March 2015 Edition

Breaking News

  • NSW Mining affected councils continue call for Government Inquiry
    The Association of Mining Related Councils (AMRC) has continued its pre-election appeal to the NSW Government for an indepth mining impact analysis.
  • Three decades of service celebrated
    Deputy Mayor Russell Lutton (Division 2) and Animals and City Standards Committee Chair, Councillor Graham Able (Division 5) have become the City of Logan’s longest serving Councillors.
  • Queensland councils warn against disaster funding cuts
    Local councils have warned the Abbott Government not to abandon Queensland communities by withdrawing much of the Federal funding support for towns and regions hit by cyclones and other natural disasters.
  • City of Fremantle wins national gold
    A unique revitalisation strategy, an award-winning festival and events program, planning scheme amendments, an innovative ‘Fremantle. Be part of the story’ marketing program and the growth of quality visitor services and initiatives has resulted in a gold victory for the City of Fremantle at the 2014 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
  • MAV wins violence prevention award
    The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has won a prestigious international award for its ‘Prevention of Violence Against Women - Leading Change in the Victorian local lovernment Sector’ booklet.
  • Q ANZAC 100 workshops
    Libraries in the Fraser Coast Regional Council area will host free workshops for heritage organisations and residents interested in the preservation of war history, in particular from the First World War.
  • ‘Bus stop brekkies’ to celebrate National Youth Week
    National Youth Week (10-19 April) will be celebrated across the Mornington Peninsula with a number of free breakfasts being provided at schools and community locations for students and young people.
  • Koala Connections milestone
    The 50,000th Koala Connections tree was recently planted by volunteers in Pottsville as part of the Tweed Byron Koala Connections project.
  • IMAG_NE a revitalised city centre
    A new piece of temporary artwork is encouraging Mackay Regional Council residents to imagine what the City Centre will look like once the revitalisation project is finished later this year.
  • Big issues for local communities in tax reform paper
    The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has announced it is preparing a major discussion paper on Australian tax reform following the Abbott Government’s recently released discussion paper.
  • LGASA CEO new Kangaroo Island Commissioner
    The President of the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA), Mayor David O'Loughlin said it was with much regret that he accepted a letter of resignation from 'our long serving and highly regarded CEO Wendy Campana'.
  • ALGA welcomes Tax Discussion Paper
    The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the release of the Commonwealth's Tax Discussion Paper and the process to review the way Australia's taxation revenue is collected.
  • Deadline extended for set up of the Sunbury Council
    Victorian Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins has announced that the establishment of the Sunbury Council will be delayed by 12 months.
  • Don't leave our libraries in the dark says LGNSW
    Public libraries are well overdue for a fairer funding model from the State, according to Local Government NSW (LGNSW).
  • Plight of the pensioners
    The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) has launched a statewide petition calling on the South Australian Parliament to commit to maintain and index concessions on Council rates.
  • Ratepayers reject amalgamation
    The people of a major northern Sydney council have emphatically rejected plans for forced amalgamation of councils.
  • Queensland councils praise Reef protection plan
    Queensland councils have welcomed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's announcement of the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.
  • Mining related councils get pre-election pitches
    The Association of Mining Related Councils (AMRC) in Sydney has heard from both, the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon. Anthony Roberts and Shadow Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services; Regional and Rural Affairs, and Western NSW, the Hon. Mick Veitch MLC at a meeting prior to the NSW State election.
  • Harmony Day 2015
    Councils across Australia are celebrating the 15th annual Harmony Day this Saturday, March 21 2015.
  • LGNSW urges greater support for non-city seniors
    A State Government program which funds ageing and disability workers in metropolitan and major regional councils must be extended to rural NSW, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has said.
  • National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence
    This Friday, March 20 2015, will be the fifth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence with the Bully Zero Australia Foundation supporting the day.
  • Come clean on forced amalgamations says LGNSW
    Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has called on the State Government to come clean on forced council amalgamations well before voters go to the polls on March 28.
  • Councils celebrate diverse cultures
    Councils will embrace and celebrate community members from diverse heritages during Cultural Diversity Week from March 14-22.


