December 2012 Edition


  • Critical infrastructure in the spotlight
    The Australian Local Government Association’s 2012 National Local Roads and Transport Congress, held in Hobart in November, raised some big questions about Australia’s ailing infrastructure, with the perennial issue of funding at the top of the list.
  • President's Comment - Northern Territory enters new phase in local government
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association president. Our November issue features a comment from Councillor Damien Ryan, President of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT).
  • ALGWA conference looks to an equitable future
    Delegates travelled from across Australia to attend the biennial Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) conference in Ipswich, Queensland from November 8th to 11th.
  • Live beef and sheep exports – enough is enough - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    Let’s face it. Shipping live animals in cramped pens for long distances across tropical seas is inherently cruel. And a good number of these beasts then face further suffering on arrival.

  • Christmas without costing the Earth
    Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra councils in New South Wales have launched a unique sustainability initiative, encouraging residents to buy environmentally friendly gifts for

  • Kalgoorlie – Boulder to host ‘Arts on the Edge’
    The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, in Western Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance region, has been chosen to host the nation’s most prestigious forum on creativity, culture and regional arts — the 2014 Regional Arts Australia’s national conference and festival.

  • Funding to prevent violence against women
    Melton City Council has welcomed the announcement of $600,000 over three years to fund a collaborative project to help prevent violence against women and their children in the western region.

  • Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka
    Ballarat’s newest tourist attraction, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE), will offer a unique exploration of issues of democracy, participation and citizenship for all ages.

  • Monash Uni leads project on Anzac Centenary
    As the Anzac Centenary approaches, Monash University in Melbourne has launched a new project designed to capture community memories of World War 1.
  • Councillor profiles - Local Government Focus
    This month we are profiling two councillors from New South Wales.
  • Early Learning Centre sows seeds of sustainability
    Campbelltown City Council’s Amarina Early Learning Centre has won an award for excellence by teaching young children and families in Airds how to save energy.
  • Braybrook hub gets funding boost
    Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong, Councillor Catherine Cumming, has welcomed a funding announcement by the Victorian Government for $1.5 million in capital grants towards the Braybrook Community Hub.

  • New cultural forum for community arts
    The Cultural Development Network (CDN) has recently announced the establishment of the National Local Government Cultural Forum, drawing on local government’s insight into community arts and culture.

  • Campbelltown honours Filipino hero
    In October, the President of the Philippines, Mr Benigno Aquino III, officially unveiled a five-metre tall statue of Filipino national hero, Dr José Rizal, in Rizal Park, Rosemeadow.
  • Victoria Park records changing social history
    The Town of Victoria Park in Western Australia, which was officially gazetted in 1894, has commissioned a written history that captures the significant social history of the town.
  • 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.
  • Highway app entices travellers
    A new travel app, designed for use on iPads, assists visitors to explore Gunnedah and other locations along the Kamilaroi Highway in New South Wales.
  • LGAQ and MIWROC formalise partnership
    The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday Region of Councils (MIWROC) have formalised their relationship with the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) through the signing of a protocol document at the recent LGAQ conference.

  • Capital cities lead on bike spending
    Bicycle Network’s 2012 Bicycle Expenditure Index (BiXE) shows that Australia’s capital city municipalities are sprinting away from the pack in catering for the bike-commuting boom.

  • Books head out to sea
    Books that are no longer needed by the Newcastle Region Libraries will head to sea with sailors from all over the world, thanks to an arrangement between The City of Newcastle and the Newcastle Mission
    to Seafarers.

  • Gender equity in local government
    At the recent Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) national conference in Ipswich, a number of councils were awarded for their work in redressing the gender imbalance in local government.

  • Combined effort to protect marine turtles
    Bundaberg Regional Council, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services (QPWS), Gladstone Ports Corporation Bundaberg (GPC) and Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) have joined together in the fight against foxes along the region’s coastlines.
  • ‘Biker’ librarians tour the Riverina
    A number of librarians hit the New South Wales highways in November, for the 2012 ‘Riding the Riverina — Biblio Turismo’ three-day motorcycle tour.
  • Have your say... Letters to the editor
    Please email letters to
  • Celebrating 50 years of maternal and child health services
    The Carlisle River community in the Colac Otway Shire celebrated 50 years of localised maternal and child health services in November.
  • More gongs for Kew Court House
    The amazing $3.1 million transformation of the Kew Court House and Police Station, from rough diamond to crown jewel, has been lauded yet again, landing the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Award for Community Government Partnerships.


