November 1997 Edition

  • Commonwealth funding for structural reform

    The Commonwealth is providing over $1 million under the Local Government Development Program (LGDP) to foster structural reform of councils. Structural reform includes cooperative service provision, major resource sharing initiatives, joint service delivery enterprises, boundary change and amalgamations.
  • Benchmarking Projects

    The Commonwealth has funded a number of council-led benchmarking projects under the Local Government Development Program (LGDP). It has agreed to fund Cessnock City Council, Singleton Shire Council and Wyong Shire Council to benchmark open space and recreation and roads maintenance. Funding of $50,000 has also been provided for benchmarking to a group of seven Western Australian councils. The group, which includes Narrogin, Merredin, Northam, Donnybrook-Balingup, Bridgetown-Greenbushes and Plantagenet councils, will focus initially on waste management, administration and governance costs, recreation and culture.
  • Northern Territory Performance Indicator and Benchmarking Seminar

    There has been significant advancement on the development of performance indicators over the last four months, with extensive consultations having occurred with the local government industry. These consultations culminated in the organisation of a successful Performance Indicator and Benchmarking Seminar which attracted 14 of the Territory's largest councils.
  • Local Government Workplace Reform Project

    The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW is funded under the Local Government Development Program (LGDP) to undertake the Local Government Workplace Reform Project. This project aims to increase the pace of workplace reform across Local Government in NSW to make real improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of Local Government operations.
  • Urban Futures

    Issue 22 of the Urban Futures journal was very well received. Issue 23 is now available. This extremely interesting issue features several articles and a book review relating to the theme of 'community' and social belonging.
  • Local Government National Report

    The second Local Government National Report will be available in December 1997. The Report relates to the 1996-97 financial year, a year in which the Commonwealth provided $1.2 billion in untied financial assistance grants to local government.
  • Natural Heritage Trust - Coasts and Clean Seas

    Coasts and Clean Seas is a major component of the Commonwealth Government's Natural Heritage Trust. It is designed to help tackle coastal and marine pollution problems, threats to marine biodiversity and habitat degradation, and to promote sustainable use of Australia's coastal and marine areas, including estuarine areas.
  • Town of Northam has an answer to the Sydney Opera House

    A landmark Visitor Information Centre built by the Town of Northam in Western Australia was recently opened. With its distinctive sail like roof structures, it has been described as Northam's answer to the Sydney Opera House.
  • Residents breathe life into Brisbane's CBD

    A Residential and Commercial Development Study commissioned by the Brisbane City Council has shown residential growth does not jeopardise future commercial potential. With this in mind, Council is set to expand its existing policy encouraging residential development in the CBD.
  • Natural resources and economic development

    Field work has been completed on a project to help regional organisations link natural resource management and economic development. Greening Australia and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) are cooperating on a two year study examining the role of regional organisations and how their planning is coordinated.
  • Traders happy to pay special rate

    Traders along Beach Road in Noarlunga in South Australia have agreed to continue to pay a special rate funding promotion of the street. The scheme has proved so successful with traders that they have enthusiastically voted to continue paying the special rate.
  • Tourism brings sustainable economic development

    Coomalie Community Government Council in the Northern Territory is determined to maximise economic benefits from tourism by taking a leading role in the coordination and development of tourist infrastructure and planning for the region.
  • Museum stages indigenous history exhibition

    At a time when relations between white and indigenous Australians are strained through uncertainty arising from Wik and other matters, the City of Unley in South Australia, through its museum, is building bridges for greater understanding.
  • AMCORD wins another excellence for planning award

    The Australian Model Code for Residential Development, AMCORD, has won a Certificate of Merit at the Royal Australian Planning Institute's (RAPI) 1997 National Awards for Planning Excellence in Adelaide. AMCORD qualified for the National Awards after receiving the RAPI South Australian Division Award in 1996. Winning this prestigious planning award is further recognition of AMCORD's success as a manual of best practice in integrated performance based residential development.
  • Welcome from the new Minister

    I would like to welcome readers to this, the second issue of A National Perspective, and my first as the new Federal Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government. As member for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax, the role of Local Government and the development of regional and rural Australia is very important to me. I share with Local Government an interest in making Australia a better place in which to live and do business, and I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to work towards achieving this goal.
  • Thredbo Community Hall

    The Snowy Mountains village of Thredbo has received nearly $250,000 to help build a new Community Hall which will serve as a memorial to those who were lost in the landslide of 30 July this year.
  • SBDC paves the way for legislative review for LGs

    The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) is a statutory authority in Western Australia with a mission to create opportunity and wealth for small to medium-sized businesses in that State. The core activities of the Corporation consist of business, information and management education services.

