Peak industry body supports local council reforms
Local Government (LG) Professionals Australia, New South Wales (NSW) - the leading training and advisory association for local council professionals across NSW - says the state government’s plan to merge councils is a prime opportunity to continue to embed best practice across the sector.
Experience of a front line fire fighter
Matthew Holland is a member of the Witchcliffe Bush Fire Brigade and captain of the Witchcliffe Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service. He was the winner of the 2015 Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Youth Achievement Award.
This is his personal account of assisting at the Waroona Fires on Saturday 9 January 2016:
Council advocates for affordable housing
The City of Casey is continuing to advocate to the State and Federal Governments for the provision of improved diverse and affordable housing in the municipality.
Creating Solar Towns
Mount Alexander Shire Council has welcomed the news that local community organisations in the area can apply for grants of up to $20,000 as part of the Australian Government’s Solar Towns Programme.
Aboriginal Dot Art Workshop Success
The City of Melville recently strengthened its position on Aboriginal issues, reconciliation and diversity through a number of successful Aboriginal Dot Art Workshops.
Victorian councils continue fire relief efforts
After fires devastated communities along the Victorian surf coast over the Christmas period, local councils are spearheading relief efforts and encouraging residents to stay vigilant of further risk.
Bendigo calls for Council autonomy
In response to the Victorian Government’s review of the Local Government Act, City of Greater Bendigo will consider a submission calling for greater council autonomy.
Hackers help Council
Participants in the Sunshine Coast's Hackfest 2015 have developed technological solutions for common council problems.
Cost shifting burden increases says LGNSW
A report from Local Government New South Wales (LGNSW) has found NSW councils are being lumped with an extra $670 million financial responsibility as the State and Federal governments shift costs.
The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA) has stated renewed concerns about the significant planning reforms that are currently being debated in the State’s upper house.
Save the Date!*
The Digital Government Summit 2016 is being held on 3–4 March 2016 in Perth.
In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, a number of regional councils are putting their hands up to help.
Building the city dollar by dollar
Cessnock City Council’s recreational and community facilities will receive more than $70,000 in upgrades thanks to the Community Facilities Dollar for Dollar Grant Scheme.
Creating resilient rivers
Rivers and creeks in Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and west of Brisbane are undergoing a coordinated protection effort.
Calling all women
The ACT Government plans to fill half of the places in the next ACT Fire & Rescue recruit college with female firefighters.
Making regions more attractive for migrants and refugees - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
I attended a stimulating conference last month in Sydney. It was the annual gathering of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA). The amount of goodwill and positivity on display was remarkable, and was in sharp contrast with the daily TV grabs of people questioning the wisdom of a multicultural Australia.
Mountains of Help
The Blue Mountains City Council has launched the second edition of its successful youth directory.
Bring your community together this Australia Day with the Affirmation*
Across the country, there are thousands of organised events held on Australia Day, from fun runs first thing in the morning, to the fireworks in the evening. In most towns across Australia, a citizenship ceremony is held. Citizenship ceremonies are an integral part of Australia Day, with tens of thousands of people becoming Australian citizens on 26 January each year.
The City of Holdfast Bay has taken home gold at the South Australian Tourism Awards.
Kerbside collection drops 32kg!
The Shire of Chittering has trimmed its ‘waste-line’ through the introduction of kerbside collections for waste and recycling. The average amount of waste produced by each household every week has dropped from 74kgs in 2013–2014 to 42kgs in 2014–2015.
Congratulations to Neighbourhood Stars
Volunteers who have dedicated years of service to the Melville community were recognised at the City’s annual Neighbourhood Stars event at the City of Melville Civic Centre on Friday 20 November.
Green thumbs up for community hub
The ground works for the City of South Perth’s new Manning Community Hub are now well underway and the facility is set to be a vibrant gathering point. The $14 million civic project has been designed for the local landscape and will provide public and community space and facilities, an underground car park for 80 cars and sustainable design elements.
Amalgamations: Getting ducks in a row with digital toolsets*
In essence, efficiency is about squeezing more juice out of fewer oranges. More kilometres with less fuel; more heat with less gas; more bang for less buck. It’s a constant objective and one of the key drivers behind local government consolidation. And while the issue of consolidation is a far more nuanced discussion, at surface level it’s hard to argue with a desire to stretch the ratepayer’s dollar further.
Energy guzzling lights to go
Blue Mountains City Council is currently replacing over 650 energy-guzzling streetlights across the City with new energy efficient LED light bulbs through the Light Years Ahead project, which is set to cut emissions and costs for Western Sydney councils.
Cities get smart
Queensland councils have joined an international initiative connecting smart cities all over the world.
A cutting-edge rain garden
A Moonee Valley City Council project to turn an historic but dilapidated ornamental lake into a cutting-edge rain garden was highly commended recently at the Stormwater Victoria Excellence Awards.
Going even more solar
A revolving fund at Marrickville Council is helping the municipality reach its climate change goals.
New system saves money*
Hornsby Shire Council have introduced an innovative custom-built heating and ventilation system at the Galston Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Sydney’s Hills District. The ‘PoolPac Plus’ system was created by Air Change to meet council’s requirements for: improved air quality and energy efficiency; reduced costs for heating, ventilation and maintenance; and long term sustainability through better management systems. The PoolPac Plus is a direct expansion (DX) heat pump system designed to control the air temperature, humidity and the pool water temperature in a single packaged unit.
More trees are better than less cars
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers have found that the City of Sydney’s plans to increase tree canopy by 50 per cent could have a bigger impact on reducing air pollution than a reduction in traffic.
Roads clean-up for cash
The Town of Port Hedland is calling for expressions of interest for volunteers to participate in a new Trash for Cash for Trash program.
Bulky waste initiative
Bulky waste collections are on their way for Redland City following a decision at this week’s Redland City Council general meeting.
Profits returned to communities
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Joanna Gash joined Southern Phone Chairman, Bill Hilzinger in handing over $25,000 in community funding grants as part of the Southern Phone Grants Scheme. The scheme provides funding to “not for profit” community groups through Councils.
Million pages project a great success
One million fewer pages of paper were used by the City of Stirling in 2014-15 when compared with the previous year, thanks to a range of actions taken by employees from right across the organisation.
New Council offices built over leisure centre
Banyule Council has started building new civic offices, which will bring a wide range of environmental and economic benefits, including $1m in annual ongoing savings in net operating costs.
The City of Canterbury has strengthened its focus on process improvement and established a Business Improvement program at the start of this year.
New research clarifies procurement patterns
Earlier this year, a research project into low value procurement in Australian Local Government was conducted. The objective was to provide insights into below tender threshold Council purchases and the associated risks. The resulting Whitepaper has now been published and was presented at the ninth annual Local Government Procurement Conference in Sydney.
New way to pay rates
The City of Gold Coast in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank is transforming the way residents are able to pay their rates and water with the introduction of a new self-service payment kiosk at Elanora and Runaway Bay libraries.