June 1997 Edition

  • Saving the bush in Litchfield

    With a view to preserving and enhancing its unique bushland, the Shire of Litchfield in the Northern Territory has appointed a Community Vegetation Management Officer.
  • Territory partnership

    At a time when the relationship between Councils and other spheres of Government are under some strain in other parts of the country, the Northern Territory Government and the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) have signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding. Organised by the Department of Housing and Local Government, the MOU provides the basis for a cooperative relationship in dealing with the many unique issues facing the Territory.
  • Leadership beyond 2000

    Delegates from Councils across Australia gathered in Canberra recently for the 16th Institute of Municipal Management National Congress. A range of speakers from the public and private sector, Australia and overseas, addressed the Congress theme 'Vision for Communities - Leadership Beyond 2000'.
  • Visionary leadership for all Australians

    The Congress was officially opened by IMM's patron the Governor General, Sir William Deane. He called on those present, that in carrying visionary planning and community leadership, to recommit themselves to the ideal of a tolerant, multicultural Australia.
  • Leadership in times of crisis

    Michael Langley, a Board Member of the Port Arthur Historical Site Management Authority, provided his views of the pressures on leadership in times of crisis in light of the events that occurred at Port Arthur on the afternoon of 28 April 1996, and in the 13 months to the present time. Hw said that a crisis must not be allowed to destroy those whose misfortune it is to have been, to be and to continue to be, in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the wrong job.
  • NZ does it again

    North Shore City Council from New Zealand has won the 1997 Australasian final of the Active Learning Management Challenge. Now in its fifth year, a New Zealand team has been successful on three occasions. This is a great record of achievement given that New Zealand provides only two of the eleven Australasian regional finalists.
  • Leading change

    Marcia Griffin, Victorian Business Woman of the Year, told delegates that with 'change being life's only certainty', it is vital as leaders we assure the people around us that change is okay. She said that the key to problem solving is admitting you do not have all the answers, seek advice from others, get outside views and brainstorm. Above all, do not procrastinate or avoid problems, they will only come back to haunt you!
  • Community leadership in practice

    During a hands on session, representatives from six Councils presented case studies of projects they are undertaking in the area of community leadership. An overview of each was presented to all delegates. In the following session, delegates were invited to attend one of the six more detailed coverages of these projects. Presentations were made by Brisbane City Council; Maroondah City Council; Launceston City Council; Alice Springs Town Council and Jabiru; Deniliquin Council; and Belmont City Council.
  • That's a nice mess you've got us out of Stanley

    Once again Australian towns, which have involved their communities in improving and enhancing their local environment, have been rewarded for their efforts through the 1996 Mitsubishi Australian Tidy Towns Awards. Over 2,000 communities around Australia actively participate in the program which contributes annually an estimated $50 million to the Australian economy. This year's winner is Stanley in the Tasmanian Council of Circular Head.
  • A future for recycling

    Recycling has become the universal environmental activity of the 1990s. Local Government involvement in recycling began with packaging materials like glass, aluminium and steel cans, and newsprint. Since then, many Councils have expanded their services to include collection of PET, liquidpaperboard and HDPE. A few also collect greenwaste. Unfortunately, prices for many of the commodities traditionally collected at the kerbside have reduced significantly in the last 12 months. This turn of events is creating a crisis for Local Government because the reduction in returns will result in kerbside recycling services becoming more expensive.
  • Recycling brings multiple benefits

    Investment in a state of the art Material Recycling Facility (MRF) has paid off in numerous ways for Toowoomba City Council in Queensland. The $1.8 million facility together with a divided wheelie bin system has resulted in increased participation from residents, a lessening of pressure on landfill sites, more revenue for Council and fewer costs accruing from related services.