  • Indigenous plant display village has many benefits

    The first indigenous plant arboretum in Australia has been opened in south east Queensland's Shire of Redland. A first for Local Government, the $1.5 million, 14 hectare Redland Indigiscapes Centre is expected to provide an extensive educational and research function in addition to its passive leisure and aesthetic values.
  • Linking regional libraries to customer service

    The City of Port Adelaide Enfield in SA has taken an inventive, benchmarking approach to providing customer service. It is establishing a network of regional offices in community libraries which, along with its new high tech telephone call centre, will deliver an integrated service to over 100,000 residents.
  • Councils feature in National Planning Awards

    Both Brisbane and Melbourne City Councils are among the winners in the recent Royal Australian Planning Institute (RAPI) National Awards. These prestigious annual awards recognise excellence in Planning.
  • Boundary reviews in WA

    Since being set up last year, the Local Government Advisory Board has had a number of separate boundary matters referred to it by the Minister. Comprising Council and Department of Local Government representatives, the Board was established to oversee constitutional changes within Local Government, following changes to the Local Government Act that took effect in mid 1996.
  • Spread your wings in Knox

    Based at the foothills of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges, the City of Knox has set its sights on becoming Victoria's premier community. Combining a strong economic base with large tracts of open space, the City is a well serviced community with many sought after business and residential addresses.
  • Public recycling launched

    Called 'Think Blue', Knox City Council launched its new public place recycling program in October to representatives of community groups, local schools and regional waste management organisations.
  • Council's Executives take a walk in other people's shoes

    The Executive Management Team of Knox City Council recently initiated a five week program called 'Walk In My Shoes'. The program involves the Chief Executive and the four directors becoming 'work experience' students for two hours each week, and attending Council services they do not normally encounter.
  • Youth Link launched

    Knox City Council's Youth Services recently received a grant of $25,440 from the Department of Justice to increase linkages between police and youth services in Victoria. The program offers a support service to young people who have received a caution, who have been charged or who are victims of crime.
  • Early Parenting Centre

    The Knox Early Parenting Centre was officially opened in June by the Victorian Minister for Youth and Community Services, the Hon. Denis Napthine. Based at the Clarekirk Maternal and Child Health Centre in Wantirna, the facility is designed to assist parents who have concerns over their baby's sleeping, eating and behavioural routines.
  • Councils take a higher profile in rebuilding South Australia

    Newly elected President of the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA), Mayor Rosemary Craddock, wants to see the profile of Local Government raised in the general community, and particularly, with the business sector. She believes that economic development, with Local Government taking a major role, is a key priority
  • National Heart Awards

    Penrith City Council has won Best Overall Project in the Heart Foundation's Healthy Hearts Local Government National Awards. Sponsored by Medibank Private, the annual Awards are presented at national and State level to Councils and community organisations which develop innovative facilities and programs to encourage healthy lifestyles in their communities.
  • Editorial

    During this month, Councils from around the nation will meet in Canberra for what has now become known as the 'Parliament of Local Government'. The National General Assembly of Local Government is certainly a recognition of the key role Councils play, both in ensuring community aspirations become part of national decision making process and national policy initiatives are translated into reality in local areas. Following declarations drawn up by other nations clearly articulating Local Government's position, and the Worldwide Declaration of Local Self Government renewed by the International Union of Local Government in Toronto in 1993, a Declaration on the Role of Australian Local Government will be a key item at this year's General Assembly.

  • Mending legacies of the past

    Ignorant or indifferent practices of the past have left many present day Councils with the problem of redressing the consequences. Warringah is no exception but has found this challenge an impetus to some interesting and creative solutions.
  • Partnerships a winning model

    As the sphere of government closest to the people, Councils are very aware of the advantages of tapping into this great resource, their community. Warringah is no exception. Council actively promotes partnerships with community groups, local business, other service providers and neighbouring Councils. Warringah's Community and Cultural Services Unit has developed an extensive network with various organisations, both within and outside Warringah, to optimise service delivery and improve quality of life for everyone. The partnerships reflect the diverse needs of the local community and include formal arrangements for services in areas ranging from childcare, life saving, special events and environmental management to library services. Creating formal links with other organisations avoids duplication and unnecessary competition with other service providers, as well as providing a means to manage any conflicts of interest. Likewise, the partnerships provide feedback to Council on the aspirations of the community. This exchange of information and expertise raises the overall level of skill and support of everyone involved.
  • Right strategies and structure before the change program

