October 2007 Edition

  • ‘SkillsMatch’ – ICT skills monitoring system*
    ITCRA’s groundbreaking work in establishing the National ICT Skills Monitoring System – SkillsMatch has resulted, for the first time in governments now having access to real time data on the supply and demand of IT skills and other key workforce issues.
  • Australian Sustainable Cities awards finalists announced
    Keep Australia Beautiful has announced the finalists for the inaugural Australian Sustainable Cities Awards 2007. The Sustainable Cities program is part of the Keep Australia Beautiful ‘Australian Sustainable Communities’ Awards, which comprise Tidy Towns, Sustainable Cities and Clean Beaches.
  • Local Government shines at emergency management awards
    The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) is among the winners of this year’s South Australian division of the Australian Safer Communities Awards. Announced in September, the awards recognise best practice and innovation by organisations and individuals that help to build safer communities across Australia.
  • Entries now open for the 2008 Australasian Reporting Awards
    Receive recognition for effective communication of financial and business information by entering the 2008 Australasian Reporting Awards.
  • Recognising LG’s high achievers
    At the 2007 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Hobart, Local Government FOCUS invited delegates to nominate individuals or teams from their Council who are improving Council’s operations or enhancing service delivery within their community.
  • Green fuel set to reduce Brisbane bus emissions*
    Neumann Petroleum, Australia largest independent fuel company, is supplying clean burning biodiesel for the Brisbane City Council’s CitySmart Biodiesel Bus Trial – which aims to reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
  • Free butt reduction solutions on web*
    The Butt Littering Trust has launched Australia’s most comprehensive resource for reducing butt littering, in the form of a web based toolbox.
  • Time for bright ideas – in alliance mode
    The Good Oil * by Rod Brown
    We have been doing the rounds of various Federal agencies, and there is a great opportunity between now and Christmas to dust off your iconic ideas that might attract Federal interest.
  • Shellharbour recognised for its links with Indigenous communities
    Shellharbour City Council was recently recognised for its outstanding work with Indigenous communities, being named Council of the Year at the New South Wales Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference in Coffs Harbour. Held annually, the conference provides a forum for New South Wales Councils to discuss issues relating to Aboriginal communities from a local perspective.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Victoria.
  • ALGA’s election strategy: A 10 point plan
    With speculation running rife about when the Federal election will be called, early in September the Australian Local Government Association launched its election strategy, ‘A 10 Point Plan for the Reinvigoration of Local Communities’.
  • Editorial: Federal election looms
    At the time of going to press the date for the Federal election had not been set, but if the political punters are correct, by the time this edition reaches Councils it is likely the campaign proper will have commenced. With many feeling that we have been in quasi campaign mode for most of this year, when it is called should bring a sigh of relief!
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Genia McCaffery, President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales
  • Integ provides alternative to traditional telephony and communications*
    Integ’s Telephony as a Service (iTaaS) is an on demand IP telephony solution, designed specifically for multi site organisations. The service offers Local Government an alternative to traditional premise based telephony, providing certainty, security and the most up to date communication features.
  • Gosnells town centre revitalisation world class
    Western Australia’s City of Gosnells has won a prestigious Downtown Achievement Award at the 53rd Annual International Downtown Association Conference and World Congress in New York.
  • Qld plebiscites to move ahead
    In September, Federal Parliament passed legislation to override Queensland laws on Council referendums, ensuring residents can have their say on proposed amalgamations.
  • New NT boundaries confirmed
    The Local Government boundaries for the nine new Northern Territory Shire Councils and four Municipal Councils have been announced and will come into effect on 1 July 2008.
  • More time for extra security measures at regional airports
    According to the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), prosperity of two of this State’s most critical industries – mining resources and tourism – had been under threat from the Federal Government’s new baggage checking requirements at regional airports.
  • Mount Gambier encourages ‘safe parties’
    During September, the City of Mount Gambier Youth Advisory Committee delivered the Red Cross SAVE A MATE program to local high schools and area schools. Under the program, two Red Cross SAVE A MATE trainers delivered workshops on Alcohol and Other Drug Emergencies (AODE).
  • Leichhardt supports East Timor
    Representatives from Leichhardt Municipal Council in Sydney recently travelled to East Timor to observe the historic parliamentary elections. The representatives, who are members of Leichhardt’s ‘Friends of Maliana’ group, also provided support for projects Council has initiated in Maliana and assisted with the rebuilding of this new nation.
  • Overseas campaign to recruit Council staff
    Continuing skills shortages in Councils has the Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) again heading overseas to recruit staff.
  • Councils can’t get no satisfaction
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    One of the biggest challenges I faced in working with private sector organisations as a management consultant was to get them to recognise reality.
  • Addressing the skills shortage
    A national committee comprising representatives across the peak Local Government professional groups has developed a sector wide strategy to help Councils deal with the impact the skills shortage is having on their operations.

