic work environment where the three spheres of Australian government and our communities, can impact on service delivery with a phone call, the stroke of a pen, a resolution, new legislation or the next 'great idea'.


  • Valuing and Promoting Quality Child Care Award Category
    Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
    The Australian Government is committed to facilitating the availability of accessible, affordable and quality child care. The Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) recognises that all levels of government have a role to play in ensuring the availability of quality child care services for families in Australia.
  • Great work in Goulburn
    Goulburn in New South Wales has been hit hard by the current drought; the water levels in local dams were as low as ten per cent of capacity in 2005. Strict water restrictions have been in place for eight years, with level five restrictions now meaning all outdoor use of town water is banned.
  • Extraordinary efforts of Councils celebrated at Presentation Dinner
    The 2006 National Awards for Local Government Presentation Dinner was a very successful occasion held at historic Old Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 27 November 2006.

  • Remote communities take up healthy challenge
    Remote communities in Australia are already showing tangible benefits from a commitment by the Australian Government of almost $11.5 million to develop and introduce a Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program.

  • Message from the Minister
    2006 saw the Australian Government reach a number of significant milestones in its Local Government responsibilities, primarily those relating to responses to the recommendations of the Hawker Report, including:

  • Australian Government reveals projects to receive AusLink Strategic Regional Programme funding
    The Australian Government has released the list of 86 projects to be funded under its AusLink Strategic Regional Programme. The funding will help improve many regional road links to the AusLink National Land Transport Network and fulfil one of the AusLink objectives of a holistic solution to Australia's transport needs, involving all levels of government.
  • Australian Government strikes new partnership with Councils on regional transport initiatives
    AusLink-the National Transport Plan - is transforming the way governments at all levels plan, fund and deliver major road and rail systems infrastructure. After increasing its funding assistance to Local Government 70 per cent since 1996, the Australian Government has begun forging a new partnership with Councils to rebuild transport infrastructure supporting our city and regional economies.