February 2019 Edition

Breaking News


  • Powering up
    Temperatures across the country soared in January breaking all time records, while in Victoria businesses and residents were once again subjected to rolling blackouts as the Australian Energy Market Operator ordered load shedding across the grid, leaving thousands sweltering without air conditioning or refrigeration.
  • Letter to the editor
  • Commemorating the first reconciliation
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on a visit to the far north last month, announced a boost of $5.45 million to Cooktown’s 2020 Festival to support local infrastructure.
  • Irrigation conference designed for council staff*
    For council staff working with irrigation, the first-ever Landscape Irrigation Conference and Exhibition ever to be held is not to be missed.
  • Festival celebrates the best of the west
    Set in the stunning Jimbour Plains of Queensland’s Western Downs, just three hours west of Brisbane, Big Skies is a nine-day festival celebrating the sights, sounds, tastes and unique experiences of the region from Saturday 27 April to Sunday 5 May 2019.
  • Election success shows communities are engaged - President’s comment
  • Tyre pile set to go
    Moira Shire Council, Victoria, has received support from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), to begin the removal of an estimated 500,000 tyres from a privately owned property at Numurkah.
  • Local government gets a Minister
    The Northern Territory (NT) Government has announced the inclusion of local government in the Ministerial title of the now Minster for Local Government, Housing and Community Development.
  • Checking website fit for purpose
    Hobsons Bay City Council, Victoria, will soon launch a new website and is calling on the community to help check its accessibility, structure, menu and usability to ensure it meets their needs.
  • Showcased on the global stage
    The City of Canning, Western Australia, is embedding a culture of innovation to support the organisation to embrace technology and digital enablement.
  • Stock routes dry up
    Flood conditions in far north Queensland have not brought relief to farmers in the southwest who suffered under record heat and the driest January ever.
  • A heightened role for Aussie Rules in the Bush - The Good Oil by Rod Brown
    Aussie Rules is a hugely popular spectator sport. Ground attendances, TV ratings and broadcasting rights are through the roof.
  • Building a bridge
    Toowoomba Regional Council, Queensland, formally appointed the first community representatives of the newly established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee on 22 January.
  • New mayors step up
    South Australian tri-city alliance, Spencer Gulf Cities, received an injection of new blood with new mayors elected in each of the three representative cities in the South Australian council election in November.
  • Energy plan saves ratepayer dollars
    Tweed Shire Council, New South Wales, is on track to save ratepayers more than $225,000 per year by self-generating an estimated 1300 MWh/pa of solar power.
  • Night time economy illuminated
    Key findings from the Lake Macquarie City Council, New South Wales (NSW), consultation report ‘Creating a Vibrant Night-time Economy’ have shed light on the region’s potential for a diverse and thriving nightlife.
  • Councillor profiles - Belinda Murphy Mayor of McKinlay Shire
  • Councillor profiles - Graeme Lehmann Mayor of Somerset Regional Council
  • The importance of wetlands
    Mornington Peninsula Shire, Victoria, is celebrating its unique wetland areas under the World Wetlands Day 2019 international theme of ‘wetlands and climate change’.
  • A breakthrough in eco-friendly weed control*
    With current media attention and the health concerns about the use of non-sustainable chemical herbicides local government and the general public are looking for alternative weed control options.
  • High Achiever - Parks Maintenance Leading Hand Officer, Mark Smith
  • Council loans boardroom table
    The Roma Town Council’s boardroom table has received a new lease on life, with Maranoa Council, Queensland, handing over the table (on loan) to the Australian Campdraft Association (ACA) until 2023.
  • Community consultation delivers
    A project designed to turn a tired residential road into a modern active street in Western Australia (WA) has proved the importance and effectiveness of good community engagement.
  • Love your life at every age
    Penrith City Council, New South Wales, believes that ‘old’ is just a state of mind, which is why the Reimagine Ageing Festival is held every year.
  • Children learn about local government
    When Councillor Anita Grace from Shire of East Pilbara, Western Australia, visited students in the 5-6 class at South Newman Primary school late last year to speak about local government, she was struck by their enthusiasm for their community and their interest in council.
  • Blazing a kayak trail
    Late last year Clarence City Council celebrated a first in Tasmania and officially launched a kayak trail for residents and visitors to explore the city by water.
  • Calling all councils to put one on for the kids*
    Get involved in One Day Fun Day™ a national day of free fun for disadvantaged kids.
  • Self drive trail follows military history
    A new heritage drive trail which honours the long association Geraldton has had with the military has been produced which explores places and stories associated with war in the City of Greater Geraldton.
  • Walking on glass
    City of Fremantle, Western Australia, has resurfaced the car park at the North Fremantle Post Office using recycled glass.
  • Brisbane River protection plan
    South East Queensland (SEQ) councils will join together in a $2 million long term strategic plan to improve and protect the Lower Brisbane-Redlands Coastal Catchment, as part of the Resilient Rivers Initiative.
  • Old jetty lives on as public artworks
    Port Augusta City Council, South Australia, has begun demolition of the historic Eastside jetty but plans are afoot for the timbers to live on in artworks and furniture that will decorate the foreshore redevelopment.


