April 2005 Edition

  • Northern Grampians Shire Council
    Women are putting their best feet forward in the Northern Grampians Shire Council and are getting recognised for it. Previously a traditional male dominated Council structure, the administrative team has recently gone through a transformation with many women being promoted from within and attracted to the organisation from metropolitan Melbourne.
  • More work needed on NPC
    More work was needed before a second National Packaging Covenant (NPC) could gain general support from Local Government, Australian Local Government Association President, Councillor Paul Bell, said last month.
  • Councillor profiles
    A regular feature this month featuring two Councillors from Victoria.
  • Engaging communities during Qld Local Government Week
    From 13 to 19 June, Queensland Councils will showcase their people, local facilities and services in a week aimed at creating a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of Local Government. The theme for the week is Local Government – Engaging Communities.


  • Tasmanian Mayors meet to consider major pulp mill
    Local Governments in Northern Tasmania are planning for a rise in building and planning applications from the development of a proposed major paper mill. George Town Mayor, Councillor Lawrence Archer, said there is a need to be prepared for a steep increase in building and planning applications to house both construction and long term employees.
  • Time to revisit New Growth Theory
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    Professor Mike Berry (RMIT) recently reviewed the determinants of regional economic success in a paper titled, Innovation by Design: The Economic Drivers of Dynamic Regions. His analysis of the two approaches – the neoclassical school, and the new growth theory school – is timely because they represent the basic policy camps here in Canberra.
  • Reducing accidents a top priority at Geraldton
    Geraldton in Western Australia has become the only regional Local Government to receive a prestigious silver award for its occupational health and safety record. The City has joined the ranks of just three other Western Australian Local Governments to have received the Local Government Insurance Services (LGIS) Silver Award since the program’s inception four years ago.


  • Bendigo’s new multi purpose exhibition centre
    Construction of a multi million dollar, multi purpose Bendigo Exhibition Centre is nearing completion with the huge new building set to open in July, in time to host Australia’s largest sheep show.
  • President’s comment
    In each edition we feature the views of a Local Government Association President. The following is from Councillor Lynn Mason, President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania.
  • Bathurst extends its National Motor Racing Museum
    In March, bronze portraits of two of the biggest names in Australian motor racing were unveiled at the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama, signalling an important new direction for one of the country’s most significant motor sport collections.
  • Editorial
    Local Government is calling on greater Federal Government assistance to ease mounting pressure on water infrastructure. Across the country, issues concerning water are coming to the fore and the clear message is that we must find better ways to preserve water supplies. The problem is being exacerbated with the deterioration of much of the existing water infrastructure built in the postwar period.
  • Engineering shortage starting to hurt Local Government
    A shortage of engineers in Australia is threatening growth in Local Government infrastructure, according to industry bodies and recruitment companies. In response, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) has released a strategy and action plan to address the issue.


Feature: Engineering & Technical Services

  • Services for a young and growing community
    As a thriving community with many young families, the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley is investing in a range of improved and new facilities. A new youth facility is in the final design stage. This 1.6 million dollar complex has been designed around what young people said they needed. Council has been working closely with young people particularly through its local Youth Advisory Council.
  • Upgrade for Derby Wharf
    A major project for the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley is the $2.35 million upgrade of the Derby Wharf.



  • New visitors centre for Broome
    During peak season in a single day, the Broome Visitors Centre can have as many as 900 people through its doors. As user numbers steadily increase, the centre has clearly outgrown its current building.


  • Broome celebrates 100 years of Local Government
    On 22 November 1904 Broome held its first Local Government election. To mark the Centenary of this, last November a large crowd joined Council staff and Councillors in the Shire’s grounds to celebrate this event.
  • Tourism boost with more air services for Derby
    Home of the Curtin RAAF base, Derby has the longest airstrip anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Alongside the RAAF strip is the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley’s airstrip that is able to take 60 seater jets. Working with local mining interests, the Shire has drawn up a business plan to attract a regular jet service into Derby. Owned and operated by Council, the Derby airport and runway were upgraded two years in preparation for this move.
  • Growth industries moving from strength to strength
    Wyndham-East Kimberley’s three major industries are agriculture, mining and tourism. All are set to experience rapid growth over the next few years. Established in the 1960s, the Ord River Irrigation Scheme currently services 14,500 hectares. Key crops include sugar cane, mangos, melons, tropical fruits and cut flowers.

  • Tjurabalin – a real whole of government approach
    In 2003, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) identified 11 sites to introduce a whole of government approach in providing improved local services for remote communities. The Western Australian site is located within the Shire of Halls Creek. Tjurabalin Region has four local communities and some 1,000 residents. It is a region comprising land handed back to its traditional owners in 2001 by the Commonwealth Government.
  • Protecting culture and country
    Fringed by the Indian Ocean at Broome’s popular Cable Beach is Minyirr Park. With 22 kilometres of colour coded walking trails, the park is a joint project between the Shire of Broome and its traditional owners represented by the Rubibi Land Heritage and Development Group.
  • A blend of the old and the new
    Wyndham – East Kimberley has two main townships. Established in 1864, Wyndham is the oldest town in the Kimberley while Kununurra is the youngest, established in 1961. Tourists can gain an understanding of the efforts of pioneers in settling this remote and wild region, while Kununurra is a modern, purposely built town to service agricultural expansion with the introduction of Ord River Irrigation Scheme.
  • Providing facilities and services in remote communities
    With its two main towns, Derby and Fitzroy Crossing located 260 kilometres apart, the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley has its work cut out in providing community services.
  • Tanamai Road – a vital link for local communities and tourists
    Running from Halls Creek to the Northern Territory Border, the Tanamai Road services a number of indigenous communities and is becoming more and more popular for self drive tourists. In 2003, the Western Australian Government provided $10 million for the road to be upgraded over a five year period. The Shire has entered an agreement with the State Government to complete the majority of this work.