  • Averting disaster
    The challenge of supporting and repairing communities after natural disasters is one that many local governments across Australia have to face.
  • 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
  • Australia's first nationally heritage listed city
    Broken Hill’s outstanding significance to the nation for its role in creating enormous wealth, its enduring and continuing mining, importance to industrial relations and unionism, community resilience and ingenuity as well as its mining and outback landscape has been recognised though a city wide heritage listing.
  • Major rail investment
    Rail Freight Alliance Chair, Councillor Mark Byatt welcomed the multimillion-dollar commitment from the Victoria State Government to upgrades of the Mildura rail network.
  • Final Federation Reform Issues Paper asks the big questions
    The fifth and final Issues Paper to be prepared as part of the Reform of the Federation White Paper process, COAG and Federal Financial Relations was released in February.
  • Council achieves 5 Green Star rating
    Wollongong City Council’s Administration Building in Burelli Street has become the first building in Australia to achieve a 5 Star Green Star Performance rating, signifying ‘Australian Excellence’.
  • Politics: a fragile state of affairs - President’s comment
    Over the past three years, I have regularly commented on the fragility of the political process in Australia and just how hard it is to be successful at all levels of government.
  • Inaugural conference
    The inaugural conference of the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (CQROC) was recently held in Emerald with great success.
  • Construction underway on sewerage network
    Work on the construction of a sewerage network for the industrial land development adjoining the Armidale Regional Airport is well underway.
  • Agreement to build healthy partnership
    Improved health and wellbeing within the community is the core aim under a formalised agreement between Cairns Regional Council (CRC) and the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS).
  • 2015 Heart Foundation Local Government Awards*
    The Heart Foundation Local Government Awards recognise and showcase councils who are working to improve heart health through building a sense of community, encouraging people to be physically active, be smoke-free and make healthy food choices.
  • The new approach to Indigenous advancement - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    There is only one federal indigenous agenda these days – the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
  • Regional capitals under microscope
    Australia’s regional capitals will soon be put under the microscope, after the Senate announced an Inquiry into the growth and economic potential of regional capitals.
  • Bringing swimming back to the river
    A new initiative launched by the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG), Our Living River, is on a mission to bring back swimming to the entire Parramatta River by 2025.
  • Where is the community fund?
    Interface Councils has called on the Labor Government to follow through on its election commitment for a dedicated fund that would support community infrastructure and get young people living in Melbourne’s outer suburbs moving.
  • Councillor profiles - This month from District Council of Mount Barker, SA
    Mayor Ann Ferguson OAM District Council of Mount Barker, South Australia
  • Councillor profiles - This month from City of Burnside, SA
    Mayor David Parkin, City of Burnside, South Australia
  • Cashing in on events
    Sunshine Coast businesses are making the most of their opportunity to capitalise on the region’s reputation as a leading destination for major events.
  • Council adopts fit for future initiative
    The City of Ryde has endorsed the implementation of a range of actions to proactively respond to the Minister for Local Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ initiative.
  • Peri Urban Councils seek a better deal
    The Peri Urban Group of Rural Councils has called on the Federal Government to direct funds towards improving the key roads and bridges along with mobile and internet access across the Victorian peri urban region in their 2015/16 Budget.
  • Searching for Gallipoli connections
    Murwillumbah’s Returned Services League sub branch is searching for Tweed residents who have relatives involved in the Gallipoli landing, for a special centenary commemoration on ANZAC Day.
  • Streamlined Local Environmental Plan
    Penrith Council has welcomed the approval of its new streamlined Local Environmental Plan (LEP), which means Penrith can continue its transformation into an economic powerhouse of Western Sydney, while retaining lifestyle and environmental standards.
  • Summer Series attracts big numbers
    More than 88,000 people attended the Hills Shire Council Summer Series of Events, which has been heralded as an outstanding success by Hills Shire Mayor Councillor Andrew Jefferies.
  • Big boost in childcare centres
    The opening of two new facilities in a week by Leichhardt Municipal Council has provided a boost to quality Sydney Inner West childcare.
  • Mayor returns from East Timor visit
    Mayor Councillor Peter Cox says great progress is being made in the Maubisse region of East Timor but more work needs to be done to improve health, education and water quality.
  • The forefront of disaster management training
    Redland City Council has hosted emergency management professionals from across the state at a nationally recognised training course.


  • Editorial
    Last month’s Local Government Focus (February 2015) featured a front-page story on the subject of amalgamations.

