September 2009 Edition

  • Unique virtual link to international climate change policy
    Kingborough Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer and Tasmanian Girl Guide leader, Abyilene McGuire, recently represented Australia at a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) conference on climate change.
  • Green Jobs – of direct relevance to Local Government
    By Rod Brown*
    On 30 July, the Rudd Government announced 50,000 new green jobs and training opportunities to build a stronger and greener Australian economy.
  • Public lighting – reducing energy use and emissions
    By Bruce Rowse*
    Proven technology exists to more than halve public lighting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Right across Australia 80 watt mercury vapour street lights are used and are the predominant form of minor road lights. They can be easily recognised by the ‘flower pot’ type fitting, and are also used in the decorative light poles found in many new developments.
  • Central Desert Shire sees school attendance as vital in nurturing future leaders
    The Northern Territory’s Central Desert Shire Council will help boost school attendance by supporting only those sports carnivals that are held during the school holidays and on public holidays. Sponsorship, Shire managed sporting facilities and in kind support from Shire employees, such as sports and recreation officers, will only be available for events that take place over a long weekend or outside the school term.
  • ASC making sport more inclusive
    The twin themes of ‘active communication’ and ‘internal buy in’ are essential elements for success that resonate across all Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Community Sport programs. These range from Indigenous Sport and Disability Sport to All Cultures and Women and Sport, where ASC works with sports groups to make them accessible and increase participation.
  • 113th LGAQ Annual Conference: Planning and performance key to the future
    “Following the recent period of turbulence caused by both the global financial crisis and amalgamations, governments of every level, everywhere need perspective.”
  • Merging thoughts
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    Council revenues are likely to slump by more than £4 billion due to the recession according to a recent study. In a time of increasing demand for services this creates a ‘perfect storm’ that has to be weathered.
  • Healthy Spaces and Places: Minister launches landmark planning initiative
    Planning that prioritises walking, cycling and public transport ahead of motor cars is the centrepiece of ‘Healthy Spaces and Places’, a major national initiative, unveiled on Wednesday 12 August at the annual Built Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) Summit at Parliament House, Canberra.
  • Knox manager honoured for leadership
    Knox City Council’s Manager of Strategic and Economic Development, Kim Rawlings recently took out the inaugural ‘Sally Isaac Women in Local Government Leadership Award’ at this year’s LGPro awards.
  • 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.
  • Bosch Wireless Discussion Systems for council meetings*
    Whether the venue is large or small, multi use or historical, the Bosch DCN Wireless Discussion System offers councils unparalleled functionality and flexibility.
  • National funding to support local Barossa women through breast cancer treatment
    Local women in South Australia’s Barossa area undergoing treatment for breast cancer can now access a new and unique service courtesy of seeding grant funding from the Polo Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Campaign. This campaign is an international initiative that aims to address disparities in care for women with breast cancer.
  • IPAA Queensland opens awards to individuals
    For the first time, individuals within the public sector will be recognised for their achievements by the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Queensland inaugural Public Sector Excellence Awards.
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from Victoria.
  • WA council elections back in community control
    The potential for major political parties to manipulate Western Australian Local Government elections has been dealt a blow following legislation to return to the first past the post voting system being passed by the Western Australian Parliament in August.
  • Local Government must be involved in any road and transport tax reform
    President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Councillor Geoff Lake has signalled that Local Government wants to be closely involved in any future move to introduce user charges for travel on Australian roads.
  • Climate change data for sub regions
    With record high temperatures for August in northern New South Wales and south east Queensland, bushfires already on the south coast of New South Wales, the warmest winter on record for most of the southern regions of Australia and warnings of soaring temperatures and acute fire danger again this summer, whether you are a firm believer in climate change or a sceptic, extreme weather events – fires, floods or cyclones – are definitely happening around us.
  • Editorial: State/Local relations a mixed bag
    In this edition we are reporting on some mixed outcomes in respect of Local/State Government relations.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Genia McCaffery, President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales.
  • Partnership drives river health on NSW primary school curriculum
    A lack of specific primary school curriculum resources about the health of the Murray Darling Basin led the Murray Darling Association (MDA) to develop an extensive ongoing partnership project with a group of primary students.
  • Anyone for marbles?
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    A national economy is a mosaic of integrated regional economies. And these regional economies are essentially basins of attraction for private and public sector investments, that in turn drive economic activity and wealth.