Feature:

  • Technology Improves Frontline Services
    The City of Stirling is continually striving to develop and enhance its services for the benefit of both the staff and the wider community. One particular effort in the streamlining of operations is through the use of laptop technology.
  • Mirrabooka Alive!
    Located just 12 kilometres north of Perth’s Central Business District, the Regional Centre of Mirrabooka is set to spring to life with a major multi-million dollar redevelopment.
  • Development Revives Economy and Retains Heritage
    Traditional ‘Main Street’ centres, once the focus for bustling community life, are back in favour with a trend away from large shopping centres and malls. Many people prefer to shop in the local ‘main street’, finding it offers more personalised service and a friendlier environment with a sense of community and local ‘character’.
  • Community Spirit Soars
    The City of Stirling hosts a number of events over the spring and summer months, with the primary goal being to encourage community celebration and foster social interaction.
  • Scarborough Sizzlespublic
    The City of Stirling is working on an exciting project to revitalise Scarborough beach precinct and create a premier coastal community comprising a mix of residential, commercial and tourist accommodation.
  • Launceston opens renewable energy facility
    Launceston City Council recently initiated a world class waste program that is turning landfill gas into renewable energy.
  • Water saving project delivers for Wallabadah
    Some 6.4 million litres of water per year will be saved in the New South Wales rural town of Wallabadah as a result of the $22 million Water Loss Management Program (WLMP).
  • Biodiesel report helps Local Government make sustainable fuel choices
    A new report on the current state of Australia’s biodiesel industry is now available from ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – Oceania (ICLEI Oceania).
  • Thuringowa wins national Environ Award
    Thuringowa City Council has taken out a national award for sustainability, recognising its outstanding achievements in sustainability as a small urban Council.
  • Risk management course for event organisers
    Last month, the City of Geraldton-Greenough held two free workshops targeting local event organisers on carrying out risk management.
  • Investment ‘health checks’ for Local Government*
    Recent turmoil in the global credit markets has created a far greater awareness of the requirement for improved transparency and disclosure standards for Council investments.
  • Are your employee appraisals lacking performance?
    By Gary Bourke*
    A high performance culture is a priority for most organisations. Organisational gurus such as Drucker, Kaplan, Goleman and others have told us for years about the fundamental need for an effective employee review and support system to underpin organisational efficiency and keep everyone heading in the same direction.
  • Ararat Environment Day unveils simple sustainable solutions
    In September, Ararat residents were invited to learn about the latest range of affordable, simple and easy to implement sustainable living solutions at the first ever Ararat Environment Day.
  • Drought vs Sport: Can sport survive?
    As a result of low winter rains and the ongoing threat to sporting facilities across Victoria, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has joined forces with ten peak sporting and industry bodies.
  • Pool safety program
    A program to ensure the safety of public swimming pools recently won a commendation at the New South Wales Statewide Risk Management Excellence Awards for Local Government. The awards promote awareness and innovation leading to risk reduction. 
  • Northampton employee increases workplace safety
    The Shire of Northampton in Western Australia is saving time and reducing risks through the use of an innovative tool designed by one of its long serving staff members.
  • Melbourne City Baths lead the way with best practice aquatic initiatives
    With over 100 years of service to the Melbourne community, the Heritage listed Melbourne City Baths is continuing to lead the aquatic industry.
  • Dial Before You Dig launches new website*
    Dial Before You Dig has a brand new website, which is proving to be an important and popular tool for Councils and contractors around Australia.
  • Councils go green with digital signatures*
    With the issue of global warming growing in importance, it is becoming clearer that an environmentally friendly approach will have a positive effect on the bottom line of Local Governments.
  • Mitchell improves customer service
    Located in central Victoria, Mitchell Shire covers over 2,800 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 33,000 people. With such a large area, some residents have had to travel up to 40 minutes each way to carry out their Council business at the Shire’s one Council office.
  • NSW Councils excel in excellence awards
    In conjunction with the Sydney Morning Herald, the Local Government Managers Australia – New South Wales division announced its 2007 Local Government Management Excellence Awards in September.
  • Indigo Shire calls on residents to adopt street trees
    With no end to the drought in sight, Indigo Shire Council in northeast Victoria is calling on its residents to adopt any trees on nature strips adjacent or adjoining their property, and to water and mulch them whenever they tend to their own gardens.
  • Breakfast forums inspire leadership development
    With the aim of promoting leadership development, Queensland’s Logan City Council hosts breakfast forums for its staff every three months.
  • Partnership banking with NAB Government Business
    Drawing on the success of its Agribusiness model, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has recently launched NAB Government Business.
  • New treatment plant reduces chemicals in Moreton Bay
    Brisbane Lord Mayor, Councillor Campbell Newman has opened the upgraded Wynnum Water Reclamation Plant, which greatly reduces the amount of nitrogen discharged into Moreton Bay.
  • Fuzzy logic enhances Kogarah’s underground stormwater assets
    Located in the southern suburbs of Sydney, Kogarah Council is the first Local Government in Australia to introduce ‘fuzzy logic’ modelling into its Stormwater Drainage Assets Condition Model.
  • Future directions in best practice
    An interview with Chris Rose, CEO Logan City Council, Queensland.
  • Wide Bay Water tackles southeast Queensland’s water crisis
    Water management authority Wide Bay Water Corporation recently opened an office in Brisbane to help tackle southeast Queensland’s water crisis. Located in Springwood, Logan City, the office is the result of a partnership with Logan Water and Logan City Council.
  • Single Bin Recycling Saves
    The City of Stirling is the only local government in Western Australia that provides a single bin recycling service to its residents.
  • Stirling Leads the Way in Acid Soil
    Land developments around Spoonbill Shearwater Reserve, Stirling, have resulted in acidification of sulphidic soils, releasing various previously stable soil minerals, including iron and arsenic, into local groundwater flows.
  • Mayor’s Message
    The City of Stirling is known for being innovative and progressive and this publication presents a small selection of some of the initiatives we are currently involved in.
  • Stirling Meals on Wheels Caters for All
    The City of Stirling provides a highly successful Meals on Wheels service to residents who are aged or have a disability through its Food Services unit, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Stirling – the City of Choice
    With a thriving population fast approaching 185,000 and a total land area of nearly 100 square kilometres, the City of Stirling is one of Western Australia’s major local government authorities.
  • Civic Complex Pays for Itself
    In March 2005, the City of Stirling proudly opened the new Civic Complex.