July 2011 Edition

  • Registry for jobs at Whitehorse
    Whitehorse City Council has launched an innovative new recruitment system that makes job searching easier and helps it to find the right person for the role.
  • New ways of thinking...a national approach to workforce development
    Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA), on behalf of the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government, is about to commence work on a National Local Government Workforce Strategy.
  • Healthy Communities Initiative Local Government Area grants - Call for applications
    To promote healthy living at the community level, the Australian Government is providing up to $71.8 million over four years from 2009/10 through the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) under the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.
  • Recognising LG's high achievers
    At the recent National General Assembly of Local Government held in Canberra, 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.
  • New Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre opened
    If smiles on the faces of 2000 swim fans at the recent opening of the $19 million Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre were any indication, this project has been a splashing success.
  • New project funding model integrates Council software
    Many software packages are developed independent of each other and Local Governments often inherit a mish mash of packages that operate on different systems, don't talk to each other and generally drive down efficiency.
  • Future proofing Tas councils to better adapt to climate change
    Southern Tasmanian councils will be able to identify risks, assess their vulnerability to the effects of climate change and plan accordingly, following the announcement of the Future Proofing Tasmania's Councils project by the State Climate Change Minister Nick McKim.
  • Councils urged to tap into regional development funding
    Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean said that in spite of Australia's strong terms of trade, our high dollar and skills shortage are creating a patchwork effect.
  • Innovating assets - The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    Housing demand far outstrips its supply. This imbalance increases the price of housing and often reduces the ability of local people to access it to meet their needs. Therefore, councils in the United Kingdom have to encourage the supply of affordable housing and help to secure access to it for local people in housing need.
  • Urban policy details decade of action - partnerships now crucial
    The Chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) and Lord Mayor of Hobart, Alderman Rob Valentine has given a cautious welcome to the National Urban Policy released by the Federal Government. Providing a framework to guide the development of Australia's 18 biggest cities, 'Our Cities, Our Future' defines an ongoing role for the Federal Government in Australia's cities.
  • Recognising councils' top performers
    At the recent National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra, Local Government FOCUS invited delegates to nominate staff members or teams from their council who are excelling in their professional field by improving their council's operations and enhancing services for their community. Similar to previous years, we received a range of quality entries and would like to thank delegates who submitted nominations.
  • Councillor profiles
    This month we feature two councillors from Tasmania.
  • Communities could be in the dark following WA power hike
    Street lights could be switched off across Western Australia as Local Government protests about a massive increase in electricity charges.
  • Best Practice Guide for councils preparing for NBN rollout
    The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a key initiative for the Commonwealth Government and the NBN Co has been tasked to build the network. To assist in creating a platform for the delivery of high speed broadband to families and businesses throughout Australia, NBN Co is seeking assistance from Local Governments to expedite the rollout while protecting local amenity.
  • Cooktown: A different type of zoo - The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    With the strong dollar, inbound tourism into Cairns is pretty grim. You have to feel sorry for the shopkeepers and restaurant owners.
  • Constitutional recognition gains momentum
    Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President, Councillor Genia McCaffery, said that the Constitutional recognition project is the biggest ever taken on by the Association.Speaking at the recent National General Assembly of Local Government, staged in Canberra from 19-22 June, she told delegates that ALGA needs all councils to be "on board and on message with no deviations".
  • 2011 National General Assembly of Local Government
    The 2011 National General Assembly of Local Government was staged in Canberra from 19-22 June. With over 900 delegates from councils across the nation, this was the largest turn out yet to this key annual event on the Local Government calendar.
  • PM launches plan for 'a clean energy future'
    Following the Multi Party Climate Change Committee's agreement on a plan to reduce carbon pollution, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the long anticipated package on 10 July. She said that this will enable Australia to seize a clean energy future and build on it.
  • Perth signs up for carbon offset
    The City of Perth will be planting another 85,000 trees in rural Western Australia in the next phase of its carbon offset program. The program is aimed at offsetting some of the greenhouse gases that are generated by vehicles being driven to and from the city.
  • Editorial
    It is time for concerted action on Constitutional recognition of Local Government. In April 2009, the High Court rejected an appeal by Bryan Pape concerning the validity of economic stimulus grants. Although dismissed, this case threw doubt on the ability of the Commonwealth Government to fund Local Government directly.
  • 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 (LGANT).

