June 2014 Edition

Breaking News


  • Roads, tick but…
    The 2014–2015 federal budget has been supportive of road construction and repair, however many in the local government sector are lamenting the loss of multiple funding sources.
  • 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
  • ‘My Council’ to examine Victorian Local Government
    Victorian Local Governments will be under greater scrutiny than ever before with the State Government announcing Australia’s first standardised system of Local government reporting.
  • New member for rail alliance
    Moree Plains Shire Councillor Sue Price has been elected as Deputy Chair for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Alliance (MBIRA) and joins other Local Government representatives on the Executive Committee including Parkes Shire Council Mayor Councillor Ken Keith and General Manager Kent Boyd, the Mayor of Toowoomba Councillor Paul Antonio and Reid Mather representing Victorian local governments.
  • Recognising our future - President’s comment
    I was recently invited to present a speech to the Municipal Association of Victoria on the challenges facing local government.
  • Increasing women’s voice in Local Government
    Australian Women were among the first in the world to gain the vote but now lag behind the rest of the world in representation in government and business.
  • Certainty needed on rating powers
    Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President Margaret de Wit has said that the recent Supreme Court judgment determining that Mackay Regional Council’s decision to impose differential rates on non-owner occupied residential property was invalid has major implications for other councils across the state.
  • Town Hall open for after school care
    Leichhardt Municipal Council will open up town halls and community centres for use by after school care services to tackle the unprecedented after school care crisis in Inner West Sydney.
  • CIVENEX and LOGOV showcase infrastructure*
    CIVENEX is the New South Wales Institute of Public Works Foundation event for the Civil Construction industry showcasing the latest innovations in the market.
  • Federal effort to nurture entrepreneurs - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    As flagged last month, the Federal Budget announced the end of the core industry programs (Commercialisation Australia, Innovation Investment Fund, Industry Innovation Councils, Innovation Precincts, Enterprise Connect, Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Carbon Capture and Storage).
  • Historic cottages restored
    The City of Fremantle Has welcomed the state government announcement that will result in Fremantle’s 150-year-old Henderson Street Warders’ Cottages benefiting from conservation and maintenance work after remaining unused and derelict since 2011.

  • Parks and Leisure on show in Cairns*
    How’s your winter looking? The 2014 Parks and Leisure Australia National Conference will be held in tropical Cairns from 24th–27th August. 
  • Program praised
    A reduction in the complaints relating to food, public health, pollution and public safety has been attributed to an innovative program developed by Bankstown City Council.
  • Councillor profiles - This month from Western Australia
    Christine Germain, President Shire of Waroona, Western Australia
  • Councillor profiles - This month from Western Australia
    John Carey, Mayor City of Vincent, Western Australia
  • Heart Foundation creates healthy communities
    The National Heart Foundation of Australia’s work in helping to make Australians healthier, through influencing good planning, design and building has been recognised through a national award.
  • Grilled on rate cap policy
    The Victorian Opposition’s policy to introduce a rate cap for councils came under scrutiny when the Shadow Minister for Local Government, Richard Wynne and the Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Jacinta Allan, addressed last month’s Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Forum in Melbourne.
  • Creating affordable housing
    Warringah Council is investigating two new options for affordable housing on Sydney’s northern beaches after a forum in March highlighted it as a major problem in the region.
  • Coast honoured by Russian gift
    Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov has today signed and dated one of the famous oars he used to make it across the Pacific Ocean in the longest solo man-powered voyage of all time.
  • Road funding slashed
    The Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) have warned that community road safety will be at risk after the state government announced cuts to local road funding in its budget.
  • Reconciliation Action Plan nominated
    Cairns Regional Council’s (CRC’s) Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) has been recognised for its contribution toward closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents as a finalist in the Community category of the 2014 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
  • Robyn Archer to head coast culture charge
    Internationally acclaimed artist Robyn Archer AO will lead the Gold Coast’s arts and cultural development ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games after being appointed City of Gold Coast’s Strategic Advisor, Arts and Culture.
  • Shared services set to grow
    The Victorian Auditor-General’s recent report, Shared Services in Local Government, has highlighted the current trend of local governments to share services and that further growth in this practice is expected in the future.
  • Reform costs and savings unclear
    The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) has questioned the predicted costs and savings that would accompany the proposed reforms and amalgamations of local government in Western Australia.
  • Innovation centre for small business
    Work has begun on construction of a unique centre that will provide crucial support services to start-up small businesses in Melbourne’s east and south east.
  • Planting a koala corridor
    Tweed Shire Council has hosted a community tree-planting day at Cudgen Lake in the latest initiative to enhance native vegetation corridors through the Koala Connections project.
  • The best in early education and care
    Victoria’s very best in the early education and care profession have been announced in this year’s Australian Family Early Education & Care Awards. 


