May 2013 Edition


  • Mixed response to ‘mega councils’ proposal
    New South Wales councils have reacted to the release of the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel discussion paper Future Directions for NSW Local Government: Twenty Essential Steps.
  • Have your say... Letters to the editor
    This is your chance to speak up about current issues affecting your council.
    Please forward your letters to
  • Bumper summer at Cataract Gorge
    Launceston has basked in the glow of a seemingly endless summer for several months but temperatures were not the only high numbers recorded in the city.
  • Councils oppose absorption into Perth city
    The City of South Perth and Town of Victoria Park have opposed City of Perth’s submission to absorb both suburbs, along with Vincent and parts of Cambridge and Stirling into a greater City of Perth.
  • Support for Local Government
    President’s comment
    Councillor Margaret de Wit President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ)
  • Students ride free
    Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Joanna Gash has launched a statewide first program to provide local students with a free travel service for school approved learning opportunities.
  • Newcastle to host AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015
    Newcastle Stadium will play host to four games of international football after being named as one of the five venues for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015.
  • Women and Leadership Conference*
    25 years ago Macquarie University had a dream of empowering and helping Australian women to become leaders in business and corporate life.
  • Mayor joins crusade
    Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has joined women’s organisations to lobby the Queensland State Government for a domestic and family violence service in Redlands.
  • Closer ties between State and Local Government
    State-Local Relationship Strengthened
  • Anyone for Memphis or Nashville? - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    I was recently invited by an American friend, Dr. Stuart Rosenfeld, to think about collaboration on creative economies. Among other things, he’s a Board member of South Arts, a creative arts network covering nine states - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
  • The tall ships are coming
    The sight of tall ships on the horizon can stir the spirit of adventure in us all, and Victorians will celebrate that spirit when it welcomes the arrival of nine tall ships into the historic seaport of Williamstown in the inner west of Melbourne, during September 2013, establishing the city’s first major international tall ships festival.
  • An effective way to get on top of safety*
    For three days in June 2013, the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre will be the safety capital of Australia with the Queensland Safety Show (Tuesday 18th—Thursday 20th June 2013). The show will feature nearly 150 safety–centric exhibitors on site and ready to show off the latest innovative solutions focused on keeping Australian workers safe.
  • Assault on councils’ rating autonomy
    The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has called new ministerial guidelines to restrict local government’s use of differential rates a direct assault on the autonomy of councils to make decisions about equitable rates for their communities.
  • Councillor profiles - Local Government Focus
    This month we are profiling two councillors from Victoria.
  • Five women, three generations and one creative family
    Three generations of one family living at opposite tips of the country pooled their artistic talents to create an exhibition at Wyreena Gallery in Croydon, Melbourne.
  • Report highlights financial challenges
    A report into the accounts of 68 Queensland local governments by Auditor General Andrew Greaves has revealed the extent of financial challenges faced by councils.
  • Chatswood Library celebrates one million
    Willoughby City Council’s Chatswood Library has received one million visitors since officially opening in September 2011.
  • New South Wales must back up White Paper with funding
    Councils have called on the New South Wales Government to back up its new planning system with funds to allow councils to carry out the proposed changes.


  • Editorial
    At a time when local government is trying to win state support for a referendum to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution, the level of discord between state and local governments across Australia is concerning.

Feature: Administration & Management Systems

  • Streamlining access
    George Town Council Mayor Roger Broomhall and Member for Bass Geoff Lyons last month launched the Council’s Electronic Development Application and Building Application (eDABA) Portal to the George Town community.
  • East Arnhem Shire Council delivers savings
    East Arnhem Shire Council (EASC) has delivered over $1.1 million in savings and received a commendation in the 2013 National Awards for Local Government in regional collaborations for the creation of the shared corporate services organisation, Latitude 12.
  • Future Directions
    From Matt Gray Manager IT Infrastructure and Mike Tidey Director Corporate Services, Launceston City Council, Tasmania
  • Celebration of a community’s resilience
    Maranoa Council, emergency services and community groups recently celebrated the resilience of the Roma community on the anniversary of the 2011 floods, with the unveiling of the town’s new Celebration Stones.

