December 2008 Edition

  • Call for Local Government solution for ABC Learning centres collapse
    Local Governments seeking to buy or operate ABC Learning centres should be the clear focus of all parties trying to secure the future of childcare in this country, according to Australian Services Union (ASU) National Secretary Paul Slape.
  • Next steps in Constitutional recognition

    Speaking at the recent Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) meeting in Canberra, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told delegates that one of the three key objectives of the first ACLG meeting was “to receive your input on our election commitment to the Constitutional recognition of Local Government, rather than us simply imposing our view”.
  • Breaking the four minute barrier

    In November 2008 I had the pleasure of visiting Belgrade in Serbia on behalf of the Council of Europe to talk to representatives from Local Governments from around Serbia about economic development and performance management.
  • Manly top of the class for hygiene and safety
    Environmental Health Officers at Manly Council are delighted by the positive response of local food outlets to an innovative food safety awareness program.
  • Call for more balanced reporting on LG
    This is the fifth 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.
  • City of Stirling
    The City of Stirling is Western Australia’s largest local government with a booming population of over 187,000 and an annual budget in excess of $192 million.
  • West Tamar celebrates opening of Mine and Heritage Centre
    In November, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd officially opened an exciting new addition to Tasmania’s tourism industry, the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre.
  • 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.
  • Emergency awareness projects success in national safer communities awards
    Local Governments from several states have been successful in this year’s Australian Safer Communities Awards sponsored by Emergency Management Australia. A total of 16 awards were presented by the Australian Attorney-General, The Hon Robert McClelland MP, in Parliament House, Canberra on Tuesday 11 November 2008.
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Tasmania.
  • Geopark creates sustainable tourism opportunities
    Covering almost 30,000 square kilometres from southeast South Australia to the western districts of Victoria, the Kanawinka Geopark, or ‘Land of Tomorrow’ as it translates from the local Indigenous language, was recently declared a UNESCO Global Geopark.
  • Sunshine Coast has Queensland’s best
    One of the senior managers of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council was recently awarded the Local Government Manager of the Year Award by Queensland’s Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA Queensland).
  • Mayors’ summit wash up

    The Mayors’ Summit in Canberra highlighted the perception, from a significant section of the media and the community, that the $300 million for Local Government infrastructure was further pork barrelling, and money in brown paper bags.
  • New ALGA President
    Councillor Geoff Lake was elected President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) at the Association’s Annual General Meeting in Canberra on 19 November.
  • Connecting the Coast: a technological solution for economic growth on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast
    Conceived as the communications platform for both the Maroochy Clever Networks Project and the Noosa Clever Networks Project – now aligned under the Sunshine Coast Regional Council – the Connecting the Coast (CTC) project is facilitating connectivity to high speed broadband.
  • President’s comment
    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.
  • Editorial: 2008 in focus
    2008 saw the first 12 months of the new Rudd Labor Government. Elections in the Northern Territory and the ACT resulted in the incumbent Labor Governments just getting over the line, however in Western Australia there was a changing of the guard with a Liberal National Party coalition coming to power.
  • ACLG summit delivers much more than a $300m boost to local communities
    The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, described the inaugural meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) at Parliament House in Canberra on 18 November as one of the biggest gatherings of elected representatives in Australian history.

Feature: Business Efficiency & Sustainability

  • Onkaparinga supports women in the workplace
    South Australia’s City of Onkaparinga has been recognised nationally for its culture of championing opportunities for its female employees.
  • Measuring carbon and waste
    Moreton Bay Regional Council is going green this Christmas, measuring carbon outputs and implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Public Place Recycling program to reduce and recycle waste
  • Booklet outlines City role
    A City of Gosnells publication giving the community a chance to find out how their City works and where Local Government fits into the Australian system has been a big hit. A reprint has just been produced.
  • Switch your thinking!
    Western Australia’s Cities of Armadale and Gosnells and the Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire are working together as the South East Regional Energy Group (SEREG) to develop partnerships with business, industry and residents.
  • Ipswich maintains service delivery edge
    Queensland’s Ipswich City Council has worked with the Queensland Partnership Group (QPG) to develop a strategy that will greatly improve customer service across Council’s rates and service delivery teams.
  • NSW community to guide climate change response
    14 New South Wales councils are participating in a project that is feeding key community recommendations on climate change into decision making at both a Local and State level.
  • Bendigo commits to improved customer service
    Victoria’s City of Greater Bendigo has launched a new Customer Service Charter that details the City’s commitment to improving its services and the way in which it responds to requests from its customers.
  • What is a comfortable office temperature?

    Many Local Governments have set ambitious corporate greenhouse gas reduction targets as part of their climate change program, yet are a long way from achieving those targets.
  • Digital wireless innovation*
    Do you need a wireless conference system for your Council Chambers that does not force you to compromise on features, functionality, security and performance?
  • Guardian on duty in Darwin
    Darwin City Council is now online with new computer software and systems in place to better respond to community needs in the event of a cyclone.
  • A year of action for Local Government and ICLEI Oceania*
    2008 has been a busy year for ICLEI Oceania and its Local Government partners. A special ICLEI Oceania event held during the Australian Local Government Association’s Local Government Constitutional Summit on 9 December will see the launch of two reports, a new social sustainability project, and the recognition of council achievements in ICLEI programs throughout the year.
  • Hybrid truck a hit for the environment
    Brisbane City Council is leading the way in the fight against climate change, having recently purchased a clean, green, fuel efficient hybrid truck.
  • Kogarah depot to ‘solar on’
    Kogarah Council in the southern suburbs of Sydney has installed solar energy technologies and devices at its work depot with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • WSN honoured for superior waste technology
    Leading Sydney recycling company, WSN Environmental Solutions, has been honoured by the New South Wales Government for its leading edge waste processing technology in Sydney’s southwest.
  • Responsible solution for spent CFL, HID and fluorescent lamps*
    The latest in technology for the recycling of fluorescent tubes, CFL (compact fluorescent) and HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps is now available in Australia. Sustainable solutions provider, Chemsal, provides a full collection, disposal, resource recovery and depackaging service for a wide range of lamps.
  • Coffs’ fresh budget approach
    Coffs Harbour City Council will use a new budgeting strategy to help identify its top priorities for spending and saving in 2009–2010.
  • Future directions in business efficiency and sustainability
    An interview with Wayne Wright, CEO, MacDonnell Shire Council, Northern Territory
  • Tasmanian councils trial resource sharing initiative
    Located side by side in Tasmania’s northwest, Circular Head Council and Waratah-Wynyard Council have agreed to trial a shared General Manager over a two year period.