  • Editorial
    Even a month after the Abbott government handed down the 2014/2015 budget, people are still trying to work out what the impact will be on local government, businesses and themselves.

Feature: Environmental Management

  • WESROC call to preserve urban forest
    The Western Suburbs Regional Organisation of Councils (WESROC) highlighted the importance of Perth’s Urban Forest at the launch of its Climate Smart adaptation series, at the Grove Library in March. 
  • Future Directions - Burnie’s waste journey – Gary Neil, Director, Works and Services
    Over the last 20 years, Burnie has transformed itself from a place that had a reputation as a dirty industrial town into a city that embraces it natural values and promotes innovation.
  • Water A-plenty
    The days of sub-standard, dirty tap water and praying for rain are a thing of the past for the residents of Gunning and Dalton, in the NSW Southern Tablelands and Upper Lachlan Shire Council
  • Broadwater nutrients under the microscope
    The City of Gold Coast recently delivered the findings to an extensive investigation into the health of the Broadwater Catchment, an important recreational environment and an economic resource for many residents and visitors to the Gold Coast.
  • Community garden grows
    The Eastern Park Community Garden in Baw Baw Shire continues to progress thanks to six successful working bees organised by Growing Together Baw Baw in April and May.
  • Landfill levy a win
    The Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) have nominated a $13 per household increase to the metropolitan Landfill Levy as one fee hike in the State Budget that the community should support and endorse.
  • SMART Playground excels at Good Design Awards*
    The 2014 Good Design Awards Festival held their gala event on the 28th of May to announce the winners of the Good Design Awards, in association with Vivid Sydney.
  • Steel water reservoirs secure
    Armidale’s steel water reservoirs have undergone extensive refurbishment to preserve the 60-year design life of the structures.
  • Beneficial bushcare study
    Shoalhaven City Council Deputy Mayor, John Wells has welcomed the results of a recent study into the social and biodiversity benefits of the area’s Bushcare Program.
  • Clean energy from trash
    The City of Sydney has drafted a waste management plan that could see rubbish that would previously have been sent to landfill converted into renewable gas energy.
  • Pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras are saving lives*
    Integrated PTZ camera systems from Prospect Environmental and Prospect Red Alert are making a positive difference to Councils, emergency services, and those living in in remote areas.
  • 25 years of Bushcare
    This year Hornsby Shire Council is celebrating 25 years of their volunteer Bushcare program, which has been running since 1989 and is one of the largest programs of its kind in New South Wales.
  • Environmental assessment tool
    As part of its Business Environmental Assessment Project, the City of Belmont has recently developed a new Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tool for assessing local businesses’ environmental practices.
  • Solar-thermal saves thousands
    The Town of Victoria Park recently installed a Solar-Thermal Hot Water system at its ‘Aqualife’ aquatic facility.
  • Construction requirements the sensible approach
    The Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) has announced their support for new special construction requirements for new homes built in bushfire prone areas recently detailed by the state government.
  • Innovative biomass boiler
    The Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre Biomass Boiler has been awarded the 2014 South Australian Aquatic Innovation Award.
  • Compactor extends landfill life
    The purchase of a $1.2 million compactor will see an extension to the lifespan of the South Hedland Landfill Facility, ensuring the site can meet the forecasted demand of the Town of Port Hedland’s growing population and economy.
  • Shining a light on smart lighting
    Colac Otway Shire Council has given approval to fund new LED streetlights in its Smart Lighting program.