Feature: Human resource management and OH&S

  • Collaboration tackles skill shortage
    The impact of a chronic shortage of skilled planning professionals on the Eyre Peninsula is being overcome through an innovative resource sharing arrangement that allows councils to access services without having to incur the costs associated with a full-time employee.
  • Conquering distance with eLearning
    In 2018 eLearning was established by the Torres Strait Island Regional Council through its Human Resources department as a way to overcome the barriers of distance, languages and skill levels.
  • Burying the 3Rs myth of local government
    A large contingent of people working at all levels in local government in Victoria will come together for the 2019 LGPro Annual Conference in February to bury the myth that local government is all about rates, roads and rubbish.
  • Future directions - Impressive results for managing workplace injury
  • Regional youth get support
    Temora, in the New South Wales (NSW) Riverina, is the first town to welcome the regional expansion of BREED Australia, a not for profit community charity which supports youth education and employment as well as the incubation of small business.
  • Call for Nature Stewards
    City of Melton, Victoria, is encouraging residents to discover more about their local environment by participating in a new pilot program run by Outdoors Victoria.
  • Opening doors for skilled refugees
    Nader Bulos fled war-torn Syria for Australia with his family two years ago and credits a CareerSeekers program hosted at the City of Sydney for helping kick-start his new life.
  • Council celebrates long service
    Lockyer Valley Regional Council recently paid tribute to some of its longest serving employees.
  • Construction Code changes affect councils*
    Access and Universal Design provides support for councils to understand the new requirements.
  • The right cover*
    Is your council protected from excessive insurance fees?
  • Farmers join the works team
    As the drought continues to impact the district, Forbes Shire Council, New South Wales, has opened up work opportunities for farmers and farming contractors affected by the disaster.
  • Workplace safety rewarded
    Staff throughout Scenic Rim Regional Council who have contributed to an enviable safety record have savoured the rewards of its cost savings, with free cooking classes and stress-busting neck and shoulder massages.
  • Creating a balance
    City of South Perth, Western Australia, recognises that balancing work and personal commitments is important to employees and has implemented a raft of programs to help achieve that balance.
  • Salary sacrifice to encourage ebike uptake
    Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government staff will be able to lease ebikes as part of a new salary sacrificing package to encourage sustainable transport.
  • Expanded training program tackles skills shortage
    Lake Macquarie City Council, New South Wales, has addressed the nationwide skills shortage crisis with a training program that is set to be expanded following four years of success.
  • Mental wellbeing a priority
    Moonee Valley City Council, Victoria, has taken an important step on its continued path towards a more mentally healthy workplace for staff.
  • Learning to get ahead*
    ‘It’s already made a massive difference’ – building careers with the Professional Certificate
  • Partnership brews up ‘Deadly’ new offering
    Noosa Council, Queensland’s, Peregian Digital Hub has launched a ‘barception’ service – an on-site barista and reception service – to be operated by a local not-for-profit Indigenous enterprise.
  • Focus on water grows jobs
    Armidale Regional Council, New South Wales, has welcomed a $67 million expansion of Guyra glasshouse tomato producers, the Costa Group, as an exciting further step in realising the region’s potential as a horticultural hub.
  • New approach to recruitment finds the best
    Forbes Sire Council, New South Wales, has adopted a new approach to ensure they get the best possible applicant for every job.
  • School based traineeships on offer
    West Tamar Council, Tasmania, is pleased to be able to offer two School Based Traineeships from 2019 to acquire a Certificate II in Civil Construction.
  • Secure code for local jobs
     A Secure Local Jobs Code, implemented last month, has changed how the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government awards contracts for government funded work to better protect Canberra workers.
  • Youth jobs get a YES
    Fourteen Richmond Valley high school students will this year join the ranks of the New South Wales council’s award-winning Youth Employment Strategy (YES).
  • Developing a safety culture
    The City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters’, South Australia, efforts in the implementation of risk management programs and processes have been recognised with a Local Government Association Workers Compensation Scheme (LGWCS) Work Health and Safety (WHS) Best Practice Major Award for a metropolitan council.
  • Read Aon's Local Government Risk Report*
    The 2018 Local Government Risk Report for Australian Local Government, Aon’s 4th national risk survey of the sector with close to 100 risk management executives responding, delivers benchmarking updates and valuable insights about effective risk mitigation and transfer.
  • Youth forum on climate change
    Central Coast Council, New South Wales, has targeted the region’s youth for consultation on Climate Change Policy, at a forum hosted by Mayor Jane Smith.
  • Human rights education for council staff
    The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission marked Human Rights Week in December with the launch of a free online education program about the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities for local government staff.
  • Street libraries add community connection
    Through its Street Libraries pilot program, Hobsons Bay City Council, Victoria, is inviting 20 residents in Altona North and Brooklyn to host a free street library outside of their house to share the joys of reading with their neighbours.
  • Work safe health forum
    Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Queensland, will use a public forum to spread its message on health, wellbeing, safe work practices and injury prevention hoping to generate awareness for safe practices and strategies which can be implemented in work places, at home and in the community.
  • Local councils help make farm recycling easy*
    For years, farmers and other AgVet chemical users had few options for disposing used containers. Consequently, they were dumped, buried or burnt.