June 2013 Edition


  • Recognition at last?
    The Australian Local Government Association, along with councils across Australia, have welcomed the passing of the Constitutional Alteration Bill, heralding a referendum on September 14th to include local government in the Constitution.
  • 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 editorial@lgfocus.com.au
  • Cleansing trucks become literary treasures
    The City of Sydney’s cleansing trucks are bringing poetry to life in unexpected locations, thanks to a project curated by the 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival.
  • Blackwood residents seek sewerage answers
    Seventy Blackwood residents attended a public meeting in the town in May seeking answers as to why sewerage connections to the town, which was promised in 2005, has not been delivered.
  • Conference highlights ‘Great Society’
    President’s comment
    Mark Ferguson, National President LGMA General Manager, Pittwater Council NSW
  • Victorian ALGWA supports constitutional recognition of local government
    The membership of the Victorian branch of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) voted overwhelmingly to donate $1,000 to support constitutional recognition of local government at their recent Annual General meeting in Euroa.
  • Plans for light rail network revealed
    Parramatta City Council has unveiled its first report into a proposed $1.7 billion light rail network to service the growing Western Sydney population.
  • Adelaide’s digital future
    Free Wi-Fi in the city, citizen mobile solutions and smart parking technologies are just a few of the plans outlined in Adelaide City Council’s recently released Digital Strategy 2012–16 ‘Connect Adelaide’.
  • Funding great news for Golden Plains
    Golden Plains Shire Council has called the Wednesday 22nd of May the most significant day in the Council’s history, as Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced millions of dollars in funding for the region.
  • Ford’s demise calls for PC review - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    My grandfather was a blacksmith in Trafalgar (Vic) and in the 1930s he became the local Ford dealer.
  • Dalwallinu rewarded for multiculturalism
    The Shire of Dalwallinu’s efforts to implement the principles of multiculturalism were recognised in April with the awarding of the Implementing Multiculturalism Locally Award at Perth’s Government House.
  • Gunnedah youth tour Manly
    Ten young Aboriginal people from Gunnedah have visited the Shire of Manly as part of the Gunnedah/Manly Sister City Relationship.
  • Funding paves way for Ash Wednesday memorial
    Cardinia Shire Council has welcomed a $500,000 Federal Government grant to create an Ash Wednesday memorial at the former Cockatoo kindergarten.
  • Councillor profiles
    This month we are profiling two councillors from South Australia.
  • Willoughby wins leadership award
    Willoughby City Council has been awarded the Philip Chun Award for Government Leadership for cultural and entertainment destination The Concourse in Chatswood – one of the largest and most successful local government projects delivered in Australia over the past decade.
  • Councils address violence against women
    From affluent suburbs to the most remote corners of the continent, violence against women is happening every day in our society.
  • Invigorating change in Darebin
    Shopfronts are being reinvigorated on High Street, Northcote and Thornbury, thanks to an innovative project called Active Spaces in Darebin.
  • CEOs build awareness by sleeping rough
    Council chief executives from across Australia will join business and community leaders participating in the 2013 Vinnies CEO Sleepout to draw attention to homelessness in the community.
  • Learning for earning
    Council chief executives from across Australia will join business and community leaders participating in the 2013 Vinnies CEO Sleepout to draw attention to homelessness in the community.
  • Weekend of nostalgia in Ballarat
    Vintage–lovers and history buffs were spoiled for choice during the Ballarat Heritage Weekend in May.
  • Milestone for museum expansion
    A multi-million dollar expansion of the Tweed River Regional Museum at Murwillumbah has reached a major milestone with the pouring of the foundation slab for the extension.
  • Animation explains aged care services
    ‘An Old People Story’ is a DVD produced to promote aged care services across the MacDonnell Shire Council and assist people when engaging those services.
  • Mayor calls for Richmond to take off
    A submission from Hills Shire Council to the New South Wales Government’s draft Metropolitan Strategy has called for continued investigations into the use of the RAAF Base at Richmond as a domestic commercial airport.
  • Cockburn residents top 100,000
    The City of Cockburn’s population has exceeded 100,000 residents, based on last year’s 4.1 percent growth rate released in the Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
  • ‘Island Home’ celebrated
    The 2013 Mackay Festival of Arts program ‘My Island Home’ was launched in May with a celebration at the Botanic Gardens South Sea Islander Meeting Hut.
  • Promoting the power of literacy
    Campbelltown City Council’s Education and Care Services are helping people turn a new page in their lives with two programs that support literacy in children.
  • Monash plans for future leaders
    Monash City Council is engaging community youth with the release of a Draft Monash Youth Plan 2013-2016 for public consultation.
  • Fremantle’s heritage enters the digital age
    Fremantle’s world famous heritage buildings have entered the digital age with the launch of the Freopedia QR Code Heritage project.


  • Editorial
    When Australians go to the polls on September 14th, we will not only be electing a government, we will be deciding whether or not local governments get the constitutional recognition they have long campaigned for.

