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Powering up

Powering up Existing hydro power generator could easily be upgraded to pumped hydro producing excess clean energy to support the needs of mainland states. Photo courtesy of Hydro Tasmania.

Temperatures across the country soared in January breaking all time records, while in Victoria businesses and residents were once again subjected to rolling blackouts as the Australian Energy Market Operator ordered load shedding across the grid, leaving thousands sweltering without air conditioning or refrigeration. Read more >

Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

“Sometimes it’s not just about the numbers”
A couple of years ago our Council asked the community what they thought about replacing a busy round-a-bout in the centre of Horsham with a set of traffic lights.

A large, loud group of the community voiced their concerns. Issues of traffic flow, impact on the shops, and a chorus of “we don’t need more traffic lights” led the public debate.

However, there was a small, quiet group of the community who requested the lights to make it easier and safer for elderly people, people in gophers and wheelchairs and parents with young children, to cross this busy intersection.

The traffic lights have been a success.

Sometimes it’s not just about the numbers, but what is fair and reasonable for our community.

In your January LG Focus, Rod Brown referenced some recent commentary from ‘experts’ in relation to supporting Australia’s Regions; Mr John Daley, CEO of the Grattan Institute and Mr Terry Rawnsley, a principal at SGS Economics and Planning.

Some people, who simply look at the ‘numbers’ when making statements of how and where services should exist and funds spent, often (not all of the time) don’t understand life in rural and regional Australia.

Where people choose to work and live in 2019 is governed by many factors.  Technology with good NBN service is creating opportunities for small businesses with young families to migrate from the concrete jungle to live and experience a better life.

You know, the Wimmera Region is characterised by farmland. Our farming families grow a variety of crops including wheat, canola, barley, oats and chickpeas, and also raise livestock including sheep, cattle, dairy cows, goats and pigs. Ducks, turkeys and chickens are farmed; we have native flower farms, olive groves, vineyards and orchards. Horsham has a well-earned reputation in crops research.

Our produce feeds Australia and the world.

Why should the Australians who live and work in rural Australia be made to feel like second class citizens by some writers and commentators based on the fact that, put simply, there are not many of them. Is the business conducted somehow less important when the office space is a kitchen table instead of an air conditioned multi-story building with a view?

Our Wimmera councils work together well, petitioning governments for investment into the services that attract residents, particularly professionals. Our Wimmera Development Association, with Regional Development Victoria, works to attract new private business and investment to our region.

I grew up in Melbourne. Shifted to the Wimmera 29 years ago. It has been a wonderful location to run a small business and bring up our family.

Been a local Councillor for 10 years.

This is not a numbers game. This is about realising we are a big, wide brown land, with hard-working people dispersed throughout.

Our needs are similar but different to the city dwellers. I would encourage those who write off the Wimmera, with such insulting language as ‘palliative care’ in provocative sentences, to –  come and pay us a visit.

Councillor Mark Radford     
Mayor Horsham Regional City Council
‘It’s all happening in Horsham’

Commemorating the first reconciliation

Commemorating the first reconciliation Traditional owner Fred Deeral, a direct descendant of the ‘little old man’ who initiated reconciliation with James Cook in 1770, presented the Prime Minister with a spear at the site of the original reconciliation, now called Reconciliation Rocks.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on a visit to the far north last month, announced a boost of $5.45 million to Cooktown’s 2020 Festival to support local infrastructure. Read more >

Irrigation conference designed for council staff*

For council staff working with irrigation, the first-ever Landscape Irrigation Conference and Exhibition ever to be held is not to be missed.

Organisers of this key 2019 event, being held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, are Irrigation Australia, Nursery and Garden Industry Australia, Turf Australia and Landscape Queensland Industries Association.

Their combined membership encompasses all aspects of landscape irrigation making the conference and exhibition an ideal place for people involved in irrigation to meet and share knowledge and experiences.  

With its focus on landscape irrigation, this unique event will bring together the entire urban irrigation sector to learn from each other and industry experts about best irrigation practice and to see the latest water efficient products on display.

Participants will hear about the latest innovations in technology and management of public open space and how others have introduced measures to improve water use and reduce costs.

One of our presenters is Richard Dilena, who has worked with the City of Geelong since 1988 helping to manage the city’s many parks, gardens and sports grounds in a sustainable manner.  

His case study will focus on the theme of providing functional green assets in the community, where he will look at an example of a recent irrigation project in a passive green space. This project includes turf and garden beds using a variety of irrigation hardware; basically, a typical small community park.  

The project was designed to use captured and stored rainwater off the roof of buildings, supplemented by a potable water supply, to do the irrigation. Richard will describe the planning process, the outcome desired and the reality.

Where: Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
When: from Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 June 2019
Days 1 and 2: Exhibition, presentations and case studies
Day 3: Field visits to see the latest technology at work
landscapeirrigation.com.au; ph 1300 949 891; info[@]irrigation.org.au

*Copy supplied by Irrigation Australia

Festival celebrates the best of the west

Festival celebrates the best of the west Western Downs Big Sky Festival culminates in the day on the Plain concert.

