Breaking News

Drought funding delays

Drought funding delays Broken Beaury Creek Bridge, Tenterfield Shire, allocated drought funding.

Tenterfield Shire Council, New South Wales, signed a $1 million contract for drought funding initiatives on 20 December 2018 after a protracted application process that Mayor, Peter Petty has called extremely frustrating. Read more >

Talking about rural struggles

Goondiwindi Regional Council, Queensland, is doing its bit to lift the cone of silence on the unique problems faced by Australians living in rural communities.


Rural Aid Australia representative, Ms Jenny Jensen, has addressed Council about the work that the organisation does in the region and across Australia, highlighting its availability as
a year-round service.

Mayor, Graeme Scheu, said, “This service isn’t just for those experiencing drought or other natural challenges, but it’s about the daily struggles
of rural living.

“Whether you’re a property owner or an employee working on the land, there are resources available and we’re so lucky to have this service available in
our community.”

The organisation partners with a variety of other groups to provide a range of services, including: the Buy a Bale fodder program; Farm Army, where volunteers help on farms; Farm Rescue, where tradies provide a mini makeover on farms; and most importantly on-farm counselling. 

The counselling service helps people work through a range of financial and social pressures that can come from rural life.

Ms Jensen is from a farming background and, like her colleagues, can apply her professional counselling qualifications with a very practical knowledge of the issues that her clients may face.

Biomass central

Biomass central Mayor Rank said circular bioeconomies are ‘the next industrial revolution’.

The Green Triangle region of Victoria and South Australia has been labelled ‘biomass central’ by industry experts at a recent bioenergy seminar. Read more >

Plastic roads head west

Plastic roads head west SA’s first road made from recycled plastics and glass.

The first South Australian (SA) road built with soft plastics and glass at Happy Valley in the City of Onkaparinga has seen plastic from approximately 139,000 plastic bags and packaging and 39,750 glass bottle equivalents diverted from landfill. Read more >

Sustainability lessons from ICAC report*

By Rob Cook


The recent Corruption and Integrity in the NSW Public Sector<report prepared by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will likely attract lots of attention among local government procurement professionals.

While much of the report deals with abuses of government processes, it also contains many valuable lessons about probity – a key element in financial sustainability. After all, things need to be above board if any organisation is to survive scrutiny and function effectively over the long term.

The report probed activities in the New South Wales public sector and found some evidence of corrupt procurement processes, mostly traced to control failures. ICAC notes shortcomings ranging from buying goods and services that are not needed to conflicts of interest and flaws in tendering.

While some of these are blatant acts of fraud which are hard to detect, many can at least be identified and discouraged by rigorous procurement processes. Many proactive public sector organisations already use online toolsets to weed out some of the bad practices, attract the most bids and run robust competitive tenders, while electronic bid evaluation systems help ensure transparency and probity.


The risk of unvetted suppliers

Another significant finding is a lack of ‘robust systems for conducting due diligence on suppliers and other counterparties’.

This goes to the very heart of sustainability, since local governments need some assurance that their key suppliers will deliver what they promise.

The report noted that while most government agencies generally do a reasonable job of due diligence for larger tenders, ‘the standard of checking usually falls away (for smaller engagements)’. The danger here is that these unvetted suppliers can potentially chase more work, bigger orders and more income while they have government contracts - but still fly under the due diligence radar.

Another due diligence blind spot was identified among supply panels.

‘Organisations ... maintain panels of pre-approved suppliers but agencies should not assume all empanelled suppliers have been subjected to an exhaustive set of due diligence checks,’ the report warns.

At TenderLink, we have for some time been warning about the need for due diligence to ensure that selected suppliers are actually capable of delivering the goods and services they promise. And the more important the goods and services, the greater the need for a full understanding of the supplier's financial capability.


Keep a close watch

Procurement best practice, from a financial sustainability perspective, requires that vendors should be vetted before the contract is awarded. However, solvency is not static, and buyers need to ensure that their suppliers, especially those with large and strategic contracts, are monitored on an ongoing basis.

Financial sustainability requires transparency and probity, so that all stakeholders are comfortable with the validity of the procurement process. But it also requires close and ongoing scrutiny of vendors to ensure that they meet their contractual obligations and don't leave councils stranded when the going gets tough.


Rob Cook is Marketing Manager of TenderLink

(www.tenderlink.com), one of Australasia's

largest integrated web-based procurement solutions providers.


