March 1997 Edition

  • So near so far

    Located just eight kilometres across the bay from the centre of Darwin, Cox Peninsula is nonetheless in many ways a remote and vulnerable area in the Territory. Prone to cyclones and in weather where boating conditions are hazardous, the population of just 200 people must travel 130 kilometres by road to access emergency and other services available in Darwin. In response to this risk, the Cox Peninsula Emergency Service Volunteer Unit has been established.
  • Infrastructure program at Nguiu

    On Bathurst Island, Nguiu Community Government Council is taking a proactive approach to community infrastructure. It is investing money in facilities, not only needed by the community, but with a dual advantage of providing a financial return on the investment.
  • Gaye Lawrence Territorian of the year

    Like many before her, Gaye Lawrence travelled to the Northern Territory from Sydney with the intention of having a short working holiday. Twenty years later she still lives in NT and is one of its most active advocates. Gaye is not only the President of the Community Government Council of Pine Creek, where she lives, but is the first woman Vice President of LGANT.
  • The Titjikala story

    With the Notice of Approval of the draft Tapatjataka Community Government Scheme in the Northern Territory Gazette in October last year, the story of the Titjikala community located on the western edge of the Simpson desert entered a new phase. Development of tourist facilities and the setting up of a local building team, the success of which has seen the idea spread to other communities, indicate the viability and cohesion of the community. The goal of Titjikala has always been to be among the best in Central Australia, meeting current needs and providing future directions well into the 21st century.
  • Document management technology delivers improved customer service*

    Hobart City Council has implemented document management, imaging and workflow technology to deliver improved service to ratepayers as well as substantial operational benefits to staff.
  • New concept in business management for Local Authorities*

    Praxa Enterprise is a new business term encompassing Praxa's product and mission to implement effective information technology strategies for Local Authorities, enabling them to meet their corporate objectives.
  • Best practice using the Internet

    FOCUS Web Site, http://www.loc-gov-focus.aus.net, promotes Best Practice in Local Government. The Internet is a new means of communicating. FOCUS Web Site, part of this new communication network, provides information that can be accessed by the world wide audience of Web users.
  • Council's Internet access an Australian first

    A Cybernet Cafe with two Internet sites and one email site located in South Australia's City of Charles Sturt new Civic Centre is an Australian first according to the Council's Chief Executive, Geoff Whitbread. The Cybernet Cafe's access combined with three other Internet sites situated in the adjacent Civic Library provides unparalleled access to world wide information for the City's residents.
  • Sense of family crosses all bounds

    "Despite our differences in culture, languages, remoteness, size and geography, Local Government in the Territory displays a clear sense of family," said Bob Beadman, Secretary Department of Housing and Local Government. "This is particularly evident at the regular Local Government Association of Northern Territory (LGANT) meetings and the Department's regional training sessions."
  • Strategies for the future

    Working in partnership with LGANT, during 1994 the Department surveyed all Councils. The aim was to ascertain what the industry identified as key issues facing current and future operations of Local Government in the Territory. As a result of this survey, the Minister for Local Government, Mick Palmer, recently launched 'Focus For Change: Strategic Planning for Local Government in the Northern Territory'. The document, presented in plain English, is primarily a vehicle for promoting further discussion in respect to reform.
  • Enhancing community self management

    $1.5 million over the next three years, provided through the Commonwealth's Local Government Development Fund, has lead to the development of the Remote Area Management Project (RAMP). RAMP is a training program designed to increase the skills of Aboriginal elected members in remote area Councils. The aim is to enhance community self management practices.
  • Timber Creek - tidiest town in the Territory

    Working together as a community proved a winning recipe for the small town of Timber Creek which took out the Territory's 1996 Tidy Town Award. Located 280 kilometres south west of Katherine, Timber Creek has a population of around 200 people. Formed as a Community Government Council in 1992, the town capitalised on its unique composition of equal numbers of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal elected members to draw on the support of the whole community.
  • Training for remote area staff

    As all organisations are only as good as the people operating them, training for staff and elected representatives is vital. To assist staff in remote areas to enhance their skills, courses have been designed providing on the job training.
  • $4m Mall upgrade for Darwin

    Darwin's $4 million Mall upgrade follows a period of intense community consultation. After obtaining input from many community groups, organisations and individuals, sketch plans were drawn up. Residents, retailers and property owners were then invited to have their say about the plans and their particular needs.
  • Modern economy for an ancient culture

    The Jawoyn people of the Katherine region of the Northern Territory have recently launched their first five year plan. The Plan sets out a comprehensive proposal for economic development consistent with the social and cultural needs of the region's inhabitants.
  • Active in community life

    In the remote town of Timber Creek, Lorraine Jones' multiple roles have significance beyond the boundaries of the small community. Lorraine combines work as one of the few women Aboriginal Police Liaison Officers in the Northern Territory, with her role as Councillor along with active participation in numerous associations serving the local area. Only 22 years of age, she has been an elected member on the Timber Creek Community Government Council since its inception four years ago.