Feature: Financial Sustainability & Asset Management

  • Implications for Local Government from Henry Tax Review
    The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) has published a new Working Paper called The Henry Review of Australia's Future Tax System: The Implications for Local Government. It was released to coincide with the National General Assembly of Local Government held in Canberra last month.
  • National award for asset and financial management for Kangaroo Island
    Kangaroo Island Council is now recognised as one of the leading small councils in the field of asset and financial management after it was category winner in the National awards for Local Government.
  • Boroondara tops annual report awards
    Boroondara City Council has beaten some of Australia's major corporations, not for profit and public sector organisations to win a premier award for its 2009–10 Annual Report.
  • Novated car leasing aids recruiting and retaining staff*
    There's one thing that fleet management and salary packaging companies have in common – novated car leasing. So it makes sense to find one supplier that has the knowledge and expertise to manage an organisations fleet, novated leasing and other salary packaging needs.
  • Future directions in financial sustainability & asset management
    An interview with Gregory Davoren, Deputy General Manager, Brighton Council, Tasmania
  • Long term financial plan charts a successful course
    A long term financial plan has begun to gain results for Mount Alexander Shire in Victoria. Mount Alexander Shire Council first adopted a Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) in 2003 setting guiding principles and strategies for it to improve its financial sustainability over a 15 year timeframe.
  • Coastal councils assets at risk
    Shoalhaven is among the coastal NSW Local Governments that will be substantially affected when sea levels rise due to climate change. It is predicated that up to 344 kilometres of roads, 20 kilometres of railway line and 95 commercial buildings will be affected in the municipality.
  • Asset management for small, rural or remote communities
    A new nationally consistent approach for Asset Management Planning has been developed to help rural and remote councils with low populations and limited resources to embrace effective asset management. Asset Management for Small, Rural or Remote Communities (AM4SRRC),was released in June.
  • IPWEA presents two conferences in one
    The IPWEA International Public Works Conference, in Canberra on 21–25 August, is the largest civil engineering and public works conference held in Australia.
  • Best practice in asset management
    The eighth national Local Government Asset Management Conference was held in Melbourne in May. As well as attracting delegations from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, once again this event attracted asset managers and elected members from councils around the nation.
  • Pavement stabilisation*
    Stabilising pavements with PolyCom Stabilising Aid delivers comparable results to traditional stabilising methods with regard to strength but also imparts a high degree of water resistance and all important flexibility.
  • Refining the processing of asset data
    ADAC provides asset management solutions - By Adam Hain*

    'Asset management' and 'sustainability' are words frequently heard in Local Government and public works organisations throughout Australia. The last decade has seen a general awakening on the accurate measurement of assets, and alongside this we have seen the rise of associated GIS technology and software to assist industry in attaining these critical goals and objectives.
  • Budget consultation a first for Launceston
    In a first for Tasmanian Local Government, Launceston residents were able to have their say on how Council's budget should be shaped before being adopted. The Council has changed its process and will now consult the community before setting the 2011/12 Annual Budget.
  • Council swimming pool lifted and re-levelled* n
    The town of Monto in North Burnett Regional Council in Queensland has a public swimming pool 25 meters long. The pool had sunk into the ground by up to 200 mm toward the deep end.
  • Risk in an asset's lifecycle - By John Hunter*
    Risk and asset management commences during an asset's pre acquisition lifecycle phase, that is the concept, design, procure, construct, commissioning and handover activities, rather than when an asset is handed over.
  • Financial sustainability for coastal councils
    Australia's coastal councils are developing a policy framework aimed at achieving a sustainable future for the nation's coastal environment and its communities. The policy is an initiative of the National Sea Change Taskforce of which the Shire of Busselton is a member. This organisation has been formed to represent the interests of coastal councils across Australia.