October 2008 Edition

  • A new chapter takes shape in Federal–Local relations

    Invitations have been sent to the Mayor or Shire President at each of the nation’s 565 councils to attend the first meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG), to be staged at Parliament House, Canberra on 18 November.
  • Editorial: COAG attempts to offset effects of Global financial crisis
    The most recent Council of Australian Government (COAG) meeting took place the same week the US congress was grappling with ‘would it or won’t it’ pass a multibillion dollar bail out package for its financial institutions.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Mayor Mike Gaffney, President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT).
  • National Awards for Local Government category winners
    The category winners and those receiving commendations in the ten categories in the 2008 National Awards for Local Government were announced on 3 September.
  • Vietnam – leadership via Local Government?

    I hadn’t realised that Vietnam’s GDP/head was lower than that of China’s. Nor had I appreciated the friendliness and the work ethic of the Vietnamese people. It all came into focus last month, when I was in Vietnam as part of a consultancy team advising on integrated planning and development opportunities.
  • Roads report backs political focus
    Long overdue political focus on community infrastructure funding is backed by a new report into the deterioration of the local road network in Western Australia.
  • Australian Council of Local Government
    A statement from the Minister for Infrastructure and Local Government, Anthony Albanese.
  • National push for women in senior management positions
    The Australian Local Government sector has designated 2010 as the Year of Women in Local Government, as a means to celebrate and promote the advancement of women into senior management positions.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Northen Territory.
  • Building the team

    Meeting in the week following Statewide Local Government elections, and shortly after Nathan Rees became State Premier and carried out his front bench shakeup, amid worldwide concern with the US financial markets meltdown, Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA NSW) New South Wales state conference was staged in Penrith from 17 to 19 September.
  • Management excellence awards for NSW
    The Local Government Managers Australia NSW 2008 Excellence Awards were announced at its annual conference dinner on 17 September. Some 39 projects were submitted from Councils across New South Wales.
  • Sustainable decision making – reconciling democratic and quasijudicial roles
    This is the fourth 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.
  • Shoalhaven leads the way in student engagement*
    A Career Advice Australia Local Community Partnership and Shoalhaven City Council have successfully developed and implemented an Adopt a School program. With 22 Year 10 students from Nowra High School participating, it aimed to promote interest in careers in town planning.
  • Technology aids camera installation in Mildura
    Installation work on a network of safety cameras in Mildura Rural City Council’s CBD proceeded swiftly and unobtrusively, thanks to the use of an Australian first fibre optic technology.
  • Dirt Jump Park opened at Launceston
    Worldwide since the late 1970s, mountain biking has experienced a rapid growth in popularity, but in Tasmania the majority of growth has been in the last decade.
  • LGAQ: new Local Government Act is bold reformist
    President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), Councillor Paul Bell, has said the draft Queensland Local Government Act contains bold moves aimed at modernising and providing increasing flexibility for the operation of a diverse range of councils across Queensland.
  • Sutherland Shire beaches declared National Surfing Reserve
    Sutherland Shire Council has welcomed the declaration of its Cronulla Beaches as a National Surfing Reserve.
  • Youth Services takes to the streets
    Melton Shire Council’s 6801 Youth Outreach Program is taking to the streets in its new look Kia van.
  • Learning and development – gaining a competitive edge
    Latrobe City Council’s Learning and Development Framework is designed to offer staff individually tailored personal and professional development opportunities.
  • Helping parents to boost infant literacy skills
    Next year, Campbelltown City Council will launch a teaching and resource unit for its Pacific Islander families in a bid to encourage and promote early childhood literacy.
  • Going Public 2008*
    Some of Australia’s most powerful women will convene in Sydney on 20 and 21 November for Going Public 2008 – a benchmark national conference for elected representatives and women working in the public sector and government at Local, State and Federal levels.
  • Can you feel the trust?

    Recently I spoke at a national conference on partnership working and shared services. In developing my presentation I drew upon my experience in both the public and private sectors.
  • Attracting school leavers to Local Government
    School leavers are the primary focus of a new initiative that aims to redress the skills shortage facing Local Governments in Western Australia.