    Len Thomson, Warringah's General Manager, said that the key lesson to be learned from the New Zealand and Victorian experience is the need to get your strategies right, then put in place the necessary structure and, only then, implement your change program.
  • Best practice governance

    With increasing emphasis being placed on good governance through accountability and probity requirements, Warringah Council has established a new Governance Unit. Through its policy and project team, the Governance Unit will help ensure that the decision making process meets community expectations.
  • Cutting edge for approvals

    In gearing up for increased competition, Council's Local Approvals Service Unit has embarked on a program to improve its effectiveness and efficiencies. Designed to place it at the cutting edge of best practice, the Unit is benchmarking its performance against Warringah's three neighbouring SHOROC Regional Councils, Manly, Mosman and Pittwater.
  • Coastal solution suiting all parties

    Beaches provide a wonderful scenic location, but they are not always the most stable environment on which to build. Past building practices in Warringah have not only meant that buildings are located where they are vulnerable to being washed away, they themselves have contributed to coastal erosion and the undermining of their own foundations.
  • Planning to meet community needs

    After consulting extensively with environment and community groups, Warringah Council realised it needed to come up with something different for its Local Environment Plan (LEP). Warringah's LEP will differ to the norm as it is 'place based', with 60 separate localities each with their own specific character.
  • IT solution for increased competition

    In preparation for increased competition, Warringah Council has joined forces with Fujitsu Australia Limited in developing a new Local Government system that will empower users by integrating financial, human resources and Local Government applications. The $2.7 million project will assist Council to meet National Competition requirements by shifting from a simple chart of accounts and job costing system to a detailed, activity based costing system.
  • Small business support makes good sense

    Supporting local business is increasingly seen as an important Council activity. In fostering local industry, Councils can influence levels of local employment and greater prosperity. However, when small business fails the impact can be widespread. With this in mind, the City of Whittlesea in Victoria recently organised an 'Investment Ready Seminar' to assist its small business operators.
  • Surf capital optimises opportunities

    Surfcoast Shire in Victoria, which enjoys the natural advantages of a spectacular coastline, the Great Ocean Road, the Otway Ranges and numerous other natural assets is set for further growth via a number of new initiatives. New developments aim to take full advantage of this, expanding tourism opportunities, creating many more jobs and improving residential amenity.
  • Reviving tourism in Tasmania

    While both Tasman and Sorell in Tasmania have enjoyed the fruits of the tourism industry, in the past they have tended to operate as separate, even competing entities. To maximise opportunities, the two Councils have recently joined forces to promote their many complementary features which lend themselves to an all round tourist experience.
  • No free lunch but try free land

    At a time when the concept of 'no free lunches' has assumed almost religious proportions, the offer of anything free might well be regarded with some suspicion. However, the offer of free land at Mathoura, in Murray Shire in southern NSW, is neither a trick nor a mere publicity stunt.
  • Exchange brings local jobs

    Delatite Shire's sister city relationship with Vail in Colorado, USA will result in seasonal jobs for local youth. An innovative sharing of resources will help to solve Vail's chronic shortage of workers, while providing work and valuable experience for many Delatite residents.
  • Plugging into Greenpower and new jobs

    While the Federal Government seems to believe good air quality and jobs growth as mutually incompatible goals, Councils have recognised the fundamental importance of both. In NSW, Waverley Council has committed itself to reducing Greenhouse gas emissions by undertaking to source a quarter of its own electricity requirements from renewable energy.
  • Wagga Wagga markets itself

    Wagga Wagga City Council in southern NSW has become proactive in promoting itself as an ideal place for business investment. Centrepiece of the City's marketing strategy was a two day promotion during September. Titled Wagga Wagga WorldWide Industry, it was staged at the Country Embassy in Sydney.
  • Solution for old coalmine

    Obsolete open cut mines can pose a dilemma. No longer productive, they are often an eyesore, present safety problems and, moreover, are wasted space. In an entrepreneurial initiative with Collex Waste Management Pty Ltd, Muswellbrook Shire in the Hunter Valley plans to turn its old No1 Open Cut into a landfill. Under the proposal, eventually the site will be rehabilitated as public space.
  • Island State remembers those lost at sea