  • Youth kit for Councils launched

    An innovative kit designed to assist Councils when working with young people was launched in February. Titled 'Bikes, Bands and Strategic Plans', the kits was produced by the LGAQ with the assistance of a number of Councils. It contains policy guidelines and practical examples of how Councils can help counter youth problems by recognising and planning for the needs of young people.
  • Editorial

    As a nation, we cannot deny major blemishes, particularly in the treatment of indigenous Australians. Throughout our short history as a nation, Aboriginal people have not faired well. Recent moves to redress past injustices through the Mabo and Wik decisions are attempting to rebuild bridges giving reconciliation real meaning. As we open our doors and host the rest of the world at the 2000 Olympics, all Australians must be able to stand up and say they are proud of what we have achieved. If recent moves to extinguish native title for pastoral leases succeed, then our credentials for tolerance, fairness and justice could well be thrown out the window.
  • Marion's new mobile library buzz

    Marion Council is ecstatic over its new Mobile Buzz, a massive, psychedelic, 16 metre semi trailer that has been custom built as a mobile library. Launched in February, the big buzz on wheels is the State's largest Mobile Library and the first of its type in South Australia to be incorporated into the body of a semi trailer.
  • Safer return to school

    Children in the City of Noarlunga travel safer to and from school, thanks to a new road safety scheme. Known as Safe Routes to School, the South Australian Department of Transport selected Noarlunga as one of two Councils in the State to pilot the scheme.
  • Communicate or crumble

    "The thing Local Government engineers have not done as well as they might over the past decade is to communicate the asset management message to politicians," said Dean Taylor, Asset Management Coordinator Wanganui District Council in New Zealand. "If we fail to communicate, it is the assets we control on behalf of our communities that will crumble."
  • Property professions produce a joint paper on native title

    The Royal Australian Planning Institute (RAPI) and the Australian Institute of Valuers and Land Economists (AIVLE) have joined forces to produce a ground breaking guide to the implications of native title. The purpose of the paper is to provide the known basic facts and practical information for members about native title.
  • Brisbane launches WaterWise School Challenge

    Primary school students taking part in Brisbane City Council's WaterWise School Challenge are learning much more than how to save water.
  • Toward a sustainable future

    One of the world's most exciting conferences, 'Pathways to Sustainability' will be held in the City of Newcastle in 1997 during its bicentenary year. All cities and towns face a great challenge today - how to improve the environment of urban areas in a way that involves local communities. Accelerating urbanisation has inevitably resulted in a trend of environmental degradation of cities and towns, a trend that needs to be arrested. Based on the evidence of many of the case studies to be presented at this conference there are answers. The cooperative action of business, Local Government and community leaders is crucial.
  • SA restructure gains momentum

    With six further amalgamations, proclaimed by the South Australian Government in January, the number of Councils has fallen to 81 from 118 in January 1996. Over the past 12 months, 26 new amalgamated Councils have been formed.

  • Council leaders forum

    Recently, 70 Mayors, Deputy Mayors and General Managers from Tasmanian Councils gathered in Launceston to discuss a range of microeconomic issues confronting their Councils. Throughout the forum emphasis was placed on the importance of Councils developing a team approach to running their affairs.
  • LG Professionals inaugural conference

    The first Annual Conference staged by the newly formed LG Pro, an organisation merging the Victorian Divisions of the Institute of Municipal Management and Institute of Municipal Engineering Australia and the Victorian Municipal Community Services Association was staged in Melbourne in February.
  • Editorial

    As a nation, we cannot deny major blemishes, particularly in the treatment of indigenous Australians. Throughout our short history as a nation, Aboriginal people have not faired well. Recent moves to redress past injustices through the Mabo and Wik decisions are attempting to rebuild bridges giving reconciliation real meaning. As we open our doors and host the rest of the world at the 2000 Olympics, all Australians must be able to stand up and say they are proud of what we have achieved. If recent moves to extinguish native title for pastoral leases succeed, then our credentials for tolerance, fairness and justice could well be thrown out the window.
  • Residents respond positively to planning initiative

