Warning on LIFD changes | Meet Derwent Valley’s Mayor Shaw | PR pitfalls for councils | ALGA News 23 October 2020

Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

President's column

With even Tasmania and Queensland border controls easing, infection numbers falling, bushfire recovery underway, and drought still with us but in fewer places, it’s time to turn our minds to creating a brighter future. Talk has begun about how we can make Australia a better place post-Covid – it is an important conversation and a+

ALGA warns against reduced oversight of 5G telco installations

Eliminating council oversight of new mobile phone base stations would represent an unacceptable erosion of environmental and public safety standards, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) warned this week. In a submission responding to proposals outlined in a consultation paper published last month on “Improving the telecommunications powers and immunities framework”, ALGA said carriers generally+

Being proactive the key to better local government PR, says expert

Councils can learn a lot about the effectiveness of their communication with local audiences and stakeholders during a crisis like Covid-19. Communications expert Neryl East points to increased levels of public trust in local government during the pandemic as proof that councils have largely been reliable sources of information in 2020. “The health measures imposed+

Meet the Mayor – Derwent Valley’s Ben Shaw

Tasmania’s Derwent Valley Council was established on 2 April 1994 and includes the localities of Bushy Park, Maydena, and Strathgordon, with New Norfolk being the major town. Ben Shaw was elected to Council as Deputy Mayor in 2014 and became Mayor in 2018. He was elected Vice President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania+

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‘Family violence is matter for all of us, especially local government’

By COUNCILLOR JUSTINE BROOKS When I proposed that George Town – a small council even by Tasmanian standards – develop a domestic, family and sexual violence strategy, the responses were understandable: What would the financial implications be, and how could we afford to get involved in “non-core business”? My reaction? How can we afford not+

$69m to aid recovery of bushfire-affected communities in Vic

Applications for the $68.6 million Local Economic Recovery program, co-funded by the Federal and Victorian governments, open on 27 October. Sixty percent of the fund (or $42 million) will be dedicated to regional economic projects and programs, and 40 percent will go to local community projects. As part of the $42 million regional economic stream,+

Plastics reprocessing rate ‘continuing to rise nationally’

Nearly 394,000 tonnes of plastics were recycled in 2018-19, a 23 percent increase on the previous year, a new Federal Government survey shows. In all, 3.5 million tonnes of plastics were consumed in Australia in the 2018-19 financial year. Of the 393,800 tonnes of plastics collected for reprocessing, 203,100 tonnes (52 percent) were reprocessed in+

Circularity ‘will help water utilities achieve sustainability’

Urban water utilities must embrace a new circular future as the traditional “linear” approach to providing drinking water and treating and disposing of wastewater is now unviable. The Water Services Association of Australia says this is particularly true in the Australian and New Zealand context, where most urban centres are vulnerable to variable and declining+

Draft Round 5A Mobile Black Spot program guidelines released

The federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has published design options for Round 5A of the Mobile Black Spot Program. A new program design was considered necessary because under the existing guidelines fewer sites are likely to be successfully funded in the future. The draft Guidelines for Round 5A outline the eligibility+

Free webinar heralds new Emergency Planning Handbook

The 2020 edition of the Emergency Planning Handbook is being launched next week with a webinar featuring leading experts discussing preparedness principles and practice. The new handbook provides nationally agreed principles for good practice in emergency planning and reflects changes in the field of disaster risk reduction, emergency management and more broadly in society since+

Melbourne regional trails strategy wins 2020 AUDA award

An interconnected trail network across seven Melbourne local government areas has been recognised with an Australian Urban Design Award (AUDA). The Eastern Regional Trails Strategy was developed by Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture and the cities of Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse, and Yarra Ranges. Judges said the strategy addressed significant impediments to achieving high+

Nothing off the wall about Wanneroo’s free DJ course

There are few more effective ways for councils to enhance the liveability and economic sustainability of local communities than through the arts. However, reaching young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds presents challenges – one the City of Wanneroo council solved in a novel way. It used DJing to appeal to youths from a suburb with high+

How Whitehorse City Council is helping foster positive food habits

Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation is thriving, in part because of the continuing support of councils in Victoria. Established in 2004, Ms Alexander’s not-for-profit foundation works with around 2000 schools (many of them in Victoria) to teach children how to grow, harvest and prepare fresh produce. Following the foundation’s launch of a professional development and+

National automated vehicle safety law proposals up for debate

The Nation Transport Commission (NTC) wants input on a national approach to in-service safety for automated vehicles. To inform the process, the NCT published a discussion paper last week outlining proposals for what the national law will entail and how it will work under two different legislative implementation options. It follows an agreement by transport+

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