October 2009 Edition

  • Will councils cling or swim?

    The depth of the recession in the UK has had a major impact on the private sector and undermined the ability of councils to provide the full range of Local Government services. Councils have had to rethink which services they really want to maintain, how they are to be funded and the roles that they can fulfil.
  • 2020 view of service delivery
    Speaking at the recent Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) International Conference in Melbourne, Lloyd Arnott, Advisory Development Leader – Asia Pacific at Aurecon Australia Pty Ltd said that over the next decade for a council to keep pace with ever increasing community demands
  • Voluntary reform moves in WA
    Four of Western Australia’s Mid West shires have become the first to agree to a voluntary amalgamation. Mingenew, Three Springs, Morawa and Perenjori Shires have agreed to merge and form one Council.
  • What will make zero net energy office buildings affordable and common place by 2020?

    A zero net energy office building is one that consumes no net energy. It is an office that uses very little energy and has some form of renewable energy onsite to generate all?the power it requires.
  • HR evolution – responding to a changing world
    Right across Australia, Local Government is facing unprecedented challenges – climate change, global financial crisis, labour and skill shortages.
  • Disgruntled employees a ticking time bomb
    The global financial crisis has had a severe and divisive impact on the sentiment of the workforce in Australia and New Zealand, according to extensive research released in August by Hudson – a provider of specialist recruitment, talent management and managed services.
  • Rockhampton managers leading Central Queensland
    Rockhampton Regional Council is applauding loudly and proudly two of its managers who were selected as the Professional Manager of the Year and the Young Manager of the Year in the Australian Institute of Management’s (AIM) Management Excellence Awards for Central Queensland in September.
  • Climate change impact on infrastructure
    Speaking at the recent Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia conference in Melbourne, Dr Tony Press, CEO of Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, provided a prognosis on the current science concerning climate change.
  • Water Innovation – challenging the drought
    With the theme ‘Water Innovation – challenging the drought’, the Murray Darling Association’s (MDA) 65th Annual Conference highlighted that with shrinking water resources across the Murray Darling Basin, we need to do more to use less.
  • One small step for the planet, one giant leap for McKinlay
    McKinlay Shire Council in northern Queensland has purchased a Toyota Prius.
  • Melville’s continued improvement keeps residents happy
    The City of Melville has released the results of its Community Wellbeing Survey 2009, which show that 96 per cent of respondents are satisfied with their overall quality of life in the City, and 94 per cent are proud to live in the area.
  • Management excellence awards in NSW
    The Local Government Managers Australia NSW 2009 Excellence Awards were announced at its Annual Conference dinner on 16 September.
  • Engineers play a vital role in sustainable recovery
    With the aim of sharing and learning, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) conference attracted a wide range of international delegates, representing Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, South Africa, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, the Netherlands and the Solomon Islands.
  • Editorial: Skills shortage set to return
    Governments, economists and other key policy players are now largely agreed that Australia has avoided recession. We have weathered the global financial crisis far better than most other nations, but as more buoyant times return, along with the inevitability of rising interest rates, comes the return of our skills shortage.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Rose Iser, President of the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA).
  • Queensland councils still waiting for State Government funding
    President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), Councillor Paul Bell, has called on the Queensland Government to provide what he believes is overdue financial support.
  • Kiama Municipality celebrates 150 years
    The Municipality of Kiama recently celebrated its 150th Anniversary with a number of celebratory events for residents and visitors.
  • Battle of the bugs: give creepy crawlies an eco goodbye*
    With summer almost here, light balmy nights, scorching hot days and weekends spent cooking on the barbie are sure to bring unwanted intruders.
  • Hurstville celebrates dedicated staff and local emergency workers
    Hurstville Mayor Vince Badalati recently paid tribute to 16 emergency service workers and Council staff for going beyond the call of duty.
  • Victor Harbor – value adding to an ageing population
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    Last month in this column I mused about how local communities might attract business and government marbles rolling around the landscape.
  • Take steps to improve the health of your local community*.
    The Heart Foundation is calling on councils throughout Australia to put on their walking shoes and take steps to help improve the health of their communities by encouraging them to participate in Heart Foundation Walking Day on Sunday 1 November
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from South Australia.
  • Campbelltown steps up OHS commitment
    Located in southwestern Sydney, Campbelltown City Council is self insured for Workers Compensation and has a strong commitment to ensuring its staff work in a safe manner in the workplace and at home.
  • 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 two more of our high achievers for 2009.

