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Focus on liveability needs social infrastructure

Western Sydney has entered a golden age according to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, in her address to the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Annual General Meeting last week.

During the visit, Ms Berejiklian highlighted her optimism for Western Sydney’s future and stressed the importance of providing councils with certainty so they can plan for their communities.

WSROC President, Councillor Stephen Bali said, “It was an honour to host the Premier and discuss some of the issues most critical to Western Sydney.

“During the meeting, Western Sydney councillors shared their views on a range of topics including: public transport, WestConnex, council-state collaboration, minimum street widths, schools funding, urban heat, refugee settlement, youth unemployment, and social infrastructure funding.

“Both the Premier and councils agreed on the need to prioritise green space and look at innovative ways to maximise community access to parks, sports fields and recreational areas.

“We also agreed that while the wider unemployment rate is currently low, there are still areas and sectors that need additional focus,” Cr Bali said.

“However, councils believe more focus must be given to local liveability if Western Sydney is to become a first choice for people to live, work and invest.

“Western Sydney is growing rapidly, and as a result critical social infrastructure – the libraries, parks, swimming pools, arts facilities and community spaces that are key to everyday liveability are falling behind.

Councillor Bali said WSROC is keen to work with Government to improve current models for delivering social infrastructure so the whole community benefits from the growth they see around them.

“We hope that the Premier has taken away some new insights into the challenges and opportunities facing Western Sydney and we look forward to working with her on some of the issues raised at the meeting.”

Councils congratulate incoming Government

Councils congratulate incoming Government

The Queensland election is finally over giving Premier Aanastaccia Palaszczuk’s Labor Party two seat win and the go ahead to form government. A reshuffle of key ministerial positions means a new look cabinet will be announced tomorrow with men and women equally represented. Read more >

Cashing out

Cashing out

Local governments are playing a key role in preventing harm from poker machines in their communities. Read more >

Letter to the editor

Dear LG Focus,

In response to your November front page: the term ‘affordable housing’ can sometimes be misleading. Are we referring to ‘cheap’ housing where quality takes a backseat or simple mass-produced dwellings that were popular during the ‘housing commission’ era of the fifties and sixties?

With the popularity of the many home renovation shows on our television screens, there follows an enthusiasm to ‘have a go’ and grab a paintbrush or a hammer.

Therein lies a great opportunity for one solution to getting more families into their own home: group self-build. This was a program that operated in Horsham (and other places in Victoria) about 15 years ago. The concept was not complicated: 12 families would make a time commitment to build each other’s homes.

Under the supervision of a qualified builder, the families would undertake various stages of the build including basic construction, plastering, painting and landscaping; other facets of the build such as the slab, plumbing and electrical were done by professional tradesmen and women.

The costs savings were incredible including the procurement of land and material, everything done as a ‘group’. At the end of the process – and we have a small suburb in Horsham now – were a fine set of beautiful homes. For many of the families involved it was a life-changing experience as owning their own home would have always remained just a dream.

But, this is not a quick fix solution – it requires commitment and planning. The support of the Government and Council is critical. It is also a fantastic option that, I believe, should be pursued again.
Governments should remember that the knock-on effect for our young people, with employment opportunities with a thriving housing industry, should never be underestimated.

Maybe that could be a story line for a Block series: Scott Cam supervising the building of 12 couples’ dream home – now that would make good television!

Councillor Mark Radford
Horsham Rural City Council

New premises for creative group

New premises for creative group Cr Robinson and Clive Holden at the Coolum HeARTs shed.

A Sunshine Coast community group that offers low-cost creative activities as a means of therapy and social interaction has received a major upgrade to its premises. Read more >

Dignity for vulnerable women

Women experiencing vulnerability will now have access to free sanitary items thanks to the City of Darwin and Share the Dignity’s implementation of the Northern Territory’s first Dignity Vending Machine. 

The Pink Box Dignity Vending Machine is located in the City Library accessible toilet and ensures vulnerable women and girls in need have access to essential sanitary items.

Deputy Lord Mayor Rebecca Want de Rowe said the Pink Box Dignity Vending Machine was officially launched as part of Anti-Poverty week and is a welcoming addition towards helping women in need.

“The Pink Box will provide anonymity for women who may be experiencing vulnerability,” she said.

“These women often have to make the choice between food and sanitary items, so the Dignity Vending Machine will hopefully help reduce the impact of poverty.

“The vending machine is a step towards connecting disadvantaged women with vital health services and we are proud to be supporting this wonderful initiative which provides easy access to the essential items they need.”  

