July 2009 Edition

  • Call for ambassadors for the Year of Women in Local Government 2010
    Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) National President, Neil Hartley, has called for nominations from suitable men and women to act as ambassadors for the Year of Women in Local Government 2010.
  • National Broadband update
    Speaking at the recent National General Assembly of Local Government, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said the National Broadband Network (NBN) will be the single largest nation building infrastructure project in Australian history and will transform our economy.
  • Rising to the challenge of the global recession

    The global recession has had many impacts as governments have struggled to create confidence in the financial viability of their nations, their industries and the financial sector. Many companies have gone out of business and public sector organisations have seen greatly increased demand for their services.
  • Tasmanian councils awarded for excellence
    Brighton, Clarence City and Kingborough Councils have all been recognised at the 2009 Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) Excellence Awards.
  • Mayors for Peace at ALGA
    An international network of over 3,000 councils, Mayors for Peace, hosted a colourful stall at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly this year, focusing on local initiatives around nuclear weapons abolition.
  • Cockburn gets quad bike boost
    The City of Cockburn has been given a boost with the purchase of two new quad bikes, thanks to a $20,000 donation from land and property development agency LandCorp.
  • Community Conversations: Striving for More
    Staged in Hobart from 10 to 12 June, the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) Annual Conference brought together a range of keynote speakers and workshops centred around the theme of ‘Community Conversations: Striving for More’.
  • IP surveillance solution for Griffith*
    Eacom Technologies has installed a Bosch IP surveillance solution for Griffith Council. The solution stores all video streams at 4CIF and 25 images per second for 31 days and is used by NSW Police to ensure safety and security in the Griffith CBD.
  • Are Local Government greenhouse gas savings recognised under the proposed CPRS?

    Many Local Governments have employed staff and invested in capital works to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions. Hundreds of councils across Australia have formally adopted a greenhouse gas reduction target.
  • Qld councils emphasise initiatives to celebrate Local Government Week 2009
    With the theme ‘Switched on Councils –Powering Queensland Communities into Sustainability’, a significant number of Queensland councils participated in Local Government Week 2009, which ran from 1 to 7 June.
  • Recognising LG’s high achievers
    At the 2009 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Darwin, Local Government FOCUS invited delegates to nominate individuals or teams from their councils who are improving operations or enhancing service delivery within their community. In this edition, we showcase the first two of our high achievers for 2009.
  • Hobsons Bay named 2009 Victorian Sustainable City
    Hobsons Bay City Council has been named Victoria’s 2009 Sustainable City at the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria (KABV) Sustainable Cities Awards.
  • Councillor profile
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Western Australia.
  • Facing up to Facebook

    There is no debate that social networking is here to stay.
  • The humble two way radio changes the face of business*
    The way we do business continues to evolve as companies globally make the switch from analogue to digital technology to increase efficiency, cut costs, maintain safe work practices and better manage assets.
  • National parks and leisure conference
    You are invited to attend the Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) National Conference to be held in Darwin from 13 to 16 September 2009 at the Holiday Inn Esplanade.
  • Showcasing FOCUS winners
    At the 2009 National General Assembly in Canberra, Local Government FOCUS invited delegates to showcase their council’s achievements by entering our competition to win a full page feature for their council in 2010.
  • 'Walk along the beach’ the man said

    It was 1995, and the Federal Member for Gippsland, Peter McGauran, had invited local leaders and a handful of Federal and State officials to a forum at Orbost Golf Club. The aim was to identify initiatives to turn the economy around.
  • 1.5 million sporting passes towards good health
    In August this year, children participating in the Australian Sports Commission’s Active After-School Communities (AASC) program will be raising awareness of diabetes while improving their own fitness levels. Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease.
  • Mid Western Regional Council wins prestigious Australasian Management Challenge
    A team of young emerging leaders from Mid Western Regional Council in New South Wales has taken out the prestigious Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) Australasian Management Challenge, held in Melbourne in June.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Alderman Kerry Moir, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory.
  • Editorial: confidence vital to overcoming GFC
    On 25 June some 400 Mayors and Shire Presidents accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to meet at Parliament House for the second plenary meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG).
  • Nation building investment in local communities now tops $1 billion
    At the second meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) at Parliament House in Canberra on 25 June, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that a further $220 million will become available by the end of this year for community infrastructure projects, such as libraries, community centres, sportsgrounds and environmental infrastructure.

