March 2010 Edition

  • WA councils reject State Government focus on amalgamation
    Western Australian councils have rejected the State Government’s rigid focus on amalgamations as the only solution for Local Government reform.
  • Streamline before partnering

    Based upon an idea I wrote about in an English Local Government publication, a national project was initiated.
  • Discovering the Silver Lining
    Victorian Minister for Local Government Richard Wynne said the theme of the 2010 Local Government Professionals (LGPro) Conference, ‘Discovering the Silver Lining’, was fitting, as councils have come a long way in the last 12 months.
  • Cockburn scores planning awards trifecta
    Western Australia’s City of Cockburn was recently recognised at the annual Planning Institute of Australia (WA Division) Awards for Planning Excellence, scoring honours in three categories.
  • Central Desert wins review of Local Government electoral system
    Lobbying for an overhaul of the Northern Territory’s Local Government electoral system has paid off for Central Desert Shire Council in record time.
  • Bendigo to host national conference on the place of the child in community building
    As part of its ongoing commitment to be child friendly, the City of Greater Bendigo is holding a national one day conference featuring an impressive list of speakers at The Capital Performing Arts Centre on Thursday 15 April 2010.
  • Rockhampton region – real, relevant, rewarding
    Don’t just dream about a tropical winter in sunny Central Queensland – register now to be inspired and challenged at the Sister Cities Australia (SCA) 2010 National Conference in the Rockhampton Region from 11 to 14 July.
  • Innovative teamwork saves water
    A landmark venture between Knox City Council and an international company is breaking new ground in council and community partnerships, while saving millions of litres of water along the way.
  • West Tamar
    West Tamar Council is a dynamic council situated in the beautiful Tamar Valley in northern Tasmania. By Tasmanian standards, it is a medium size council with approximately 22,000 residents.
  • Logan City is on the move
    A partnership between Queensland’s Logan City Council and Yellow Cabs will see the benefits and opportunities of Logan spread far and wide.
  • Remote monitoring saves time and costs for councils*
    As the costs associated with monitoring remote assets and situations that fall under Local Government responsibility increase, councils are looking for ways of saving staff time and vehicle expenses.
  • Launceston tool kit assists event organisers
    Launceston City Council has unveiled a new Event Tool Kit to assist organisers at all levels of experience to plan and stage a successful event. The kit is one of many initiatives Council has implemented to develop and support a dynamic calendar of events for residents and visitors to the city.
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from the Western Australia.
  • Got a message? Then have the ‘Pole Dancer’ deliver it!*
    The ‘word on the street’ is that sign poles can easily be converted into brochure holders with the Info-Central’s new ‘Pole Dancer DL Twin’.
  • Fire safety training for Snowy River staff
    With the everyday threat of fires in the workplace, Snowy River Shire Council recently engaged the Rural Fire Service (New South Wales) to deliver a fire safety training session for staff.
  • Left and right brainers

    Paul Keating used to take every opportunity to label Joe Hockey a dill. Joe has since proved to be anything but.
  • Maranoa introduces policy to recognise volunteers formally
    Kev Wilson enjoys meeting different people in his role as conductor of the Big Rig Train in Roma, Queensland, and Margaret Edwards sees time
  • Councils combat discrimination
    In the lead up to Harmony Day on 21 March, Local Governments in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia have received over $230,000 under the Diverse Australia Program.
  • ALGA President to address National Press Club
    On Wednesday 31 March, ALGA President Councillor Geoff Lake will address the National Press Club (NPC) in Canberra from 11.45am to 1.30pm.
  • Editorial: socialising with residents via modern technology
    Recent Nielsen research that found Australians are the world’s most prolific users of social media highlights the importance of councils including technology in their communications mix.

  • There’s something about country style
    The Liverpool Plains is one of those places that subtly catch your attention with a mixture of mountains and rich agricultural plains.
  • Recycling Kamilaroi style
    Merinda Recyclers Pty Ltd, a division of Quirindi Aboriginal Corporation, is starting to forge ahead at its new facility at the Liverpool Plains Shire Council landfill site in Quirindi.
  • Regenesis
    The Regenesis project is a three year project that aims to promote the establishment of local native trees, shrubs and grasses to achieve the twin objectives of sequestering atmospheric carbon and improving biodiversity within the Liverpool Plains Shire.
  • Regional water supply concept

