Breaking News

Border leaders unite against restrictions

Victorian and New South Wales mayors and CEOs along both sides of the Murray River from Corryong to Wentworth have joined forces in an unprecedented show of strength to convince the NSW Government to ease its latest tough border restrictions.

Since the new public health orders came into effect, all 14 councils said they had received messages, emails and phone calls from residents who could no longer get to work or open their businesses, with many already closing their doors.

Amid fears of a devastating economic impact on border communities that have always lived and worked closely together, the border leaders have combined to tell the NSW Government that the creation of a border zone now restricted effectively to a 2km strip on either side of the river is unacceptable and unsustainable.

Greater Hume Mayor, Heather Wilton said the harsh restrictions were creating stress and anxiety for workers, businesses and families, some of whom were facing enormous financial and emotional hardship because of the narrow permit zone along the border.

“Our request to the NSW Government is simple: please allow border community workers on both sides of the border to do their jobs.

“While we understand that both governments are working to restrict the spread of COVID-19, it should be made clear that there are only a handful of active cases of the virus in the border communities yet people living along the Murray River are being heavily penalised through no fault of their own.”

Mayor Wilton said all 14 councils had taken the historic step of uniting in a collective call for the NSW Premier and Health Minister to amend the order to allow more workers and business owners to cross the border, travel directly to their workplaces, and travel directly back to their homes each day.

“The narrow border strip system is causing a growing amount of harm to our communities as each day passes, so we’re urging the government to consult with us, so we can save our economies while also ensuring we’re all working together to minimize the risk of the virus spreading.”

The councils calling for the change are: Albury, Berrigan, Campaspe, Federation, Gannawarra, Greater Hume, Indigo, Mildura, Moira, Murray River, Swan Hill, Towong, Wentworth and Wodonga.

Cyber Node gets the nod

Cyber Node gets the nod Maroochydore Cable Landing Stationytty

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent announcement that Australian governments and businesses were the ongoing target of a sophisticated foreign state-based hacker are a firm warning to public and private entities to harden their shield. Read more >

myDarwin a success story

City of Darwin’s myDarwin discount voucher program has proved an overwhelming success, with more than 300 local businesses benefitting from the post COVID-19 recovery initiative.

More than 25,000 people registered on the online platform and more than 7200 discount vouchers were redeemed in the first week alone, with customers spending an average $75 to redeem their discounts.

The myDarwin project, an economic stimulus initiative by the City of Darwin, was designed to encourage frequent visits and spending by customers at locally owned small and medium businesses post the COVID-19 restrictions. 

More than $2 million dollars was spent at local businesses in conjunction with the myDarwin vouchers, exceeding all expectations.

General Manager Innovation, Growth and Development, Josh Sattler said City of Darwin was delighted with the program’s success. “This is the first time a local government in Australia has launched this type of program and I’m proud we have taken the lead to support our community at this time.”

The initiative was funded by $300,000 allocated from Council’s parking reserves, and aimed at supporting retail, hospitality and tourism businesses across Darwin.

Sattler said Darwin had been lucky to come out of the pandemic lockdown early but Council identified a need to come up with an incentive to ‘break the isolation hibernation’, encouraging people back onto the street and into the shops and cafes. 

He explained the current myDarwin discount voucher program lasted until the funding pool was used up but the platform’s value is that it can be reactivated in the future, for example after a severe cyclone. 

The project has sparked interest from other councils across Australia and New Zealand. 

Lord Mayor, Kon Vatskalis, said, “We know our local businesses support local jobs so it’s more important than ever that we all work together as a city to rise from this challenge.

Customers who registered receive $40 worth of myDarwin discounts each day to spend at local small and medium retail, hospitality and tourism businesses.

Industries benefitting the most from the program were food and beverage, sport and camping, hairdressing and beauty.

Funding for FOGO

Funding for FOGO The Town of Bassendean has gone FOGO and who better to promote it than the Mayor, Renee McLennan and her two minions Elliott and Xavier.

Town of Bassendean has benefitted from a share in $20 million from the Western Australian Government to support a state-wide introduction of a food organics garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service. Read more >

SafetySAM roadwork signs a safer alternative*

SafetySAM signage system (Stand Alone Marker as VicRoads and RMS know it) is a desirable alternative device for displaying standard AS1743 ‘Box Edge Plate’ and multi-message type roadwork signs. It is a unique product manufactured from a single piece high-impact heavy plastic substrate and does not require additional steel stand or supports.

The one-piece, all-in-one configuration means transport, storage and deployment are greatly simplified in weight, space, and ergonomics.

The device is designed for use in all roadwork applications on Australian roads. It is being particularly used in emergency and rapid deployment situations as well as longer termed work sites.

SafetySAM signs provide a benign form of user-friendly signage, safer for the user (strained backs/pinched fingers etc) while taking up far less storage space on vehicles and in stores. The innovative design enables the sign(s) to be self-supportive and is easily configured to be completely stable in the windiest of conditions.

Another innovative product from Tranex is the popular Barrow Light. A revolutionary product on the Australian market, an easy to use portable set of traffic lights mounted wheelbarrow style, it’s likely your shire is already using these handy lights or a neighbouring council close by is. Be sure to check them out if you haven’t already purchased your set.

Go to: www.tranexgroup.com.au or give us a call on 1300 13 77 54.

*Copy supplied by TranEx Roads & Traffic

Wik Elders walk on Country with Aurukun youth

Wik Elders walk on Country with Aurukun youth Wik elders teach Koolkan Aurukun State School students traditional weaving.

