July 2008 Edition

  • 9th National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Greater Shepparton
    The Australian Local Government Association’s 2008 National Local Roads and Transport Congress was held in Greater Shepparton on 16 and 17 June.
  • Shepparton’s Alternative Route
    Opened in 1992, Shepparton’s Alternative Route for heavy vehicles was a joint project involving the former City and Shire of Shepparton and VicRoads.
  • Editorial: Quest for sustainability
    Speaking at Local Government Managers Australia’s recent International Leading Practices Symposium at the Gold Coast, the City of Melbourne’s Director Sustainability and Regulatory Services, Geoff Lawlor, said that when we get to the point that the environment is viewed just as importantly as GDP, things will become a lot easier.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Paul Bell, President of the Local Government Association of Queensland.
  • Performance survey supports strategic plan
    In May, the City of Belmont’s vision as the City of Opportunity was recognised with a national award for Local Governance Leadership.
  • Diamantina steps towards a healthier future
    Diamantina Shire Council is encouraging councils to follow its lead and take part in the 10,000 Steps a Day program.
  • Gosford now part of Australian history

    The Howard Government’s alleged rorting of the Regional Partnerships Program caught the attention of the nation. And the decision to fund the desilting of Tumby Creek near Gosford, in the electorate of then Local Government Minister, Jim Lloyd, was the lightning rod.
  • King Island cream of the crop
    King Island Council’s innovative waste management project recently took out the overall Gold Award at the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) 2008 Excellence Awards.
  • Waves of change
    In opening the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s Annual Conference, Association President Councillor Mike Gaffney said the conference would be an opportunity for delegates to consider, discuss, reflect and question new ideas and innovations.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from South Australia.
  • Queensland’s health themed LGWeek 2008 a timely success
    In a change from tradition, LGWeek 2008 was launched midweek on Wednesday 4 June to coincide with the opening of Queensland’s biennial Civic Leader’s Forum.
  • Recognising LG’s high achievers
    At the 2008 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress at the Gold Coast, 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.
  • Clarence leads the nation in coastal climate change study
    Located on the coast of southeast Tasmania, Clarence City Council is in the process of finalising a nation leading study assessing the impacts of climate change on its coastal areas
  • When one engine is twice as nice*
    In a world where only too often the attitude is ‘more is best’, MacDonald Johnston is proving that ‘less is more’, with the launch of its new single engine VS500 Sweeper.
  • Compulsory voting on Tas agenda
    Speaking at the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s (LGAT) Annual Conference in June, Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, announced his intention to implement compulsory voting for Tasmanian council elections.
  • Culture of collaboration

    Last month I identified that if Councils really are to improve their community leadership and their ability to enable the provision of solutions for their communities then new ways of working are going to be required. New skills, systems, processes, relationships and organisational cultures are going to be required.

