June 2007 Edition

  • Improving services in a climate of change
    At the beginning of 2006, Moreland City Council commenced a major IT project, iETEC (Integrated E-Technology), which will see the replacement and extension of its core IT systems.
  • Destination Daylesford plan swings into top gear
    A vision for tourism in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs for the next decade is being developed into a ten year plan known as ‘Destination Daylesford’. Located in Hepburn Shire in central Victoria, the Daylesford/Hepburn Springs township is known as the ‘spa capital of Australia’.
  • ‘Shady’ Councils recognised
    In this year’s Victorian SunSmart Shade Awards, four Victorian Councils have been recognised for ‘shady’ initiatives, which are protecting their residents from skin cancer. The awards recognise the important work that Victorian Councils are doing and encourage other Councils to plan for shade.
  • Lessons from Valencia, Spain
    The Good Oil * by Rod Brown
    The OECD recently completed a review of the policy challenges for the internationalisation of the Valencia economy, to help the local agencies respond to globalisation and the knowledge economy. This review was undertaken by a multilateral team of experts.
  • Taking a risk to reap rewards
    Advertising campaigns in the metropolitan market can be a high cost luxury beyond the means of some regional Local Governments. To address this, five shires in northeast Victoria adopted an innovative public relations strategy that has yielded over $2 million in publicity value for the region.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Queensland.
  • Tasmanians learn the art of survival
    In opening the 95th Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) Conference, President Mike Gaffney said the theme, ‘The Art of Survival’, is crucial in Local Government. “Art refers to the way we prepare for life, while survival indicates we can do this despite change,” he said. Staged in Hobart from 30 May to 1 June, the conference program enabled delegates to investigate means of effectively managing limited resources – both financial and environmental.
  • National consistency for asset management and financial planning
    “Infrastructure management and service delivery levels are key issues now and always have been,” said John Truman, President of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) – NSW division. He was speaking at the NSW division annual conference, which was staged in Sydney from 13 to 15 May and culminated with the CivEnEx Field Days on 16–17 May at Eastern Creek.
  • Resourcing assistance to metropolitan and regional Local Government
    In the current employment market, using the services of a proven recruiter is essential to maximise your ability to locate and attract the right candidates. Our long association with Engineers Australia provides a unique opportunity for Clexan-Peak Personnel to obtain candidates and establish networks enhancing the quality and numbers of candidates on our database.
  • New Smartview magnifies world of ideas for the vision impaired
    Shoalhaven City Council’s Nowra Library has purchased a new Smartview video magnifier, which allows vision impaired people to read, fill out forms or write letters with greater ease. Shoalhaven City Mayor, Councillor Greg Watson, said the equipment will help all people in Shoalhaven City who have some form of vision impairment.
  • Clarence recycled water scheme takes out Tas Excellence Awards
    Association of Tasmania Awards for Excellence were announced on 31 May. Clarence City Council took out the overall award, as well as the Sustainable Communities Asset Award for its recycled water scheme.
  • Queensland stages successful Local Government Week
    From 28 May to 3 June, Queensland Councils joined forces with the Department of Main Roads to celebrate Local Government Week 2007. The week, themed ‘Roads – Pathways to Progress’, highlighted the importance of a well maintained road network for the economic wellbeing of the State.
  • Big wins for Local Government in 2007 Budget
    The 2007 Budget held some welcome news for Local Government in Australia, with the Treasurer announcing more than $2.3 billion in direct funding for Local Government for 2007–2008, as well as additional funding into the future for programs that Local Government can access.
  • IPWEA/RTA Local Government Road Safety Strategy
    The IPWEA/RTA Local Government Road Safety Strategy works to raise the priority of road safety in Local Government. This is achieved through support for Council road safety strategic planning, the administration of funding for local road safety initiatives and through the presentation of annual Local Government Excellence in Road Safety Awards, to recognise outstanding Council achievements.
  • IPWEA Engineering Excellence Awards
    he IPWEA NSW Engineering Excellence Awards were presented at the Annual Conference Gala Dinner on 14 May 2007. These awards provide members with the opportunity to receive recognition for their projects in front of their peers, as well as providing the opportunity for resource sharing among Councils.
  • Recognising Councils’ top performers
    At the recent Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Hobart, Local Government FOCUS invited delegates to nominate individuals or teams from their Council who are excelling in their field and meeting organisational goals and community needs.