Feature: Environmental Management

  • Beatty Park’s ‘green dream’
    The City of Vincent says the hi-tech features of its $17 million redevelopment of Beatty Park demonstrate best practice in environmental sustainability and will deliver an energy saving of 5,000 mega watt hours per annum.
  • Future Directions in Environmental Management
    From Kathryn Greensill, Media and Public Relations Officer and Matthew Baldock, Senior Environmental Sustainability Planner
  • New wetlands use old wisdom to bring life to waterways
    North Lismore was once a thriving wetland used by local Aboriginal people, and Lismore City Council hopes their knowledge will help restore the land and improve local creeks.
  • Whitsunday weed partnership
    As the wet season draws to an end, declared and environmental weeds are sprouting all around the Whitsunday Region.
  • Weed harvester at work
    Fraser Coast Regional Council can now put its Aquatic Plant Management Policy to work with the launch of a floating weed harvester.
  • Food and garden waste trial underway
    The Shire of Campaspe, in conjunction with the Goulburn Valley Regional Waste Management Group (Resource GV), Cleanaway and Sustainable Kyabram (SKY), is part way through an innovative organic waste trial in Kyabram.
  • Hands-on learning at preschool garden
    Warragul Community Preschool Centre students are getting hands-on experience with a new vegetable garden and worm farm, established with the support of funding from Baw Baw Shire Council’s Community Development Grant Program.
  • Project innovation for good environmental outcomes*
    97 Manningham City Council households have committed to reducing food waste using a ‘Green Cone’ in order to minimise landfill. The council is working with residents on ways to minimise waste to landfill through a range of initiatives.
  • Volunteers turn out to spot Glossy Black Cockatoos
    Tweed Shire Council and a keen band of birding volunteers again participated in the glossy black cockatoo annual birding day held in the Tweed in May.
  • Sharing the benefits of soil moisture monitoring
    The City of Joondalup and Irrigation Australia Limited have teamed up to demonstrate how soil moisture monitoring can help conserve precious groundwater resources.
  • Coolest (or hottest?) parking in town
    The Chatswood Solar Farm is up and running on the sun, after Willoughby City Council completed stage two of its innovative solar farm on the rooftop of the Westfield Chatswood car park.
  • Competition inspires kids to recycle
    As the meeting place of the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics and the Outback, preserving the beautiful country of Cook Shire is very important to its community.
  • Regrowth and recovery after bushfires
    The Tasman municipality faced many challenges following disastrous bushfires early this year which left homes destroyed, trees burnt and wildlife lost.
  • Cogeneration feasibility now easier for councils
    The Cities of Boroondara, Darebin, Monash and Yarra are making it easier for other local councils to assess the feasibility of installing cogeneration plants in Council swimming pools and leisure centres.
  • Vision for Slacks Creek recovery
    Logan City Council has endorsed the Slacks Creek Futures Visions and Initiatives Report, representing another milestone for the Slacks Creek Catchment Recovery Project.
  • Clean and green waste facility for Sarina
    Mackay Regional Council is upgrading its rural waste transfer station in Sarina, transforming it into a clean and green waste facility, to better manage the region’s rubbish.
  • Ability Playground Equipment for City of Busselton
    City of Busselton Council in W.A. has given the green light for the installation of a special Ability Whirl roundabout to be installed adjacent to the new children’s playground at the Busselton Foreshore.
  • Planet Footprint recognises high achievers*
    From the 30th of June Planet Footprint will be allocating Gold, Silver or Bronze status to all Australian councils who are subscribed to Planet Footprint for the 2012-2013 Financial Year.
  • School program promotes healthy waterways
    More than 100 students sampled bugs, planted trees and got close to the environment during the launch last month of the City of Gold Coast’s Pimpama Catchment Study Guide.
  • New lease of life for Awaba Waste Management facility
    Lake Macquarie’s limited landfill space at the Awaba management facility was granted a new lease of life in May with the approval of its expansion by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.
  • Wood smoke initiatives a breath of fresh air
    Armidale Dumaresq Council has received a $50,000 grant from the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (NSWEPA) to improve local air quality this winter.
  • Hardcourt surfaces also need attention*
    In addition to assessing natural turf surfaces SportsTurf Consultants (Aust.) Pty Ltd can also assess the condition of hard surfaces such as tennis and netball courts (asphalt, plexipave, synthetic) and synthetic cricket practice wicket facilities.
  • Newcastle Museum a living laboratory
    Heritage-listed railway workshops that are now home to Newcastle Museum have become a living laboratory for waste and energy savings and a showcase for the City of Newcastle’s green action plan.
  • Forsayth Water Woes
    Etheridge Shire Council has accused the Queensland Government of turning its back on 80 Forsayth residents who are less than six weeks away from running out of water.
  • Engineering sustainable sports fields
    With 10,000 tonnes of fill material to contend with and a shallow water table, Warringah Council had to be innovative when it embarked on its mission to build Cromer Park — its first new sports field in more than 20 years.
  • Sustainable solution to Council road reconstruction*
    Rural Councils are seeing the benefits of innovative solutions to roadworks with the application of PolyCom Stabilising Aid to treat their existing marginal materials and construct a reliable and sustainable pavement.
  • It takes your energy to save energy: How local councils can benefit the environment through solar power*
    Great minds glimpsed the potential of the sun as an energy source long before the current emphasis on renewable energy. For example, Albert Einstein explained the photoelectric effect (the principle behind what produces solar power) and wrote a thesis about it in 1905 – years before he won the 1921 Nobel Prize.  In fact, Einstein conducted several important experiments with some of the earliest solar panels. And in 1931, Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb and phonograph, expressed this prescient hope – and fear: “I’d put my money on the Sun and Solar Energy, what a source of Power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out, before we tackle that.”