Feature: Best Practice

  • Wins all round with Environmental Levy
    Council introduced an Environmental Levy (EL) 11 years ago, to provide the funds needed to attract grants funding and to allow community groups to undertake a wide range of environmental restoration works
  • Landfill gas extraction and flare system to provide energy
    As part of its recycle and reuse philosophy, Coffs Harbour City Council has invested in the construction of a Landfill Gas Extraction and Flare System at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Park.
  • VoIP and fibre optic cable
    In addition to selling technological innovation, Coffs Harbour City Council uses it to achieve major savings.
  • Waste management strategies
    Coffs Harbour City Council is at the forefront of Local Government waste management strategies. The basis of its strategy is a partnership with private enterprise and the neighbouring Bellingen and Nambucca Shire Councils to provide a state of the art resource recovery system for the Coffs Coast community.
  • Technological invention creates income
    Coffs Harbour City Council’s well earned reputation for innovation and skill has also been translated into income for the city.
  • A first for Coffs Coast
    In a first for the Coffs Coast, Coffs Harbour City Council has undertaken a pioneering approach to urban stormwater management.
  • $96 million water reclamation plant
    ‘World class’ is how Coffs Harbour’s new $96 million Water Reclamation Plant was described by NSW Minister for Water, Phillip Costa, when he officially opened the facility in July this year with Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Keith Rhoades.
  • New Water Filtration Plant to provide reliable water supply
    Coffs Harbour City Council also opened its new $60 million Water Filtration Plant in 2009.
  • Delivering state of the art infrastructure
    In the 1990s, increasing pressure for coastal development, heightened community environmental consciousness and inadequate vital infrastructure became the catalysts for significant advances in Coffs Harbour City Council’s strategic planning for the city’s future.
  • Economy takes off with the Airport
    The development of Coffs Harbour Regional Airport is acknowledged as the driving force behind the area’s economic growth in recent years.
  • Heritage building set straight by Uretek*
    St Clair, one of Goulburn’s oldest homesteads, was in a sorry state. This large 1800s heritage house on brick wall footings had sunk into the ground.
  • Heritage building set straight by Uretek*
    Coffs Harbour City Council provides services and strategic direction for a thriving city of around 70,000 people on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales.
  • Leadership and management excellence award
    Coffs Harbour City Council’s expertise in growing the region’s economy, its community and the essential services necessary for sustainable development was recognised recently when it won the Local Government Managers Association (LGMA) Building NSW Regions Award 2009.
  • Versatile Australian innovation for unsealed roads*
    Polycom Stabilising Aid is fast being adopted as the best practice method for unsealed road management. Local Governments around the country are embracing Delete the Re-Sheet.
  • Inhouse building services buck the trend
    Victorian Building Commission figures show that Hepburn Shire Council’s ‘in house’ building services are among the most popular in the State.
  • Community market gardens skill up West Arnhem
    Located at the top of the Northern Territory, West Arnhem Shire Council has initiated a three year training program to establish market gardens in its com­munities of Gunbalanya, Warruwi and Minjalang.
  • Noxious weeds management
    In its quest for a more strategic approach to noxious weed management, Liverpool Plains Shire Council has developed the Tr@ceR Weeds Mobile Mapping program.
  • Artificial olfaction catches graffiti vandals in the act

    It may not be the most prestigious application of artificial olfaction, but sniffing spraypaint and ink is proving to be highly appreciated by Australian councils, property owners and the wider community.
  • Clarence tracks and trails promote active living
    The City of Clarence in Tasmania’s southeast has been recognised for best practice in heart health for its Tracks and Trails Action Plan
  • Barossa droughtproofs vineyards
    Each year, Barossa grape growers will now have access to 265 megalitres of treated wastewater for vineyard irrigation under a landmark partnership launched in August by Federal Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong.
  • Best practice in copyright management*
    A Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licence gives businesses peace of mind when they use copyright materials – knowing they’re minimising the risk of copyright infringement and doing the right thing by copyright holders.
  • Launceston buses made safer
    A recent survey has found that passengers are feeling safer when travelling on Metro buses in Launceston.
  • Tracking a course for financial sustainability
    Speaking at the recent Local Government Managers Australia NSW 100th Annual Conference, Professor Percy Allan said that Australian Local Government is operating from a position where its total expenditure per head is much smaller than that of comparable developed nations.
  • Adelaide to install charging point for electric cars
    Adelaide City Council is offering to install green powered recharging stations for drivers of electric cars.