July 2010 Edition

  • ACLG – the ultimate community cabinet meeting
    The third meeting of the Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) took place at Parliament House Canberra on 18 June. Over 400 Mayors and Shire Presidents from around the nation met with the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, various Ministers and a number of Parliamentary Secretaries.
  • Councils as supermarkets and corner shops

    Private and public sector organisations have always faced the pressures of achieving large volumes and standardisation for economy of scale, as against the diseconomies of small volumes from differentiation to meet local needs.
  • MAV pushes for greener street lighting
    The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is encouraging the State and Federal Governments to join with local councils and advocate a switch to energy efficient street lighting.
  • Pan Da the iconic Redland koala dies
    Koalas in the Redlands have suffered another blow with the death of Pan Da the Facebook koala, who was recently euthanised at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
  • Home Energy Audit Toolkit for Tas householders
    Many Tasmanian councils have made available Home Energy Audit Toolkits (HEAT) to provide residents with practical and affordable suggestions on how to save on energy use and bills.
  • Stirling developments on the rise
    The City of Stirling in metropolitan Perth is receiving record numbers of development applications, despite building applications falling 3.3 per cent nationally in February.
  • With education comes opportunity for women in Local Government
    As part of the Year of Women in Local Government, Indigo Training has decided to act and support this much needed and worthwhile initiative. The idea for a scholarship came about after Rum Charles, principal consultant of Indigo Training, gave a keynote address at the LG PAN conference in May 2010.
  • Women in Local Government
    It was only fitting that in this the Year of Women in Local Government, the National General Assembly of Local Government would include a forum on women in Local Government.
  • Warm water pool making waves
    Knox City Council in Melbourne’s southeast is literally making a splash, officially opening its long awaited warm water pool.
  • Thermal coating – cost effective insulation
    Climate Change Australia-Thermal Coatings (CCA-TC) was established by builders who recognised the potential of Thermoshield as an insulative coating.
  • Recognising LG’s high achievers
    At the 2010 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Adelaide, Local Government FOCUS invited delegates to nominate individuals or teams from their councils who are improving operations or enhancing service delivery for their local community.
  • Councillor Profiles
    Councillor Profiles is a regular feature. This month we feature two Councillors from the New South Wales.
  • Mayors for Peace
    By Teri Calder
    Mayors for Peace recently hosted a stand at the National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government for the second year running.
  • Canterbury improves access for all
    Canterbury City Council has introduced a new Development Control Plan (DCP) to improve access and mobility for residents with a disability.
  • Coffs has a bright future
    Home to the local art gallery and library, Coffs Harbour’s Rigby House will soon be adorned with a solar panelled roof as part of Council’s plans for a more sustainable future.
  • Engineering and accounting mentalities thwart infrastructure benefits

    Lyndsay Neilson, former Canberra and Victorian mandarin, recently provided our Cockatoo Network with some excellent insights on urban and regional infrastructure. He was the key architect of the very successful Better Cities Program in the 1990s, so his views are really worth noting.
  • Charles Sturt wins 2010 management challenge
    The final of the 2010 Australasian Management Challenge was held on 2 July.
  • Virtual playground for all abilities
    Children with a range of different abilities can now play in a virtual online playground launched by Gold Coast City Council 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 Northern Territory.
  • Editorial: Julia an inspiration to Australia’s women
    It has been an eventful couple of weeks in Federal politics, and likely, one that will stick in the minds of all Australians for years to come.
  • Australian Greens will push for constitutional recognition
    Senator Bob Brown told delegates that the Greens would lobby whichever party that wins the next election for a referendum to have Local Government recognised in the Australian Constitution.
  • Servicing a bigger population
    Leader of the Nationals and Shadow Minister for Trade, Transport and Local Government, Warren Truss, said that Local Government needs to occupy a key place in the population debate.
  • Opposition Leader pledges better funding deal for councils
    Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott was unable to attend the General Assembly due to a late interstate commitment, however his prepared speech was delivered on his behalf by Andrew Robb, Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction.
  • Climate change – communities want action
    Federal Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said that the themes of the National General Assembly are all relevant to tackling and adapting to climate change and that Local Government is key to these decisions.