Share the Dignity Founder Rochelle Courtenay said thousands of women in Australia do not have access to pads, tampons, menstrual cups or period-proof underwear.

“Our goal is to provide the dignity that all women deserve by improving access to sanitary items.  We can only do this with the support of our fundraising initiatives and corporate donations,” Ms Courtenay said.

The Dignity Vending Machine holds 60 sanitary packs each containing two pads and six tampons. Packs are dispensed through the touch of a button once every ten minutes.  

Access to the Dignity Vending Machine will be during the library opening hours.

This month

Cashing out

Local governments are playing a key role in preventing harm from poker machines in their communities. Read more >


Read more >

Letter to the editor

Read more >

New premises for creative group

A Sunshine Coast community group that offers low-cost creative activities as a means of therapy and social interaction has received a major upgrade to its premises. Read more >

Dignity for vulnerable women

Women experiencing vulnerability will now have access to free sanitary items thanks to the City of Darwin and Share the Dignity’s implementation of the Northern Territory’s first Dignity Vending Machine. Read more >

Contest shines light on diversity

Blacktown City Council in New South Wales has hosted the inaugural Diwali Festival of Lights Competition to recognise and celebrate the thriving local Indian community. Read more >

Welcome your new Australians*

Bring your community together this Australia Day with the Australian Citizenship Affirmation. Read more >

Promoting parity at the leadership level - President’s comment

Read more >

Welcoming migrants in rural areas

A recent Welcome Weekend that showcased the Southern Grampians Shire to migrant families currently living in Melbourne and Adelaide was a great success. Read more >

Joining forces

New South Wales councils will be able to form new voluntary Joint Organisations from next year. Read more >

New sports courts to benefit remote town

A $1.5 million sporting facility will be built in the Northern Territory town of Borroloola with a grant from the McArthur River Mine (MRM) Community Benefits Trust. Read more >

Design with nature: Reconnecting people and place*

With the relentless growth of our cities, population and climate challenges, there has never been a more pressing need to promote new techniques and designs for greening our cities, communities and dwellings. Read more >

The benefit of competitive tension in risk and insurance*

Good governance in local government and procurement suggests that the insurance market should be tested regularly. Read more >

Malcolm in the middle - The Good Oil by Rod Brown

Once upon a time, we had Prime Ministers that painted the big picture and made big decisions for the national good. Read more >

Quality tourism services recognised

The District Council of Yankalilla has proven its Visitor Information Centre is one of the best in the state after winning a prize at the SA Tourism Awards for the second consecutive year. Read more >

Partnership across the border

The Murray River, once seen as a division between NSW and Victoria, is now a symbol of unity, thanks to a historic cross-border partnership between two large regional councils that straddle the river. Read more >

Youth Hub takes out state award

A collaborative project aimed at supporting Bundaberg region youth as they successfully transition from school to further education, training and employment has received state honours. Read more >

Supporting early learning

To help plan an early years learning hub in Logan, Logan City Council in Queensland recently led a fact-finding mission to southern states to view existing flagship centres. Read more >

From the ashes

The Shire of Northampton in Western Australia is celebrating the rejuvenation of a local park after a fire a few years ago. Read more >

Councillor profiles - Mayor Ruth Whittle District Council of Peterborough

Read more >

Councillor profiles - Mayor Brenton Lewis Rural City of Murray Bridge

Read more >

Sewing to reduce pollution

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale in Western Australia is teaming up with local sewers to reduce pollution. Read more >

Power rangers best in state

The City of Nedlands ranger team took home top honours at the WA Rangers Association awards. Read more >

Strengthening indigenous relationships

For its work in collaborating with the local Jerrinja people, Shoalhaven City Council in New South Wales received the Council Partnership of the Year award at the 2017 Local Government Aboriginal Network Awards. Read more >

High Achievers - Shire President Karen Chappel Shire of Morawa

Read more >

High Achievers - Environmental Services Team City of Cockburn

Read more >

Respect on the road

Blue Mountains City Council in New South Wales has launched a 12-month road safety awareness campaign following consultation with the community and the heavy vehicle industry. Read more >

Scoreboard increases stadium appeal

A new digital scoreboard in Mackay’s BB Print Stadium in Queensland promises versatile uses and new revenue opportunities for the venue. Read more >

Urban forests get smart

A collaborative project is aiming to enhance the management of urban forests by utilising data. Read more >

Busting road fatigue

Over 23 local council areas are working together to implement the 2018 Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme in a bid to reduce tired drivers and fatigue related crashes on roads in Western NSW. Read more >

Diary Dates

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