The Productivity Commission released its final report, ‘Assessing Local Government Revenue Raising Capacity’, on 17 April. This 12 month study into Local Government’s own revenue raising sources resulted from a key recommendation of the Hawker ‘Fair Share’ report tabled in Federal Parliament in November 2003.
Editorial: infrastructure on the agenda
Speaking at the recent Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Asset Management Conference, MAV CEO, Rob Spence, referred delegates to a speech last year by Treasury Head, Ken Henry.
In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Mayor Joy Baluch, President of the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA).
Women in the workplace*
Celebrating 20 inspirational years Diversity and equality, leadership, salary gap, workplace culture and flexibility are themes of the 20th Women, Management and Employment Relations Conference to be staged in Sydney on 24–25 July 2008.
Toowoomba Australia’s tidiest town for 2008
Queensland’s town of Toowoomba was a major star at the Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns Awards in April, taking out three awards, including the major title, Australia’s tidiest town for 2008.
We’ve just had 1,000 passionate citizens pushing their barrows at the 2020 Summit. Fantastic. It has really got the Federal bureaucracy rockin’ – working out how to handle these ideas, particularly Ministers’ desires to accommodate as many ideas as possible
Safety first at the City of Palmerston
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named Palmerston as the Northern Territory’s first International Safe Community, following its safety and injury prevention work with the community.
Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Tasmania.
LGANT meets in Alice Springs
Welcoming delegates to the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) General Meeting, hosted by Alice Springs Town Council on 17 and 18 April, President Alderman Kerry Moir said that this was likely to be the last such meeting in its present format.
Community cohesion in multicultural settings is a very significant and growing area and councils are increasingly being expected to provide a leading role in creating positive and sustainable relationships between communities.
Innovation abounds at Ku-ring-gai
Stretching from Roseville to Wahroonga on Sydney’s upper North Shore, Ku-ring-gai is one of the most populated Local Government areas in New South Wales, with more than 108,000 residents.
ALGWA: future looking brighter, but more to be done
Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) National President, Kaele Way, said that while the recent Queensland elections saw females winning 34 per cent of Councillor positions, there is still a way to go.
Entries open for IPWEAQ excellence awards
The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia Queensland Division (IPWEAQ) is calling on Queensland Councils to submit their projects to the 2008 Excellence Awards.
Asset management conference in Melbourne
The 2008 Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) National Local Government Asset Management Conference added two new streams – drainage and water sensitive urban design; and transport, road design and skills shortage – to its program.
Free Austroads guides*
Austroads produces a number of quality guides and research reports, which assist road agencies in the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of their road networks.
NT restructure taking shape
The Northern Territory’s current 62 Municipal and Community Government Councils will be reduced to 16 on 1 July. Eight of these are new ‘super’ Shires, each serving a number of remote townships and communities and, for the first time, including large areas of land not previously administered by Local Government. Chief Executive Officers have been appointed to the new Shires and FOCUS recently spoke to two of these CEOs.
Executive master class
The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley* I have been invited to provide a master class by a university working in partnership with Local Government. In developing my master class I have had to review the transformation process that we have undertaken at Harlow. I’ve also had to draw upon the private sector experience that I gained before returning to Local Government.
NT intervention update
Speaking at the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory’s recent General Meeting in Alice Springs, the Operational Commander for the Emergency Response in the NT, Major General David Chalmers, outlined specific achievements from the Intervention Program that commenced last June.
Feature: Administration & Management Systems
City of Stirling CEO on work experience
Since January, City of Stirling CEO, Stuart Jardine, has been working in one of Council’s 149 services for one morning a month to gain a better understanding of what the City’s 1,100 employees do on a daily basis.
The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is hosting the National Local Government Shared Services Conference, part of its Future of Local Government process.
Innovative community consultation
The City of Burnside is one of five South Australian Councils developing an innovative tool that allows residents to participate in the Council decision making process from their own home.
Councils looking to efficient futures*
Northern Grampians Shire in Victoria and Leeton Shire in New South Wales recently signed up for Civica’s Authority Local Government management software, with both seeking a single enterprise solution that delivers improved customer service through streamlined workflows and the use of web based applications.
Striving for continuous improvement
Centrally located on the Murrumbidgee River in the heart of the New South Wales Riverina, Narrandera Shire Council caters for a population of around 6,500 people. Council has established a connection between the goals of its corporate strategic plan and various departments and team members to assist with this job.
Melbourne’s facility management fit to lead
Melbourne City Baths (MCB) is continuing to lead the fitness industry, taking out the Fitness Centre of the Year Award at the recent Fitness Victoria 2008 Industry Awards.
Monash masters degrees offer professional development options for LG Councillors and staff*
In recent years it has become increasingly necessary for the three levels of government in Australia to seek common policy and governance solutions. The previous and current Federal Governments have intensified the challenge to State and Local Governments to deliver more effective and efficient services, or face more intervention or partial takeover by the Commonwealth.
Councillors tour the length and breadth of Logan
In April, traffic blackspots, community improvements and places with tourism potential came under the spotlight at Logan, when the recently elected Council and senior executives toured the new City.
Škoda – now available in Australia*
Škoda is one of the newest European car companies ‘Down Under’, after launching its all new operation at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on 11 October 2007.
Sorell becomes an infoXpert
Located 25 kilometres northeast of Hobart, Tasmania’s Sorell Council has implemented a new electronic document management system (EDMS) to streamline its records management practices.
Raising labour force participation
In its annual report for 2006–07, the Australian Productivity Commission focused on the scope to raise labour force participation rates in Australia, and the policy challenges involved.
Tackling affordable housing
In response to the increased demand for housing options and the need to support more vulnerable community members, Clarence Valley Council has developed an Affordable Housing Strategy.
Valley of opportunities
Rigorous economic planning has been completed and a framework for growth established. The Clarence economic agenda is supported by a set of investment opportunities based on the area’s competitive and natural strengths including:
New era – new planning
After amalgamation, the newly created Clarence Valley Council inherited a complex array of planning policies from the previous Councils. This resulted in six Local Environmental Plans (LEP) – the principle planning instrument for each area; over 70 development control plans (DCP), and any number of written and unwritten policies and practices that potentially applied to planning decisions.
Industrial land in the right location
Seven industrial precincts with access to the Gwydir Highway, Pacific Highway, Summerland Way, North Coast rail line, power, water, sewer services, and telecommunications are open for business and investment.
Invest where the tide is high
Clarence Valley is undergoing an economic revolution fuelled by the sea change and tree change, affordable and available residential and industrial land, comparatively lower operational costs, higher yields and a growing population.
Cultural planning: unity in diversity
The Clarence Valley Cultural Plan provides an opportunity to bring together people in geographically diverse communities with a passion for the arts and culture to converge and work collaboratively towards mutual goals and achievements.
Traineeships for Valley youth
The Human Resources, Finance, Information Services and Water Cycle sections of Council recently employed five trainees through group training company, North Coast Group Training.
The establishment of Clarence Valley Council has for the first time united the five Aboriginal communities within the Local Government area.
More than just a gallery...
The Grafton Regional Gallery was established in 1988 and has been the recipient of many awards since its inception.