*Copy supplied by TenderLink

This month

Drought funding delays

Tenterfield Shire Council, New South Wales, signed a $1 million contract for drought funding initiatives on 20 December 2018 after a protracted application process that Mayor, Peter Petty has called extremely frustrating. Read more >


Talking about rural struggles

Goondiwindi Regional Council, Queensland, is doing its bit to lift the cone of silence on the unique problems faced by Australians living in rural communities. Read more >


Editorial

Read more >


Biomass central

The Green Triangle region of Victoria and South Australia has been labelled ‘biomass central’ by industry experts at a recent bioenergy seminar. Read more >


Plastic roads head west

The first South Australian (SA) road built with soft plastics and glass at Happy Valley in the City of Onkaparinga has seen plastic from approximately 139,000 plastic bags and packaging and 39,750 glass bottle equivalents diverted from landfill. Read more >


President’s comment – Women’s representation increases

Read more >


Youth vote

Tasmanian Local Government elections in October 2018 provided an opportunity for the West Tamar Council Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to give young people in the municipality a chance to have their say. Read more >


Sustainability lessons from ICAC report*

By Rob Cook Read more >


Impressive facilities

City of Kwinana’s Youth Precinct has received a visit from the Western Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Colin Pettit. Read more >


Getting back on track

Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Queensland, has stepped in to support local residents with concerns about the Inland Rail project, by providing an office in Gatton to ensure residents have reasonable access to the Australian Rail Track Corporate (ARTC) during the Inland Rail consultation process. Read more >


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. Read more >


Regions in palliative care? Prove the city slickers wrong! – The Good Oil by Rod Brown

“We have been trying for 118 years to get people to move to the regions, and for 118 years we have had glorious failure.” Read more >


Building a city smartly

The City of Parramatta, New South Wales, will be the field laboratory for ground breaking smart climate neighbourhood technology following a Federal Government Smart Cities grant of $571,000. Read more >


Councillor profiles – Mayor Janet Pearce, Macedon Ranges

Read more >


Councillor profiles – Mayor Alan Hall, Wellington Shire Council

Read more >


Nature trail has positive impact

Coorong District Council, South Australia, will begin construction on another 32 kilometres of the Murray Coorong Trail using $110,000 granted by the State Government to help increase walking and cycling access along the region’s unique waterways. Read more >


Councils implicated in Chain of Responsibility laws

Reforms to the National Heavy Vehicle Register (NHVR) Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws, implemented on 1 October 2018, have direct implications for Local Government including large fines and/or imprisonment for breaches. Read more >


Clean rivers by design

Manningham Council, Victoria, has developed a new system that provides a low cost method to clean stormwater with little or no ongoing maintenance requirements. Read more >


Holding the key

Local government knows there is a problem with affordable housing in Australia but few councils are acting according to the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA). Read more >


Towing equipment – look beyond the steel*

Towing trailers behind heavy vehicles is a hazardous task directly covered by new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws. Read more >


West coast brand hits number 1

The West Coast, Tasmania, is the talking point of the design world, with the West Coast Brand given the top spot in the BrandNew Annual Review Best of 2018. Read more >


Healthy chooks happy neighbours

People who keep chooks in residential areas of Tasmania’s Central Coast Council have a new tool to help keep their hens healthier and their neighbours happier. Read more >


Countering gender-based violence

Mildura Rural City Council, Victoria, is collaborating with the Gender Equity Action Sunraysia group (GEAS), to better understand gender inequality and the effect it has on violence against women in the community. Read more >


Council adopts Aboriginal names

Inner West Council, New South Wales, has voted to rename all five wards within the Local Government Area to include Aboriginal names. Read more >


Call out to councils: a day of free fun for disadvantaged kids and their carers*

One Day Fun Day™ National Event Read more >


How wood can help councils reduce the impact of climate change*

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently issued its latest report with a stark warning about how long we have left to moderate CO2 emissions and to halt global warming. Read more >


High Achievers – Haydn O’Leary Engineer, Toowoomba Regional Council

Read more >


Innovative road maintenance*

Unsealed road maintenance budget can be reduced significantly with Australian made innovation. Read more >


Breaking the mold

Gnowangerup Shire has the unusual credit of being the only council in Western Australia with a female Works Manager according to the Local Government Supervisors Association. Read more >


Bio energy powers pool heating

A biomass boiler at the Albany, Western Australia (WA), Leisure and Aquatic Centre (ALAC) is now keeping the pool heated while significantly reducing the centre’s reliance on gas. Read more >


Seeking skills from overseas

The Great South Coast region of Victoria, has secured a five-year agreement between Warrnambool City Council and the Commonwealth which will help employers address local skill shortages in key industries. Read more >