September 2011 Edition

  • Willoughby wins Green Globe sustainability award
    Willoughby City Council has been named winner of the Local Government Sustainability Award at the recent 2011 Green Globe Awards. The award recognises its achievements and strong commitment to sustainability in all its key planning documents and initiatives.
  • 2011 National Local Roads and Transport Congress heads to Mount Gambier
    This year's National Local Roads and Transport Congress to be held in Mount Gambier, South Australia, from 16 to 18 November will have a focus on road safety. The Congress will be sending the message that 'Better Roads are Safer Roads' and will include the launch of the Australian Local Government Association's campaign to renew the Roads to Recovery program; the primary source of Federal Government funding for local roads.
  • Launceston historic renovations score major awards
    Two major renovations of historic buildings operated by Launceston Council have won different sections at the Master Builders Tasmania Excellence Awards in 2011.
  • Seminar on graffiti cost reduction reveals black hole in public purse
    There is a black hole in council budgets across New South Wales that is sucking in valuable resources that could be spent in better ways. The true cost of graffiti vandalism and what to do about it was the topic of a seminar attended by NSW council representatives in Sydney on 18 August at The Australian Technology Park. The Seminar was hosted by ATP Innovations Pty Ltd and sponsored by E-Nose Pty Ltd.
  • Recognising LG's high achievers
    At the 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.
  • The importance of organisational sustainability in LG*
    Achieving organisational sustainability has been a key focus of Local Government in recent years.Building sustainability is achieved by embedding targeted organisational practices that deliver significant benefits.
  • Councillor profiles
    This month we feature two councillors from South Australia.
  • Councillor recognised for dedication to the Derwent Valley community
    Derwent Valley Councillor Judy Bromfield has been recognised for her lifetime of dedicated service to Tasmanian Local Government, winning the inaugural Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) Life Members Award for Meritorious Service. Councillor Bromfield has served continuously on the Derwent Valley Council since 1991 and has gained a reputation as an innovative and passionate advocate for the region and its community.
  • Indigenous councils have a key role in addressing disadvantage
    Queensland's 17 Indigenous local councils should have a key role in coordinating efforts to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage, according to the Local Government Association of Queensland, (LGAQ).
  • Green councils launch 50th climate change case study
    A project that has resulted in the planting of more than 220,000 native trees across 33 forests has become the 50th case study in addressing climate change to be launched on the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) Climate Change Action Pack website.
  • Award for Brisbane GIS for work during floods
    The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) and the Brisbane City Council were presented with a Special Achievement in Geographic Information System Award at the annual Esri International User Conference in San Diego.
  • A shadow of an industry policy - The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    Well the Dries are out in force, selling the manufacturing sector down the river. John Button, the peerless industry Minister of the Hawke/Keating days, would be turning in his grave. Ross Gittins (Economics Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald) is a typical example - he postulates that we don't have a transitory commodity boom like we've experienced many times before.
  • Editorial
    Recruiting and maintaining staff is never an easy exercise, but for Local Government it will become more and more important over the next ten years.
  • President's comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. The following is from Councillor Ray Donald, President of the Shires Association of New South Wales.
  • Councils address the skills shortage
    Local Governments need to broaden their horizons and look overseas for new talent to deal with skills shortages according to the Western Australia Local Government Association's human resources consulting body Workplace Solutions.