  • Communities respond five years on from Rio

    A draft declaration, prepared in the lead up to Newcastle Five years on from the Rio Earth Summit, some 900 delegates from over 50 countries gathered in Newcastle to reaffirm that in working towards global sustainability there is an urgent need to accelerate local programs and plans. The international 'Pathways to Sustainability' Conference was hosted by Newcastle City Council and staged on 1-5 June. The Newcastle Declaration endorsed and signed on World Environment Day, 5 June 1997 the final day of the Conference, will be presented to a Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly later this month.
  • Hervey Bay takes out national innovation award

    From over 240 entries, Queensland's Hervey Bay City Council has won the prestigious 1997 National Award for Innovation in Local Government. Council's Eli Creek Effluent Irrigation Scheme captured the judges' approval for its protection of coastal waters off Fraser Island, enhancement of local agriculture and tourism, and reduction of long term infrastructure costs.
  • Editorial

    Reneging on the COAG agreement on National Competition Policy, the Commonwealth Government has cut Financial Assistance Grants to Local Government by 1.2%. Announced in the Budget, this translates into about $15 million in real per capita terms per annum. Local Government's only benefit from the National Competition Policy to date, the real terms per capita guarantee, has been spirited away to help the Federal Government balance its books. The question has been put by Cr John Campbell, President ALGA, that as the only benefit has been withdrawn from Local Government why should Councils continue to cooperate with National Competition Policy?
  • Community involvement in shared use path

    The City of Port Adelaide Enfield, in conjunction with the Department of Transport's BikeSouth business unit, have constructed a shared use path. Three metres wide and approximately two kilometres in length, the path runs along the foreshore from Semaphore Jetty to Largs Bay Jetty. Extensive community consultation before the path was constructed addressed sensitive social and environmental issues arising from its location on the foreshore.
  • Charters Towers celebrates its rich history

    Queensland's Charters Towers recently celebrated its 125th anniversary of the discovery of gold. To commemorate the anniversary, the City staged Back to Charters Towers Week from 25 May to 1 June.
  • Enhancing public places

    The City of Perth has recently released a document called 'The Public Places Enhancement Strategy'. Designed for ease of use by ratepayers, developers, the State Government, Council's elected members and staff, the Strategy will guide future development of public places in the City.
  • Sustainable development on the Gold Coast

    One of the fastest growing areas in Australia, the Gold Coast, is making sure that development does not proceed without sufficient attention being paid to its impact on the environment and quality of life. The Gold Coast and it's Living City Expo, to be held from 8-11 August at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, will feature an Expo and Conference covering the latest developments in energy efficient housing and waste management.
  • Getting the best advice

    Trialing of a unique program fostering better Local Government and better cooperation between Councils and the State Department has just been completed in Western Australia. Under the Council Advice Program (CAP), Councils invite an expert panel comprising a senior officer from the Department of Local Government, an experienced elected member and a CEO from another Council to undertake an organisational review.

  • Tasmanian restructure to halve Councils

    Just four years after Tasmania restructured Local Government, reducing Councils from 46 to 29, a new round of amalgamations has commenced. The Minister's Terms of Reference for the Board set down that there should be no more than 15 Municipal areas in the State, and this must include a Greater Hobart and Launceston as single areas.
  • Hervey Bay takes out national innovation award

    From over 240 entries, Queensland's Hervey Bay City Council has won the prestigious 1997 National Award for Innovation in Local Government. Council's Eli Creek Effluent Irrigation Scheme captured the judges' approval for its protection of coastal waters off Fraser Island, enhancement of local agriculture and tourism, and reduction of long term infrastructure costs.
  • Editorial

    Reneging on the COAG agreement on National Competition Policy, the Commonwealth Government has cut Financial Assistance Grants to Local Government by 1.2%. Announced in the Budget, this translates into about $15 million in real per capita terms per annum. Local Government's only benefit from the National Competition Policy to date, the real terms per capita guarantee, has been spirited away to help the Federal Government balance its books. The question has been put by Cr John Campbell, President ALGA, that as the only benefit has been withdrawn from Local Government why should Councils continue to cooperate with National Competition Policy?
  • Search FOCUS Online

    Since May last year, large sections of each edition of Local Government FOCUS have been available on the Internet. As well as highlighting current issues, initiatives and events, the Online pages can now be used for research purposes. Anyone seeking information about Local Government in Australia, can make use of our new 'Search' facility.
  • Deloraine named Community of the Year

    Tasmania's Meander Valley Council and its community have notched up many significant community achievements. The latest of these being named Australian Community of the Year 1997 by the National Australia Day Council. The Town of Deloraine and surrounding district, has made the most of the area's natural assets bringing increased activity to the Town, the district and the State.
  • Crowing over a new nest

    A short trip across Sydney Harbour brings you to Crow's Nest where a joint effort between traders and North Sydney Council has seen the area undergo a major transformation. Impetus for the work came about when local traders recognised that the area was changing from a neighbourhood shopping to a speciality shopping centre. They sought the involvement of Council in finding the best way to harness new opportunities.
  • Best Practice and the Local Government Development Program

    The Commonwealth Government seeks to support Councils in their quest for best practice. It does so primarily through the Local Government Development Program (LGDP). Managed by the National Office of Local Government (NOLG), the LGDP aims to develop Local Government's contribution to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the community, particularly in regional Australia. The LGDP supports projects which are designed to achieve best practice in particular areas of Council activity, such as building approval. This article briefly showcases some LGDP projects which are about achieving best practice.