  • Force to be reckoned with
    The four Local Governments in the Kimberley zone – the Shires of Broome, Derby/West Kimberley, Halls Creek and Wyndham-East Kimberley – meet three or four times a year. Recognising a huge potential to do more together, at its annual forum in 2004, the Kimberley Group of Councils embarked on a process to develop a strategic plan for the region.
  • New resource helps water businesses manage losses
    Local Governments could benefit greatly from better water management and a new series of manuals aim to help them achieve that goal. In recent moves in Queensland, Wide Bay Water Corporation, a commercial arm of Hervey Bay Council, has deferred an augmented dam for seven years and saved an estimated $4.6 million in interest on capital expenditure.
  • Discovering the Kimberley
    Western Australia’s Kimberley region has
  • Barossa to drain lake as part of major park upgrade
    The Barossa Council in South Australia will drain the lake at Victoria Creek Park, Williamstown as the first step of a major upgrade program of the park. Barossa’s Chief Executive Officer, Judith Jones, said Council wanted to clean the lake of silt before the onset of winter and undertake remedial work on the existing retaining wall.
  • BART - a tool for modelling asset renewal
    In common with other Local Governments that provide infrastructure throughout Australia, in Burnside there is a shortfall in asset renewal expenditure over that required to maintain the present levels of service. South Australia’s City of Burnside manages engineering infrastructure assets with a replacement value of $296 million. A population of 41,000 largely funds an annual asset renewal program of $4 million in a budget of $21 million.

  • Every cloud has a timber lining
    A Local Government in Melbourne has taken steps to recycle trees damaged in February’s record breaking storms. City of Port Phillip Mayor, Councillor Darren Ray, said trees felled in the storm will be recycled as picnic tables, seats, fences and bollards – and maybe even art works.
  • George Negus to open centenary conference for IPWEA (NSW)
    For the past 25 years George Negus has been at the forefront of Australian political journalism earning considerable recognition as an international correspondent and charming audiences with his wit, humour and incisive style. IPWEA is looking forward to George’s take on the conference theme – Celebrating 100 Years of Achievement – where he will focus on the outstanding achievements from public works engineers over the last 100 years, together with celebrating current achievements and challenges in this competitive environment.
  • Future directions for engineering services
    An interview with Patrick Murphy, Director Works and Technical Services, Boonah Shire Council, Queensland.
  • Water reuse initiatives in urban catchment
    Rainwater tanks and other water sensitive design measures are being increasingly adopted to assist with Total Water Cycle Management (TWCM) in urban catchments. As part of a range of initiatives, Kogarah Council was recently handed a rebate cheque from Sydney Water after installing rainwater tanks in 12 schools within its boundaries.
  • City of Casey operator takes out Caterpillar Challenge
    Competition was stiff in the Caterpillar Operator’s Challenge at Melbourne’s ACE2005 expo in February. The best three operators all lost the same number of penalty points, so their respective times were then used to declare Richard Beard from the City of Casey in Melbourne’s southeast the winner.

  • ALGA applauds North Sydney’s approach toward smaller vehicles
    The move by North Sydney Council to introduce a sliding scale of residential parking permits has been applauded by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). The President of ALGA, Councillor Paul Bell, said the scheme has lower fees for smaller vehicles and higher fees for large, four wheel drive and eight cylinder vehicles.
  • Adelaide hosts International Public Works conference
    You only get one chance every two years to attend the major event of the public works calendar. The IPWEA Adelaide International Public Works Conference is to be held from Sunday 21 to Thursday 25 August 2005 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia.
  • Keeping the best of the old
    Two Local Governments in Melbourne - Moonee Valley and Brimbank - have adopted an innovative approach to swimming pool design. Rather than start from scratch, both have decided to refurbish and revitalise existing buildings Both have commissioned Peddle Thorp Architects to look at tired, old swimming pools.
  • Wins all round with innovative use of detention basins
    Renewing a sewerage system is a huge undertaking and Launceston’s sewerage system, begun in the 1860s, is among the oldest systems in Australia. Group Manager Infrastructure, Geoff Brayford, said over time the system proved unable to cope with the flows generated by heavy rainfall, city growth and development in the catchments.
  • Australia’s first solar powered fountain in Newcastle
    Newcastle believes it has Australia’s first solar powered fountain with a 22 year old fountain now powered by the sun. The Pacific Park Fountain in inner Newcastle was donated to the people by the Newcastle Herald in 1982 to commemorate the City's 125th anniversary.
  • Coffs Harbour completes new sewerage links
    Greater recycling and better environmental management are some of the key features of new sewerage works in Coffs Harbour. As a popular tourist destination and area for retirees and seachangers, catering for an increasing population is an ongoing issue for Council.
  • Gobba Lake revisited
    The redesign of Gobba Lake in Western Australia’s City of Bayswater embraces the best in environmental design and thinking. The lake, located in former wasteland, is now at the cutting edge of environmental design.