Feature: Training and Professional Development

  • Balancing a healthy working life
    Glen Eira City Council takes a holistic approach to employee health, encompassing the social, physical and mental aspects of wellbeing and how work affects all three.
  • Tales of the unexpected
    A critical attribute of an employer of choice is the ability to notice and acknowledge the efforts of the people who make up the organisation.
  • Grooming for leadership
    Glen Eira City Council’s Manager Statutory Planning Mark Stanojevic remembers the day he started at Glen Eira more than 10 years ago.
  • We care about our carers
    “I have great work-life balance,” said Town Planning Assistant, Amanda Connolly. “I work part time with two children, roughly 20 hours a week in school hours. That enables me to drop my kids off at school every morning and I don’t work Fridays.
  • Developing great careers
    Glen Eira’s job secondment program provides opportunities for employees to act in higher level positions when a supervisor or manager is away and also to work in different departments from their own.
  • Star apprentice in training culture
    After 10 years working in hospitality Adrian Hewitt knew it was time to get out of the kitchen. “It was still a passion but I was working six and seven days a week and it was time to change direction,” he said.
  • A brighter green future
    The staff of Glen Eira City Council are keen to be green and do their bit to reduce Council’s environmental footprint. The offices all have recycling facilities for cans, paper, cardboard and printer cartridges and there is an eco-buy policy that includes recycled paper.
  • A sense of purpose
    Keeping employees happy, engaged and interested is paramount. The diversity of Council responsibility means there is a great diversity in the roles of Council officers.
  • Good to great – investing in people
    Glen Eira City Council takes an integrated and innovative approach to talent management in recognition of the contribution its people make to the success of the organisation. The ‘cycle of learning’ encouraged and facilitated by Council transcends the state of the economy and short term employment trends.
  • Stirling nurtures staff to meet strategic goals
    The City of Stirling is striving in its effort to become a learning organisation.?Having recently introduced a new performance management tool and a competency framework, the City is focusing its efforts on introducing a blended learning approach to development within the City.
  • Looking for apprentices or trainees?*
    Glen Eira City Council remains a high-investing, low cost and low rating Council.
  • Creating a winning workplace
    It is difficult to pinpoint an exact definition of ‘employer of choice’ as the components of what makes a workplace appealing are changing rapidly. However there is a common theme among the myriad interpretations – it represents the development of human capital.
  • Increase in financial assistance for employers of reservists
    Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, Dr Mike Kelly, has announced that employers of Defence Reservists who claim financial assistance through the Employer Support Payment Scheme will now receive more money.
  • Industry training resources – Easy Guides Australia*
    Learning how to stay safe can be as easy as reading a picture book. Easy Guides Australia Pty Ltd has developed a wide range of printed and electronic educational tools based on visual learning.
  • Meander Valley staff cycle towards healthier lifestyle
    Over the last two years, Meander Valley Council in Tasmania’s north has introduced a series of initiatives aimed at steering employees towards healthier lifestyles.
  • Recruiting young blood and retaining wise heads
    With the world rapidly changing and personal demands continually increasing, CEO of Brisbane City Council, Jude Munro, said organisational resilience can be built by increasing our understanding of each other’s situations.
  • Dubbo awarded for safety excellence
    Dubbo City Council is increasing staff awareness of safe driving and operating procedures and reducing vehicle damage and personal injury through its Safe Driving Policy.
  • 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.
  • Night Patrol Officers life saving training
    Armed with the difficult task of ensuring community safety and attending domestic disturbances and other incidents during the late hours of the night, it is crucial that Central Desert Shire’s Night Patrol Officers are up to date with training across a range of areas.
  • Playford harnesses aspiring leaders
    The City of Playford in Adelaide’s northern suburbs has just launched its Aspiring Leaders Development Program (ALDP).
  • WA elected members to be recognised as leaders in governance
    The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has developed a diploma designed specifically to meet the needs of elected members in Western Australia.
  • Contractors streamline Greater Dandenong immunisation process
    With an extensive community immunisation program in place, the City of Greater Dandenong has called on an external organisation to support its Environmental Health team of eight nurses
  • New infrastructure asset management course*
    The Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) and the University of Tasmania is offering a Graduate Certificate in Infrastructure Asset Management.
  • ACELG taking shape
    The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) expects to commence some activities almost immediately and be fully operational early in 2010.
  • Future directions in training and development
    An interview with Shane Crawford, Governance Manager, Devonport City Council, Tasmania
  • Training for Zero Harm
    Queensland’s Rockhampton Regional Council has developed an innovative behavioural management program. Implemented last March, the program reflects Council’s commitment to being a Zero Harm organisation, where the safety of employees, volunteers, contractors and the public is its first priority