September 2012 Edition


  • Facing rising sea levels
    With approximately 85 percent of the Australian population living on or near the coast, the issue of climate change adaptation and rising sea levels impacts on the vast majority of local government areas.
  • President's Comment - Local Excellence Panel to provide insight into the future for local government
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. Our September issue features a comment from Mayor Kym McHugh, President of the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA).
  • Regional and remote area economic training
    The aim of the Regional and Remote Area Economic Development Training Program (RRATP) is to provide a positive impact through the sharing of economic development expertise for remote and regional communities of Australia.
  • Gift of artworks heralds new chapter for gallery
    In 2010, local resident and philanthropist Neil Balnaves donated over $1 million worth of paintings from his personal collection to the Mosman Art Gallery in New South Wales, adding to what was already one of the most significant collections held by a local council in Australia.
  • MAV backs council super fight
    The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has called for time out on the unbearable cumulative impacts of government reforms and funding cuts, and wants the Australian and Victorian governments to give back.
  • Picturing Armadale’s past
    A new online collection of historical images means that residents of the City of Armadale in Western Australia can learn about and contribute to knowledge of the region’s past.
  • Local government powerless? - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    Associate Professor Paul Collits, from Southern Cross University in New South Wales, has prepared a thought provoking paper titled ‘Is there a regional Australia, and is it worth spending big on?’, published in the Policy Magazine of the Centre for Independent Studies.*
  • Think women in Local Government
    A campaign calling for 700 women to stand in the Victorian local government elections is making its final dash as Election Day, on October 27th, looms.
  • Bunyip site for bushfire memorial
    Koolangara Park in Bunyip has been selected as the location for a memorial garden to commemorate the loss of life and property during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.
  • Council commits to funding green streetlights
    Changing streetlights in Colac Otway Shire to energy–efficient alternatives could save the council up to $70,000 a year.
  • Another step toward carbon neutrality
    In another step towards achieving carbon neutrality, Maribyrnong City Council has installed three solar systems at Maidstone Community Centre, Maribyrnong Community Centre and Braybrook’s Cherry Crescent Preschool Centre.
  • Council looks to future
    Shoalhaven City Council recently endorsed the Shoalhaven Adaptation Plan, a planning tool designed to increase the area’s resilience and respond to the uncertainty created by the effects of global warming.
  • Cross border under scrutiny
    Investigations and reviews are being undertaken in relation to the unique position that Tweed Shire Council and the Gold Coast City Council face as a result of the two growing regions being split by a state border.
  • Red tape blocks power at lower prices
    Electricity could be cheaper and cleaner if regulations blocking local energy production were removed, the City of Sydney has told a national inquiry into electricity network regulation.
  • Councillor profiles - Local Government Focus
    This month we are profiling two councillors from the Wertern Australia.
  • Mayor Sue Doherty South Perth City Council, Western Australia
    As an active participant in the life of our community, I was approached to consider running for Council, which I did. So I was successfully elected as a Councillor for the City of South Perth in 2002. I was then elected Deputy Mayor in 2009, and was privileged to become Mayor in 2011.
  • President Graeme Campbell Shire of Broome, Western Australia
    I was elected to the Broome Shire Council in 2003 and became Shire President in May 2005. I chose to enter local government because the town of Broome had been good to me in many ways and I felt that I would like to give something back.
  • Water sensitive design awarded for engineering excellence
    Presented each year by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (NSW Division), the Engineering Excellence Awards promote and recognise excellence in local government and public works projects.
  • Review of councils underway
    Following the March 2012 announcement by the NSW Government Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Don Page MP, of a review of local government, a panel was appointed and the process is now underway.
  • Local Government back in force
    Reflecting the importance placed by local government on seeking productivity improvements, visitors from 113 New South Wales Councils and eight interstate Councils attended CIVENEX this year.
  • Council promotes safety first
    Shoalhaven City Council will be providing free ‘Safer by Design, training to local volunteers as part of the ongoing Home Safety program.
  • Leading the green revolution
    A trigeneration system is paving the way for Manningham Council in Victoria to realise its long–term vision for a sustainable future.
  • Freezing out unnecessary waste
    The Fridge Buyback Scheme in New South Wales is celebrating a highly successful year of freezing out unnecessary waste, with 10,825 fridges collected during the last financial year.
  • Rainwater harvest sows sustainable future
    The Mount Waverley Reserve, in the Monash local government area in Victoria, is to become the home of a new $320,000 water harvesting plant, which will capture the rainwater run–off from the covered roof of the neighbouring Melbourne Water Reservoir.
  • Recognising local government’s high achievers
    At the Local Government Managers Australia Congress in Perth in May, Local Government Focus invited delegates to nominate individuals or teams from their councils who have made a significant contribution to their council and local community.
  • Yarra Ranges embrace new library service
    When Yarra Ranges Council conducted a review of its mobile library services in 2011, it discovered the service was not reaching its audience.
  • eAudio books say it all
    Library patrons have long appreciated the flexibility of eAudio books and their popularity just keeps growing.
  • Have your say... Letters to the editor
    Please email letters to
  • Community network exceeds expectations
    Burwood Council in New South Wales recently announced that its Community Network program, a new public consultation initiative, has exceeded expectations during its expressions of interest phase and will start taking applications in September.
  • Mayor of Marion Felicity–ann Lewis selected as next ALGA President
    ALGA has warmly welcomed Mayor of Marion in South Australia, Felicity–ann Lewis as the next ALGA President, following the retirement of long–serving Mayor of North Sydney and ALGA President since November 2010, Genia McCaffery.


