August 2008 Edition

  • Local Government gears up for climate change challenges
    Released in July, the Garnaut Draft Report highlighted the need for a carbon emission trading scheme as a means of slowing the effects of climate change.
  • Editorial: call for feedback on Constitutional recognition
    In preparing for the Local Government Constitutional Summit to be held in Melbourne on 8–11 December, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is seeking feedback from councils regarding their support for Constitutional recognition of Local Government, what they would like to see achieved from such recognition, and the approaches that need to be taken to gain community support to ensure such a referendum is successful.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Beth Davidson, President of the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA).
  • Carbon Market Expo and Conference*
    The nation’s largest corporations and government have backed Australia’s first industry hosted Carbon Market Expo and Conference. Environment Business Australia CEO, Fiona Wain, said that carbon markets were growing and government and business should be positioning themselves to maximise their opportunities and reduce costs.
  • Score points for the environment during Keep Australia Beautiful Week
    With Keep Australia Beautiful Week kicking off on Monday 25 August, councils are being encouraged to participate in the ‘Score Points for the Environment’ challenge to help tackle climate change and protect natural resources.
  • Comprehensive strategy ensures every drop counts in South Australia
    Situated on the southern fringe of Adelaide, the City of Onkaparinga has joined forces with SA Water and the Willunga Basin Water Company to deliver a $110 million water recycling and reuse strategy. The strategy, ‘Water Proofing the South’, was initiated by Council and is part of the wider Water Proofing Adelaide strategy. It will provide 3,800 megalitres of reusable water to the southern suburbs of Adelaide by reclaiming treated effluent and stormwater for use in homes, businesses, industry and the environment
  • Tread warily with Garnaut
    The Good Oil * by Rod Brown
    The report by Professor Ross Garnaut on a response to global warming has led to a frenzied debate in Canberra about how an emissions trading system (ETS) should work. Sanity has gone out the window as spruikers and activists push their barrows. Garnaut cautions about the risks if Australia’s market economy gets ahead of the pack. But in the next breath he talks about a 2010 start, and a ‘short and transitional’ adjustment period.
  • Commonwealth Bank provides holistic payment solution*

    BPOINT offers access to a wide range of payment channels and options to suit your council. If your payment facilities have been affected by the recent Bill Express collapse, the Commonwealth Bank can provide replacement facilities for telephone and internet payments within just a few working days.
  • Wilcannia and the Wild West

    There are places that everyone should visit before they die – Paris, New York and Sydney, and the Croatian coast, according to my daughter. But closer to home there’s a region that every Aussie should visit. I’d like to explain why.
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from New South Wales.
  • Sustainability and decision making
    This is the third in a series of articles by Ron Exiner* looking at approaches Local Government can take to cement its place as a vital sphere of government for communities as well as an equal partner in our Federation.
  • 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 their council’s operations or enhancing service delivery within their community.
  • Radical new road safety barrier launched*
    Increased safety for motorists and road workers will become a reality with the recent launch of the BarrierGuard 800, a cutting edge barrier design set to revolutionise the road safety industry in Australia.
  • Logan greens its fleet
    Playing its part in reducing the nation’s carbon footprint, Logan City Council in southeast Queensland is reviewing its fleet of vehicles to ensure best practice for fuel efficiency, reduce air pollution and meet greenhouse targets.
  • Bega Valley saves millions of litres of water a year
    The national Water Loss Management Program has helped Bega Valley Shire Council on the south coast of New Coast Wales to save 120 million litres of water a year.
  • Mitchell Shire to develop Victoria’s greenest waste transfer station
    Mitchell Shire Council and Melbourne Water have unveiled plans for Victoria’s most environmentally friendly waste transfer station. It will be located in the town of Wallan on Melbourne’s northern growth boundary.
  • Planning approval time reduced
    Mackay Regional Council’s planning and engineering approval process has been streamlined, with the results saving developers and Council valuable time in the pre-approval period.
  • Living Libraries Australia: bringing communities together conversation by conversation
    Lismore City Council in the northern rivers region of New South Wales is working with the Federal Department of Immigration and Citizenship to expand a project that brings people together in one to one conversations.
  • Union: NT reform affecting jobs
    Despite negotiations and the development of Employee Principles in the leadup to Local Government reform in the Northern Territory, numerous reports are emerging of chaos in the way job offers have been handled.
  • Making it count

    When a council proposes to close a local facility such as a leisure centre, or to change the refuse collection service from weekly to fortnightly, or is considering a planning application that will have a significant impact on an area, there is often an immediate and well supported response from the public.
  • WALGA Convention: Making our World Work
    Staged in Perth from 31 July to 2 August, the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) Convention attracted some 600 delegates.

