April 2013 Edition


  • Cash for containers
    The pressure on the Federal Government to introduce a national Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) has increased following Coca-Cola Amatil’s recent success in court over the Northern Territory Government.
  • Have your say... Letters to the editor
    Please email letters to sophieg@lgfocus.com.au.
  • Gully Walk a symbol of reconciliation
    The official opening of The Gully Aboriginal Interpretive Walk in Katoomba in February was a momentous occasion for the descendants of The Gully, the Aboriginal community and Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC).
  • Imposed reforms unsustainable for sector
    President’s comment: Victorian local government is facing a series of reform pressures imposed from above, including an unwanted role as the State’s tax collector of their new fire services property levy; differential rating guidelines that seek to limit councils’ autonomy; and standard benchmarks that publically report on council performance.
  • Newcastle’s ‘Big Draw’
    The City of Newcastle recently held Australia’s first large-scale drawing event — ‘The Big Draw Newcastle’ — attracting more than 2500 participants and representing a unique collaboration between the City’s creative, business and cultural communities.
  • Back to basics in resource recovery
    Forget the commercial recycling machinery that makes sorting recycling from general waste easier, going back to basics and sorting solely by hand is paying dividends for one remote Northern Territory local government.
  • Rural revolution summit draws 200+
    Whether it’s around economic development, food, transport or young people, things are evolving in country Victoria and this year’s Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Rural Summit is all about how things are continuing to change.
  • Extra pokies refused
    City of Maroondah Mayor, Councillor Nora Lamont, has welcomed the news that an application by the Collingwood Football Club to increase the number of gaming machines at its Coach & Horses Hotel has been refused by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).
  • Crean’s exit not helpful for regions - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    While the Labor Party’s implosion was not unexpected, Simon Crean’s role as the sacrificial lamb wasn’t part of the scipt.
  • Road works info online
    Mackay Regional Council (MRC) is dedicated to keeping residents and motorists informed on road works occurring around the region, implementing an interactive online mapping system on their website.
  • SEED Project reaps rewards
    The SEED (Sustainable Employment and Economic Development) Project — a program that helps young and disadvantaged people into employment, training or further education — won the Community Partnerships category of the 2013 LGPro Awards for Excellence.
  • National General Assembly
    The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is set to host its 19th National General Assembly (NGA) of local government, offering a significant opportunity for local government representatives and elected officials to discuss issues facing councils and develop agreed national positions to inform the development of ALGA’s policies for the coming year.
    Through the NGA, to be held from 16th—19th June in the nation’s capital, local government representatives can engage directly with key federal politicians, move and debate motions, hear from a range of subject matter experts, and network with local government colleagues from around Australia.
  • Councillor profiles - Local Government Focus
    This month we are profiling two councillors from Western Australia.
  • Preserving Port Hedland’s past
    Port Hedland’s culturally diverse pioneering history will be celebrated with the preservation and enhancement of the Old Port Hedland Cemetery.
  • Feds fall short on flood mitigation
    The Federal Government’s flood mitigation package has been welcomed in Queensland but many say it won’t go anywhere near to covering the work that is required to ensure that the State is more resilient to natural disasters.
  • Study questions ‘big Sydney’ approach
    An amalgamated eastern suburbs council, combining Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra and Botany Bay councils, could generate a surplus over 10 years of $517 million according to a study prepared by SGS Economics and Planning.
  • Traders say ‘no’ to plastic bags
    Whitsunday Regional Council in collaboration with Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc. has launched the ‘Say NO to Plastic Bags’ project with great success.
  • Solar Energy Safety: Controlling Risk at Government and Community Facilities*
    Like any source that results in electricity, solar energy installations come with risk.

    Generally exposed to the elements, solar arrays can be affected by not only mechanical malfunction, but by environmental conditions such as wind, lightning and vermin. These influences can in turn cause short-circuit or earth fault that could ultimately lead to electrocution or fire.  

  • Plantation opens new world of recreation
    Alpine Shire Council has welcomed $150,000 in Victorian Government funding to establish the Alpine Community Plantation project, which will see nearly 20,000 hectares of Hancock Victorian Plantation (HVP) pines made available for recreational use.
  • Barossa unveils ambitious plan
    The Barossa Council has unveiled an ambitious plan to make the organisation more efficient, financially secure and responsive.
  • Fremantle bans plastic bags
    The City of Fremantle has become the first local government in Western Australia to ban retailers from issuing single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags.
  • Butts out of pools and playgrounds
    The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s move to ban smoking at children’s playgrounds, public swimming pools and sporting events as a step in the right direction to improving community health.
  • G21 meets with Prime Minister
    In February, the Geelong Region Alliance (G21) Board, including the five G21 mayors, met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to discuss a range of projects important to the region’s social fabric and economic future.
  • Australia’s urban policy up for discussion*
    What are the roles and responsibilities of local governments, in collaboration with state and federal governments, in driving productivity growth? How can our cities, governments and the private sector work together for productivity growth?
  • Bellingen honours a remarkable woman
    On the 9th of March, the Bellingen Shire Youth Centre courtyard was named in honour of Marj Woodbury, a woman who worked tirelessly for the youth of her community for more than 20 years.
  • Council ingenuity puts road safety on the map
    A clever idea developed by Northern Rivers councils to streamline road information online has the potential to become a model across Australia for the delivery of timely road information.
  • Arts alive in Bundaberg
    The Bundaberg Regional Council (BRC) has funded eight projects, including workshops, music and opera, in the latest round of grants from the Regional Arts Development Fund.


