January 2013 Edition


  • Challenges for 2013
    The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has identified 10 national issues of priority for local government in 2013 that reflect the challenges and concerns of the sector and provide a platform for advocacy and leadership at the national level. 
  • Have your say... Letters to the editor
    Please email letters to sophieg@lgfocus.com.au.
  • Councils lead charge on climate change
    The following stories are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local government action on climate change and sustainability, providing a brief glimpse of some of the steps being taken by councils to mitigate the impact of global warming.
  • Tough times, tough decisions
    President’s comment. As I recently read through the Tasmanian Auditor General’s report on the financial sustainability of Tasmanian councils, it occurred to me just how hard it is getting to balance the books and keep everyone in the community happy.
  • ACELG and UTS:CLG appoint new director
    Following the retirement of Professor Graham Sansom as Director of the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government (ACELG) and the UTS Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG), Associate Professor Roberta Ryan has now been appointed to the role.
  • Council uses Facebook for disaster and emergency info
    Councils are fast realising the potential of Facebook and other social media forums for promotion and communication with residents. The Whitsunday Regional Council, in conjunction with the Whitsunday Disaster Management Group (WDMG), has taken this to a new level with the launch of their Disaster & Emergency Information Facebook page.
  • Migrants reinvigorate Dalwallinu Shire
    Following research that showed labour shortages were impacting on the viability of local businesses, the Dalwallinu Shire Council in Western Australia established a Regional Repopulation Advisory Committee, to attract and retain skilled migrants into the region and reinvigorate the communities in the area.
  • Smart specialisation and precincts – ways of advancing your community - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    The European Commission (EC) is much involved in urban and regional development thinking, and it has been promoting the ‘smart specialisation’ concept. This basically involves EC regions specialising in activities that align with their competitive advantages. And the Commission offers financial inducements to this end.

  • Stroke a Chord Choir goes from strength to strength
    Maroondah-based Stroke a Chord Choir has been widely recognised for its pioneering work with stroke survivors, most recently announced as runners-up in the 2012 Music in Communities Network Awards.
  • Focus on disability highlights positives and negatives
    Last month’s International Day of People with a Disability (on December 3rd) was the 20th anniversary of the United Nations sanctioned day, drawing attention to both the gains and gaps in the lives of those living with a disability.
  • Councillor profiles - Local Government Focus
    This month we are profiling two councillors from Queensland.
  • Australians say ‘no’ to violence against women
    White Ribbon Day, which coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on the 25th of November each year, sees councils across Australia contributing to events that encourage community commitment to ending violence against women.
  • 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.
  • Future Directions in National Issues
    From Chris Champion CEO, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA)
  • Australia Indonesia Partnership announced
    Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) and the UTS Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG) have announced that they will implement the ‘Australia Indonesia Partnership for Local Government Planning and Budgeting’ in 2013, to assist local government practitioners in Indonesia improve accountability and systems for delivering services such as health, education, social welfare and sanitation.
  • The International Awards for Liveable Communities
    Did you know that Port Fairy, in Victoria’s Moyne Shire, was recently awarded the title of the ‘most liveable small town in the world under 20,000 people’ at the 2012 International Awards for Liveable Communities (the LivCom Awards)?
  • Indigenous community prepares for emergency
    Indigenous community members are learning more about preparing for an emergency at ‘Express Redi’ sessions at Swan Hill and Robinvale in Victoria.
  • Protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage
    Lake Macquarie City Council in New South Wales has received a 2012 Planning Institute of Australia Award for Excellence for its new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Planning Framework.
  • Innovative pipe rehabilitation and repair system
    The concept is simple — the rehabilitation of degraded underground and internal pipes without needing to dig them up.

    Nuflow can repair any type of pipe, utilising the latest technologies in potable-approved epoxy resins, in residential, commercial, industrial and high-rise buildings

  • Australia’s first linked emergency management solution for councils
    Seventy-four Victorian councils are now using a system that is transforming the way municipal resources are managed to support response, relief and recovery agencies, and communities, during and after an emergency.
  • Connected councils creating vibrant communities
    The Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC) is a group of eight councils, mayors and general managers, from Gloucester to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, who meet regularly to determine the strategic direction of the region.
  • Community map app empowers residents
    In an Australian first, the City of Adelaide has given residents the power to instantly report community concerns – such as graffiti or broken streetlights – with a click of their smartphones.
  • Rosmech – providing councils across Australia with environmental cleaning solutions
    At Rosmech, we understand the requirements of councils across Australia and the positive impact of maintaining a clean community, such as increased visitor numbers and providing a safe, clean environment for residents.
  • Knowledge sharing — what to expect from your renewable energy supplier
    “Knowledge shared is knowledge squared.”

    Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has commented that his employees are ‘very familiar’ with the above phrase. The makers of software used by millions of consumers and businesses globally understand the importance not only of information access, but of knowledge sharing.
  • Local government endorses Indigenous recognition
    The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) has congratulated the South Australian Government on its consultation process to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples in the South Australian Constitution.
  • PolyCom Stabilising Aid
    Shire and council engineers and works supervisors are confronted daily with problematic material and financial considerations when dealing with the construction, repair and maintenance of roads.
  • Accredited Mediation Skills Training and Cert IV in Mediation
    Conflict emerges for a number of reasons, including structural issues, cultural issues, organisational changes or a clash of personalities.
  • Committed to culturally diverse communities
    The Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) 2012 Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity celebrates the state’s diverse cultures, languages, faiths and ethnicity.
  • Environmental Upgrade Agreement a first for NSW
    Parramatta City Council has become the first Council in New South Wales to sign an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA), for 10 Valentine Avenue, Parramatta, confirming its commitment to environmental leadership.


  • Editorial
    There seems little doubt that 2013 — or at least the first two thirds of the year, dependent on when the federal election is called — will be dominated by the issue of constitutional recognition of local government.