    With the amalgamation of Local Government areas in the northwest of NSW creating the new Liverpool Plains Shire Council in mid 2004, new opportunities to better utilise existing assets were quickly explored.
  • Tourism initiatives
    The Liverpool Plains Shire Council has strategic alliances with New England and Northwest Tourism. The Shire has taken the lead in developing the regional marketing plan and actively exhibits at consumer shows promoting the area.
  • Tr@ceR Mobile Mapping
    Council’s inhouse developed, Tr@ceR Mobile Mapping Program recently won the prestigious National Local Government Award for Innovation in Natural Resource Management.
  • The Tr@ceR EDMS journey
    The old adage ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ certainly holds true at Liverpool Plains Shire Council and the Tr@ceR EDMS program is testament to this. Council had been considering the idea of purchasing an off the shelf electronic document management system (EDMS) for ten years or more without success.
  • Councils to be recognised for mobile phone recycling efforts
    Since the 2004 creation of Liverpool Plains Shire Council the organisation has been successful in winning 23 state and national awards covering many facets of Council’s activities, including tourism, information and technology, management, the environment, economic development and culture.

Feature: Information Technology and Communications

  • Connecting young residents
    Located on the urban rural fringe 20 kilometres northwest of Melbourne, Hume City Council is assisting its younger residents in their educational development and helping them to stay connected with the global world through an innovative PC Award program.
  • Councils to be recognised for mobile phone recycling efforts
    MobileMuster, the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry, is calling on local councils who have helped promote and collect mobile phones for recycling over the last year to enter the 2010 MobileMuster Local Government Awards.
  • Easing the pressure behind big systems upgrades

    A frustrated member of an executive leadership team recently threw his hands into the air and sarcastically lamented, “…we are the Kings of dormant data”!
  • Increasing focus on Greening ICT
    With our reliance on ICT ever increasing, and the cost of ICT energy beginning to outweigh equipment costs, it is more crucial than ever for organisations to focus on ‘Greening ICT’.
  • Creative MOU provides IT expertise for three regional shires
    Three Western Australian councils are in their sixth year of sharing IT staff and other IT resources, under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that is providing expert services, cost efficiencies and consistency across the region.
  • Satellite technology connecting remote Indigenous communities
    Latest technology, solar powered, satellite savvy phones will be installed free of charge in up to 300 remote Indigenous communities between 2009 and 2012 under the Federal Government’s Indigenous Communications Program (ICP).
  • New technology for Fraser Coast libraries
    Library users and staff in Queensland’s Fraser Coast Regional Council area are experiencing improved services with the introduction last September of new technology in all of the region’s five library branches.
  • Digital television switchover could leave some rural communities in the dark
    From 30 June 2010, Australia will gradually begin switching off the analogue TV signal, making way for digital transmissions.
  • Cities actually winning the war against graffiti*
    Cities and Shires are realising that past, traditional methods of graffiti abatement are not beating graffiti but simply coping with the aftermath.
  • Shire of Gwydir in NSW looks to benefits of Authority*
    Gwydir Shire Council in north western NSW is anticipating working more efficiently, giving residents access via the Internet and having a failsafe disaster recovery setup after agreeing to implement Civica’s Authority enterprise software application.
  • Fast, reliable and cost effective telecommunications*
    A fast and effective telecommunications system is a vital part of any local council’s infrastructure, providing connectivity between council offices and local facilities, including libraries and council depots; enabling voice and internet connection; as well as the transfer of data between council sites.
  • ICT savings for Victorian councils
    The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) recently announced that Telstra will deliver significant cost savings to Local Government over the next three years through group purchasing of telecommunications services.
  • Partnership program connects the coast
    Southeast Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Regional Council has partnered with a range of stakeholders and other spheres of government to deliver high speed, competitively priced broadband services to the region.
  • More cameras – safer suburbs
    South East Queensland’s Moreton Bay Regional Council is using funds from the Federal Government to upgrade and expand its closed circuit television (CCTV) technology and public lighting.
  • Future directions in ICT
    An interview with Neill Hocking, Director Infrastructure and Technology, City of Whittlesea, Victoria
  • Burwood uses hi tech to enhance community safety
    Over the last 12 months, New South Wales’ Burwood Council has rolled out a complex program of CCTV cameras and urban lighting that is proving extremely successful and becoming the benchmark for all neighbouring councils in the Inner West of Sydney.
  • Social media – an engaging proposition for councils*
    Recent statistics suggest that social media, far from being a passing fad, continues to increase in popularity with Australian internet users.