  • Introducing the energy smart home

    Energy is fast becoming the environmental issue of the new millennium. But to date there has been no comprehensive approach to introducing energy efficiency policies at the local level. Enter the Energy Smart Homes Program. Funded jointly by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), the GreenLight Consortium and major industry sponsors, the program is designed to help Councils implement an energy efficient housing policy in their local area.
  • Food safety under the microscope

    The role of Local Government in ensuring public health standards has been brought to national attention with recent outbreaks of salmonella poisoning and other diseases.
  • Council tackles graffiti problem head on

    In a concerted effort to stamp out graffiti 'tags' on business premises in the West Ryde area, the Chamber of Commerce and Ryde City Council have combined to offer a $1,000 reward for the first successful conviction of a graffiti vandal.
  • Conservation network to meet in Coffs Harbour

    The Australian Network for Plant Conservation's (ANPC) biannual Conference in Coffs Harbour will be staged from 23 to 27 June. The Conference brings together over 200 delegates with interests in plant conservation to exchange ideas and experiences.
  • A future for recycling

    Recycling has become the universal environmental activity of the 1990s. Local Government involvement in recycling began with packaging materials like glass, aluminium and steel cans, and newsprint. Since then, many Councils have expanded their services to include collection of PET, liquidpaperboard and HDPE. A few also collect greenwaste. Unfortunately, prices for many of the commodities traditionally collected at the kerbside have reduced significantly in the last 12 months. This turn of events is creating a crisis for Local Government because the reduction in returns will result in kerbside recycling services becoming more expensive.
  • A better litter trap

    Rubbish washing into the oceans from stormwater drains is a major contributor to river and marine pollution. A new solution is currently being developed by the City of Boroondara, in conjunction with Swinburne University of Technology. The prototype litter trap is designed to capture and reduce the amount of litter accumulating in stormwater drains.
  • Leadership beyond 2000

    Delegates from Councils across Australia gathered in Canberra recently for the 16th Institute of Municipal Management National Congress. A range of speakers from the public and private sector, Australia and overseas, addressed the Congress theme 'Vision for Communities - Leadership Beyond 2000'.
  • Visionary leadership for all Australians

    The Congress was officially opened by IMM's patron the Governor General, Sir William Deane. He called on those present, that in carrying visionary planning and community leadership, to recommit themselves to the ideal of a tolerant, multicultural Australia.
  • Leadership in times of crisis

    Michael Langley, a Board Member of the Port Arthur Historical Site Management Authority, provided his views of the pressures on leadership in times of crisis in light of the events that occurred at Port Arthur on the afternoon of 28 April 1996, and in the 13 months to the present time. Hw said that a crisis must not be allowed to destroy those whose misfortune it is to have been, to be and to continue to be, in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the wrong job.
  • NZ does it again

    North Shore City Council from New Zealand has won the 1997 Australasian final of the Active Learning Management Challenge. Now in its fifth year, a New Zealand team has been successful on three occasions. This is a great record of achievement given that New Zealand provides only two of the eleven Australasian regional finalists.
  • Leading change

    Marcia Griffin, Victorian Business Woman of the Year, told delegates that with 'change being life's only certainty', it is vital as leaders we assure the people around us that change is okay. She said that the key to problem solving is admitting you do not have all the answers, seek advice from others, get outside views and brainstorm. Above all, do not procrastinate or avoid problems, they will only come back to haunt you!
  • Community leadership in practice

    During a hands on session, representatives from six Councils presented case studies of projects they are undertaking in the area of community leadership. An overview of each was presented to all delegates. In the following session, delegates were invited to attend one of the six more detailed coverages of these projects. Presentations were made by Brisbane City Council; Maroondah City Council; Launceston City Council; Alice Springs Town Council and Jabiru; Deniliquin Council; and Belmont City Council.