March 2009 Edition

  • Providing community confidence during a crisis
    During 2008, Victoria’s Local Government Professional’s (LGPro) Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) involved 24 young managers, representing city, regional and rural councils, and from across the various Local Government professions.
  • What next?

    I am currently reading an excellent book by Chris Patten with the title, ‘What Next? Surviving the twenty-first century’.
  • Four generations of Mayors
    Local Government seems to run in the blood of Richmond Valley Council Mayor, Col Sullivan, but it is commitment to his community that attracted him to the role, rather than his family history.
  • Lighting – how to shine bright and still save money and CO2 emissions
    by Bruce Rowse*
    For most Local Government buildings lighting is the second largest energy user following heating and cooling. One of the easiest, most reliable and inexpensive ways of achieving large energy savings is to delamp.
  • Planning for communities in a changing climate
    The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) will host the Local Government Planning for Communities in a Changing Climate Conference in Hobart on 25 and 26 March.
  • ASU sees climate change becoming an economy saver
    The bitter lessons of climate change have never been more evident than the past few months. Firestorms in a drought ravaged Victoria and floods in Queensland are evidence of extreme weather behaviour that appears here to stay.
  • The changing role of Local Government
    The role of Local Government is changing given the global financial crisis, climate change, peak oil, poverty and new governments in place.
  • Encouraging grey nomad volunteers
    The Queensland Government recently approved a further two year’s funding for the Barcaldine Grey Nomad Volunteer Project.
  • PR conference – directing power and change
    In welcoming just over 100 delegates to the National Local Government Public Relations and Communications Conference, held in Melbourne on 19 and 20 February, then President of the Local Government Public Relations Association, Chris Marks, said that the profit of just over $6,000 from this conference would all be donated to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
  • New image for Geraldton-Greenough
    The City of Geraldton-Greenough in the Mid West region of Western Australia has undertaken a marketing and communications review to ensure high quality communication and information sharing with all stakeholders.
  • All a Twitter about social media
    by Andrea Ferris*
    The first time I heard about Twitter was in June 2008 during a night out with some friends and yes, a good proportion of fine wine had been consumed!
  • YouTHINK: Hundreds of youth were part of the national conversation
    On Friday 20 February, hundreds of young Australians, aged 15 to 24, from across the country attended the inaugural Australian Youth Forum (AYF) event – youTHINK – hosted by the Minister for Youth, the Hon Kate Ellis MP.
  • Queensland councils powering into Local Government Week 2009
    From 1 to 7 June, Queensland councils and their local communities will celebrate Local Government Week with a theme of ‘Sustainability’, featuring the tag line ‘Switched on Councils, Powering Queensland Communities into Sustainability’.
  • Experience the Magic
    Tumbarumba Shire, nestled on the western side of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, is approximately half way between Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Enviro project to skill up young people
    In January, Greening Australia launched a new Green Corps project in central New South Wales’ Orange City Council.
  • West Tamar adopts community model to tackle suicide
    In December, the CORES (Community Response to Elimintaing Suicide) program was launched at West Tamar Council in the north of Tasmania.
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from South Australia.
  • Council airports fly away
    by Christopher Conolly*
    Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Gunnedah Shire Council in New South Wales are pursuing investment in their communities through innovative new airport projects. Both councils have adopted projects that will enhance the productivity of their airports through transactions with third parties.
  • Focus on Logan’s talented musicians
    The cultural diversity and musical talent of Logan City Council’s youth have culminated in an innovative community project.
  • Dealing with Canberra
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    Some of my Local Government colleagues have sworn off applying for Federal grants. They are heartily sick of the level of detail, the pedantry, the paternalism and the delays.
  • Fourth city confirmed for Northern Territory
    Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, has announced that Alice Springs, Darwin, and the satellite city of Palmerston will be joined by a fourth Territory City by 2014.
  • Manly sees red over litter
    Litterbugs were under ‘red alert’ in Manly this summer, with Council’s bright red uniformed volunteer LitterGuard beach patrol officers on duty for the season.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Bruce Miller, President of the New South Wales Shires Association.
  • Councils’ leadership and support as communities start to rebuild
    President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Councillor Geoff Lake, has praised the ongoing efforts of local councils for the role they are playing in the aftermath of the Victorian bushfire disaster.
  • Letter to the editor: Volunteers an invaluable resource
    The recent bushfires in Victoria, and floods in Queensland, have again brought to the fore the invaluable work of volunteers.
  • Editorial: Positive signs for Federal/Local Government relationship
    As part of its economic stimulus package, in just over four months, the Federal Government has pledged $800 million for Local Government through its Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

