May 2009 Edition

  • Local spending

    It is in difficult economic times like these that there is a danger of a kneejerk response based upon expediency rather than priorities.
  • LG to play key part in COAG reforms
    The 30 April meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has set the path for Local Government to play a key role in reviewing Australia’s emergency management arrangements, and in future planning for Australia’s major cities.
  • Community kitchen
    Hobsons Bay City Council has applauded the Federal Government’s decision to allocate $9 million to the Community Chef project.
  • Embracing the future
    As a small Local Government covering only 4.9 square kilometres in the western suburbs of Perth, the Town of Claremont is in the midst of an exciting period.
  • Local Government and climate change
    An interview with Peter Dormand, City Energy and Resource Manager at Newcastle City Council
  • Skate park designed for all
    With its flowing curves, stairs, rails and a distinctive protruding sphere feature that is skateable from inside and out, Knox Skate and BMX Park is a sports mecca in a municipality where almost 40 per cent of the population is aged under 24 years.
  • Media savvy Wyong

    An observation in my last article that I had failed to find much Local Government social media activity in Australia had Ian Roberts, a Wyong Shire Council Communications Officer, hot on my email tail.
  • Local Government and community road safety
    Local Government has an important role to play in road safety, acting as a significant contributor to the maintenance of road safety standards. It also provides people with a ready channel of communication to voice their concerns about road safety.
  • Hepburn Shire calls for television recycling program
    A national TV take back scheme is urgently needed, according to Hepburn Shire Council in Central Victoria. At its April meeting, Council supported Councillor Jon Barrell’s idea for a scheme to ensure old televisions are recycled.
  • Great response to NT softball competition
    More than 16 women’s teams representing every community in the Central Desert Shire are competing in the Central Desert Shire Softball Tournament. Each team is hoping to represent the Shire in the NT Softball Championships in August.
  • Ararat Rural City Council
    Ararat Rural City Council is subdividing a 30 hectare parcel of land five kilometres east of Ararat, as part of its vision to create a world standard Ararat Renewable Energy Park.
  • Huon Valley welcomes student doctors
    During April, Huon Valley Council hosted 30 medical students from the University of Tasmania as part of the University’s Rural Week.
  • Grey Nomad Project continues to thrive in Barcaldine
    The tourist season has kicked off well for the Grey Nomad Project, with a number of volunteers contacting the coordinator about opportunities available in Barcaldine.
  • Councillor profiles
    Councillor profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Queensland.
  • Local Government celebrates Harmony Day
    From Bollywood dancing to storytelling to visiting places of worship, councils around Australia hosted a myriad of events during March to celebrate Harmony Day in their communities.
  • Grain rail campaign to assist road safety
    Preventing more than a quarter of a million trucks from being added to Western Australian roads is the focus of an industry campaign launched in April.
  • Tamworth takes out Australia’s Tidiest Town for 2009
    Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth in New South Wales, is Australia’s Tidiest Town for 2009.
  • The ball’s in your court

    There is a distinct shift in Federal industry and regional funding arrangements, and it has major implications for local councils in Australia.
  • Burnie – Tasmania’s port of call
    Burnie in Tasmania’s northwest is fast becoming the port of call for the State’s cruise ship visits. This past cruising season, from 4 November to 29 March, cruise ship visitors injected around $6.9 million into the region’s economy.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Bill McArthur, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).
  • TMAs – U-MAD if you don’t*
    Working in live traffic and closing lanes has always been a risky business. Despite warning signs, cones and flashing arrow boards being deployed, there is still a significant risk of motorists ploughing though the cones and into the rear of maintenance vehicles, or worse still, into the work zone.
  • Centre of Excellence – promoting innovation and best practice

    At the inaugural meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government last November, one of the announcements made by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was that the Federal Government would provide up to $8 million in funding for a Centre of Excellence for Local Government.
  • Editorial: Centre of Excellence – ownership an issue?
    Eight million dollars via a Federal Government grant for the new Centre of Excellence for Local Government is a good start, but spread over a five year period this funding will provide just $1.2 million per year.

