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Direct democracy

Direct democracy

“Around the world, confidence in representative democracy is under siege. Citizens are moving beyond cynicism to disengagement, and the potential for further decline is clear.” Read more >

Geo Tourism draws visitors to the Murchison

Geo Tourism draws visitors to the Murchison London Bridge, Sandstone, WA.

Shire of Mount Magnet, Western Australia, will play host on 18 September when seven local governments join forces to officially launch the Murchison Geo Tourism project. Read more >

Agsafe’s stewardship programs leading the way in farm waste recovery*

Agsafe’s stewardship programs leading the way in farm waste recovery* drumMUSTER provides agricultural chemical users with a recycling pathway for empty agvet containers.

Since it began Gunnedah in May 1999, the drumMUSTER program has grown into a successful national collection and recycling program for agvet containers. Read more >

Red benches for domestic violence

Red benches for domestic violence Kyogle Council Mayor, Danielle Mulholland and Sheryl Neilsen, of the Kyogle Family and Domestic Violence Working Group and member of the Kyogle CWA Evening Branch.

Kyogle Council, New South Wales, has painted two benches at the front of the Kyogle hospital bright red as a stark reminder that domestic violence dwells in the community. Read more >

Productivity report calls rate pegging into question

The New South Wales Productivity Commission’s Green Paper on Productivity Reform, Continuing the Productivity Conversation released in August, has joined the chorus of voices calling for changes to the rate pegging system.

The report recognised a flexible rating system was the most efficient way of helping councils meet the risings costs of serving their communities.

Local Government New South Wales (LGNSW) President Linda Scott, said, “The paper is simply the latest in a long line of reports identifying the glaring problems with Government rate pegging.

“Communities expect councils to take on increasing financial responsibilities resulting from population growth, increased infrastructure requirements and more than 100 service demands.

“Added to this is the issue of cost shifting – where State and Federal governments make councils carry the can for costs previously borne by them.”

The Productivity Commission’s Green Paper said rate capping greatly hampered councils’ ability to deliver local services and infrastructure such as parks, libraries, bridges, cycleways and sports centres.

The 300 page report echoes previous findings such as the Henry Review of Taxation, the NSW Treasury Corporation’s assessment of the financial sustainability of NSW councils and the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel’s Final Report.

Business lobby groups, the Committee for Sydney and the Sydney and Western Sydney Business chambers have also called for abolishing the pegging system.

Last month’s Productivity Commission Review of Infrastructure Contributions in NSW issues paper suggested rate pegging had contributed to the State’s complex infrastructure contribution system.

“Increased rate flexibility must not come at the cost of other vital funding streams councils rely on, such as infrastructure contributions from developers to support development and growth of local communities.”

Cr Scott said LGNSW had been calling on the NSW Government to abolish rate pegging on behalf of councils for decades.

“Increasing numbers of reports back our call. Surely the writing is on
the wall.”

Currently NSW and Victoria are the only states with pegged or capped rates, however the South Australian Government has included rate capping in its plans to reform the state’s local government sector and the topic is still looked at from time to time in other states.

This month

Direct democracy

“Around the world, confidence in representative democracy is under siege. Citizens are moving beyond cynicism to disengagement, and the potential for further decline is clear.” Read more >


Editorial

Read more >


Geo Tourism draws visitors to the Murchison

Shire of Mount Magnet, Western Australia, will play host on 18 September when seven local governments join forces to officially launch the Murchison Geo Tourism project. Read more >


Agsafe’s stewardship programs leading the way in farm waste recovery*

Since it began Gunnedah in May 1999, the drumMUSTER program has grown into a successful national collection and recycling program for agvet containers. Read more >


Red benches for domestic violence

Kyogle Council, New South Wales, has painted two benches at the front of the Kyogle hospital bright red as a stark reminder that domestic violence dwells in the community. Read more >


Victoria MacKirdy National President, Local Government Professionals Australia – President’s comment

Read more >


Drought Support Officer funded for Lockyer Valley

Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Queensland, has increased its support services for those affected by drought through the appointment of a Local Drought Support Officer. Read more >


Productivity report calls rate pegging into question

The New South Wales Productivity Commission’s Green Paper on Productivity Reform, Continuing the Productivity Conversation released in August, has joined the chorus of voices calling for changes to the rate pegging system. Read more >


Galleries, libraries and museums open with a bang

As artist-turned-author Bruce Garrabrandt said, “Creativity doesn’t wait for the perfect moment”, and nor have staff at Moreton Bay Regional Council, Queensland. Read more >


Shepherd helps Gladstone Regional Council get mobile with online works program*

Maintaining complex spreadsheets, second guessing service levels, collecting road asset data that no one uses, juggling budget implications, and trying to communicate the bigger picture to Council are common frustrations associated with forward works programming. Read more >


Community engagement in times of drought

As Tenterfield Council, New South Wales, approaches the anniversary date of the fire event which flashed over the local water catchment and the following ash run-off issues, recognition has been given by Local Government NSW in the prestigious RH Dougherty Awards – Reporting to Your Community for a Shire with a population less than 30,000. Read more >


I want to visit Quambatook – The Good Oil by Rod Brown

Once in a while you read a book that really gets you thinking. Read more >


Community Cabinet tunes in to local issues

Town of East Fremantle, Western Australia, was the epicentre of participatory democracy in July when Community Cabinet was convened in the Town Hall allowing the Mayor and councillors to focus the attention of the Premier and State Government ministers on local issues. Read more >


Residents take part in extensive budget consultation

Giving residents more and easier ways to take part in financial decision making has helped Victoria’s Borough of Queenscliffe deliver a community minded budget and improve community perceptions of Council consultation. Read more >


Councillor profiles - Ceinwen Gearon Shire President of Shire of Denmark

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Councillor profiles - David Goode Mayor City of Gosnells

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