Feature: Information Technology and Communications

  • Melbourne’s moves to Green IT
    With some 1,400 desktop and laptop computers, Melbourne City Council recognised that power wastage from terminals not being switched off at night needed to be addressed.
  • Better access to documents
    Victoria’s Baw Baw Shire Council has 400 staff and services a population of just over 39,000 people. Located south east of Melbourne, the Shire comprises a number of towns and villages, rural and rural residential areas.
  • Local SmartForms make council services more accessible
    As businesses increasingly find themselves in a time poor world, the ability to streamline processes and reduce red tape becomes even more critical.
  • Council IT case studies wanted
    The IT conference team at Coffs Harbour City Council needs your story at their highly successful IT conference in November.
  • Shellharbour’s eDA: dynamic and multifunctional
    Shellharbour City Council’s Electronic Development Application (eDA) enables applicants to lodge a development application online and then track Council’s processing of the application through to its conclusion.
  • Three minute server restore saves days
    The IT team at Great Lakes Council in New South Wales breathed a collective sigh of relief recently when their fallback backup system restored the drive in a crashed server within three minutes.
  • Out there 4 U
    Out There 4 U - Community Online is a one stop global leisure and recreational website for listing and finding out about joining groups or clubs, finding a concert or park, local community events or activities.
  • Ballarat’s desktop employee directory improves security
    Prior to the City of Ballarat developing ‘The Source’, staff relied on an internal phone listing presented in a word document format.
  • Mobile computing unit boosts efficiency
    As a growth council in Melbourne’s north, Whittlesea City Council staff often find themselves working in new areas and require up to date map data to aid navigation.
  • Free website encourages information sharing
    Bundaberg Regional Council’s Manager Assets, Wayne Eddy, recently set up a free website to encourage cooperative information sharing across councils. Having gone live last October, the Local Government and Asset Management (LGAM) Knowledge Base already has over 900 pages of information.
  • Decision imminent on high speed broadband network
    Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, is confident that a contract for the rollout of the Australian Government’s National Broadband Network will be signed this month.
  • Civica acquires Practical Computer Servicesconsolidating Local Government lead*
    Local Government software vendor Civica Pty Ltd has acquired Queensland based Practical Computer Services Pty Ltd’s Local Government business.
  • CENTAMAN Systems*
    CENTAMAN is a market leader in computer systems for the Local Government, tourism, leisure and attractions markets.
  • Ku-ring-gai’s state of the art telecommunications overhaul
    In February 2008, Ku-ring-gai Council in Sydney’s north went live with a new telecommunications system servicing all its main offices and remote sites. In the following interview Council’s IT Manager, John Giovinazzo, explains how this was achieved.
  • Budget now for Guardian and be prepared for the next disaster activation*
    Queensland Disaster Management Coordinators are working with their neighbouring shires in drawing up Memorandums of Understanding to ensure they can hold each other’s data and support each other’s centres with staff trained in Guardian.
  • Virtualisation technology provides benefits for Armadale
    The City of Armadale is recognised as one of the top five growth regions in the Perth metropolitan area. Its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) team manage a data centre of more than 25 servers and a desktop fleet of 250 PCs and laptops.
  • Future directions in information technology
    An interview with Paul Hamilton, Senior IT Officer, Shire of Busselton Western Australia.
  • Sustainable service excellence
    Covering 720 square kilometres in southeast Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Shire is implementing an enterprise content management (ECM) solution to underpin its information management strategy.
  • Technology driven council upgrades AV*
    Sutherland Shire Council recently upgraded the audio visual (AV) equipment in its chambers, opting for a Bosch Conference and PA solution, chosen for its capabilities in providing integrated conference facilities, including microphone management, electronic voting and video display in one package.
  • Victor Harbor’s state of the art library
    The construction of its new Library in 2007 provided the City of Victor Harbor with an opportunity to incorporate state of the art library technology into the complex.