April 2007 Edition

  • Mainstreet a great success
    Organisers of the 2007 Mainstreet conference held in March introduced an innovative format with the first day of the conference being staged in the City of Geelong, while the remaining two days were held at the conference centre at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from South Australia.
  • Challenging focus
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    As I’m writing this article Councils who have made bids for unitary status are waiting to hear if they’ve been successful. It is rumoured that the number that will be successful will be less than ten.
  • Masterclass explores community change and strategic vision*
    The 21st century has brought an onslaught of global change – with issues such as population, natural resources and the environment driving the world into an uncertain future.
  • Reporting to meet stakeholder expectations*
    Keynote speakers at the 2007 Australasian Reporting Awards Seminar on Reporting will focus on the need for government agencies to improve the way they report on their activities and performance in order to meet the increasing expectations of their various different stakeholders.
  • Devonport: the city with Spirit. Thinking about a sea change?
    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 the City of Devonport, Tasmania .
  • Harmony Day transforming our communities
    Last year, Moree Plains Shire Council and the community were recognised by the Local Government and Shires Association and received the Multicultural Award for projects and programs.
  • Hydrokart prevents ‘bucket back’ for gardeners
    With water restrictions introduced across the country, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Australian Physiotherapy Association have reported a dramatic rise in back, shoulder and knee injuries, particularly among older people.
  • ALGWA President recognised on honour roll
    To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, Victorian Minister for Women’s Affairs, Jacinta Allan, announced the 30 women named on the 2007 Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
  • Leadership is women’s business*
    Deputy Opposition Leader, Julia Gillard, will deliver the keynote address at the Women, Management and Employment Relations Conference to be held on 2 and 3 August 2007 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.

  • Sydney harbour ferry passengers travelling from Manly to Circular Quay now have an additional service at their disposal, to enhance what is already one of the world’s most enjoyable and spectacular commuter rides.
  • Launceston introduces free parking in CBD
    Launceston City Council, together with CityProm, is offering two hours free parking in a multi story car park located in its CBD.
  • Lobbyists – part of the landscape
    The Good Oil * By Rod Brown
    A colleague in Canberra – let’s just call him JB – describes himself as ‘Lobbyist’ on his business card. I always thought he was brave. Come to think of it, he used to wear a panama hat, but has now switched to a Brumbies beanie
  • Save our cities – ALGA’s national action plan
    The Australian Local Government Association (ALAGA) has agreed to adopt the Sustainable Cities National Action Plan (NAP) as a basis for further developing ALGA’s position on sustainable urban planning policy and climate change.
  • Editorial – Local Government demonstrates leadership and vision
    In this edition of FOCUS, once again there are various articles that clearly demonstrate Local Government leadership and vision. The Australian Local Government Association’s Sustainable Cities National Action Plan, and its National Local Roads Data System are just two examples.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Mike Gaffney, President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania.


