December 2013 Edition


  • Rating roads - Roads and infrastructure study highlights room for improvement
    More than 10 percent of council-managed sealed roads are in poor condition and around 65 percent of timber bridges are substandard.
  • 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
  • Improving community safety
    Residents of Melville are being encouraged to join a new local community safety initiative, created to connect residents to their local police and council.
  • Risk to communities in council reaction
    Divisions between metropolitan councils following the announcement of the Western Australian Government’s preferred local government boundaries will need to be quickly overcome for the benefit of their communities.
  • President’s comment
    It’s been a year of impending change for the NSW Local Government sector with a series of major reviews and reforms underway since mid-2012, which will potentially impact nearly every aspect of council operations. The most significant of these is the Local Government Review conducted by an independent panel. But with no tangible outcomes as yet, councils continue to lobby and consult with the NSW Government on behalf of their communities on a broad range of issues.
  • Generosity helps small town
    Great Southern Toyota in Katanning recently donated a 2005 Toyota HiAce to the community of Woodanilling in Western Australia’s Great Southern Region.
  • Maps guide the way for tourists
    A partnership between Yarra Ranges Council and local traders is making life easier for tourists.
  • Bridge Road turns heads
    Some colourful characters on Bridge Road are attracting interest from visitors of all ages.
  • Trails encourage visitors to experience Central NSW
    Central New South Wales is the new frontier of tourism in Australia with a campaign launched to help people self-discover the region and its staggering 1130 natural and culturally significant sites.
  • Anyone for fruit liqueurs? - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    Met up with a good friend in Cobram (northern Victoria) recently and we were mulling over the reportedly fragile position of SPC in Shepparton. And the problem is endemic across other fruit processors and the fruit growers supplying them. Large quantities of fruit are not being processed due to a combination of cheap imported product, a relatively high $AUD and ridiculously vague labelling laws in this country. Many regions are in the same boat.
  • State honours ALGA President
    South Australian of the Year Felicity-ann Lewis has said she was ‘humbled and proud’ by the honour bestowed on her.
  • Cloncurry Unearthed celebrates community history
    The official opening of Cloncurry Unearthed, Cloncurry’s first accredited Visitor Information Centre, marked a milestone in the growth of the community since the town’s discovery by Ernest Henry in the 1800’s.
  • Freedom of the City honour for Air Force
    The Redlands will celebrate its proud military past and build stronger links with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) by granting Freedom of Entry to the City to an RAAF unit.
  • Playgrounds and risks
    “Children fall and hurt themselves. They fall everywhere...but society views playground injuries differently; playground equipment should offer acceptable risks for learning to cope with falling and risk of falling, while lessening the seriousness of falls as far as possible.” 1
  • Councillor profiles - This month from Western Australia
    Marina Vergone, Mayor, City of Mandurah, Western Australia
  • Councillor profiles - This month from Western Australia
    Peter Long, Shire President, Shire of Roebourne, Western Australia
  • School children enjoy riding the trails
    Almost 100 Golden Plains school children were joined by Member for Western Victoria David O’Brien and Golden Plains Shire Council CEO Rod Nicholls as they enjoyed a ride along the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail in October.
  • Reflections: Learning, Leading and Living Education and Care
    Campbelltown City Council will hold its second biennial, one-day Education and Care Services conference in March 2014.
  • Sustainability in Public Works Conference to highlight innovative solutions*
    The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) will hold its Sustainability in Public Works 2014 conference in Tweed Heads/Coolangatta on 27 to 29 July 2014.
  • National Awards for Local Government
    The 2012 National Awards for Excellence were announced by Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon. Simon Crean MP, at the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly dinner at Parliament House on 19 June 2012.
  • Cooktown driving new tourism venture in top gear
    Cooktown and Cook Shire have a long history with the North Queensland Local Government Association (NQLGA), with its very first gathering held in Cooktown in 1895 and the most recent in 2002.
  • New club unites community
    The Dowerin community has come together to mark the official opening of the new Dowerin Community Club.
  • Evocities hails introduction of amended Regional Relocation Bill
    The Evocities project – a major campaign encouraging Sydney residents to live, work and invest in regional cities – has hailed the NSW Government’s introduction of legislation to amend the Regional Relocation Grant program and introduce a new incentive to Sydneysiders to make the change.
  • Council and university partner for Footscray University Town
    Maribyrnong City Council and Victoria University (VU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding  (MOU) to work together to develop Footscray as Australia’s first University Town.
  • Mayor welcomes funding for bushfire clean up
    Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill has welcomed the announcement of significant funding by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Treasurer Mike Baird and Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage for the Blue Mountains bushfire clean up and recovery, which will be provided under the jointly funded Federal-NSW Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
  • Recognising Council’s high achievers - This month from Victoria
    Ilias Kostopoulos, Manager City Works, Whitehorse City Council, Victoria
  • Recognising Council’s high achievers - This month from Victoria
    Finance Team, City of Greater Dandenong, Victoria


  • Editorial
    Following overwhelming support from the city’s constituents, the City of Greater Geelong introduced direct mayoral elections in 2012, with the aim to bring gravitas and a higher profile to the role.

