August 1997 Edition

  • Working together wins acclaim

    A group of organisations in Noarlunga in South Australia, aiming to provide better run, more accessible, quality sports and recreation facilities in the City, has won 'Best Community Recreation Program' in South Australia's Homestart Recreation and Sport Industry awards.
  • Accessible workplaces

    Work opportunities for people with disabilities will be greatly enhanced following the recent launch of 'Accessible Workplaces'. Produced by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) this booklet is designed to encourage Councils around the country to recognise and capitalise on the contribution people with a disability can make to their organisation.
  • Sport, weddings and rams in new multipurpose centre

    Residents in the Shire of Kattaning in Western Australia are now availing themselves of the largest single stage recreation complex to be built in Western Australia and possibly the southern hemisphere. While Kattaning itself has just 5,500 people, it is a regional centre for many other towns serving a much broader population.
  • Council support for new school

    The provision of educational facilities is not usually the responsibility of Local Government. However, in Playford in South Australia, the community need was so pronounced that Council went to bat to acquire support and funding for this vital community resource.
  • Playing in comfort at Mount Isa

    Sport is popular everywhere in Australia particularly in regional cities and towns where opportunities for alternative recreation may be limited. Queensland's Mount Isa is no exception. Residents of all ages usually participate in more than one form of sporting activity. However, with particularly hot weather, some sports activities can damage health rather than promote it.
  • Stimulating urban debate

    The Urban Futures journal has been published since 1991, mostly on a quarterly basis. Its objective has been to stimulate debate on urban questions and foster the development of urban policy in Australia. Now that the National Office of Local Government (NOLG) has assumed responsibility for the journal, it is intended to broaden the focus to include other issues of concern to Local Government.
  • A message from the Minister

    It is with great pleasure that I welcome readers to the first issue of A National Perspective. Produced by the National Office of Local Government (NOLG), this quarterly newsletter will highlight some of the key areas in which local government is working towards the achievement of national priorities.
  • Around the nation with AMCORD

    The Australian Model Code for Residential Development (AMCORD) is a national resource document for integrated residential development containing up-to-date information on the latest urban research material. It is a manual of best practice covering both infill and greenfield development. AMCORD emphasises the importance of adopting an integrated performance based approach to urban development and provides a practical alternative to outdated prescriptive methods. The Commonwealth is funding States and Territories to employ full time AMCORD Promotion Officers to facilitate the implementation of AMCORD in their respective States/Territories. The following is an up-to-date look at where States and Territories are in the process of implementing AMCORD into their regulatory planning and environmental frameworks for widespread use in Local Government and in the residential industry. For further information contact Phil Harvey at the National Office of Local Government on (02) 6274 1900.
  • Innovation Awards on the Net

    Information on the Tenth National Awards for Innovation in Local Government (NAILG) is now available online through the National Office of Local Government (NOLG) website. The Awards provided an excellent opportunity for local councils to demonstrate their resourcefulness and creativity.
  • Local Government and the Internet

    Research indicates that councils, particularly in rural and regional Australia, are acutely aware of the need to gain access to online services for their own needs, as well as assisting broader access within their local communities. A strategy has been developed through the Australian Local Government Information Network (ALGIN) implement a national network to promote and coordinate the efficient exchange of information electronically between local government associations, individual councils, regional groupings of councils, other spheres of government, business and the community.
  • Council survey on continuous improvement

    The National Office of Local Government (NOLG) is proposing to conduct a survey of councils to get some feedback on the impact of its support for benchmarking and other continuous improvement activities in local government.
  • Local Government National Report

    The Local Government National Report was published for the first time in December 1996 and was prepared in accordance with Section 16 of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995. The Report relates to the 1995-96 financial year - a year in which the Commonwealth provided $1.164 billion in untied financial assistance grants to local government.
  • Environment action

    SITEWISE is a best practice model for implementation and monitoring of erosion and sediment control funded under the Local Government Development Program (LGDP). The model has been produced by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) and the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation in cooperation with twelve councils.
  • Cartoons prove a drawcard for library services

    A demonstrated interest in the art of cartooning among local young people prompted the Rockhampton Municipal Library Service to establish a cartooning group called Cartoonists INK. Attracting up to 25 participants, predominantly boys in the 13 to 15 age group, the workshops vary from accessing cartoon groups on the Internet to developing storyboards and animation techniques.
  • Desert harmony

    Come September, the town of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory will once again celebrate the beginning of the inland Spring with its Desert Harmony Festival. Now in its sixth year, the Festival involves the whole community in organising, performing, exhibiting and enjoying the multitude of talents and diverse experience that a desert environment has to offer.

  • SA model for reform a winner

    For almost two years, extensive restructuring through voluntary amalgamations has seen South Australia's 118 Councils reduced to 69. This has involved the incorporation of 83 former Councils. Slightly above the State Government's target of a 50 percent reduction in Council numbers, the key element of this reform process is that all mergers have been voluntary.  
  • VIC's super black hole

    A superannuation shortfall of $393 million has led the Victorian Government to announce that it will lift its Local Government rate cap by 3 percent. The $393 million super black hole became public in March when a leaked Local Authorities Superannuation Board document was tabled in State Parliament.
  • Editorial

    State legislative 'muscle' has never been, and never will be, a satisfactory substitute for the spheres of government working in a real and open partnership for the betterment of their joint constituents. The model used by South Australia has provided a blueprint for Local Government and State Government working in partnership to achieve change.
  • Improving flood risk management

    In the Queensland Shire of Murweh, a study is currently being conducted by the Department of Emergency Services, Consultants Geo-Eng Australia and other State and Commonwealth bodies aim to provide a blueprint for improved flood risk management applicable to Councils across the country.
  • Clearer water in Pine Rivers

    A pioneering stormwater strategy has been produced by the engineering team at Pine Rivers Shire Council in Queensland. Conscious of the impact stormwater management at the local level can have on the wider environment, the strategy is designed to fulfil all requirements under State Environmental Protection legislation.
  • History and genealogy reflect local character

    With a growing number of people expressing an interest in finding out about their family and local history, South Australia's City of Playford is providing amateur historians and genealogists with a host of resources to assist their endeavours.