  • Freedom of Entry celebrates the efforts of Toodyay volunteers
    With sirens wailing and lights flashing, some 25 emergency vehicles paraded through the main street of the small country town of Toodyay in Western Australia on Saturday 19 May.
  • Asset management a key plank to financial sustainability
    With its annual National Asset Management Conference timed to commence the day after the Federal Budget, Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) President, Councillor Dick Gross, said there was plenty of good news for Councils. However, he added that Local Government is currently being seen in a contradictory light – worthy of support, as evidenced by the budget, but at the same time ready for reform – and at the heart of this is asset management.
  • 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.

Feature: enviromental management

  • Economic development is the key to sustainability
    Mount Isa City Council plays a key role in facilitating strategic planning for the sustainable economic development of the city and surrounding region. A team led by Mayor Ron McCullough works closely with the key stakeholders both internal and external. It looks at big picture items and new opportunities, initiates planning studies and works to attract investment to the Mount Isa region.
  • Creating opportunities builds a better Mount Isa
    Council faces a number of challenges due to Mount Isa’s geographical location and economic climate precipitated by the city’s isolated position in the heart of North West Queensland. One which has the greatest impact on Council’s operations and services is being able to attract and retain qualified staff.
  • Making tough decisions is critical
    Despite Mount Isa’s geographical location and climate, the city is enjoying an enviable water situation at present, particularly in light of the crisis the South East Queensland region, and many other regions across Australia, are facing.
  • Rodeo capital comes alive
    Travel through Mount Isa at any time of year and you can’t help but notice that it is branded as the Rodeo Capital of Australia. The Rodeo Capital of Australia logo is on the city’s water tanks, street signs, Council vehicles and the memorial to the city’s founder. One of the streets in the centre of the CBD is tiled with the names of the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo All Around Cowboy winners and has been named Rodeo Drive in honour of the world famous event held over the second weekend in August every year.
  • Experience Mount Isa – where everyday is extraordinary
    Driving towards the City of Mount Isa in North West Queensland, the sky is tinged with hues of pink and gold. On either side of the highway the spinifex covered hills glow deep ochre in the warmth of the outback sunset.
  • Meet the CEO
    Michael Dougall has been Chief Executive Officer at Mount Isa City Council since February 2006. He has worked in Local Government for 20 years.
  • A city built on partnerships
    From an isolated mining town to a modern outback oasis, Mount Isa is a city which has thrived through vision, endeavour and cooperation. The City Council has been a driving force behind the continuing transformation of Mount Isa into a more liveable and attractive city, and according to Mount Isa’s Mayor, Ron McCullough, the project owes its continuing success to the contributions of those who have invested in the city’s potential and committed themselves to building a better Mount Isa.
  • Heritage memorial to the past revitalised for the future
    In 1923, lone prospector John Campbell Miles, while traveling on a gold prospecting trip to the Northern Territory, camped by the banks of the Leichhardt River. Sampling a nearby rock outcrop, he realised that it was heavily mineralised. Campbell Miles had stumbled on to one of the world’s richest copper, silver, lead and zinc ore bodies.
  • Focusing on the future
    While the wealth of minerals under its surface and the mining industry that has flourished around it remain the city’s lifeblood, Mount Isa City Council, for many years has focused on creating a sustainable city.
  • From the Mayor’s desk
    The last 12 months have proven to be a pivotal time for Mount Isa, and also another period of significant achievement for Council as we continue working towards the realisation of our long term vision for the city. The current economic activity has been a catalyst for development and growth in all sectors that has, in turn, created renewed confidence in Mount Isa as a city on the move.
  • Opening showcases the north west
    After years of planning and 12 months construction, Mount Isa’s $17 million Buchanan Park redevelopment was officially opened on Friday 25 May, 2007. The facility now includes a 5,000 seat rodeo stadium and the Xstrata Entertainment Centre. It was designed to ensure the Mount Isa Rodeo remains among the top three rodeo events in the world.
  • Mount Isa at a glance
    Mount Isa is a vast, progressive mining city located in the heart of North West Queensland and the Carpentaria-Mount Isa Mineral Province. Once a raw frontier town, Mount Isa has developed into a busy industrial, commercial, administrative and tourism centre. Its 23,500 strong population which is increasing rapidly, enjoys modern facilities and shops, comfortable accommodation, a wide range of entertainment and almost every sport imaginable.
  • Accelerating the sustainability agenda
    By Wayne Wescott*
    It should come as no surprise, given recent media attention, that climate change is the issue of the decade. The good news is that Local Government is already taking action and has the power to change much more than you might think. The challenge for Local Government is to maintain our direction.
