February 2013 Edition


  • Another day, another disaster
    Once again, floods, fires and extreme temperatures are dominating national headlines, with barely a state or territory left untouched by disaster in some form.
  • Have your say... Letters to the editor
    Please email letters to sophieg@lgfocus.com.au.
  • Keeping cool puts heat on NT shires
    The heat is on for cash-strapped shires in the Northern Territory, with the cost of funding much-needed swimming pools becoming prohibitive for most local governments.

  • Mayor represents region on rural council
    Colac Otway Shire Mayor, Councillor Lyn Russell will represent South West Victoria on a state wide body that seeks to build capacity for rural Victorian municipalities.

  • Councils stand up on gender equity
    President’s comment - Encouraging women to participate in and make a career from local government, either as an elected member or an employee, is one of the major aims of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALWGA). 

  • 2013 Local Government Research Forum
    The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), in partnership with the Local Government Association of South Australia, is calling for papers for the 2013 Local Government Research Forum.

  • Build a raingarden, help the environment
    Banyule City residents are being encouraged to build raingardens to reduce stormwater pollution of local waterways and the reliance on drinking water to keep gardens healthy.

  • Bell rings for Cowra’s man of peace
    In 2012, Cowra’s World Peace Bell was re-dedicated as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the inauguration of the bell in 1992.

  • Five winners of inaugural ‘Fairest & Best’ Award - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    We are now in an election year. Who can we believe or trust?
  • Be prepared with ‘REDiPlan’

  • Water security a high priority
    With the not unexpected return to extended hot and dry conditions across the southeast, many councils have put water security high on the agenda for 2013 and beyond.

  • Councillor profiles - Local Government Focus
    This month we are profiling two councillors from Northern Territory.
  • First step for Swan Hill’s riverfront
    Swan Hill Rural City Council has initiated a community involvement process to develop the Swan Hill Riverfront Renewal Masterplan.

  • Truckies ignore curfew
    Maribyrnong City Council recently passed a resolution calling on the Victorian Government to increase enforcement of truck curfews in the City and to reconsider the truck action plan to remove trucks from residential streets.

  • Council springs into Masters Games
    The Alice Springs Masters Games, known as ‘The Friendly Games’, is held every second year and attracts up to 4000 competitors to the town.
  • Grant for young artists
    The Dogwood Crossing cultural centre in Miles has been awarded $14,465 in Artslink Queensland’s Regional Arts Fund Community Projects Program, to provide training and professional development for the region’s up-and-coming young visual artists.
  • Launch of ‘Gippy Ride Share’
    South Gippsland Transport Connections combined with the Regional Gippsland Transport Connections Network, have successfully obtained a Victorian Government grant to develop a web-based ‘Car Pool and Ride Share’ portal.
  • Excellence in water conservation
    Tea Tree Gully City Council in South Australia has claimed a national award for its innovative and visionary long-term approach to saving water.

  • Upgrade transforms waterfront playground
    The playground near Cunningham Pier in the City of Greater Geelong has undergone a revamp, featuring play equipment that complements the area, making it unlike any other playground in the City.
  • From rubbish to reward: landfills as solar energy solutions*
    There is no doubt that we live in exciting and challenging times. On one hand, our atmosphere is increasingly fogged with harmful greenhouse gases; on the other, heightened government and societal vigilance and new technologies enable us to turn harm to good in ways that benefit communities, our economy and the environment.


  • Editorial
    The year has kicked off with a new round of challenges for local government, some not entirely unexpected, and others, such as the announcement of an early September election, coming slightly out of the blue.

Feature: Human Resource Management, OH&S

  • Baw Baw celebrates organisational change
    Following significant organisational change in late 2010, Baw Baw Shire Council’s Human Resources team wanted to celebrate the stronger, more positive and resilient organisation that has emerged.
  • Staff training wins national award
    An innovative approach to addressing loss of knowledge in the workplace when older people retire has seen Coffs Harbour Water win a national training excellence award.
  • Coorong District Council wins safety award
    The Coorong District Council was one of four South Australian councils to be announced as winners of the 2012 Local Government Association’s Mutual Liability and Workers Compensation Schemes Awards.
  • Pilot program makes it work
    The ‘Make it Work: Sharing Workers Locally Program’ started out as an experimental collaboration between Narrabri Shire Council and a number of industry partners, in an effort to retain skilled workers in the region.
  • Future Directions in Workers Compensation Schemes
    From Mayor Kym McHugh, President of the Local Government Association of South Australia

    The world of workers compensation and work health and safety continues to be dynamic and ever changing.
  • Filipino ‘Fellows’ learn benefits of training
    In October 2012, Sorell Council in Tasmania hosted a visit and morning tea with representatives from training provider MEGT and eleven Fellows from the Philippines, who are visiting Australia as part of AusAID’s Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship program.
  • Alcohol education tackles anti-social behaviour
    The Town of Port Hedland and the Port Hedland Alcohol Management Working Group have partnered with the Department of Health and Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia to roll out an Alcohol Education and Prevention campaign, targeted at assisting community members who may be dealing with binge drinking and excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Sweating it out for fitness
    Lane Cove Council in New South Wales has helped kick-start the personal health goals of its staff through their new employee wellness program.
  • Coen Aerodrome ready for any emergency
    In December 2012, representatives from Queensland Police, Coen Rural Fire Brigade, health services, SES and Cook Shire Council attended an emergency drill exercise at Coen Aerodrome.
  • Recruitment solution uses web technology
    As the fifth largest local government area in Western Australia, the City of Gosnells employs over 500 people in a range of occupations and work locations.
  • Safety first at the City of Stirling
    The City of Stirling in Western Australia demonstrates its commitment to the safety and health of its people through significant investment in a number of initiatives.
  • Future looks bright for ‘town-gown’ partnership
    The City of Ryde and Macquarie University have celebrated the successful first year of their ‘town-gown’ partnership, which was formed to bring together the research and intellectual capacity of the two organisations for the benefit of the City of Ryde community.
  • Safely managing contractors and labour hire*
    Councils, as employers and as Person’s Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs), are ultimately responsible for the safety of staff, contractors, sub-contractors and labour hire employees under current safety legislation.

  • 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.
  • Celebrating 200 days without injury
    The Waratah-Wynyard Council Works and Services Depot recently achieved a significant milestone in reaching 200 days without incurring a lost time injury.
  • Bendigo community has its say on health
    The community can have their say on Greater Bendigo’s Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan via a series of workshops that commenced on February 4th and are continuing through until February 21st.
  • 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 (AIDC), offers a range of best practice courses to manage all types of conflict, complaints and grievances.
  • Staff Health & Wellbeing Program recognised
    Yarra City Council’s Staff Health & Wellbeing Program was formally recognised at the Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI) 2012 awards.
  • Boroondara – It’s your working life
    In a competitive employment market, successfully promoting an organisation as an employer of choice can boost the calibre of job applicants, the quality of the organisation, and provides an important tool in reducing costly staff turnover.
  • Horner — a helping hand for local government
    We all know that time is a valuable resource and it makes sense to draw upon specialists when time is of the essence.
  • Spanning the state divide
    A recent review of bridge inspection manuals by infrastructure consultants pitt&sherry uncovered results that could pave the way for future improvements in bridge inspection methodologies.