February 2009 Edition

  • Ecomist: proudly supporting Local Government*
    Established in 1992, Ecomist is an Australian owned and operated company. Its stylish, computerised range of dispensers use natural pyrethrins to provide complete insect control.
  • Councils connect online

    Councils are increasingly online in their efforts to connect with their communities. It is now standard practice for council websites to provide 24/7 information and offer residents online options to pay bills, register pets and access other services.
  • Diversity challenge hots up
    Last month Victoria’s Monash City Council laid down the challenge to any other council that could better it regarding the diversity of its Councillors.
  • First trades in council emissions trading scheme imminent
    The first formal trades of carbon credits under an Australian first greenhouse gas emission trading system for Local Governments are expected to take place by March this year.
  • Elvis festival attracts record crowds
    After five days and more than 120 events at Parkes, Elvis has left the building and certainly left it all shook up!
  • How will the Emissions Trading Scheme affect Local Government?

    Next year the national carbon Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is due to start. To find out what the impacts of the scheme will be on Local Government I interviewed Nick Armstrong of COzero.
  • Young leader elected first Central Desert Shire President
    Central Desert Shire Council became the council with the youngest leadership team in the Northern Territory when it recently chose its youngest member, James Jampajimpa Glenn, as President.
  • Community connection benefits wellbeing
    New research shows that people who live in rural and regional Australia are happier than city folk.
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Victoria.
  • Combining technology and art
    When Queensland’s Etheridge Shire Council decided to refurbish its Council Office foyer late last year, CEO Les Edmistone asked staff for ideas for a feature wall behind the front counter.
  • Addressing sustainable infrastructure challenges
    Local Government nationally must continue to improve its asset management practices to ensure its infrastructure is sustainable and to meet the constraints posed by financial and climate change challenges.
  • McKinlay Shire Council
    2009 has been wet. There is no simpler way to explain the start to the year. And while some have experienced trying times during the New Year, this rain will be of great benefit looking into the coming months.
  • Editorial: country living makes people happier
    The latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index (refer page 5) has found what most rural and regional people have always known – that living outside of major urban centres will make you happier.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Bill Mitchell, President of the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA).
  • New program brings diversity into focus
    A new program to support communities in their efforts to address cultural, racial and religious intolerance has been launched by the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson.
  • Infrastructure Australia’s audit: complex but timely

    The Government’s announcement on 3 February of an additional $500 million to expand the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program was a welcome surprise. It was especially so for those councils that had made submissions on 23 December for the $50 million then on offer, because they are first in the queue. The rest of you are likely to miss out.
  • Local Government welcomes latest stimulus package
    The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has applauded the key role the Federal Government has identified for Local Government in its $42 billion stimulus package announced on 3 February.