Feature: Training and Professional Development

  • Learning from the riots - The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley*
    In August, television news showed pictures of rioters in English cities. It was a shocking short period of criminal unrest by a minority of individuals. Many millions of pounds of damage was done to property. Looting was prevalent and focused on consumer goods such as phones and computers.
  • Studying law at ANU College of Law*
    Legal knowledge is one of many tools that can be used to help to make a difference in people's lives. It helps professionals to understand the way that activities are regulated and the way that governments manage public affairs and is a sound basis for any number of different careers.
  • Mid Western Regional Council wins top national award for mentoring women
    A mentoring and training program developed by a team of women at Mid Western Regional Council has taken top honours in the Federal Government's 2011 National Awards for Excellence in Local Government. It won the National Award for Excellence for a small Council of under 15,000 rateable properties and the Women in Local Government category.
  • Members of Expert Panel announced
    Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President Genia McCaffery and President of the Australian Local Government Association of Queensland, Mayor Paul Bell, are among the 18 members of the independent Expert Panel established to progress the recognition of Local Government in the Australian Constitution.
  • Funding agreement for libraries in Victoria and South Australia
    South Australian Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts John Hill and Local Government Association President Mayor Kym McHugh have signed an agreement to fund public libraries for a decade. The agreement secures more than $185 million in State subsidy for public libraries, with councils expected to invest more than $570 million over the same period.
  • Learn to use data with a little help from the ABS*
    Ever found yourself thinking, 'Okay, I've got all this data. Now what do I do with it?' Well, the Australian Bureau of Statistics can help.
  • Training and professional development takes pride of place in Ryde
    Ryde City Council has developed a robust process to nurture and support organisational and individual performance, according to its HR Manager Melissa Attia. She said the aim is to strengthen Council's capacity as an organisation, and enhance its reputation as an employer of choice.
  • Holroyd Council wins women in Local Government award
    Support for women working in Local Government was the key reason for Holroyd Council's Human Resources Manager Helen Connell winning the 2011 Women in Local Government Award for a non senior staff member in a metropolitan council in New South Wales.
  • Moonee Valley staff ready to ACT
    Moonee Valley City Council's 900 staff are all aboard the train for ACT. They are not headed for Canberra as their final destination is outstanding results in ACT - Accountability, Customer service and Teamwork.
  • Victoria shares lessons learned from Black Saturday with Tasmanian councils
    Tasmanian councils were given an invaluable insight into managing natural disaster relief and recovery, hearing some of the lessons learned from Black Saturday in Victoria in 2009 at the Local Government Association of Tasmania Annual Conference.
  • Dallas wins State award for Coffs Harbour
    Coffs Harbour City Council Trainee Dallas Gittins has been named as this year's New South Wales winner of the Business Services Award.
  • Swan Hill inaugural work experience program a success
    Swan Hill Rural City Council's new work experience program is already showing signs of being a great success with 29 students taking up the opportunity to experience the working week across various areas of Council.
  • Learning about social media in Tasmania
    Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the terms that are common to anyone using social media and they are terms that people in Local Government need to embrace. Font Public Relations has been developing training courses for Councillors and people working in Local Government in the use of social media.
  • Leadership for Local Government managers*
    With accreditation from the world’s most influential accrediting bodies, a top 100 ranking from The Economist for its MBA program, and a top 50 ranking from the Financial Times for corporate education, the University of Queensland Business School ranks amongst the global elite.
  • APS Benefits delivers for LG members*
    The Australian Public Service Benevolent Society (APS Benefits) is a not for profit organisation providing a wide range of services to all members of and contractors to Local Government, as well as their family and friends.
  • Rockhampton wins employer award
    In a competitive market where many employers are finding it difficult to attract and retain a skilled workforce, Rockhampton Regional Council is setting trends.Rockhampton is one of the region's largest employers, with more than 1,200 staff.
  • Boroondara masters staff development
    The City of Boroondara, in Melbourne's inner east, is giving its staff the edge by joining with a local university to offer an exciting masters scholarship program. Joining with Swinburne University, which is located within the City, Council staff have the opportunity to attain a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Management (Strategic Foresight) degree through the Swinburne-Boroondara Scholarship.
  • Making the best impression at both work and play*
    Councils, organisations and business all have something in common - they need to stand out from the background and have a clear visual identity. Being visible and being identifiable comes down to the right outfit, and when building team spirit, clothing and accessories really enhance the bonding.
  • Training needs analysis tool
    Speaking at the recent International Public Works Conference in Canberra, Paul Humphreys, Manager Workforce Planning and Development at Skills DMC, said that with the Minerals Councils of Australia predicting the need for an additional 86,000 people, the public sector will continue to face major difficulties competing against the higher wages that resource companies can offer.
  • Future leaders graduate at Cardinia
    A Local Government program to allow students to build on their existing leadership abilities and develop other life skills has recently held its graduation ceremony. Twenty students from ten secondary schools in Cardinia Shire completed Council's 2011 Young Leaders program in August.
  • Performance appraisal online at Joondalup
    The City of Joondalup in Western Australia has launched a new online Performance Appraisal system. Joondalup is located about 25 kilometres north of Perth's CBD and an area of 97 square kilometres.
  • Technical skills training delivered to your desk*
    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. A unique and targeted educational offering is provided by the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE).
  • Investment in training makes good business sense*
    The Australian Commercial Disputes Centre (ACDC), the training and professional development service of the Australian International Disputes Centre, offers a range of best practice courses to manage all types of conflict, complaints and grievances.
  • Revitalised training in NE Vic
    A revamped regional training initiative is now bearing fruit in North Eastern Victoria. The North East Regional Development Scheme (NERDS) is made up of 11 North East Councils - Alpine, Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, Mitchell, Moira, Shepparton, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga - and North East Region Water Authority.
  • New Local Government online knowledge resource now live
    A new online, interactive forum known as IKEN - the Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Network is set to act as a clearing house for innovation and to promote the adoption of best practice within Local Government.
  • Local Government recruitment specialist*
    With a loyal client base of over 25 local councils across metropolitan New South Wales that they have been servicing in excess of ten years, SCO Recruitment has got to be doing something right.
  • Outstanding efforts in disaster recognised
    Working around the clock with five small children during a flood has earned Clara Fitzgerald the Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) Queensland Division's Award for Excellence in the Above and Beyond category.
  • Performance appraisals at Renmark Paringa
    After nearly six years of absence the dreaded Performance Review program is back at Renmark Paringa Council. Human Resources Officer Tracey Faehrmann is quite sure that's how many of the staff were viewing this essential Human Resources program when it was reintroduced earlier this year.
  • Future directions in training & professional development
    Margot Tobin believes that one of the biggest challenges for Local Government in Western Australia is dealing with the resources sector, which is causing a two speed economy. She said the sector is creating a whole set of skills shortages building pressures on Local Government.
  • Online inductions and training improves efficiency*
    Councils, similar to all other employers, are required to keep accurate records of staff and contractor inductions. Traditional manual systems, which are still used by some employers are, sadly, no longer able to offer the efficiency and accessibility necessary in today's compliancy heavy world with strict timeframes.
  • Orange Council OH&S gains Federal accreditation
    Orange is the first Local Government in Australia to gain Federal Occupational Health Safety (OH&S) accreditation.The endorsement under the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner's (OFSC) Australian Building and Construction OH&S Accreditation Scheme was achieved as part of the process of developing stage two of the North Orange Bypass Project.
  • Infrastructure asset management course*
    The Centre for Pavement Engineering Education and the University of Tasmania are offering an industry specific four unit Graduate Certificate and eight unit Graduate Diploma in Infrastructure Asset Management.