The Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) held its General Meeting in Alice Springs on 27-28 June. The Territory Minister for Local Government, Richard Lim, outlined to delegates proposed arrangements for the formation of the new Tiwi Islands Local Government.
Speaking at the LGANT General Meeting on 27-28 June, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Chief Executive, Ian Chalmers, told delegates that he believes the Federal election will be held on 1 December or possibly 24 November 2001.
It is a well known fact that Local Government in Australia is very diverse. Take as an example our last two editions. In the June edition, we featured a four page supplement on the City of Brisbane. Serving 875,000 people, Brisbane is the largest Council in Australia with almost three times the number of residents than the nation’s second most populated Council. Conversely, in this edition we are featuring the Shire of Kojonup, a rural community in Western Australia with just over 2,300 residents.
The NSW State Records Act states that all Government agencies are responsible for the ‘safe custody and proper preservation of the State records’ under their control. A crucial factor in the protection and care of records is the implementation of a counter disaster or contingency plan. Contingency management ensures business continuity and helps you maintain a competitive advantage.
Young Tasmanians have marked the Centenary of Federation through a series of Youth Parliaments hosted by local Councils and schools over the last few months. Throughout the State, students from primary and secondary schools voiced their views as citizens and decision makers of the future.
In a day of celebration on 6 June, Halls Creek in Western Australia opened its new Community Resource Centre. Officially opened by the then Governor General of Australia, Sir William and Lady Deane, the Community Resource Centre provides a top class facility for the people of Halls Creek.
Building sustainability TNQ-style - The Good Oil by Rod Brown * The unfortunate part of the whole environmental debate – whether in relation to trees, CO2, salinity, fishing resources or whatever – is that the heart tends to rule the head and the opposing camps are so quickly into the trenches that a sensible outcome takes years of negotiation to achieve. Therefore it is good to see evidence of commonsense and interaction between environmental and economic development interests.
In 1995 the City of Perth underwent a dramatic transformation. The City was divided into a smaller City Council and three Town Councils. The new City of Perth was to operate with a substantially reduced budget and was to employ only 650 staff. Improvements in management techniques have since lead to the City employing approximately 450 staff and a dramatic decrease in expenditure which is appreciated by the City of Perth’s ratepayers.
The Northern Tasmanian Municipal Association (NTMO) and the State Government have signed a regional Partnership Agreement. Comprising the Councils of Break O’Day, Dorset, Flinders, George Town, Launceston, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands and West Tamar, this is the first such agreement covering a region. A number of bilateral agreements between the State Government and individual Councils are already in place.
Australian businesses, both big and small, now have access to Motorola’s new generation of EtherMux 20 MBps point-to-point microwave LAN radio technology, for super fast transmission of any kind of data over the air.
Governments place great store in various management prescriptions to improve the performance of Local Government authorities (competitive tendering, best value, customer service rankings, and the like), but pay scant attention to what is critical to achieve successful Councils. The top management teams – cores of Councils – play a crucial role in coordinating the politics, policy and administration domains of Councils.
Redcliffe City Council’s commitment to open and accountable communications has again been recognised with its 1999/2000 Annual Report picking up a national Annual Report Award. Council’s annual report received a silver award, the highest accolade awarded to any Queensland Local Government.
For some time, Gladstone City Council in Queensland has foreseen the need for a Strategic Ring Road, and has planned to ensure a future corridor is available for such a development. Private consulting firm, Graham Scott and Associates Pty Ltd, were commissioned to provide a planning report and detailed design.
When it comes to providing quality road and bridge infrastructure, one of the biggest challenges being faced by Australia’s road authorities and Councils is that of ever increasing vehicle loads. A large percentage of the nation’s aging bridge infrastructure was neither designed or constructed with the intention, or physical capabilities, to support the types of vehicles and massive loads that are now commonplace. As such, many Councils are now faced with the task of ‘upgrading’ these bridges to meet the needs of modern road users.
As part of Wollongong City Council’s quality approach to services, an analysis was undertaken of purchasing transactions and related costs. It found that 8,000 purchase orders and 3,500 petty cash transactions each year were for amounts less than $500 each.