  • Editorial
    Well, December is finally here, and what a huge year it’s been for local government in Australia …

Feature: Business Efficiency & Sustainability

  • Alpine Shire apps herald new era of efficiency
    Innovative iPad applications are paving the way for improved efficiency, safety and accuracy at the Alpine Shire Council in Victoria.
  • Small town, big ideas
    In October 2012, the outback Queensland town of Richmond launched ‘Richmond Uncovered’, a community campaign to promote the small town to a wider audience and encourage population growth. 
  • Melbourne Visitor Centre turns 10
    Melbourne’s tourist hotspot celebrates its 10th birthday in October, with directions, advice and details of city hot spots given to millions of visitors over the past decade.
  • Census to improve workforce planning
    The Australian Local Government Workforce and Employment Census is part of a national initiative by federal, state and territory local government ministers to improve local government workforce development.
  • Cairns trials electric car
    Cairns Regional Council jumped at the opportunity to trial a fully electric vehicle for a couple of weeks as part of its vehicle fleet. 
  • New search engine for local government ferrets out hidden information
    A new search engine technology for local government, developed in Australia, is giving the staff of Lake Macquarie City Council on the NSW central coast a big edge in delivering great customer service.
  • Photo comp raises region’s profile
    This year, the City of Busselton and the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River joined forces at the Perth Royal Show, to raise the profile of the Capes Region with an innovative and quirky competition.
  • Improved procurement strategies yield results
    Gold Coast City Council’s procurement improvement strategies have yielded exceptional financial results, saving the local government authority more than $18 million over the past two years.
  • Council ‘ahead of the game’ on financial accountability
    Orange City Council has already incorporated a number of suggestions, outlined in a recent NSW Government review, for better financial accountability in local government.
  • Future Directions in local government communications
    From Kevin Brianton La Trobe University Strategic Communications Lecturer.

    The key communications challenge facing local governments in the 21st century is to work out how to embrace and harness new communications technologies, according to La Trobe University strategic communications lecturer Kevin Brianton.
  • Shire achieves water milestone
    The Shire of Kalamunda in Western Australia has achieved Milestone 5 in the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI) Local Governments for Sustainability Water Campaign™.
  • Baw Baw supports local business
    The sixth annual SP AusNet Baw Baw Business Excellence Awards were held in Warragul in October, showcasing the achievements of local businesses and the ongoing support of the Baw Baw Shire Council.
  • GCC adopts Climate Change Mitigation Strategy
    Gosford City councillors have adopted a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy that aims to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2025, compared to Council’s 2009/10 emissions.
  • Creating knowledge jobs in Penrith
    A consortium comprised of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and the Penrith Business Alliance (PBA), and supported by Penrith City Council, has secured $13.5 million of Federal Government Suburban Jobs Program funding.
  • Energising the Flinders
    October saw the official opening of ‘Energising the Flinders’ — A Green Energy Infrastructure Project by the Federal Special Minister of State and the Minister for the Public Service & Integrity, Hon. Gary Gray AO.
  • Council wins customer service excellence award
    The City of Greater Dandenong’s Customer Service team has won the Victorian Local Government category of the Customer Service Institute of Australia, 2012 Customer Service Excellence Awards.
  • New lease on life for Parramatta’s lanes
    The launch of ‘Parramatta Lanes’ in October was another step in the City of Parramatta’s program to activate and revitalise its small spaces.
  • Business winners stand out
    Great leadership by businesses in the areas of sustainability and environmental performance were awarded at the City of Belmont’s Business Environmental Awards on the 25th October.
  • Marrickville Council gets an ‘A’
    An independent assessment of Marrickville Council’s financial capacity has found that its financial performance, both current and projected, compares favourably when rated against a range of similar or ‘peer’ councils.
  • Waste not, want not
    Australia’s Community Recycling Enterprises (CREs) divert 152,000 tonnes of waste each year, employ 1500 people and contribute over $56 million to the regional economy.
  • Changing Waverley’s values
    New staff values and a change of direction have brought about innovation, enthusiasm and a fresh approach to work for Waverley Council employees.
  • Mackay launches guide to good access
    Mackay Regional Council has launched a detailed guide for businesses and retailers on how to cater for all members of the community.
  • Moorabool’s 2041 Growth Initiative sets future agenda
    Moorabool Shire Council in Victoria has adopted important new policy statements to guide the preparation of the Shire’s future urban and rural development. 
  • Salisbury makes good business sense
    The Marketing and Customer Relations division of the City of Salisbury in Western Australia has won a plethora of awards for its innovative
    marketing strategies.
  • Best People Development Initiative - UNE Partnerships
    Health Purchasing Victoria (HPV), a client of CTS (Contracting and Tendering Services), won the ‘Best People Development Initiative’ award on October 17th, 2012 at the prestigious 6th Annual Procurement Professional Awards in Melbourne.
  • Small Business Networking Group builds opportunities
    A group of small business people from New South Wales’ Central Coast region refused to let a funding hiccup ruin a good thing, forming the hugely successful Central Coast Small Business Networking Group (SBNG).
  • A Not-for-Profit Cooperative — The Australian Public Service Benevolent Society
    The Australian Public Service Benevolent Society (APS Benefits) is a not-for-profit organisation that provides financial and personal services to local and national government, their families and friends.