  • Sustainable?
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    The environment is a key issue for all Councils. All Councils consequently have policies and strategies that relate to the protection of the environment and the term ‘sustainable’ has, it seems, become an absolute must have in any environment related publication.
  • Rockhampton residents step green with new litter patrol
    Rockhampton City Council recently launched a Green Steps program, allowing local residents to combine their daily walk with a litter patrol. Council is encouraging people who regularly walk a section of road, park or pathway to register as a ‘Green Stepper’ and to pick up litter en route.
  • Exchange program reduces plastic bag use
    Hobsons Bay City Council is encouraging residents to reduce the number of plastic bags used in the City through a plastic bag exchange program. The program runs for one week every two months.
  • Blacktown City Council leads the way with stormwater quality policy*
    Stormwater pollution control in urban runoff has been recognised as a major issue for our harbours and waterways and has led to several local Council and State Authority stormwater policies and guidelines.
  • Volvo in waste handling*
    In the landfill, around the recycling facility, through the scrap pile and on the demolition site, Volvo Construction Equipment has machines built for the unique and demanding needs of the waste handling industry.
  • Save the world ...start at home
    As Australia is the highest greenhouse gas polluter in the world and one of the biggest producers of waste per capita, our lifestyle is taking its toll on our environment.
  • Brisbane starts war on litter
    As part of its CitySmart campaign, the City of Brisbane has launched two new weapons to assist with its war on litter.Council has recruited two compact street sweepers – Jonas and Citymaster – for the next six months to help clean the Brisbane Mall and other CBD thoroughfares.
  • Green cleaning
    Lake Macquarie City Library celebrated May as ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle month’, by hosting a series of Green Cleaning workshops. Council enlisted the help of Environmental Educator, Theresa Rutherford, to demonstrate how people can make environmentally friendly household cleaners to use in their own home.
  • Wyndham showerhead exchange saves water
    Hundreds of households in Wyndham City Council are now saving more water in the shower following a successful City West Water Showerhead Exchange.
  • Reducing child poisonings
    As part of the Victorian Government’s ‘Remove the risk. Put poisons away. Straight away’ campaign, maternal and child health nurses from Greater Shepparton City Council are helping to reduce the number of children being poisoned in the State.
  • Former landfill becomes wildlife area
    Located in northeast Victoria, Indigo Shire has transformed a former landfill site into a nature and wildlife area. Situated in Yackandandah, the site was closed in the late 1990s and used as a waste transfer station for a short period
  • Safe and easy removal of graffiti
    It is a proven fact that if graffiti is removed as soon as possible after it appears on Council, commercial or residential property, this acts as a key weapon against such vandalism. But people need an easy, quick and reliable means to clean up their property.
  • Let there be light
    AA SPARKY Electricians have developed energy efficient LED lights that can produce up to ten times the light output of a fluorescent globe, while using up to four times less energy.
  • Waterless composting toilets*
    Water shortages around the country are renewing attention on the benefits of waterless composting toilets. Using no water, they can save around one third of water consumption in the home.
  • Thuringowa takes out State award for sustainability
    In May, Thuringowa City Council’s QNI Eco Active Centre took out a major category at the Queensland EPA Sustainable Industries Awards staged in Brisbane.
  • Hybrid car to reduce greenhouse gas emissons
    Coffs Harbour City Council has purchased a Honda Civic Hybrid car as part of its ongoing push to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The dual electric/petrol use model is now part of Council’s fleet of approximately 65 vehicles.
  • Swansea named Australia’s Tidiest Town
    Located in Tasmania, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council’s coastal township of Swansea has taken out the prestigious title of Australia’s Tidiest Town for 2007.
  • Berri Barmera wastewater reuse project under way
    Centrally located in South Australia’s Riverland, Berri Barmera Council is in the process of constructing two new lagoon based wastewater treatment plants as part of the Berri Barmera Wastewater Reuse Project.
  • Campbelltown City Council top in waste management
    Campbelltown City Council in New South Wales was named Most Improved in contamination management for kerbside collected organics at the recent inaugural Compost Ball. Council was also recognised for housing the most innovative kerbside collected organics contract.
  • Future directions in environmental management
    Future Directions is a regular feature. This month we interviewed Gavin Mountjoy, Manager Sustainability and Environment, Maribyrnong City Council, Victoria