Set in the stunning Jimbour Plains of Queensland’s Western Downs, just three hours west of Brisbane, Big Skies is a nine-day festival celebrating the sights, sounds, tastes and unique experiences of the region from Saturday 27 April to Sunday 5 May 2019. Read more >

Election success shows communities are engaged - President’s comment

Election success shows communities are engaged - President’s comment Local Government Association Tasmania President, Mayor Doug Chipman

Read more >

This month

Powering up

Temperatures across the country soared in January breaking all time records, while in Victoria businesses and residents were once again subjected to rolling blackouts as the Australian Energy Market Operator ordered load shedding across the grid, leaving thousands sweltering without air conditioning or refrigeration. Read more >


Editorial

Read more >


Letter to the editor

Read more >


Commemorating the first reconciliation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on a visit to the far north last month, announced a boost of $5.45 million to Cooktown’s 2020 Festival to support local infrastructure. Read more >


Irrigation conference designed for council staff*

For council staff working with irrigation, the first-ever Landscape Irrigation Conference and Exhibition ever to be held is not to be missed. Read more >


Festival celebrates the best of the west

Set in the stunning Jimbour Plains of Queensland’s Western Downs, just three hours west of Brisbane, Big Skies is a nine-day festival celebrating the sights, sounds, tastes and unique experiences of the region from Saturday 27 April to Sunday 5 May 2019. Read more >


Election success shows communities are engaged - President’s comment

Read more >


Tyre pile set to go

Moira Shire Council, Victoria, has received support from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), to begin the removal of an estimated 500,000 tyres from a privately owned property at Numurkah. Read more >


Local government gets a Minister

The Northern Territory (NT) Government has announced the inclusion of local government in the Ministerial title of the now Minster for Local Government, Housing and Community Development. Read more >


Checking website fit for purpose

Hobsons Bay City Council, Victoria, will soon launch a new website and is calling on the community to help check its accessibility, structure, menu and usability to ensure it meets their needs. Read more >


Showcased on the global stage

The City of Canning, Western Australia, is embedding a culture of innovation to support the organisation to embrace technology and digital enablement. Read more >


Stock routes dry up

Flood conditions in far north Queensland have not brought relief to farmers in the southwest who suffered under record heat and the driest January ever. Read more >


A heightened role for Aussie Rules in the Bush - The Good Oil by Rod Brown

Aussie Rules is a hugely popular spectator sport. Ground attendances, TV ratings and broadcasting rights are through the roof. Read more >


Building a bridge

Toowoomba Regional Council, Queensland, formally appointed the first community representatives of the newly established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee on 22 January. Read more >


New mayors step up

South Australian tri-city alliance, Spencer Gulf Cities, received an injection of new blood with new mayors elected in each of the three representative cities in the South Australian council election in November. Read more >


Energy plan saves ratepayer dollars

Tweed Shire Council, New South Wales, is on track to save ratepayers more than $225,000 per year by self-generating an estimated 1300 MWh/pa of solar power. Read more >


Night time economy illuminated

Key findings from the Lake Macquarie City Council, New South Wales (NSW), consultation report ‘Creating a Vibrant Night-time Economy’ have shed light on the region’s potential for a diverse and thriving nightlife. Read more >


Councillor profiles - Belinda Murphy Mayor of McKinlay Shire

Read more >


Councillor profiles - Graeme Lehmann Mayor of Somerset Regional Council

Read more >


The importance of wetlands

Mornington Peninsula Shire, Victoria, is celebrating its unique wetland areas under the World Wetlands Day 2019 international theme of ‘wetlands and climate change’. Read more >


A breakthrough in eco-friendly weed control*

With current media attention and the health concerns about the use of non-sustainable chemical herbicides local government and the general public are looking for alternative weed control options. Read more >


High Achiever - Parks Maintenance Leading Hand Officer, Mark Smith

Read more >


Council loans boardroom table

The Roma Town Council’s boardroom table has received a new lease on life, with Maranoa Council, Queensland, handing over the table (on loan) to the Australian Campdraft Association (ACA) until 2023. Read more >


Community consultation delivers

A project designed to turn a tired residential road into a modern active street in Western Australia (WA) has proved the importance and effectiveness of good community engagement. Read more >


Love your life at every age

Penrith City Council, New South Wales, believes that ‘old’ is just a state of mind, which is why the Reimagine Ageing Festival is held every year. Read more >


Children learn about local government

When Councillor Anita Grace from Shire of East Pilbara, Western Australia, visited students in the 5-6 class at South Newman Primary school late last year to speak about local government, she was struck by their enthusiasm for their community and their interest in council. Read more >


Blazing a kayak trail

Late last year Clarence City Council celebrated a first in Tasmania and officially launched a kayak trail for residents and visitors to explore the city by water. Read more >


Calling all councils to put one on for the kids*

Get involved in One Day Fun Day™ a national day of free fun for disadvantaged kids. Read more >


Self drive trail follows military history

A new heritage drive trail which honours the long association Geraldton has had with the military has been produced which explores places and stories associated with war in the City of Greater Geraldton. Read more >


Walking on glass

City of Fremantle, Western Australia, has resurfaced the car park at the North Fremantle Post Office using recycled glass. Read more >


Brisbane River protection plan

South East Queensland (SEQ) councils will join together in a $2 million long term strategic plan to improve and protect the Lower Brisbane-Redlands Coastal Catchment, as part of the Resilient Rivers Initiative. Read more >


Old jetty lives on as public artworks

Port Augusta City Council, South Australia, has begun demolition of the historic Eastside jetty but plans are afoot for the timbers to live on in artworks and furniture that will decorate the foreshore redevelopment. Read more >