October 2012 Edition


  • Catching rubbish dumpers
    New partnerships between councils and charity store operators are helping in the fight against illegal rubbish dumping, with the aim of saving millions of dollars a year.
  • President's Comment - Winds of change across local government in New South Wales
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. Our October issue features a comment from Councillor Keith Rhoades, President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales.
  • PS Melbourne’s centenary
    The picturesque banks of the Mildura riverfront were alive with festival-goers celebrating the 100th birthday of the PS Melbourne in September 2012.
  • ALGA turns up heat on referendum
    Following the announcement that there would be no referendum on Indigenous recognition at the next election, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is putting increased pressure on the Federal Government to take action on the issue of constitutional recognition of local government.
  • Regional museums and galleries - from liabilities to assets - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    There are 1000 museums and 500 commercial art galleries across Australia. And I’d hazard a guess that 50 percent would benefit hugely from professional support.
  • Regional arts fund celebrates 21 years
    Over the coming months, Dalby District art enthusiasts will be able to see the many local creative artworks that have been brought to life thanks to funding provided through Arts Queensland’s successful Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).
  • Monash awards empowered women
    Women from across the City of Monash in Victoria have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to the community at the inaugural ‘Empowering Monash Women Awards’.
  • Creating thriving neighbourhoods: ICLEI
    Local governments must be at the forefront of creating thriving neighbourhoods, as they are the level of governance closest to communities.
  • Public art project a success
    The Cook Shire Council’s Welcome Wall Barra Community Public Art Project, in Far North Queensland, has been a resounding success.
  • Bushfire survey identifies community’s concerns
    Residents of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River are still concerned about the ability of the natural environment to recover after the November 2011 bushfire, according to a recent survey conducted by the Shire with the assistance of the Bushfire Recovery Working Group.
  • Love food, hate waste
    The Mid-Western Regional Council (MWRC) in New South Wales has conducted a community survey as part of the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste initiative, with some surprising results. 
  • Canberra receives councils’ message
    The Local Government Association of South Australia’s two-day delegation to Canberra has highlighted both the need to streamline the interaction between the spheres of government and areas where more research and information needs to be gathered.
  • Gunbalanya kids warm to Fridge Festival
    They may be sweltering in 38-degree heat as the ‘Top End’ clings on to the last of the dry, but the kids of Gunbalanya know how to keep cool — paint an esky.
  • Extension of Queensland Reconstruction Authority term
    The extension of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s term will give certainty to councils still working to rebuild their communities following the devastating natural disasters of 2010 and 2011.
  • Councillor profiles - Local Government Focus
    This month we are profiling two councillors from Victoria.
  • Engaging the Wyong community
    In the last 12 months, Wyong Shire Council’s efforts to meaningfully engage with its communities have taken a huge leap forward using innovative online methods.
  • Bikes an issue in council polls
    Victoria’s booming population of bike riders could play a decisive role in this year’s council elections.
  • Exhibition ‘Spirit in the land’
    A touring exhibition of paintings by iconic Australian artists is making a rare appearance at Tweed River Art Gallery in Murwillumbah South, New South Wales.
  • Regional businesses assisted with digital marketing
    The way in which business is conducted is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, with Internet-based technologies enabling lower transaction costs and access to new markets and business models.
  • City of Ballarat Employment Zone funding
    The City of Ballarat, has welcomed an announcement by the Hon. Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria and the Hon. Denis Napthine, Minister for Regional Cities to fund the next stage of the Ballarat West Employment Zone.
  • 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.
  • RM Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre, North Burnett Regional Council, Queensland
    The RM Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre (RMWABLC) is nestled into the side of a hill overlooking the picturesque North Burnett township of Eidsvold, which is located in the northern catchment area of the Burnett River.
  • Youth graffiti art workshops
    Dogwood Crossing, in the town of Miles — an innovative centre focused on community, creativity and inspiration situated in the Western Downs region of Queensland — recently hosted a professional graffiti workshop for local young people.
  • Providing homes for the homeless
    More than $7 million is spent annually on health, justice and social services to sustain Sydney’s 246-strong population of people sleeping rough on the streets, according to a new study.
  • Rethinking relationships in local government
    New research from the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) can assist in rethinking one of the most important relationships in local government — the Mayor as leader of the council, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as leader of the council organisation.
  • Have your say... Letters to the editor
    Please email letters to sophieg@lgfocus.com.au.
  • Thorny legislation not needed
    New Victorian Government grants to help tackle the spread of roadside weeds during the active spring growth period is good news for rural Victorians.
  • Studio 22 – new space for community groups
    The Civic and Community Hub in Darley, in Victoria’s Shire of Moorabool, now offers a specially developed space for community groups, with the official opening of Studio 22.
  • Get active outdoors this October
    So you’ve tried Dry July and Movember, why not have a go at Outdoor-Tober?