  • Port Macquarie Town Centre revitalised

    Those who have not been to Port Macquarie for a few years are in for a pleasant surprise when they visit Council's revitalised Town Centre. The combination of beautification works, carried out as part of the Port Macquarie Town Centre Masterplan, and the development of the Port Central Shopping Centre has transformed the town centre area. Further improvements are planned to achieve Council's vision of 'creating a visually attractive town centre that is safe, pleasant for users, and enhances business opportunities for the benefit of the community'.
  • Welcome to the heart of Australia's Holiday Coast

    Almost midway between Sydney and Brisbane, Hastings Council has 85 kilometres of superb coastline. Port Macquarie, at the mouth of the Hastings River and with a population of 36,000, is Council's major centre. With an abundance of man made and natural attractions, as well as providing an excellent Conference venue, delegates are encouraged to come early or stay longer to take full advantage of one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in Australia.
  • Places to see things to do

    River cruises, farm tours, restaurants, a cinema complex, nightclubs, galleries, handcraft centres and a very active local historical society are just some of the added attractions.
  • Unique community complex opened in Mildura

    Mildura Rural City Council has set a new benchmark in the provision of community facilities with the opening of its $12 million Alfred Deakin Centre. The new building not only provides residents of Mildura with a wonderful modern facility, it offers visitors a visually stunning gateway to the City, the region and all its attractions.
  • Horsham welcomes 'Port Power'

    Ever since Australian Rules football has become a national sport, each weekend diehard fans traverse the country giving their teams valuable support. Aiming to make the most of opportunities for interstate cooperation and friendship, is the Victorian Rural City of Horsham, conveniently situated on the Western Highway about half way between Melbourne and Adelaide.
  • Showcasing Gilgandra services

    This month during NSW Local Government Week, Gilgandra Shire Council will showcase its achievements in health and community services. At a time when many rural communities are struggling to find ways to provide adequate levels of care and services which urban communities take for granted, Gilgandra can point to a range of initiatives enhancing the lives of its citizens.
  • Handbook to improve access saves money

    Modern society expects that buildings, footpaths, carparks and other facilities that are part and parcel of modern life should provide accessible and safe use for everyone, regardless of age or disability. Unfortunately designers, builders and developers, often overlook the practical needs of many groups in the community when planning new facilities.
  • Youth projects hit the mark

    In Huon Valley, Australia's southern most Municipality, local youth are a high priority. Although not far from Hobart, a lack of public transport means young people in the district experience much the same difficulties in accessing facilities as youth in more remote areas of the country. With this in mind, Council's Youth Services Department makes an effort to provide opportunities local young people would not otherwise have.
  • Hastings welcomes conference delegates

    Hastings Council is proud to be hosting the 1997 Local Government Association Annual Conference at the magnificent Port Macquarie RSL Club. We hope that the enthusiasm of the Hastings community inspires the Conference so that, as an industry, we can surf the waves of change together and move forward positively.
  • Venue with a difference

    Long serving delegates who attended the last LGA Annual Conference hosted by Hastings in 1987 will notice that the area has certainly moved from strength to strength. As well as major town centre works and prestigious residential canal developments, a key feature will be the new Conference venue.
  • Welcome reception on the Town Green

    Boasting the best climate in Australia, and that's official, according to a report released by the CSIRO, why not make the most of it? The Conference organisers, keen to exploit this key attribute, are planning an outdoor President's Reception and Welcome to Delegates. Rather than being indoors shut away from the community, residents and visitors will witness Mayors, in full regalia, and many Councillors from around the State coming together, to 'surf the waves of change'.
  • Coordinated local area planning at its best

    In recent months, Hastings Council has been drawing up a plan ensuring community services needs will continue to be met well into the next century. Council firmly believed the best way to achieve this, and make optimum use of available resources, was to obtain extensive input for service users and providers, Government Departments and the broader community.

  • Working with Native Title

    'Working with Native Title: A Program for Local Government'. A joint initiative between the ALGA and the National Native Title Tribunal. Phase one of the program includes the practical, plain English guide, 'Working with Native Title'. This program of education and information will go a long way toward improving local communities' understanding of native title.
  • VIC's super black hole

    A superannuation shortfall of $393 million has led the Victorian Government to announce that it will lift its Local Government rate cap by 3 percent. The $393 million super black hole became public in March when a leaked Local Authorities Superannuation Board document was tabled in State Parliament.
  • Editorial

    In the last edition of FOCUS, we criticised the Victorian Government's sacking of Darebin City Council. The two Letters to the Editor received in response to our comments, and presented below, clearly illustrate the divergent views of those in Local Government compared to the Minister, representing the State Government.
  • 24 hour access

    Access to Local Councils during working hours can be difficult for some people due to work or other commitments. Victoria's Manningham City Council has gone a long way to overcoming this problem, recently introducing touch screen information kiosks at seven community locations.
  • Manly sets financial reporting benchmark

    In July, Manly Council set a financial reporting benchmark by submitting finalised audited statements within three weeks of the financial year end.