  • Made in Auburn: Local arts and crafts people participate in enterprising project
    Council’s sustainable arts and recycling pilot project, ‘Made in Auburn’ promotes the creative reuse of materials and encourages local residents to utilise items which otherwise may be thrown away.
  • Auburn Council helps ensure small businesses have a sustainable future
    Cost savings and improved resource efficiency are some of the benefits for businesses that participated in Sustainable Future for Small Businesses in Western Sydney. The initiative helped businesses adopt environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Preparing for growth
    Auburn Council has actively undertaken the preparation of a range of studies and planning projects to plan for this anticipated growth. These projects include the following.
  • Involving our diverse community
    Auburn Council is committed to inclusive engagement with its community and employs a range of techniques to ensure genuine participation and communication with residents and the local business community about issues and decisions affecting their lives.
  • Fashion designers incorporate fine hand crafted items by local Hazara Women
    The intricate embroidery skills of an Afghan women’s group in Auburn are now part of international fashion designers’ collections. Tina Kalivas and Joshi Jones are just two of the designers that have used the traditional embroidery, weaving and beading by the Hazara Women of Auburn in their fashion designs.
  • Turning a club into a thriving community centre
    Auburn Council has set about converting the old unused Bowling Club in the North Auburn area, into an exciting new community facility.
  • Auburn’s Water Saving Action Plan
    Saving water has become a priority in New South Wales, this is why, in 2007, Auburn Council developed a Water Savings Action Plan (WSAP) outlining how Council could manage water more sustainably.
  • Dial Before You Dig membership for Local Government*
    The Auburn Local Government Area (LGA) is right at the heart of Sydney, only 17 kilometres from Sydney CBD and six kilometres from Parramatta.
  • Implementing change to meet the needs of local people
    In 2005/2006 Auburn Council reviewed its organisational structure to enable the modernisation of service delivery to make it more responsive and tailored to offering best value to the Auburn Community.
  • Achieving better outcomes for the Auburn community
    In their citation when awarding Auburn Council the Local Government Section Winner, the trustees of the AR Bluett Award stated, “The Auburn Local Government Area is one of the most disadvantaged in New South Wales and the Council has responded to the critical role that Local Government can play in the social and cultural development of its local community.
  • Message from Mayor Irene Simms
    This past year has been a very successful year for Auburn Council. We have been able to plan and develop new programs that meet the needs of our community.
  • Employment Month
    Local residents looking for work were able to meet prospective employers and find out how to get the job they want through a series of activities held during Employment Month in Auburn in May 2007.
  • Drawn to Auburn
    To turn a graffiti prone area into a public artwork, Auburn Council library and community development staff developed an art project called Drawn to Auburn.
  • Midnight basketball helps young people find their way
    Physical activity and being part of a team is a powerful combination to make young people feel good about themselves. This can be especially beneficial when new to a country, its culture and its language.

Feature: Human Resource Management and Occupational Health & Safety

  • Dial Before You Dig membership for Local Government*
    There are hundreds of Dial Before You Dig members across Australia, with a significant proportion of these being councils.
  • From refugee to Australian apprentice trainee of the year
    When Matter Machar arrived from the Sudan as a refugee, he had no job and few prospects. Now he has it all, including a job at Greater Dandenong Council, skills in youth services and prospects of a long career.
  • Meerkat approach to OHS
    The City of Belmont has become the first Local Government in Western Australia to be presented the Diamond Distinction in Safety Award (DISA), receiving the award last December.
  • Local Government represented at national Safe Work Australia Awards
    This year, Local Government is represented among the 38 finalists in the 2008 national Safe Work Australia Awards, the premier national safety awards in Australia.
  • New IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate now available
    The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) recently launched its new Fleet Management Certificate.
  • LGMA National Congress and Business Expo in Darwin
    Local Government’s place in the community as leaders in service delivery, economic development and sustainable practice has never been more relevant or more important.
  • Technical skills training delivered to your desk*
    Local Government technical staff must keep up to date with advances in the design, construction and maintenance of road pavements and their asset management and environmental impacts.
  • Operation happy feet
    Located in the upper reaches of the Spencer Gulf in the Southern Flinders Ranges of South Australia, Port Pirie Regional Council has received the top State regional award for its ‘Operation Happy Feet’ program.
  • APS Benefits to assist with education rebates*
    Did you know that you can claim up to $750 in tax rebates per child on eligible education expenses? The rebate for children attending primary school can be up to $350 per child, while for a child attending secondary school, the rebate can be up to $750.
  • Tasmania’s shining achiever
    Kingborough Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer, Abyilene Dobson, was recently selected as a finalist in Tasmania’s 2009 Young Australian of the Year Award.
  • Leader in event management training*
    The Australian Centre for Event Management (ACEM), University of Technology, Sydney is a leader in event management education, training and research. The centre offers a range of high quality, innovative products and services that are designed to promote best practice in event management.
  • Campbelltown commits to OHS promotion and awareness
    Campbelltown City Council in New South Wales employs more than 675 permanent staff and around 200 casual staff. It is self insured for Workers Compensation and has implemented an OHS Management System, in line with the requirements of the National Self Insurer OHS Audit Tool.
  • Health and wellbeing pilot complements employer of choice programs
    In furthering its commitment to its staff, Whittlesea is one of two Victorian councils undergoing a pilot program designed to increase staff health and wellbeing levels.
  • Future directions in human resources
    With the economic crisis leading to job cuts across the country, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is encouraging workers who have lost, or fear losing, their job to turn to Local Government for possible alternative employment.