  • Editorial
    Councils are always striving to improve their processes and practices, right across the board, thereby enhancing the long-term viability and sustainability of local government and, indeed, that of the communities they serve.

Feature: Best Practice

  • Engaged staff key to improved business excellence
    In 2010, during the development of Queanbeyan City Council’s suite of Integrated Plans, the Long-Term Financial Plan highlighted the need for Council to re-examine how it did business in order to remain sustainable into the future.
  • Co-working spaces catch on
    Modelled on successful shared spaces in Sydney and Melbourne, the Majoran Distillery — a co-working shared space for digital entrepreneurs — was launched in September 2012 in Adelaide.
  • Future directions in best practice
    From Fraser Coast Regional Council, Queensland. Following three years of planning and almost nine months of night work, the program to roll out Microsoft’s Windows 7 across the Fraser Coast Regional Council is winding up.
  • Excellence in communication
    The Forbes Shire Council in New South Wales has taken out the Award for Excellence in Communication at the LGSA Annual Awards Ceremony held in August this year.
  • Open spaces key to healthy communities
    Councils right across Australia are facing the demands of a growing population and the need for higher density housing, while recognising the crucial role of open spaces in maintaining healthy communities.
  • Council wins stormwater infrastructure award
    The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters has been awarded the Stormwater Industry Association (SIA) ‘Excellence in Infrastructure’ Award, for the state-of-the-art stormwater management system, which was engineered and installed as part of the major redevelopment of Dunstone Grove-Linde Reserve in Stepney.
  • Council launches events website
    Finding, submitting or simply browsing events in the Bundaberg Region has just become easier with the launch of Bundaberg Regional Council’s new events website.
  • Bush Internet on the move
    A simple idea and a bit of know-how have led to the creation of a mobile satellite unit that promises to change the future of communications in the bush.
  • Best practice OHS in saleyards*
    Livestock saleyards present a unique high-risk environment in terms of Workplace Health & Safety Management.
  • Kingston City Council embraces social media
    Kingston Council in Victoria has actively engaged with the many forms of social media, recognising them as powerful and strategic forces of communication in the contemporary world.
  • Construction kickstart
    A campaign to kick start construction jobs has begun, with Gold Coast City Council launching a major infrastructure charges reduction package that could create more than 4000 jobs and add more than $4 billion in developments to the city over the next four years.
  • Community approach to business sustainability
    Living in a small hinterland village that straddles both a major highway and two local government areas has its challenges, however the residents of Nabiac in New South Wales have set a clear course in achieving their vision of a ‘Vibrant Rural Village’.
  • Commitment to project management awarded
    The Shire of Campaspe’s commitment to project management has again been recognised at the Project Management Achievement Awards, receiving the Judges Commendation Award for the restoration of the Red Gum Memorial Archway in Echuca.
  • Innovative approach to road stabilisation
    Campbelltown City Council’s cost effective and sustainable road pavement stabilisation projects have been recognised for excellence and innovation at the inaugural AustStab Awards of Excellence 2012, held in Melbourne in August.
  • Continuous improvement program reaps rewards
    The City of Tea Tree Gully in north-eastern Adelaide, thanks to its Innovate 2 Excel (I2E) continuous improvement program, is quickly discarding inefficient and outdated work practices.
  • ISO 9001 Quality - Sustaining Continuous Improvement*
    Continuous improvement efforts either take an evolutionary approach, involving small ‘incremental’ improvements over time, or attempt a more revolutionary ‘breakthrough’ improvement.
  • WOMBAT strictly prohibited
    Many people think public servants sit around crashing computers and jamming photocopiers, but at Lismore City Council the staff have a healthy sense of humour and a genuine desire to make their workplace better.
  • Top honour for City of Mandurah
    A proactive approach to the new Western Australian Building Act has landed the City of Mandurah with a top honour at the annual WA Branch of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Awards.