Feature: Financial Sustainability & Asset Management

  • Unique airport rehabilitation*

    Many councils are responsible for maintaining the airport in their area.
  • Penrith monitoring water and energy use
    Penrith City Council is using a Data Management System (DMS) to monitor its water and energy usage. The DMS enables the western Sydney Council to save at least three weeks a year in data collection.
  • Trail links townships
    Baw Baw Shire Council has created the Two Towns trail linking the townships of Drouin and Warragul and encouraging walking and cycling as an active form of transport. The 7.5 kilometre trail is a fully sealed, three metre wide concrete path.
  • Data in. Brilliance out*
    There is a lot of information that councils want to and often must provide to the public. Websites are a great way for making that information available, but when it comes to ‘raw data’, it is often hard to know how to present it in accessible and meaningful ways.
  • APS is here to help you at tax time*
    Would you like to deal with a not for profit financial services provider? Are you sick of paying exorbitant fees for your taxation affairs? Are you interested in paying $90 for a single tax return? Then read on.
  • Redland budget reflects new thinking and financial direction
    The latest budget of Queensland’s Redland City Council reflects new thinking and a new direction for long term financial planning in the Redlands.
  • ESRI improves decision making for West Torrens*
    An effective GIS enables companies to combine geographic information with multiple other data sources to better understand business processes, assets and how the environment impacts their ability to complete work.
  • Ranger mountain bike patrols improving local law enforcement in Manly
    Manly Council rangers patrolling both on and off the streets on mountain bikes are becoming a familiar sight in Sydney’s popular beach resort area.
  • The next challenge

    Many public organisations have addressed ‘roads’ as their first priority in asset management planning. There are also significant investments in buildings.
  • Free asset management report for councils
    Did you know that insects are a major contributor to your annual maintenance budget?
  • Disaster recovery – a new normal
    Heading up the largest recovery and rebuilding program in Victoria’s history, the Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, Christine Nixon said that after a disaster such as the February 2009 bushfires, for many affected communities recovery means a new normal – in many respects things will never be the same again.
  • Sediment control – improving stormwater quality*
    Unsealed road networks can produce large amounts of sediment and a good proportion of this sediment will end up in our creeks and rivers. Once in our waterways it can cause environmental harm to plants and animals as well as lowering the overall quality of our water.
  • Royalties for Regions funding method under scrutiny
    The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) is reviewing the current funding method used to supply Royalties for Regions money to regional communities.
  • Moorabool youth Gettin’ Dirty
    Moorabool Shire Council in southwest Victoria is improving and maintaining its assets, while assisting ‘at risk’ youth to develop social and practical skills.
  • Qld calls for alternative road user pricing
    The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is calling for alternative road user pricing methods in the State.
  • Happy Scouting community following graffiti eradication*
    The First Alcheringa Scout Hall at Miranda in the southern suburbs of Sydney has seen plenty of action over the past 30 years, but recently it became the repeated target of graffiti vandals due to its isolated location in a busy reserve.
  • Future directions in asset management
    An interview with Andrew Ryan, Executive Director Infrastructure Services, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Queensland
  • Common service provision model a winner
    Pressures on Local Government in service delivery, increasing regulatory roles and the challenges of obtaining and maintaining high quality staff, ensure that councils must work together to draw on their collective knowledge and skills.
  • Climate change – communities want action
    Federal Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said that the themes of the National General Assembly are all relevant to tackling and adapting to climate change and that Local Government is key to these decisions.
  • Opposition Leader pledges better funding deal for councils
    Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott was unable to attend the General Assembly due to a late interstate commitment, however his prepared speech was delivered on his behalf by Andrew Robb, Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction.
  • Servicing a bigger population
    Leader of the Nationals and Shadow Minister for Trade, Transport and Local Government, Warren Truss, said that Local Government needs to occupy a key place in the population debate.
  • Australian Greens will push for constitutional recognition
    Senator Bob Brown told delegates that the Greens would lobby whichever party that wins the next election for a referendum to have Local Government recognised in the Australian Constitution.
  • Frontier Software bags gold*
    Frontier Software has again been voted Number One HR Technology Provider in Australia by Human Capital Magazine. This is the third year running that Frontier Software has been awarded this prize.