    A memorial dedicated to men and women who have lost their lives at sea has been opened at Triabunna on Tasmania's east coast. The memorial is expected to bring more visitors to the town including many overseas visitors who have shown considerable interest in it. A new Visitor Information Centre recently completed will assist in directing them to other places of interest in the area.
  • Linking regional planning

    Field work has been completed on a project to help regional organisations link natural resource management and economic development. Greening Australia and the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) are cooperating on a two year study examining the role of regional organisations and how their planning is coordinated.
  • At the forefront of change

    "Warringah Council is very much at the forefront of change in the Sydney Metropolitan area," said the Mayor, Councillor Sam Danieli. To meet National Competition Policy requirements, Council has recently carried out a restructure in preparation for an increase in competitive tendering. The restructure has resulted in a flatter organisation and, in a first for New South Wales, a clear purchaser/provider split.
  • Film is a win-win

    Each large film production is a major employer and a massive consumer. A film shoot means jobs for specialised technicians but also many trades and casuals. Then there is hardware, food, transportation, accommodation, security, cleaning and even portable toilets. The production dollars can contribute significantly to local communities and there is also additional spending "induced" by film production.

  • 2000 Olympic Team support goes nation wide

    A fundraising initiative, developed by Cairns City Council, is set to spread throughout Australia. The brainchild of Cairns Mayor, Councillor Tom Pyne, who is also President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), this fundraising concept has the potential to raise $12 million. It will be used to assist our Australian Team during their preparation in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
  • MAV back to full power

    In opening the recent Annual Session then President, Councillor Noel Bates, said this is the first opportunity, for some time, that a Councillor dominated Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has been able to set future directions. He said that despite the superannuation blackhole, changes to the employment of CEOs and senior staff, funding issues and the Government tinkering with the Local Government Act, considerable recent victories have been achieved including the Government's scrapping of rate capping.
  • Editorial

    During this month, Councils from around the nation will meet in Canberra for what has now become known as the 'Parliament of Local Government'. The National General Assembly of Local Government is certainly a recognition of the key role Councils play, both in ensuring community aspirations become part of national decision making process and national policy initiatives are translated into reality in local areas. Following declarations drawn up by other nations clearly articulating Local Government's position, and the Worldwide Declaration of Local Self Government renewed by the International Union of Local Government in Toronto in 1993, a Declaration on the Role of Australian Local Government will be a key item at this year's General Assembly.
  • Tas software goes nationwide

    A property management software system called Property Plus, designed by Brighton City Council in Tasmania, is set to be marketed Australia wide.
  • National Assembly takes on the big issues

    The 4th National General Assembly of Local Government once again will provide a national profile for Local Government as representatives of Councils across the country come together to debate key issues. To be staged in Canberra from 23-26 November, this year's Assembly also marks the Australian Local Government Association's 50th Anniversary.
  • National Heart Awards

    Penrith City Council has won Best Overall Project in the Heart Foundation's Healthy Hearts Local Government National Awards. Sponsored by Medibank Private, the annual Awards are presented at national and State level to Councils and community organisations which develop innovative facilities and programs to encourage healthy lifestyles in their communities.
  • Spread your wings in Knox

    Based at the foothills of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges, the City of Knox has set its sights on becoming Victoria's premier community. Combining a strong economic base with large tracts of open space, the City is a well serviced community with many sought after business and residential addresses.
  • Public recycling launched

    Called 'Think Blue', Knox City Council launched its new public place recycling program in October to representatives of community groups, local schools and regional waste management organisations.
  • Council's Executives take a walk in other people's shoes

    The Executive Management Team of Knox City Council recently initiated a five week program called 'Walk In My Shoes'. The program involves the Chief Executive and the four directors becoming 'work experience' students for two hours each week, and attending Council services they do not normally encounter.
  • Youth Link launched

    Knox City Council's Youth Services recently received a grant of $25,440 from the Department of Justice to increase linkages between police and youth services in Victoria. The program offers a support service to young people who have received a caution, who have been charged or who are victims of crime.
  • Early Parenting Centre

    The Knox Early Parenting Centre was officially opened in June by the Victorian Minister for Youth and Community Services, the Hon. Denis Napthine. Based at the Clarekirk Maternal and Child Health Centre in Wantirna, the facility is designed to assist parents who have concerns over their baby's sleeping, eating and behavioural routines.