  • Editorial
    The September issue of Local Government Focus contains, amongst many other things, our inaugural letters page; (page 14) the beginning of a conversation with our readers that we hope will continue well into the future.

Feature: Training and Professional Development

  • Improving access for all
    Two local Councils are working to improve access to buildings, amenities and to tackle mobility issues throughout their regions.
  • Council’s champion childcare trainee
    Gosford City Council’s Childcare Trainee, Ebony Bruns, has been named one of the Trainees of the Year at the 2012 Central Coast Training Awards.
  • Future directions in training and professional development
    From Sorell Council Health & Wellbeing Committee, Tasmania. Four years ago, Sorell Council Senior Management asked for volunteers across all departments to form a Health & Wellbeing Committee, to put in place programs that would not only encourage staff to consider healthy lifestyle options, but also to break down barriers between different departments.
  • Lunch time forums
    For a minimal cost, the City of Stirling has helped maximise its professional development opportunities for staff by providing monthly Good Governance Lunch Time Forums.
  • Leadership Discovery Program
    It’s taken 12 months of hard work but Fraser Coast Regional Council has welcomed the first graduates from its inaugural Leadership Discovery Program (LDP).
  • Great place to work
    Creating a great place to work and building organisational capacity is a priority for the City of Melville.  To achieve this end, the organisation utilizes the Australian Business Excellence Framework to guide their learning and development culture.
  • On site training delivering benefits to council
    When The Shire of Esperance identified a need to address a skills shortage in project management across the organisation it was decided to deliver the training on site.
  • Roll out benefits Ipswich
    Ipswich’s small-scale enterprises, community groups, not for profit organisations and residents will all reap the benefits from the National Broadband Network (NBN) early roll out.
  • Numeracy and literacy training opens doors
    Following a number of requests from their outdoor workforce, Southern Downs Regional Council’s Human Resources department set up a numeracy and literacy skills training program, with positive results for all the participants, and for Council.
  • Effective procurement as a strategic tool
    Local government budgets are caught between rising community expectations on the one hand, and capped revenue streams on the other. Valuable or worthwhile projects are sometimes cancelled, simply for lack of funds.
  • Charles Sturt commits to its leaders
    In late 2009, the City of Charles Sturt launched its Team Leader Development Forum, which was created to support and grow leadership skills at Charles Sturt Council.
  • Success for council jobs and skills program
    While officially drawing to a close, the Bundaberg Regional Council’s Jobs & Skills Development Officer Program will have long-term benefits for the region.
  • Meeting the infrastructure asset management challenge*
    Growing importance is being placed on the long-term lifecycle costs associated with the operation, maintenance and renewal of physical assets. This has created the need for skills in the management of infrastructure networks such as roads, water supply, drainage and sewerage.
  • Continuous improvement
    Port Adelaide Enfield Council’s (PAE) continuous improvement philosophy has led to the implementation of a number of systems to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its services.
  • Supporting local service providers through the National Disability Insurance Scheme
    Written by Brian Lee Archer, Director, IBM Cúram Research Institute. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is one of the most significant changes in Australian social policy since the introduction of Medicare.  The Productivity Commission estimates around 410,000 Australians have significant disabilities requiring ongoing support.
  • Teaming up for sustainability
    The Mayor of Randwick, Councillor Scott Nash and UNSW Vice-President, University Services, Neil Morris have signed a landmark Sustainability Agreement.
  • A home-grown approach to building talent
    Attracting and retaining quality staff isn’t an issue exclusive to large metropolitan Councils; their Regional counterparts face the same challenges compounded by skill shortages and smaller talent pools in
    their communities.
  • CPA Australia – the path to developing your career!*
    Randwick Council manager - Mitchel Woods, CPA has been named Young Financial Manager of the Year.
  • Getting the crew together
    The City of Busselton held its first ever all-staff conference earlier this year and with more than 230 employees across five directorates participating, this was a major logistical feat.
  • Practical qualifications in road engineering
    Many may not appreciate that Australia relies more on road transport than any other nation in the world, on a per capita basis, and is challenged on critical fronts like few others, given its size, its climatic and geological diversity, and a low population base (but high road length km/head).
  • Investment in conflict resolution 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.
  • Never too late to learn
    The depot workers at Renmark Paringa Council in South Australia discovered it is never too late to learn new tricks when they undertook a Certificate III in Civil Construction.
  • Alliance bolsters service to local government
    CT Management Group and Cambron Pty Ltd recently announced the formalisation of an alliance to strengthen the services they offered local government across Australia.
  • Member reward
    Special Purpose Loan promotional offer for 10 year members of APS Benefits.
  • Regional Australia: raise your voice
    Regional Australia makes a significant contribution to Australia’s GDP through primary production, tourism and mining and plays an important role in delivering civic services to regional populations.
  • Internal promotions aplenty
    At Shire of Murray Council in Western Australia, a focus on internal career development and professional development is contributing to a vital and creative workplace.
  • Corporate Profile welcomes spring*
    Spring is in the air and it’s time to enjoy the sunshine and carnival season.