    In a unique consultation process, the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne's inner bayside recently held a Community Summit. All those who work, live or have other interests in the City were invited to attend and give their point of view on the direction the Municipality should take in the future.
  • Business approach at Circular Head

    Having decided not to wait for changes under National Competition Policy to be forced upon it, Circular Head Council in Tasmania has set up its outdoor workforce as a competitive Business Unit.
  • Community Leadership Program a great success

    Thirty nine members of the Nillumbik community have successfully completed a Community Leadership Program. The program is designed to lead to individual empowerment and self confidence, develop negotiation skills and improve understanding of human nature and decision making processes. With elections scheduled for 15 March this year, seven of the participants are now contesting positions on Council.
  • Toward a sustainable future

    One of the world's most exciting conferences, 'Pathways to Sustainability' will be held in the City of Newcastle in 1997 during its bicentenary year. All cities and towns face a great challenge today - how to improve the environment of urban areas in a way that involves local communities. Accelerating urbanisation has inevitably resulted in a trend of environmental degradation of cities and towns, a trend that needs to be arrested. Based on the evidence of many of the case studies to be presented at this conference there are answers. The cooperative action of business, Local Government and community leaders is crucial.

  • Doing better business with latest IT

    Delatite Shire Council, in Victoria's north east, is in the process of radically improving the way it does business by utilising the latest in information technology. Application of state of the art technology was critical to Council's ability to manage with reduced resources.
  • Document management technology delivers improved customer service*

    Hobart City Council has implemented document management, imaging and workflow technology to deliver improved service to ratepayers as well as substantial operational benefits to staff.
  • New concept in business management for Local Authorities*

    Praxa Enterprise is a new business term encompassing Praxa's product and mission to implement effective information technology strategies for Local Authorities, enabling them to meet their corporate objectives.
  • Best practice using the Internet

    FOCUS Web Site, http://www.loc-gov-focus.aus.net, promotes Best Practice in Local Government. The Internet is a new means of communicating. FOCUS Web Site, part of this new communication network, provides information that can be accessed by the world wide audience of Web users.
  • Changing face of Local Government

    "With our emphasis clearly on change, Lismore City Council has undertaken a total reorganisation," said Ken Gainger, General Manager. "We are now recruiting people with specific expertise relevant to the changing face of Local Government." A key element of the change strategy is a focus on customer service.
  • Open for business

    Lismore has long been the regional centre for the Far North Coast of New South Wales. On the doorstep of three World Heritage rainforests, Council's theme 'Between Rainforests and the Sea' clearly reflects what the region has to offer particularly in the area of ecotourism. Add to this, Lismore's cultural diversity, vibrant business sector, world class sporting and educational facilities, and the opportunities abound.
  • Reconciliation in practice

    At the third National General Assembly of the Australian Local Government Association, a Community Tolerance motion was passed unanimously affirming the commitment of Local Government throughout the country to reconciliation between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians. At Lismore, Council not only resolved to adopt the national statement but is endeavouring to give practical application to the statement in the local context.
  • Between rainforests and the sea ...

    Renowned for its physical beauty, frontier spirit and cultural diversity, Lismore is a thriving university City with world class sports facilities, branches of most Government Departments and an extensive shopping centre. Fringed by rainforests, it is just 40 minutes from some of the North Coast's most spectacular beaches.
  • Sound approach to Council business

    A number of Council's operations are run on a business or commercial basis. This ensures services are efficient and effective and rate revenue is not drained from other Council programs. Now under the management of the Business and Enterprise Group these operations include Council's quarries, the Airport, cemeteries and crematorium, water and sewerage, waste services, tourism and property management. In addition, Lismore City Council has a number of joint enterprises with the private sector.
  • Taking garbage to the streets

    Educating people about the need to reduce the volume of waste generated in the community can be a bit of a bore. However, Lismore has employed the time honoured method of theatre to take the message to the streets, where people make shopping decisions that influence the volume of waste.
  • Testing the waters

    Water is one of our most valuable resources, yet the impacts from industrial, agricultural and urban land uses and poor management of natural resources continue to threaten our environment. To develop a greater understanding of water quality within the Richmond Catchment, Lismore City Council has undertaken an extensive waterways monitoring program.