Feature: Best Practice

  • Green Precinct for Moonee Valley: a first for Victorian Local Government
    Moonee Valley City Council is set to become an environmental leader with its new Green Precinct project.
  • Logan wins two national e-learning awards
    Logan City Council’s Information Services Branch has been recognised for excellence in staff software and computer training at the LearnX Asia Pacific 2008 E-Learning and Training Awards.
  • Future directions in best practice
    Noelene Duff believes working to a limited budget and ensuring environmental sustainability is at the fore, are pressures felt daily by Local Government leaders.
  • State of the art meeting and conference systems*
    You may not be aware, but Bosch is the world’s leading manufacturer of conference systems. Its range includes the flagship product DCN, which is available with wired and wireless Delegate Units, or your system can be a combination of both.
  • Preparing for an ageing population
    An ageing population and loss of young people from rural communities is significantly impacting on the population size and makeup of many communities. This is one of the findings of Hepburn Shire Council’s Positive Ageing Strategy.
  • Dorset benefiting from switch to Civica*
    Dorset Council, in northeast Tasmania, is streamlining business processes and improving financial and other reporting after going live with Civica’s Authority Local Government management solution.
  • Copyright obligations – the overlooked risk*
    Compliance, corporate governance and risk management all play an important part in managing councils’ financial and operational risks. But have you stopped to consider the hidden risk of copyright infringement?
  • Taking a wide view of sustainability
    When AlburyCity’s Information Management Team proceeded down the path of a sustainability health check of its operations, the first thing that Team Leader Rikk Price found was no fewer than 23 definitions for ‘sustainability’.
  • Frontier Software: flexible and functional*
    Conceived in Melbourne in 1983, Frontier Software’s flagship product, ‘chris’ (Complete Human Resource Information System), is the result of almost three decades of investment in technologies and people sharply focused on the provision of world class, integrated HR and Payroll Management software solutions.
  • An agent for change: working with industry to improve local waterways
    Located 16 kilometres south of Sydney’s CBD, Kogarah Council is working with local businesses and the community to improve water sustainability.
  • Fremantle car share initiative saves money and the environment
    The City of Fremantle has launched a new car share program, providing local residents and businesses with the convenience of a car when they need it, but without the associated maintenance costs.
  • Masterplanning: overcoming the challenges
    In developing a masterplan for the Cairns Botanic Gardens, Cairns Regional Council’s Senior Project Officer, Kathryn Johnson, said community consultation, early identification of potential issues, and developing relationships with statutory authorities was critical.
  • Illegal dumping under investigation
    With cases of illegal rubbish dumping on the rise, the City of Port Adelaide Enfield in metropolitan Adelaide has introduced a range of initiatives to reduce incidences both on the kerbside, and in parks and open spaces.
  • Dieback Hygiene Stations to benefit Armadale bushland
    Western Australia’s City of Armadale is helping to protect its native bushland with the installation of 23 Dieback Hygiene Stations in major local reserves.
  • Integrated water management solution*
    Bentley’s water product line of software provides water professionals with advanced engineering tools to map, plan, design, maintain, analyse, manage, and operate water distribution supply, municipal sanitary sewers, urban stormwater collection, and roadway and civil site drainage.
  • Pilot project makes beaches more user friendly for all
    With a number of popular beaches located within close proximity of Perth’s CBD, three Local Governments have worked together to develop a series of best practice guidelines to ensure that access for all abilities is available.
  • Local Government FOCUS commits to sustainability
    The Local Government FOCUS office recently engaged CarbonetiX to install fluoro mirror reflectors in its fluoroescent light fittings.
  • Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre goes solar
    Mitchell Shire Council in Central Victoria is leading by example, switching its Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre hot water to solar.
  • New image builds unity for Fraser Coast
    Fraser Coast Regional Council is using a multifaceted approach, incorporating strategic marketing and communications, to build unity and regional pride among its recently amalgamated residents.
  • Bendigo wins national urban design award for CBD
    In September, the City of Greater Bendigo took out the prestigious 2008 Australian Award for Urban Design, recognising the transformation of its CBD over the past 14 years.
  • Coffs Harbour’s first solar building
    Rigby House is to become the first solar powered public building in Coffs Harbour.
  • Improving donated asset information

    With long term sustainability a primary goal for Local Government, effective lifecycle management of high value infrastructure assets has become increasingly important.
  • Forward thinking pays off
    The City of Whittlesea is now entering an exciting and challenging phase of growth. With an extensive planning framework in place, Council’s vision for a ‘complete city’ is now taking shape.
  • Growth area councils make a united front
    With one in four Australians currently living in a metropolitan growth area, and that figure expected to rise to one in three in the next 20 years, the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) was formed to ensure these people are supported with the necessary facilities and infrastructure.
  • Looking after our precious resource
    Water is a major focus for Whittlesea Council. Its 2006 Sustainable Water Use Plan sets an ambitious goal to reduce relative potable water use by 25 per cent by 2015 and 50 per cent by 2030, based on 2001 usage.
  • Innovative water savings at golf course
    In what is considered to be a first in the golf industry, Council is constructing a turf nursery and sub surface irrigation project at its mulitple award winning Growling Frog Golf Course in Melbourne’s north.
  • Sustaining sport during drought
    The City of Whittlesea recently became home to Australia’s first ‘Soccer Real’ synthetic turf soccer pitch, enabling local clubs to continue playing sport during the drought.
  • Jobs for a complete City
    As one of the fastest growing municipalities in Melbourne, one local job per household is the ambitious goal for Whittlesea.
  • Innovation in access
    With a commitment to providing equitable access to all residents and visitors to the City, Council has installed innovative trail access gates in two highly frequented parks.
  • Community building
    Council’s rural township of Whittlesea has experienced much activity in recent years, thanks to funding from the Victorian Government’s Community Building Initiative (CBI).
  • Working towards a better future
    To provide young people, families and children with the best possible future, Council is improving support and services through the Whittlesea Community Futures Partnership.
  • Summit brings young people’s voice to the fore
    Local young people had the chance to have a say and help shape their community at the third annual Youth Summit hosted by the City of Whittlesea in partnership with Kildonan Uniting Care.
  • City’s youth on the EDGE
    In August, a new youth services hub ‘EDGE – Services for Young People’, was officially opened at a shopping centre in one of the City’s major growth areas.