  • Mayor’s message
    It’s a busy time for Launceston City Council with many major projects taking shape or nearing completion.
  • Launceston – where the living is easy
    Situated at the head of the beautiful Tamar Valley wine growing region, few places in the world can match Launceston’s natural and historic charm.
  • State of the art aquatic centre
    One of the centrepieces of Launceston City Council’s 10 Year Major Works Program is a new regional aquatic centre to replace the 1950’s municipal pool at Windmill Hill.
  • Location, location, location
    Launceston Aquatic’s location in East Launceston is arguably the best in the country. Sitting on top of Windmill Hill, the floor to ceiling window design takes advantage of the stunning views of the city, nearby mountains and the beautiful Tamar Valley.
  • A sustainable facility
    Contained almost totally within the ‘footprint’ of the old pool, Launceston Aquatic has been designed to have the least possible impact on the environment.
  • Access for all
    One of the Launceston City Council Recreational Planning Principles is to ensure equitable access to recreation opportunities regardless of age, gender, sexual preference, mobility or ethnicity.
  • Launceston Aquatic Manager and Paralympic Champion – Melissa Carlton
    Born in South Africa, Melissa moved to Tasmania at the age of twelve and quickly developed a passion for swimming.
  • New developments at Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
    2009 is an exciting year for the Launceston City Council owned and operated Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG).
  • Phenomena Factory
    Phenomena Factory is Australia’s newest and most exciting interactive science centre, located at Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the largest regional museum and art gallery in the country.

Feature: Administration & Management Systems

  • Clean hands save lives – and that’s a fact*
    As concerns for the spread of swine flu increase day by day, you might be asking yourself what you can do to prevent the spread of infection within your own workplace, home or school.
  • Peer based strategy development and problem solving*
    HardyGroup International is the leading provider in Australia and New Zealand of Whole of Government Executive Learning Sets.
  • Customer focused electronic document management
    Gloucester Shire Council recently purchased Tr@ceR – a customer focused electronic document management system – to upgrade and streamline its current paper based system.
  • Digital signatures have completed councils’ electronic process*
    In the current economic climate, councils are looking for ways to cut costs and shorten business processes while improving staff efficiency and customer services.
  • Redland City Council adopts new organisational development plan
    In March, Redland City Council adopted a new organisational development plan aimed at ensuring Council is a sustainable and effective organisation well into the future, with clever and caring people.
  • Pay and HR solutions your way*
    Empower Masterpay Pty Ltd is a leading provider of Pay and HR solutions through innovative product development, quality service and support.
  • Simplifying reporting
    Located between Sydney and Canberra in New South Wales, Goulburn Mulwaree Council is using a web based tool to simplify the reporting process for management and executive staff.
  • Protecting data
    Keeping data secure is essential to maintain privacy, but it also assures that information is protected from unauthorised disclosure, modification or destruction.
  • First call resolution ‘fact V fiction’
    By Rum Charles*
    First call resolution has long been talked about within Local Government circles. Some claim it simply cannot be done, a few claim to have implemented the fabled ‘First Call Resolution’ with exceptional results.
  • New horizons for SA rating professionals
    The successful attraction and retention of skilled employees is affected not just by economic and technological changes, but also by population and generational changes.
  • Melville achieves customer service accreditation
    The City of Melville has achieved certification from the Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA) in line with the International Customer Service Standard (ICSS 2003–2006).
  • CCTV conference for Australian Local Governments*

    IP Surveillance in Action (IPSiA) 2009 is a one day seminar, taking place in Brisbane on Friday 12 June, showcasing some of the world’s leading IP based CCTV equipment.
  • 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?
  • Future directions in administration & management systems
    An interview with Jane Trotter, General Manager Corporate and Community Services, City of Burnside, South Australia
  • Software streamlines contract management*
    Last month’s edition of Local Government FOCUS ran a story on the risks councils face when they outsource work to external contractors (see ‘Engaging contractors: Do you know your council’s safety obligations? A Victorian case study’)
  • Business as unusual in Wellington
    With a series of natural disasters recently occurring across the country, disaster recovery and emergency management are at the forefront of most councils’ minds.