May 2012 Edition

  • National Year of Reading 2012
    Launched in February, The National Year of Reading has hit the ground running, with libraries all over Australia taking up the challenge and promoting the benefits of reading to the community through local and national programs and events.
  • Barmera Library hosts community storytellers
    Barmera Public Library, run by the Berri Barmera Council in South Australia, is celebrating the National Year of Reading by inviting members of the community to share their stories.
  • Get in to the spirit of reading
    The Broome Public Library, in Western Australia's Kimberley, is celebrating the National Year of Reading with a series of events and programs that highlight both the importance and pleasure of reading. Amongst these is the Library's first ever Readathon, set to run for the rest of the year.
  • Library relocation celebrated in style
    Up until as recently as February this year, the future venue for the Mount Isa City Council Library was still in doubt, with a temporary library operating for number of months with limited services while Mount Isa City Council negotiated a permanent site.
  • Cairns selected as a role model
    A United Nations-led program Making Cities Resilient, has selected Cairns as the first Role Model city from the Pacific region.
  • Women helped to weather the storm
    Mackay Regional Council in Queensland is running a unique program dedicated to assisting the women in the region cope with the aftermath of natural disasters.
  • National Awards for Local Government
    Catergory Winners.
  • Victoria's first dry diving facility
    Maroondah will soon be home to Victoria's first dry-diving facility, with designs for the $46.5million Ringwood District Aquatic and Leisure Centre now complete.
  • Councillor profiles
    This month we are profiling two councillors from New South Wales.
  • Talking sense on disaster mitigation
    The Local Government Association of Queensland has backed former Gillard Government minister Robert McClelland's call for a smarter approach to funding communities affected by natural disasters.
  • LOGOV 2012*
    For the latest in innovation, technology and sustainable solutions, lock in Wednesday and Thursday 10th and 11th of October 2012 and head to LOGOV 2012 to see the latest Public Works products in action at it's new home at the Farm Fantastic site in Caboolture, Brisbane.
  • A Men's Shed milestone
    Starting in 2006, the Australian Men's Shed Association now represents over 650 sheds across Australia, providing a vital resource for men and contributing to healthier communities in general.
  • Clunes declared Australia's first International Booktown
    The central Victorian township of Clunes in the Hepburn Shire has recently been declared Australia's first International Booktown, making it the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
  • United stance on forced amalgamation
    On April 3rd, Shellharbour City Council in New South Wales unanimously supported Mayor Kellie Marsh in her opposition to amalgamation.
  • Proposed shake up for Council selection
    Mayor John Davis and former Mayor, Councillor Reg Kidd of Orange City Council in New South Wales have called for the abolition of group tickets and preferential voting in council elections, arguing that a system where every one ran as an independent would be more democratic.
  • Interface Councils want more universities
    The Interface Councils are eight councils surrounding metropolitan Melbourne that define themselves as 30 percent urban / 70 percent rural, forming the interface between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Parramatta River City Renewal Project
    Parramatta City Council has welcomed Prime Minister, Julia Gillard's announcement of $3.75 million towards the Parramatta River City Renewal Project.
  • Addressing coordination failure - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    One of the strongest arguments for the federal government being involved in regional development policy is 'coordination failure'. This is economic jargon for the failure of initiatives because of the inability of different stakeholders to coordinate their actions for their mutual benefit.
  • Council and Red Cross join forces in emergency
    The Western Downs Region in southeast Queensland suffered major flooding in 2011 and 2012, with recovery still underway as future mitigation measures are put in place.
  • Delays in disaster classification frustrate councils
    Many local governments continue to struggle for the recognition they need to access emergency assistance and funding for disaster recovery. The rural town of Ungarie in New South Wales experienced the worst flood in its history on March 4th 2012, with 72 homes and businesses inundated and 115 properties isolated when the Humbug Creek broke its banks.
  • President's Comment - Review of local government to improve sustainability of councils
    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.
  • Category winners announced for 2012 National Awards for local government
    On April 19th Federal Minister for Local Government Simon Crean announced the category winners of the 2012 National Awards for Local Government.
  • Editorial
    In this issue of Local Government Focus we focus on what councils are doing in Administration & Management Systems, and the news is impressive.
  • Stark gender imbalance
    Australia still falls well behind many other western nations in terms of equality for women in accessing resources and opportunities, ranking 23rd in the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report 2011.

Feature: Administration & Management Systems

  • New records management system
    The Shire of Dandaragan is located about 250km north of Perth in Western Australia, and represents five small towns and their surrounds.
  • Automated business paper system improves efficiency
    With NSW Local Government elections on the horizon for this September, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is nearing the end of its four year period under Administration.
  • New software assisting Council operations
    During a very busy first term, Maranoa Regional Council has implemented a significant number of key software packages to ensure business practices, legislative requirements and system efficiencies are achieved.
  • Mobile customer service puts residents first
    Councils that cover a number of suburbs or towns, with only one or two customer service centres, are discovering the benefits of running Mobile Customer Service (MCS) programs, as are their customers.
  • Engaging young people in local government
    Getting young people involved in their community, or in the council that represents the community, is no mean feat.
  • Councils surveyed about the carbon tax
    The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has released a report into the impact of the carbon tax on Victorian local governments.
  • One stop shop for Work Health & Safety
    The introduction in New South Wales of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Regulations has resulted in some important changes to the way health and safety at work is administered.
  • Auburn seeks access for all
    Auburn City Council focuses on providing accessible services and facilities for the community.
  • Reforms lift local government performance
    A number of State governments have begun to introduce reforms to planning and building application processes in an effort to increase efficiency and reduce costs. A recent report from the development industry found that Western Australia was leading the way in implementing these reforms.
  • Sydney Hills welcomes new residents
    Mayor of The Hill Shire, Councillor Greg Burnett has welcomed the 2,603 new residents who have moved to the Shire in the last year according to new statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
  • Thinking ahead on population growth
    The Shire of Murray, approximately 80km south of Perth in Western Australia, expects to double its population over the next decade. As a result, the Shire of Murray Council is thinking ahead, with the installation of performance management software Interplan, which is usually utilised by larger Councils.
  • Manufacturing gets a head start
    It's no secret that the Australian manufacturing industry is in crisis and requires a concerted effort from all levels of government to recover some of its former glory.
  • Financial service benefits Local Government staff*
    Discover the difference a not for profit financial service provider can make to the members of local government, their families and friends.
  • Phone app makes parking easy
    The City of Perth has just made life a whole lot easier for residents, visitors and commuters with an Australian first — a mobile phone application and website that advises of parking availability in the City's car parks.
  • Council commits to quality customer service
    Tweed Shire Council has updated its Customer Service Charter to incorporate changes to procedures since the establishment of its Customer Contact Centre.
  • Homebound iPad Buddy Program
    Adelaide City Council is improving disability access to library resources, by providing homebound clients with e-reader devices on an ongoing basis.
  • Future Directions in Administration & Management Systems
    At the City of Port Lincoln Council we utilise ITVision Synergysoft for our financial, rating, personnel and compliance systems.
  • Taking customer service to the next level
    Western Downs Regional Council in Queensland recently celebrated the first anniversary of its highly successful Customer Contact Centre.