  • Recycled art on display
    Artists are raiding the hard waste collection for Hornsby Shire Council’s Returned to Glory art exhibition that displays recycled art.
  • Sports center wins national awards
    The Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre has been recognised at the 2014 Property Council of Australia/Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation & Excellence Awards, being presented with the Ryan Lawyers Award for Best Tourism and Leisure Development.
  • Scrapping food waste
    Every household in Randwick City could soon be putting out a kitchen food scraps bin each week for collection along with the normal rubbish, recycling and green waste services.
  • Sun shines on environmental lesson
    Penrith’s youngest environmentalists are learning first hand how they can save energy and reduce their carbon footprint after Council installed solar panels at one of its largest facilities.
  • Smoking out pollutants
    Orange City Council has launched a new scheme aimed at reducing pollution from wood smoke by encouraging homeowners to replace outdated wood and solid fuel heaters.
  • Community input on ‘Gasfield free’ signs
    Tweed Shire Council has long held a stance against unconventional gas exploration in the Tweed and, if supported by the community, will install ‘Gasfield Free’ signs at various locations throughout the shire.
  • Upgrade for Headland Park
    Headland Park on North Stradbroke Island is set to receive a $500,000 upgrade.
  • Hardwood sculpture unveiled
    Adelaide Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood has unveiled Sculptor Ant Martin’s transformation of a tree trunk at Glover Playground during a ceremony on Saturday May 24.
  • aquafil™ water bottle refill stations help conserve water*
    Lake Wendouree
    Central Highlands Water and the City of Ballarat have come together in a community partnership and created the Wendouree Drinking Fountain project.
  • Catch a carp for a cause
    Campbelltown is hitting out against invasive species with their second annual Catch a Carp competition at Eagle Vale pond.
  • Park Swings to success
    One of Logan City Council’s newest parks has been shortlisted alongside the best in the state.
  • Binning the waste
    Cessnock City Council has offered their residents the opportunity to upgrade their recycling bins.
  • Feral pig population cut
    Almost 500 destructive feral pigs have been eradicated in Douglas Shire Council over the past 12 months as part of a joint initiative to limit the widespread damage they cause.
  • Major park redevelopment
    Community open space in Tweed Heads South has been enhanced by a new playground and public recreation area at Arkinstall Park.
  • South proves resillient
    A joint initiative from the cities of Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Onkaparinga in South Australia has completed an initial assessment into the regions economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities associated with climate change.
  • Fantastic up-cycling
    A series of up-cycling art workshops, hosted by Tea Tree Gully Council, demonstrated how everyday plastics can be transformed into an array of imaginative artworks.
  • Sharks kept at bay
    The City of Cockburn has received an overwhelmingly positive response to the Eco Shark Barrier trial at Coogee Beach, which ended in April.
  • Proposed Mackay parkland project revealed
    A new wedding garden, playground shade shelter and additional car parks are only some of the features proposed in Sarina Parklands’s Field of Dreams Masterplan.
  • Council staff says yes to tap
    Ipswich City Council staff members have participated in a pilot program titled ‘Love your reusable water bottle’.
  • Ping-Pong to bring new life to park
    Randwick City Council has commenced work on the playground revamp at Frank Doyle Park in Randwick which will include the first outdoor, all weather ping pong table in the eastern suburbs of New South Wales.
  • Reach bottom line with road maintenance savings*
    With the release of the tough new federal budget, there’s more pressure than ever to cut costs to meet the bottom line.