Feature: Business Efficiency & Sustainability

  • Stormwater harvesting trifecta of benefits
    A recently completed Banyule Council project that established one of the largest stormwater harvesting networks in Melbourne is improving the environmental health of Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay and delivering social and financial benefits to the community.
  • Evaluating and minimising risks*
    There is a common misconception that risk management for councils involves only management of financial risks. In fact, risks are varied: ranging from risks of legislative non-compliance (there are more than 30 Acts councils have to comply with) and risks posed by inappropriate use of social media to occupational health and safety risks and risks of natural disasters. Safety risks are almost guaranteed to occur in each council on a monthly basis, ranging from potentialities and near misses to incidents with fatalities.
  • Future Directions - Demonstrating the benefits of resource sharing
    The City of Hobart is responding to a changing local government landscape which has encouraged councils to look for opportunities to reduce costs and share resources.
  • Community day out celebrates sustainability
    The Bland Shire community were treated to a great day out when Bland Shire Council hosted the “Bland Creek Catchment Committee (BCCC) Sustainable Lifestyle Expo” in October at West Wyalong.
  • Strategic Asset Management*
    Asset management has evolved from a traditional approach of ‘last year’s budget plus five percent’ to being a science-based, integrated business function that determines what services we provide, at what level, and with what funding. Put simply, strategic asset management (SAM).
  • Venture helps government ‘act locally’
    Dubbed an ‘online dating service’ for government and business, the Buy Local Project Northern Rivers procurement portal is an Australian first.
  • Thinking beyond the box*
    Many councils purchase an expensive electronic document and records management system (EDRMS) only to find that they cannot achieve the suggested ROI. Records remain elusive and staff uptake varies because of perceptions that the software adds additional work and complicates processes.
  • Libraries lead regional collaboration
    The Riverina Regional Library (RRL), based in Wagga Wagga, has a 35-year history of collaborative service provision across multiple council areas.
  • Tourism boost for Great Ocean Road
    A new regional tourism organisation is at last a reality for the Great Ocean Road region.
  • Sharing resources leads to airport success
    In two years Mount Gambier Airport has gone from being just another regional airport to an award winning facility that specialises in helping smaller council controlled airports with resource sharing and industry specific consulting.
  • Revitalisation of town centre
    Singleton Council is celebrating after the State Government announced $9 million in funding for the revitalisation of the Singleton Town Centre under the Resources for Regions program.
  • Spread the word*
    Spread the Word about APS Benefits and we will say thank you with $100.
  • The project management project
    When Nillumbik Shire Council CEO Stuart Burdack started three years ago, he introduced a strategy called ‘Future Directions’, which aimed to identify improvement initiatives across the organisation.
  • SSHED business accelerator turns 10
    Sutherland Shire Council has invested thousands of dollars into the Sutherland Shire Hub for Economic Development (SSHED) over the past decade to create local jobs, which had direct benefits for the Shire community.
  • Turning the page on a new generation
    Research has revealed that Logan City Council’s ratepayers are getting twice as much bang for their buck from their libraries than the Queensland state average.
  • Securing Queen Victoria Market’s future
    The City of Melbourne will make the largest investment in its history to preserve and renew the Queen Victoria Market, creating an expanded market precinct.
  • Engineering synthetic sporting surfaces*
    The effects of prolonged drought conditions and recent rainfalls have had a negative impact on the quality and utilisation of natural turf sporting facilities throughout Australia. As a result, many councils are now embracing synthetic sporting surfaces as a reliable alternative and ‘all-weather’ option.
  • New systems set to revolutionise stakeholder interaction
    “Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
  • Improving Business Efficiencies through Understanding & Consulting*
    Over the past thirteen years VersaDev has worked with councils across Australia with the purpose of delivering efficiencies and savings. The latest release of versaSRS (Version 6) shows our commitment to developing a world class product, developed and supported in Australia, that delivers above its weight.