  • Editorial
    It is unfortunate that the internal instability in the Australian Labor Party has impacted on local government in such a direct manner, with the loss of Simon Crean as Minister for Local Government and Regional Development and the handing of the two portfolios to the Hon. Anthony Albanese.

Feature: Engineering & Public Works

  • Bells Reach — a new direction in adventure
    Bells Reach is a custom-designed playground that sets a new benchmark in adventure play. Located in one of Stockland’s residential developments on the Sunshine Coast, Bells Reach Adventure Park provides exciting activities for all ages, with age-specific play areas and custom-designed equipment that create an unparalleled play experience for families and the community.
  • Future Directions in Engineering & Public Works
    From Glenn Marshall Director of Works, Central Desert Shire, Northern Territory.
    Central Australia’s three shire councils are rolling out very successful landfill upgrades in remote Aboriginal communities.
  • Energising the Great South Coast of Victoria
    A major energy efficient street lighting project, supported by Low Carbon Australia, will produce significant energy and cost savings for six Victorian councils.
  • Maroubra kids get pedalling
    Randwick City Council’s new educational children’s bike facility in Heffron Park, Maroubra, is now open.
  • New look mall for Monash
    An enthusiastic crowd braved the ninth day of Melbourne’s heat wave to celebrate the completion of a $2.75 million upgrade of Eaton Mall in Oakleigh on March 12th.
  • Revitalising an Alice Springs icon
    The Alice Springs Town Council (ASTC) has embarked on a major community development for the iconic Todd Mall.
  • Bringing biodiversity back to the Yarra
    In 2010, the City of Stonnington began one of the biggest regeneration projects in the Yarra River’s recent history, with the next phase of work about to start.
  • Hyde Park Lakes return to former glory
    The Hyde Park Lakes in the City of Vincent in Western Australia have undergone a major restoration that commenced in September 2012 and is due for completion this month.
  • Sorell embraces innovation
    Sorell Council has taken an innovative approach to bridge replacement and, at the same time, has achieved a technological first in Tasmania.
  • Simple science reduces methane
    Great Lakes Council has successfully lobbied the Federal Government to help it and other small councils across Australia reduce liability under the Carbon Tax for gas emissions from waste landfills.
  • Bundaberg cleans up, yet again
    Following the worst flood in the City’s history, Bundaberg Regional Council has taken a coordinated approach to the massive clean up, calling on the experts to shift the more than 30,000 tonnes of rubbish left in the wake of the inundation.
  • Padre White Lookout shapes up
    The City of Albany in Western Australia has announced that the Padre White Lookout at the summit of Mt Clarence should be ready for public use by ANZAC Day this year.
  • Trenchless technology saves time and money
    The City of Newcastle has been using the latest innovation in trenchless construction technology to help maintain Newcastle’s 526km network of drains.
  • AFL/Cricket Australia Synthetic Turf Program
    Synthetic turf technology has evolved significantly over the past 10 years. Long pile synthetic turf with performance infill allows synthetic turf to mimic the properties of natural turf, both in terms of player comfort and playability. As a result of these developments, in what is thought to be a world first for two sporting codes, the AFL and Cricket Australia joined together to develop a synthetic turf program to enable the playing of community level Australian Football and Cricket on an approved synthetic product.
  • Stabilisation works protect Swan River
    The City of Belmont in Western Australia is employing unique stabilisation methods while undertaking erosion protection works along the Swan River foreshore.
  • Synthetic surface a first for Casey
    The City of Casey has welcomed the announcement of $650,000 in funding from the Victorian Government to boost Council’s development of a new sporting facility at Carlisle Park in Cranbourne.
  • New works depot bucks trend
    East Gippsland Shire has a new, state-of-the-art works depot, built to accommodate in-house works crews and associated equipment — an outstanding testimony to Council’s strategic thinking.
  • Australian innovation reduces cost of road construction and maintenance*
    PolyCom Stabilising Aid is versatile, sustainable and easy to use, making it vastly superior to traditional stabilising methods.
  • Sportsturf provides needed services*
    Sportsturf Consultants (Australia) P/L has developed a range of services which are helping both Parks and Leisure personnel better manage their facilities.