  • New CALD Careers program launched
    The City of Ballarat has launched a new service to assist Ballarat’s multicultural community in finding employment and vocational opportunities.
  • Getting grant administration right*
    Has Council seen words like these in a letter or email from a Commonwealth Department?
  • Community Centre opens
    Bell residents have celebrated the official opening of the new $1.2 million Bell Bunya Community Centre.
  • New ShoreTel Dock Transforms iPad and iPhone Into Desk Phone*
    Introducing the new ShoreTel Dock, the industry’s first business-grade docking station that transforms smartphones and tablets into desk phones for the mobile generation. This industry-first hardware solution combined with ShoreTel’s mobility application will optimise how people use their iPhones and iPads for work – giving a new meaning to Bring your own device (BYOD).
  • Sporting clubs’ contribution worth $1.5 million
    Southern Downs Regional Council’s Economic Development Unit and Morgan Park sporting clubs have welcomed an offer from the Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning to utilise their Senior Economist, Rod Strahan, to complete an economic assessment of Morgan Park sporting activities.
  • Strathbogie a mobile shire
    The Strathbogie Shire Council is making effective use of industry-based applications and available technologies to expand its face-to-face customer services to townships.
  • Swan Hill steps towards Economic Development Strategy
    Swan Hill Rural City Council’s Economic Development Strategy has moved closer towards implementation with the announcement that Workforce Planning Australia has been awarded the contract to oversee the Swan Hill Region Workforce Development Strategy.
  • Introducing smart, cost effective recruitment*
    When recruiting a new staff member, it is important to look at the full scale of costs to a local council.
  • Regional Victoria crucial to State’s prosperity
    Members of Regional Cities Victoria (RCV) recently met with Premier Dennis Naphthine, with the role of regional Victoria in the State’s prosperity top of the agenda.
  • Base systems change on evidence*
    As consultants QRMC observes a great many organisational change management processes. Some are done well, accomplish management and staff buy-in, and ultimately achieve the anticipated outcomes. Others founder on the rocks of rejection, confusion and frustration, resulting in a waste of the resources dedicated to the process, and an unwillingness to explore new horizons in the future.

  • Water Alliance celebrating collaboration
    The Cairns, Townsville, Mackay (CTM) Water Alliance has won the Collaboration Award at the recent Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) 2013 Awards for Excellence.

  • MobileMuster Awards
    MobileMuster, the Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association’s official recycling program, is calling on local councils who have helped promote the program and collect mobile phones for recycling over the last year to nominate for the 2013 MobileMuster Local Government Awards.
  • Hawthorn Town Hall redevelopment
    Peddle Thorp design director Peter Brook said the refurbishment of the Hawthorn Town Hall will help preserve the past and protect the future.
  • Category winners in National Awards for Local Government
    Eighteen of the nation’s 565 councils and shires have been declared category winners in this year’s National Awards for Local Government.


Council Awards

  • Message from the Mayor
    The Southern Highlands is truly a wondrous place.
  • Area snapshot
    The Southern Highlands covers an area of around 2,700 square kilometres and is home to an estimated 45,000 residents.
  • History of the Wingecarribee Shire
    The Southern Highlands has a rich history which began with the traditional owners of the land, the Gundungurra and Dharawal people.
  • Moss Vale Indoor Aquatic centre takes shape
    The gates may have closed on Wingecarribee Shire’s public swimming pools, but weather permitting, the 2012/13 season will be the last year that swimming facilities close come early autumn.
  • Butting out smoking at outdoor dining areas
    In February 2013 Wingecarribee Shire Council adopted an amended Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy.
  • Council launches recruitment drive
    Considering the current economic climate and uncertainty surrounding proposed reforms to the New South Wales Local Government structure, Wingecarribee Shire Council’s recent decision to undertake its largest recruitment drive in years may be seen as a bucking of the trend.
  • Highland bikes head to Namibia
    Namibia’s needy are set to benefit from the generosity of Southern Highlands residents with the imminent arrival of a shipping container of local bikes on its shores.
  • Council history laid bare
    Local history buffs can now explore some of the Shire’s past with the transfer of over 750 items from Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Archives to the Local Studies Room at Bowral Library.
  • From the General Manager
    In the three years since I arrived in the Southern Highlands, I’ve been truly captivated by the region.
  • The Southern Regional Livestock Exchange
    Less than two years since Wingecarribee Shire Council opened the gates to the revamped Southern Regional Livestock Exchange (SRLE) cattle saleyard roofing enclosure, and the benefits are already speaking for themselves.
  • Water, smoke and ice used in Wingecarribee Shire’s Council’s pipes
    Wingecarribee Shire Council is in the process of undertaking a range of tests and procedures in order to maintain and improve its extensive network of underground water and sewerage pipes.