Feature: Community Services

  • Young people gain skills through youth festival
    Hurstville City Council has partnered with a local performing arts company to present a thought provoking multimedia festival in the Hurstville CBD later this month.
  • New floor expands basketball court use
    Located on the south coast of New South Wales, Shoalhaven City Council has installed new flooring at a basketball court in one of its major suburbs, Milton.
  • Future directions in leisure, parks and gardens
    An interview with Brett Spencer, Manager Recreation and Leisure Services, City of Stirling, WA.
  • Toowoomba rolls out skate park
    Toowoomba Regional Council in the Darling Downs region of Queensland is in the process of installing a new skate park.
  • FieldTurf*
    FieldTurf Australia was formed by three stalwarts of the turf industry who have been awarded the exclusive rights to supply the world renowned FieldTurf Tarkett synthetic turf product range in Australia.
  • Local football match raises money for Myanmar and China
    Logan City Council residents have raised $7,300 for the Burma cyclone and China earthquake relief efforts through a Souths Logan Magpies football match.
  • Mitcham guides Local Government to create deafness friendly cities
    South Australia’s City of Mitcham and Deaf SA have developed a series of guidelines aimed at assisting Local Government to create deafness friendly cities.
  • Freeway fence goes to new heights
    The Rabbit Proof Fence might be the longest fence in Australia, but the new Eastlink Freeway, which opened in Melbourne in June, now boasts Australia’s highest fence.
  • Join in Anti Poverty Week
    With one in ten Australians living below the poverty line, it is important to note that they are not all the same.
  • All aboard for Wycheproof festival
    Located in northwestern Victoria, Buloke Shire Council is celebrating 125 years of rail transport in its town of Wycheproof with a steam train journey and festival.
  • All aboard for Wycheproof festival
    Townsville City Council in North Queensland is working with BHP Billiton to broadcast live footage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in a community environment.
  • Gain the edge: managing sport facilities and venues*
    Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne was recently named the ‘world’s top city for sports events’ by London based consulting and research firm ArkSports.
  • Campbelltown engages youth in local activities
    South Australia’s Campbelltown City Council has developed an innovative program to overcome a perceived lack of recreational opportunities and age relevant things to do for young people in its local area.
  • From mining town to community
    In recent years, the former Duaringa Shire Council, which is now part of Central Highlands Regional Council in the Capricornia region of Queensland, implemented a range of initiatives to create a stronger, more vibrant community.
  • Peace of mind at the touch of a button*
    Safety Link provides a reliable and efficient 24 hour national personal response service that links clients with family, friends or emergency services in times of need.
  • Measuring the performance of pools and leisure centres
    Yardstick is a benchmarking project, focused on parks and recreation activities. It collects and compares a range of information relating to the provision of services, cost of service provision, asset management processes and planning and policy information.
  • Derwent Valley simulates road safety
    Derwent Valley Council in southern Tasmania has developed an educational bike track for children, providing a long lasting facility for community enjoyment, exercise and education.
  • Alternative vehicle solutions*
    With so many different brand names available in the market place today for electric golf car style vehicles it is very difficult to decide exactly what vehicle is right for your application.
  • Waterways Audit and Signage project identifies risks
    Meander Valley Council is the first council in Tasmania to undertake a comprehensive audit of its reserve areas, with particular reference to known swimming areas.
  • Health ratings for trails
    The City of Albany on the southern coast of Western Australia is identifying walk trails with health ratings, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Premier’s Physical Activity Taskforce.
  • The beginning of the end of frustrating trimming*
    If great trimming is what you are after, look no further than Curagul Stud. Its CHAMP II Multi Line Brushcutter Replacement Head is an innovative, Australian made replacement brushcutter head featuring innovative design and performance like no other.
  • Free translating and interpreting services*
    The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) provides the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) for people who do not speak English and for the English speakers who need to communicate with them.
  • Enhancing quality of life
    Northern Territory’s Wagait Shire Council residents are saving money on cost of living expenses and experiencing better quality of life, thanks to the development of a multipurpose community centre.