November 2005 Edition

  • Integrating assets and services
    The UK Experience by Malcolm Morley *
    In England the roles of public sector assets are being reviewed in terms of their contribution to individuals/communities and the value they provide within communities. Increasingly different public sector organisations are looking to rationalise their asset portfolios and to generate more value from their investment in assets.
  • New restoration ecology degree *
    A new degree course in restoration ecology being offered by The University of Western Australia (UWA) at its Albany Centre will make effective use of local land and waterway restoration initiatives as part of its field work component.
  • Riverway a cultural, environmental and recreational river foreshore showpiece
    An exciting new development is under way on the banks of North Queensland’s Ross River at Thuringowa. An 11km stretch of the river foreshore is being developed to include a cultural centre, adjoining swimming lagoons, and sport and recreation facilities.
  • Recognising Council high achievers
    At the 2005 Local Government Managers Australia National Congress in Canberra, FOCUS invited delegates to nominate an individual or team from their Council who is improving their Council’s operations and meeting community needs. In this edition, we showcase two more of our competition winners for 2005.

  • Councillor profile
    A regular feature, this month we present two Councillors from Victoria.
  • MAV shares strategies for success
    Speaking at the Municipal Association of Victoria’s recent annual conference, Candy Broad, Victorian Minister for Local Government said that success does not come by accident – it usually takes a lot of hard work and careful planning. Acknowledging the conference theme, Sharing Strategies for Success, on State/Local Government relations she said that a better relationship does not always mean a perfect relationship.
  • Winchelsea road safety pilot program an Australian first
    Twice every school day, the crossing supervisors at Winchelsea Primary School in south west Victoria turn on a pilot program that literally lights up the road and alerts oncoming drivers for hundreds of metres that they are approaching a flagged school crossing.


  • Mudgee hosts NSW LGA conference
    President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales, Councillor Genia McCaffery, said that the theme of this year’s annual conference, Meeting Expectations … Can We? highlights the greatest challenge facing Local Government today. That is, the expectations of communities are increasing at a faster rate than the resources of Councils.
  • Video conferencing link is building bridges
    A successful Sister City relationship between Campbelltown in Sydney’s south west and Koshigaya in Japan was also recognised by the Australian Sister Cities Association (ASCA) annual awards program. The relationship, including last year’s Kids 2 Kids video conference, won Best Youth Project at these prestigious national awards.
  • Bayside’s shared path fills a missing link
    On 23 October, Bayside City Council Mayor, Councillor Craig Tucker, and the State Member for Higginbotham, Noel Pullen, cut a ribbon on the elevated boardwalk of the Brighton Beach shared path to officially open this missing link in the Bay Trail.


  • Belmont’s Sister City partnership wins awards
    Western Australia’s City of Belmont’s Sister City Program has won two national awards for its relations with Adachi in Japan. The Australian Sister Cities Association (ASCA) recently awarded Belmont with the Category One Community Involvement Award and the Category Eleven Single Project Award.


  • 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.
  • Editorial - Democratic rights - how many are we prepared to forego?
    We can only hope our Parliamentarians, most pointedly our State and Territory Governments, will take their role seriously. We are relying on them to preserve our inclusive, cohesive communities by protecting our democratic rights for all Australians. Laws that will divide and alienate are not good laws and therefore must be resisted.
  • CPS – innovating voice and data technology
    Many government departments and local Councils have unique communications needs and CPS Technology Group provides solutions which enhance communication and productivity throughout their organisations. CPS works with a number of local Councils with the focus on improved customer service and streamlining the business process in their voice and data environment.
  • Towong Shire takes out Premier’s Award
    The Premier’s Award for Continuous Improvement in Local Government is held biennially to recognise excellence in Local Government in Victoria. It is the highest accolade for continuous improvement achievements by Victorian Councils. Towong Shire has taken out the 2005 award.
  • Just communities: re-engaging with our local community
    Some 250 delegates from Councils around the nation attended the Local Government Community Services Association of Australia’s conference in Melbourne on 25–28 October. Held biennially, this national conference brings together Local Government professionals working across the gambit of the many services impacting directly on people’s lives and wellbeing.