  • Switching off for Earth
    Moreland residents took part in Earth Hour on Saturday 31 March, after Moreland Mayor Mark O’Brien called on the community to do its bit for the planet by reducing greenhouse emissions.
  • Differential rates encourage good land management
    To encourage proper management of land and/or buildings on that land, Moreland City Council has introduced differential rates for the 2006–2007 rating year.
  • Seven years of friendship with Timor-Leste
    Since 2000, Moreland City Council, with the City of Hume, has had a friendship city relationship with Aileu in Timor-Leste (East Timor).
  • Residents provide quality family day care
    Moreland City Council coordinates a team of home based child care workers who provide care and educational play in their own homes for babies and children aged up to 12 years.
  • Mayor Mark O’Brien
    Councillor Mark O’Brien was elected Mayor of Moreland in December 2006.
  • CEO Peter Brown
    Chief Executive Officer Peter Brown joined Moreland City Council in 2000, as Director City Works, and was appointed CEO in 2002.
  • Celebrating Glenroy Community Centre
    Moreland residents celebrated the completion of the new Glenroy Community Centre in 2006, with then Moreland Mayor, Councillor Anthony Helou, and State Treasurer and Member for Broadmeadows, John Brumby, officially opening the centre on 21 July.
  • Facts about Moreland
    Despite population ageing, approximately 1,900 babies have been born in Moreland each year since 1995. In the 2004–2005 financial year, 2,219 babies were born in the municipality.
  • A snapshot of Moreland
    The City of Moreland is located on the northern edge of Melbourne’s central business district, less than eight kilometres from Melbourne’s GPO.
  • Community wellbeing
    Results from Council’s annual Community Indicators Survey 2006 indicate that people living in Moreland believe their local area has a sense of community and is a good place to live.
  • Working together for a sustainable future
    Moreland City Council fosters policies and approaches that produce a sustainable and liveable city. Council aims to improve the quality of life in Moreland while respecting our place in the global ecosystem.
  • Sustainable Moreland
    Moreland is leading the way in environmental sustainability, with a range of programs and services to help residents, businesses and community groups reduce their environmental impact and contribute to a sustainable city.
  • Excavator required for boat ramp
    At its Council meeting in March, Coffs Harbour Council approved the purchase of a long reach excavator to improve dredging at its boat ramp in the harbour at Jetty Beach.
  • Alice Springs pool upgraded for major events
    In 2005, Alice Springs Town Council identified that its 30 year old public pool was only 1.09 metres deep – shallower than the Australian guidelines for safe diving during FINA and sanctioned competitive events.
  • ALGA releases national local roads database
    After working with State Local Government Associations for a number of years, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has developed a National Local Roads Data System (NLRDS) that provides relevant and timely, high level information about the nation’s local roads.
  • A New Heart for Moreland
    Bold plans to transform Coburg into the ‘lifestyle capital of the northern suburbs’ of Melbourne are set to become a reality through the realisation of Moreland City Council’s Central Coburg 2020 Structure Plan over the coming years.
  • Top issues in public works a focus at Cairns conference
    The IPWEA’s Cairns International Conference, to be held at the world renowned Cairns Convention Centre from 26–30 August, promises to be the highlight of the year on the public works calendar.
  • Tool boxes built tough to last*
    DSM Tool Boxes specialise in the production of extra heavy duty vehicle toolboxes at its Dalby factory in Queensland.
  • Redland Shire chooses Orion*
    Queensland’s Redland Shire Council has undertaken two projects using solar powered lighting. Orion Solar Solutions had previously been appointed as a preferred supplier to Council for supplying marine navigation lights in Council’s waterways in Moreton Bay.
  • Soil conditioner saves water in Geraldton
    Located on the Batavia Coast in Western Australia, the City of Geraldton will be using cutting edge technology to ensure that its redeveloped foreshore area is water smart and efficient.
  • Transport planning critical for future needs
    For the past six months, Rockhampton City Council and the Queensland Department of Main Roads have been conducting a city wide traffic study looking at the future road infrastructure needs of Rockhampton.
  • Grader choice a two year project*
    Choosing a Volvo grader was a big decision for Leeton Shire Council. In some ways it was a two year process, but the outcome has justified the effort.
  • Stormwater project set to save millions of litres of water
    Whitehorse City Council is developing an innovative stormwater retention and reuse system at one of its reserves. The system will save up to seven megalitres of rainwater from being washed down the drain each year.
  • Tube and lamp recycling....
    Energy efficient fluorescent and HID lamps have gained widespread usage over the years compared to incandescent ones, and rightly so. Their increasing popularity is due to the fact that fluorescent lights use only about one quarter the energy of a common incandescent bulb and fluorescent lights last an average of 10,000 hours.
  • Online DA service a first for Sydney
    Strathfield Municipal Council is the first Sydney Council to offer applicants a fully online development application lodgement and tracking service.
  • Pittwater hosts free builders’ information night
    In March, 40 builders and tradespeople from Sydney’s Pittwater area attended a free information night hosted by Pittwater Council.
  • Future Directions in Engineering and Technical Services
    An interview with Alex Sheridan, Executive Manager Technical Services, Town of Victoria Park, WA.
  • Aboriginal employment plan helping Redfern turn the corner
    The City of Sydney has introduced an Aboriginal Employment Plan to ensure Indigenous workers benefit from the $20 million upgrade of Redfern and Regent streets – two prominent streets in the Sydney area.
  • Latrobe technology a first for maintaining road safety signs
    Victoria’s Latrobe City Council has successfully pioneered the Australian development and use of a testing procedure for assessing road signs and their retroflectivity.
  • IPWEA re-establishes division in Victoria
    The Victorian Division of the Institute of Public Works Engineering, Australia (IPWEA) is re-establishing itself as a separate entity after having amalgamated with two other organisations in 1996.
  • Major fuel savings at Redland
    Over the next three years, Redland Shire Council will replace its fleet of 147 operational vehicles to four cylinder models, saving 26 per cent in fuel consumption and $70,000 in fuel costs per annum.
  • Free transport in Freo
    In a trial designed to improve bus access to the Fremantle CBD, the FreoStar bus service kicked off in March as a free service to local residents.