Federal Government incentive to Local Government service

In March, the Federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald, announced 38 successful projects under the Local Government Incentive Programme for 2000-2001. The assistance totalled more than $3 million. The priority for the programme this year was to promote best practice and the sharing of technical expertise, community leadership and regional development. Collaborative projects were encouraged.

Successful projects came from small to medium councils in regional Australia and on the urban fringes and cover the full range of Local Government services. Projects from State Local Government Associations and the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia also received funding.

Four remote Shires in the Gulf country of Queensland — Burke, Carpentaria, Croydon and Etheridge — will jointly receive funding. Through the grant the four shires will evaluate resource-sharing opportunities, develop an integrated tourism strategy and coordinate training opportunities for the communities.. As part of the project, the Shires hope to create a coordinated calendar of regional events and promote a tourist path.

Another project straddles the Murray River with Moira Shire in northern Victoria combining with Berrigan Shire in southern New South Wales. Their project aims to improve the quality of life for border communities by looking for opportunities to cooperate in infrastructure planning and in social and regional development.

In Western Australian, the Local Government Association will pilot a programme to expand the Local Governments’ role in regional transport planning and coordination. This new role will go beyond local roads to include other transport infrastructure, however it will operate within the existing Regional Road Groups structure. Twelve councils based in the Great Southern area of Western Australia will take part — Broomehill, Cranbrook, Denmark, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Plantaganet, Ravensthorpe, Tambellup and the City of Albany.

In Victoria, the Shires of Golden Plains, Moorabool, Hepburn and Pyrenees will tackle effluent disposal problems in small town of fewer than 500 people. Limited disposal options can restrict the growth of small towns. The shires plan to review options and to consult with their communities. This project complements other joint projects in environmental and natural resource management.

A number of national projects have also been announced and will receive LGIP funding. A description of the approved projects is available on the Department of Transport and Regional Development’s website at www.nolg.gov.au