Feature: Financial Sustainability and Asset Management

  • National General Assembly Communiqué
    At the conclusion of this year’s National General Assembly delegates endorsed a Communiqué covering their key resolutions. The following is an abridged version.
  • Climate change – a risk management issue
    With significantly more papers received on climate change than either of the two other key conference streams, ALGA President, Councillor Geoff Lake, said it was appropriate that this issue was afforded the most time.
  • Putting Local Government before the big polluters
    In his address to the assembly, Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, said councils must be consulted more on the implementation of the Rudd Government’s climate change legislation.
  • Infrastructure spending financed by debt
    Leader of the National Party, Warren Truss, warned that while the Government’s infrastructure spending programs have boosted councils’ cash flow and enabled them to undertake some welcome community projects, it is one off funding financed by debt – all of which will have to be repaid by future governments.
  • Councils’ vital role along the road to recovery
    Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, said that for all three spheres of government the motivation and objectives as elected officials is the same, “to serve the Australian public as best we can”.
  • Constitutional recognition update
    “A key priority for Local Government is Constitutional recognition for Local Government,” said ALGA President Geoff Lake. “Such recognition would deliver pragmatic and effective change to how our three spheres of government can work together in the 21st century.”
  • Building a partnership based on respect
    Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, told delegates at the 15th National General Assembly of Local Government that governments are not judged on one off events but by the way they are able to change the social landscape that survives the electoral cycle.
  • Taking our place on the national stage
    President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Councillor Geoff Lake welcomed some 700 delegates to the National General Assembly of Local Governmentstaged in Canberra from 21 to 24 June.
  • MacDonald Johnston purchases Hook Lift and Skip Bin business*
    MacDonald Johnston is pleased to announce the purchase of the HaulMaster brand of Hook Lift and Skip Bin products from Lyco Innovations Pty Ltd.
  • Culvert problems solved by Uretek

    Road pavements quite often develop problems with depressions forming in the road surface either side of where culverts go under the roadway. In fact, big culvert areas can cause big problems for the road; sometimes known to locals as the ‘ski jump’!
  • Rich functionality designed specifically for the public sector*
    Infor knows the public sector market well, with over 2,000 municipalities and government agencies using its products globally.
  • Cover your assets*
    Managing underground assets is a vital issue for Local Government, and trenchless technology is an important option for council engineers to have in their toolbox.
  • Stabilised roads at stabilised costs*
    You told us you have high maintenance, unsealed roads that eat up money. Increased traffic and vehicle speeds are accelerating road degradation and increasing maintenance intervention.
  • Rockhampton’s annual road condition testing assists with maintenance task
    Rockhampton Regional Council is continuing to condition survey the region’s 1,492 kilometres of sealed streets and roads.
  • Cost effective road maintenance using local crews*
    Councils are making roads safer, saving money and protecting local jobs with a new contracting arrangement that enables them to bring in the most effective road repair technology, and a number of highly trained specialists, to work as part of a united team with their own staff.
  • Tourism levy for Sunshine Coast
    Located in southeast Queensland, Sunshine Coast Council has moved to safeguard the region’s financial futur
  • A holistic approach to asset management
    In upgrading, repairing and reassessing the need for some of its community halls over the last few years, George Town Council overhauled its entire asset management approach.
  • Emergency management planning for extreme weather events
    Councils large and small are taking a range of actions to deal with and reduce the effects of climate change.
  • Cartels, deterrence and detection
    Public sector procurement relies on vigorous competition to ensure that taxpayers and ratepayers get the best value for their money. A competitive market also encourages businesses to innovate, improve their efficiency and meet consumer needs.
  • New building asset management guidelines
    A new Practice Note for Condition Assessment and Performance Rating of Buildings has been launched by the National Asset Management Strategy Group (NAMS.AU) of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA).
  • New rate payment option for Dandenong residents
    Victoria’s Greater Dandenong Council has approved an alternative option for rates payments this financial year.
  • Hume wins gold at annual reporting awards
    In June, Hume City Council’s 2007/08 annual report took home a Gold Award in the Local Government category of the 2009 Australasian Reporting Association (ARA) Awards. This is the third consecutive year that Council has received this award.
  • SA councils maintaining financial discipline
    While other governments are slipping into deficit for the first time in a number of years, South Australian councils, in aggregate, achieved an operating surplus in 2007/08 according to State Budget Papers.
  • Future directions in financial sustainability
    An interview with Tim Butler, Director Corporate and Financial Services, Holroyd City Council, NSW