Message from the Minister

Welcome to the September Edition of the National Perspective.

The 2002 National Awards for Local Government category winners are featured in this edition. The Awards have highlighted the fact that Councils are operating in a new global environment. Success depends on Councils’ ability to adapt and change and innovation and excellence will be a vital aspect of that future. The Awards also provide an opportunity to recognise the outstanding work going on at the local level.

I am pleased to be able to showcase Local Government sector initiatives through these Awards to the community, industry groups, other Councils and government. I thank all involved in the Awards including our sponsors who, year after year, recognise the importance of supporting Local Government’s vital role in our community.

Congratulations to the Category Winners. This year’s finalists have demonstrated they are able to meet challenges with enthusiasm, resourcefulness and ingenuity. I wish you success for the national judging and look forward to announcing the national winner and the national rural winner at the Australian Local Government National General Assembly in late November.

The Inquiry into Local Government and Cost Shifting has received well over 250 submissions from Councils and other interested parties. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration has heard evidence at hearings in Perth and Canberra and the times and places for future hearings are detailed in this edition. I encourage Councils and all those interested to attend the hearings and have their say about the future of Local Government.

The Australian of the Year Awards has a new category to recognise local people who make a difference with their contribution to their local community. This year the Local Hero Awards will be added to the Australian of the Year, the Young Australian of the Year and the Senior Australian of the Year. National winners will be announced on the eve of Australia Day, 25 January next year.