“Five years ago Kojonup Shire Council employed consultants to review the running of the Shire,” said Acting Shire President, Councillor George Bailye. “As a result, it was decided that a Chief Executive Officer would be employed who would spend 70 per cent of time on economic development initiatives and 30 per cent on the traditional CEO role.”
“Some years ago Council realised that for Kojonup to have any impact in the region, to save its rural sector and continue to improve service delivery, a new approach was required,” said Chief Executive Officer, Wally Lenyszyn. “The new Local Government Act gave it the exact direction it was looking for. With Councillors responsible for setting the broad policy directions, the Act enabled Council to devolve more routine decision making to staff.
Kojonup is ideally located on the busy Albany Highway tourist route. Recognising the major tourism appeal of the southern coastal areas of Albany, Denmark and Jerramungup, Kojonup has embarked on a strategy to take full advantage of the many visitors passing through the town on their way to the coast.
With the line still in place between Kojonup and the old Farrar siding, 15 kilometres west of the town, a group of local enthusiasts have formed the Kojonup Tourist Railway Association. They are currently replacing some 5,000 sleepers, that have been removed over the years, to shore up the line and start running tourist train rides.
Unlike many rural areas across the nation, Kojonup will never accept that growth and prosperity can only occur in the cities and large regional centres.Take a visionary Council ready to show real leadership, add to this a large number of very active community organisations, a strong and inclusive volunteer ethos, and throw in some individual dreamers that make sure their good ideas turn into actions, and there you have Kojonup.
In 1998, the Shire of Kojonup and the local Noongar people signed an agreement acknowledging that Aboriginal people are the oldest residents of Kojonup, residing in the area long before white settlers.With ‘The Spring’ recognised as the reason for the town and the Noongar people living in the locality, it was also agreed that this will always be a shared place.
When Craig McVee’s ancestors led the first Europeans to visit the area to ‘The Spring’, the notions of sharing this precious resource and living in harmony were established. In spite of later conflicts resulting in bloodshed, injustices and then intolerance, Craig McVee, Chairperson of the Kojonup Aboriginal Corporation and the Shire’s Works Manager, believes that with the Kodja Place project the community is back on track.
Kojonup prides itself on its excellent recreation and sporting facilities. Some are Council owned and operated while other facilities are run by independent organisations with Council support. The Shire has a fully equipped recreation complex, including squash courts, bowling greens, a swimming pool and several turf ovals.
Kojonup has a long and proud history, stretching back centuries to the days when nomadic Aborigines were first attracted to the area by the freshwater spring and abundance of game. In 1837, Crown Surveyor Alfred Hillman, travelling between King George Sound and Perth, was directed to the vast supply of fresh water by local Aborigines. He found the surrounding countryside so attractive that he decided it would be a good place for a station.
Kojonup has the established reputation of being the first Shire with one million sheep. From its strong wool growing history, the idea of building a one and a half times normal size replica wool wagon was envisaged. Kojonup’s three service clubs, Rotary, Apex and Lions, combined forces to see this project to fruition.
A mindset change is involved in moving from the management of ‘assets and resources’ to the ‘delivery of services’. The transition does not necessarily involve dramatic changes in what people do. It has more to do with constant revaluation of why people do what they do.
Asset Management is playing a key role in the City of Playford’s revitalisation initiatives. The recently completed Asset Management Strategy identifies key areas for asset affirmative action, where investment in this South Australian City’s assets can act as a stimulus to revitalising the economy and the way the City looks and functions.
Speaking at the recent Tasmanian Local Government Annual Conference, General Manager Corporate Strategy at Cairns City Council, John Howard, stated that he believes the crunch time for Local Government infrastructure management will occur in the next ten years.
Maintenance – it used to be a dirty word. Connotations of grease under the fingernails, emergency repairs, fix it at whatever the cost, just get it done are all still reminiscent of the good old days. Today things have changed. Maintenance is a complicated game of highly skilled labour and intelligent information systems that have migrated from stand alone basic scheduling packages to intuitive, multi faceted applications that are integrated in the overall enterprise.
In May, delegates from 44 Councils across New South Wales attended the Local Government Financial Awareness Conference. Staged in Parkes, a clear message from the Conference is that the imbalance in funding distributions between Federal, State and Local Governments has to be corrected urgently if Local Government is to survive.