Wik Elders will continue to take Aurukun’s young people on Country to learn about cultural practices with a program run by the Aurukun Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) being extended into its third year. Read more >

This month

Cyber Node gets the nod

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent announcement that Australian governments and businesses were the ongoing target of a sophisticated foreign state-based hacker are a firm warning to public and private entities to harden their shield. Read more >


Editorial

Read more >


myDarwin a success story

City of Darwin’s myDarwin discount voucher program has proved an overwhelming success, with more than 300 local businesses benefitting from the post COVID-19 recovery initiative. Read more >


Funding for FOGO

Town of Bassendean has benefitted from a share in $20 million from the Western Australian Government to support a state-wide introduction of a food organics garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service. Read more >


SafetySAM roadwork signs a safer alternative*

SafetySAM signage system (Stand Alone Marker as VicRoads and RMS know it) is a desirable alternative device for displaying standard AS1743 ‘Box Edge Plate’ and multi-message type roadwork signs. It is a unique product manufactured from a single piece high-impact heavy plastic substrate and does not require additional steel stand or supports. Read more >


Wik Elders walk on Country with Aurukun youth

Wik Elders will continue to take Aurukun’s young people on Country to learn about cultural practices with a program run by the Aurukun Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) being extended into its third year. Read more >


Mayor Sam Telfer – President’s comment

President Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA of SA) Read more >


Corporate recovery ahead of schedule

Just twelve months in to a three-year program, the City of Perth’s plan for corporate recovery is more than 50 percent complete. Read more >


Good neighbours donate to bushfire affected residents

Shoalhaven City Council welcomed Blacktown City Council Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, to present a donation of $30,000 to the Shoalhaven Mayor’s Bushfire Relief Fund on behalf of the City of Blacktown. Read more >


GM ban lifted with opt in clause

In May 2020, the South Australian Parliament passed legislation which lifted the moratorium on production of Genetically Modified (GM) crops within the state. Read more >


Fresh food goes to landfill

New research has revealed more than half of all landfill waste in metropolitan Adelaide could have been recycled simply by using the correct recycling or green organics bin. Read more >


Braille stickers support residents through three-bin rollout

Mildura Rural City Council, Victoria, will make braille stickers available to help people who are blind or have low vision more easily identify each of their bins as part of the new three-bin service. Read more >


Libraries offer alternative to gambling venues

Libraries in Glenelg Shire, Victoria, are set to open ‘after dark’ thanks to a successful funding bid. Read more >


City staff support employment variation

City of Albany, Western Australia, employees overwhelmingly supported a proposal take a pay cut to save jobs and assist Council to balance its budget in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >


‘One Million Jobs’ – a fascinating input from a think tank - The Good Oil by Rod Brown

In late June, the Energy Change think tank, Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), released a very cogent and timely document called the Million Jobs Plan. Every local council should make itself aware of it. Read more >


Pop-up pedal parks on trial

Randwick City Council has announced sections of Clovelly Beach and Chifley Sports Reserve car parks will be temporarily turned into pop-up pedal parks. Read more >


Youth on Wheels is back on the road

District Council of Grant, South Australia, is pleased to announce the re-commencement of Youth on Wheels, after a short term hiatus of the program as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Read more >


Councillor profiles - Mayor Lara Carli City of Melton

Read more >


Councillor profiles - Mayor Danny Goss Baw Baw Shire Council

Read more >


Town unearths hidden talents

When Town of Victoria Park, Western Australia, made the tough call to close their facilities in response to COVID-19, several employees were left without meaningful work. Read more >


Lessons to learn from Black Summer bushfires*

Following the unprecedented 2019/20 bushfire season, the 2020 Bushfire Building Conference is shaping up to be a crucial event for builders, architects, building designers, engineers, and urban planners. Read more >


Library upgrades extend online

Burdekin Library became more accessible than ever when it switched to an all-new Library Management System on 12 June. Read more >


Super Tuesday Bike Count reveals more cyclists

The results of the 2020 Super Tuesday Bike Count reveal an increase in cycling in Greater Shepparton, Victoria. Read more >


Moira donates for cancer accommodation centre

Moira Shire Council, Victoria, voted at the May ordinary meeting to allocate a one-off donation of $20,000 to Stage 2 of the Albury Wodonga Cancer Centre’s ‘Hilltop’ accommodation project. Read more >


Recycling mattress waste

Central Coast Council, New South Wales, in partnership with Mattress Recycling Australia, is trialling a new process that recycles 100 percent of mattresses dropped off at Kincumber Waste Management Facility. Read more >


Camera added to flood network

Fraser Coast Regional Council, Queensland, has added a new camera to its early flood warning network. Read more >


Video story time with a difference

In the time of COVID-19 none have suffered more than the small rural and remote outback communities. Read more >


Tourists look to home

An increasing number of councils around Australia are commissioning multi-media campaigns to attract visitors, especially as COVID-19 travel restrictions are eased in most places. Read more >


Community billboards light up the town

Western Downs Regional Council, Queensland, have installed two brand new LED billboards to promote the region’s vibrant community culture, giving local community groups the chance to see their name up in lights. Read more >


Open era begins with launch of hub

Ipswich City Council, Queensland, has given ratepayers unprecedented access to the city’s finances with the launch on 2 July of its online Transparency and Integrity Hub, a first for local government in Australia. Read more >


Water plan in pipeline

City of Gold Coast, Queensland, has reached a milestone with the installation of a 900m long pipeline between Main Beach and Southport to manage its excess recycled water. Read more >