Feature: Information & Communication Technology

  • Simplifying backups, reducing IT management overheads*
    The Alexandrina Council local government authority serves residents on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.
  • Leading the way in CCTV
    Logan City Council’s continued commitment and investment in community safety will be reinforced this month with the opening of a new $1.2 million state-of-art safety camera monitoring room.
  • The fear of tech-led redundancy in procurement*
    It’s impossible to deny the power of technology as a worthy substitute for manual, process-driven tasks. Over the years the computer has replaced the typewriter, the keycard has replaced the bank cheque and the email has replaced the fax – and alongside this change, there’s a constant fear that we might be the next to go due to the adoption of the next shiny new gizmo.
  • Future Directions - The Whitsunday Regional Council
    The Whitsunday Regional Council is delivering on a strong program of innovative business improvements that leverage modern technologies to deliver increased services to the community.
  • ​Free road conditions app
    Coffs Harbour motorists can now get a free app to access all local road conditions, and those across the north of NSW, as part of the MyRoadInfo initiative.
  • Category 5 Cyclone Marcia tests award winning disaster management software*
    Guardian received a lot of attention in 2014 after winning a string of high profile awards including The National iAwards, The Queensland Resilient Australia Awards and The Global Disaster Resilience App Challenge sponsored by the United Nations.
  • World class human resource software*
    Frontier Software was founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1983.
  • School crossing supervisor campaign
    The City of Boroondara is running a campaign to recruit more School Crossing Supervisors.
  • New technology improves productivity and resilience
    Scenic Rim Regional Council has recently undertaken an extensive technology upgrade in the field of telephony and data communications.
  • Council reducing emissions and odour
    Blue Mountains City Council has fired up a state of the art Landfill Gas Management system at Blaxland Waste Management Facility, to capture landfill gas emissions and help reduce odour at the City’s only landfill.
  • NCS Chameleon acquires infoXpert*
    NCS Chameleon Limited, a software and services business focused primarily on the Public Sector is pleased to announce it has acquired infoXpert Pty Ltd. Following the acquisition infoXpert will merge with NCS Chameleon, further strengthening NCS Chameleon’s position as a significant software and services group across the ANZ market. The merger will be effective from the 9 March 2015.
  • CCTV helps protect lives and property
    The City of Sydney’s CCTV operators tipped off police three times a day last year as they viewed footage of incidents about to unfold, helping to protect the public and giving law enforcers the jump on criminals.
  • IT2015 - Local Government Information Technology Conference*
    Coffs Harbour City Council is organising its 18th annual Information Technology Conference for Local Government from 17 to 20 November 2015.
  • Head in the cloud
    In less than 12 months the City of Nedlands in the western suburbs of Perth has seen an IT transformation.
  • Interactive mapping site
    Whitehorse City Council has launched a new interactive mapping site called Whitehorse Maps, which has replaced the previous Mapping – GIS Online site.
  • Challenge of community engagement
    Aurukun Shire Council is overcoming the challenge of community engagement in a remote area of Australia by successfully engaging with its residents via social media.
  • Exciting changes coming with GIS
    Burdekin Shire Council’s Geographic Information System (GIS) is being upgraded in an effort to make it work more efficiently, both in the office and out in the field.
  • New software in procurement process
    An important step was taken in the Maranoa Regional Council procurement process review when it was resolved that a new software system would be acquired as part of a suite of initiatives to increase the efficiency of purchasing activities.
  • Emerging Technologies
    Fraser Coast Libraries are embracing the digital age following the launch of new Emerging Technology equipment in the Children’s Areas in Hervey Bay and Maryborough branches.
  • Big season set to launch
    The community will be treated to a range of exciting and diverse performances in 2015 as the Broome Civic Centre launches a bumper new season, along with a new booking website and logo.
  • Free cuppa for drivers
    Drivers travelling along western New South Wales region roads over the next three months are being encouraged to stop, take a break and receive a free cuppa.
  • New trucks hit Mackay region roads
    New waste and recycling vehicles will enhance Mackay Regional Council’s waste collection services are fitted with the latest in waste collection technology, plus are decked out with professional photograph’s of Mackay’s natural assets to help promote the region.
  • New e-newsletter adds to communications
    A new e-newsletter is the latest addition to the suite of communication strategies used by Orange City Council to engage with the community.
  • Transforming the way we do business
    Social media has transformed the way that Local Government engages with communities and how we do business.