Feature: Tourism and Economic Development

  • Light start in tourism and economic development
    Held biennially, the Port Pirie Pura Light Start Masters Games attract thousands of visitors to the region and is an innovative way of bringing together the community. The Games offer many different events for both social interaction and the opportunity to take part in a wide range of sporting programs.
  • Football assists Indigenous youth
    Western Australia’s Shire of Broome, together with the Clontarf Foundation, has established a Football Academy that will work as a partnership between local schools and football to improve the education, health, employment and life skills of Indigenous boys and young men.
  • Claude Group enhancing localities *
    For over 25 years Claude Group has provided quality cost effective contemporary street infrastructure to over 80 Councils across Australia. Working closely with all Council staff from town planners, engineers and landscape architects, Claude Group is able to offer inventive solutions that fit in with the urban streetscape and provide unique benefits to the local community.
  • Scenic route increases tourism
    The Snowy Valleys Way project will offer an alternative scenic route for tourists travelling between Melbourne and Sydney. The project aims to develop a nationally and internationally recognised tourist route and to promote tourism in the region.
  • Melbourne gets a ‘make over’ ahead of Commonwealth Games
    Melbourne’s facilities and tourist attractions are being improved ahead of the March 2006 Commonwealth Games. The city is in the process of upgrading many of its most popular sites, ahead of the arrival of an expected additional 90,000 tourists next year. The expected worldwide television audience for the games is one billion people, and the city plans to show its most attractive face to the world.


  • Ageing population new opportunities
    In recognition of a rapidly ageing local population, Lake Macquarie City Council in conjunction with the NSW Department of State and Regional Development, contracted Micromex, a local research and marketing company, to conduct a comprehensive study into the ageing of the Lake Macquarie’s community and the associated opportunities that this may provide to local businesses.
  • Ten rules for dealing with Canberra
    The Good Oil by Rod Brown*
    Rule 1: You will NOT crack a $500,000 grant just because you are deserving.
    Rule 2: The Minister will have forgotten the letter signed off to you - hence the puzzled look.
    Rule 3: Don't expect Canberra to fret about regional and urban development - it's seen as a State issue ...
  • Skills for Australia
    The Australian Government is committed to increasing skilled migration to regional Australia. Skilled migration can fill critical skill shortages and contribute socially and economically to regional communities. In 2004–2005 Australia’s intake of migrants increased to over 120,000, the highest level since the 1950s.
  • Future directions in tourism and economic development
    An interview with Fiona Wilson, Manager Economic Strategies and Innovations, Noosa Council in Queensland
  • FOCUS printer excels at Tas PICA Awards
    The Tasmanian Printing Industries Craftsmanship Awards (PICA), held in Hobart earlier this year resulted in awards for the Harris Print Pty Ltd, a division of Rural Press Printing. Printers of Local Government FOCUS and a range of publications for various local Councils, Harris Print took out three awards for excellence in print and design.
  • Harmony Day film festival focuses on young people
    During 2006, Launceston will be host to a range of events and projects that reflect its people and place in Australia and the development of Tasmania. 2006 has been chosen as the year for the people of Launceston to rediscover their past, embrace their differences and shape the future in a celebration of the community called It’s About Us 2006.
  • Caravan rally for Mount Gambier
    South Australia’s Mount Gambier will host the 20th Annual Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) Rally from 13 to 19 March 2006. The City of Mount Gambier’s Tourism Manager, June Kain, and Limestone Coast Tourism Marketing Officer, Fiona Leustner, recently returned from the half yearly CMCA Rally held in Maryborough, Queensland. They distributed 1,500 information packs on Mount Gambier and the Limestone Coast to CMCA members.
  • Bridging the gap between tourism and economic prosperity
    When the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) decided in August 2003 to close a major road in Wollongong’s northern suburbs for safety reasons, it caused more than disruption to traffic. However, a spectacular new bridge being built to reconnect the road is promising a new economic boom for the city for which Wollongong City Council has been busily preparing.