Feature: Financial Sustainability and Asset Management

  • Financial modelling tool
    Goulburn Mulwaree Council in regional New South Wales is using an innovative financial modelling program to help Councillors and non financial staff better understand the long term impact of financial decisions.
  • Future directions in asset management
    An interview with Stuart Holley, General Manager Engineering Services, Mackay Regional Council, Queensland
  • Data services the key component behind successful asset management software*
    True asset management involves the effective use of software tools together with specialist knowledge to determine the optimal path forward. New legislation, evolving asset management needs and varying data requirements all affect your software.
  • Risk based approach to asset management
    It is important that all Councils have a clear knowledge of the condition of their assets and how they are performing. All management decisions regarding maintenance, rehabilitation and renewal revolve around these two aspects.
  • Using a holistic approach for treasury management
    South Australia’s District Council of Yankalilla has adopted a holistic approach to the way it deals with its financial decision making.
  • Postbillpay – part of your ‘every day’*
    For over 20 years, Australia Post’s convenient Postbillpay service has been Australia’s preferred way of paying household bills. In fact, Australian bill payers continue to find the Postbillpay service practical and safe, and its staff friendly and helpful.
  • Shared cadet helps combat skills shortage
    While many Australian councils are experiencing a shortage of civil engineers, Wollongong City Council, located 80 kilometres south of Sydney, has a strong reputation for attracting and retaining skilled engineers through its annual intake of cadets.
  • Not for profit financial services for council employees and their families*
    As an employee or contractor to Local Government, you and your family are eligible to join the Australian Public Service Benevolent Society.
  • NAMS.AU: New tools and resources for asset management
    The National Asset Management Strategy (NAMS.AU) group of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) continues to develop a number of valuable tools to assist asset management practitioners achieve best practice in sustainable management of community infrastructure.
  • What’s the financial outlook for your Council?*
    The challenge for Council leaders is unique in driving financial performance; balancing the demand for new infrastructure, asset renewal and increased community services with revenue streams that lack the pricing flexibility of the private sector.
  • Bendigo heritage buildings to benefit from restoration scheme
    The owners of two heritage listed buildings in Central Victoria’s City of Greater Bendigo have been successful in obtaining financial assistance through the Council’s Heritage Restoration Assistance scheme.
  • Build a bridge and get over it
    A three day camp encouraging students from Years 10 to 12 to consider careers in civil engineering was highly commended at the IPWEA (NSW Division) Excellence Awards 2008, presented in May.
  • Lightweight steel girder offers potential maintenance solution*
    Intensive engineering design development of a steel girder by BlueScope Steel could pay dividends for Local Governments and asset managers responsible for managing Australia’s 25,000 short span timber bridges.
  • Lightweight steel girder offers potential maintenance solution*
    Sustaining the Environment is the newest Key Direction in the City of Boroondara’s Council Plan, which identifies its key directions and priorities for the next five years.
  • Countering climate change
    In 2001, the City of Boroondara took an early leadership position in adopting a Greenhouse Strategy that committed to a 20 per cent reduction in corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 compared with emissions in 1996.
  • Accord commitment
    In 2007, the City of Boroondara signed the inaugural Victorian Local Sustainability Accord, becoming one of the first Local Governments to do so. The Accord is a Local Government initiative jointly developed with the State Government.
  • In partnership
    Environmental sustainability is a top priority for the City of Boroondara. Through ‘green’ initiatives Council has made huge cost savings, achieved major reductions in waste and managed vast improvements in water use.
  • Protecting local biodiversity
    Despite being one of Melbourne’s most densely populated areas located just five kilometres from the central business district, Boroondara is also a haven for native flora and fauna, which is protected by Council.
  • Managing resources
    With its reputation for leafy green suburbs, the City of Boroondara has faced the challenge of protecting its irreplaceable heritage gardens and sports grounds during Victoria’s worst drought on record.
  • Enhancing character and heritage
    Sustaining the environment goes beyond natural assets and includes built forms such as urban streetscapes and public places. Recognising this, Council continued to guide the development of key activity, retail and cultural precincts as part of a commitment to protect and enhance the City’s character and heritage.
  • Re-using rainwater
    A key component of Boroondara’s environment strategy involves the catchment, cleansing and deployment of rain water, through the following three projects.
  • Council on track to meet recycling targets
    Last year the City of Boroondara recycled more than half of the total waste generated in the municipality – putting it on track to meet the Victorian Government’s target of 65 per cent of domestic waste to be recycled by 2014.
  • Meet Boroondara’s Environmental Planning team
    The City of Boroondara has a specialist team who not only implement environmental programs and projects for Council and the community, but ensure that ‘green’ thinking is part of its daily working life.
  • Community involvement
    Council’s inaugural Community Forum was held in May this year under the theme, Sustaining our Environment.
  • Green is the new black
    World Environment Day was celebrated in style this year when Council staff held a ‘green’ fashion parade of recycled and ethically produced clothing and accessories.
  • Sustainable future
    Everyone in the community can help achieve a more sustainable environment and the first steps towards sustainability begin in the home.
  • Awards and recognition
    The City of Boroondara is recognised as a leader on environmental sustainability and has been awarded nationally and internationally for its green initiatives at the local level.