FILTER BY:
  • The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator says it is expanding to road managers new penalties for not complying with requirements for interface agreements at level crossings or road/rail interfaces. While the penalties apply for managers of rail infrastructure and private roads, from next month individuals who manage public roads can be fined a+

  • Regional Arts Australia has released a free booklet to try improving collaborations for people working in regional Australia’s cultural sector. Collaborating with Regional Communities: guidelines and tools for regional arts and cultural engagement, is designed to be used by artists, arts organisations, community groups, venues, local government bodies, touring arts organisations and individuals. Its creators+

  • Mayor of West Tamar, Christina Holmdahl, has become the new President-elect of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) following elections for its General Management Committee. The other committee members are: Mayor Darryl Quilliam (Circular Head Council)Mayor Annette Rockliff (Devonport City Council)Mayor Mick Tucker (Break O’Day Council)Mayor Ben Shaw (Derwent Valley Council) Alderman Brendan Blomeley+

  • Local governments projects that promote disability access and inclusion, recognise Indigenous communities, and help new arrivals find jobs in their field of expertise are among the winners of the 2019 National Awards for Local Government. At the ALGA National General Assembly Gala Dinner on 18 June, Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, the+

  • Dozens of local councils met during the National General Assembly on 17 June to discuss how the ongoing drought continues to hurt their communities. The meeting was called by ALGA to provide councils with an opportunity to meet with the Australian Coordinator-General of Drought Major General Stephen Day, but unfortunately, he was too ill to+

  • Well, if the huge amount of feedback we received is any guide, what a fabulous National General Assembly we’ve just had! Thank you to the nearly 900 people who travelled to Canberra this week to join us for the Assembly, and the over 250 who attended the most popular and well-received Regional Cooperation and Development+

  • The Japan Local Government Centre/CLAIR Sydney will again exhibit at the National General Assembly to showcase best practices used by Australian and Japanese local governments, and foster collaborations and ties between local governments in the two countries. CLAIR Sydney is part of the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) a semi-government organisation created+

  • The Tasmania Government has announced a container refund scheme will begin operating in the island state by 2022. Most Australian jurisdictions now operate a container refund or container deposit scheme, where containers are left at designated locations or via reverse vending machines. “The scheme will encourage positive, incentivised recycling and re-use behaviours, that will help+

  • Australia’s past use of asbestos has left us with a harmful legacy. Many public and commercial buildings, homes and infrastructure contain large amounts of ageing asbestos-containing materials. Vigilance and proactive action is needed to deal with this legacy to prevent further disease and death. Local governments across Australia are on the front line in dealing+

  • Submissions have opened for a review of easy access to suitable routes under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). The National Transport Commission on 13 June released an issues paper which summarises current access arrangements under the national law, and in WA and the NT, analyses those arrangements outside the law, and seeks preliminary views+

  • The 2019-20 Queensland Budget features a $12.9 billion capital works program and a goal to create more than 25,000 jobs in regional areas outside of Greater Brisbane. It includes $5.65 billion on transport including the Cross River Rail, widening the M1 motorway, and upgrading the Bruce Highway. “The Government also remains committed to rebuilding regional+

  • Twenty one people have been recognized for their service to local government in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday honours list. They were among 1,214 recipients congratulated by Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove. “They have made an enormous contribution to their local communities and to the entire nation and deserve our thanks, admiration and to be celebrated.+

  • The Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals, the Hon. Michael McCormack MP, the new Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Mark Coulton MP, and the new Shadow Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Jason Clare MP will all be joining us at the largest gathering of local government delegates in Australia in Canberra+

  • The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) has released a series of short briefs about the latest changes in street lighting systems for councils, road authorities and other decision-makers. The first five topics in the plain English briefings series cover: • Using new energy performance metrics to effectively measure public lighting energy efficiency •+

  • The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is hosting a networking session with the winners of the 2019 National Awards for Local Government at the upcoming National General Assembly. Representatives from winning councils will be on hand to share their experiences in an informal setting during the lunch break on Monday 17 June.+

  • The Heart Foundation is offering $80,000 in grants and has revised its blueprint for policymakers and planners as part of its efforts to get Australians to move more and lessen their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The eight grants of up to $10,000 each – applications for which close 31 July –+

  • An independent evaluation of Our Watch, an initiative to stop violence against women and children and change cultures and behaviours nationally, has found it’s making a real difference five years since it was formed. The group, which was started in 2013, works with parties including policymakers, educators and sporting organisations, seeks to stop violence before+

  • Five councils from across the country have received top honours at the 2019 Smart Cities Awards that recognise how cities are using technology to become better places in which to live. The awards capped a two-day gathering in March that brought together officials from councils, buildings, roads, transport and utilities industries to share what they’re+

  • Local councils, community groups, and individuals must keep working together for the renewal of Australia’s regions, says the head of a charity that has helped more than 9,000 applicants receive a combined $85m in funding. Natalie Egleton, CEO of the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal (FRRR) will share that message in her keynote at+

  • Last week on your behalf I welcomed the Morrison Ministry, particularly those ministers and assistant ministers in portfolios encompassing local government, road safety and freight, regional tourism, and waste reduction. This week it was the Opposition’s turn, now led by new Leader Anthony Albanese, to whom I have also written to extend the best wishes+

  • We welcome the new ministry unveiled last weekend by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The new team contains a strong focus on a range of issues facing local governments, including infrastructure, regional development, waste reduction, and road safety and freight. Congratulations firstly to the new Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Mark Coulton. The+

  • The Municipal Association of Victoria says the Victorian State Budget for 2019-2020 has not focused enough on recycling and waste management systems, which is says are in a “fragile” condition. Treasurer Tim Pallas on 27 May unveiled a budget that included $14.2 billion in infrastructure investment for 2019-20, such as $3.4 billion in suburban rail+

  • Judging has been finalised for the National Awards for Local Government, which have for 33 years celebrated excellence. The National Award will be announced on 18 June at the National General Assembly. The Hon Mark Coulton MP, the new Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, has been invited to announce the Awards at+

  • The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator says it has nearly finished developing its five-year strategy and will release it in June. The Regulator says the strategy will contain “non-infrastructure solutions” designed to create “safe, efficient, sustainable and productive heavy vehicle access.” It has invited all local government road access managers to join its upcoming webinar to+

  • A new app has been released which makes it easier to see current and historical Native Title determination applications. The National Native Title Tribunal says the new tool is in response to many requests from people wanting to view historical applications. Visitors to the site can search by name or location, with results presented in+

  • The Greater Sydney region will be under its first water restrictions in a decade when level 1 measures take effect from 1 June. It comes as the federal government’s Coordinator-General for Drought, Major General Stephen Day (pictured above, centre), will hold a workshop during the National General Assembly to talk to Local Governments from across+

  • The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is holding a national survey on pest animal and weed management. The bureau wants to increase awareness of pest animal and weed management problems in the community, and gain more information on monitoring and evaluation. The survey closes on 15 July and can be+

  • Many Australian local councils could have foreseen the strategic risk involved in exporting recycling waste to China, the founder of Paladin Risk Management says. Rod Farrar, whose company is a sponsor of the 2019 National General Assembly, says there are differences between strategic and operational risks. Strategic risks are those external to council, that if+

  • The Tasmanian Government’s 2019-20 Budget features $1.6 billion worth of infrastructure projects including $294 million for the new Bridgewater Bridge, $180m on water and sewage infrastructure, and upgrades to a major west coast tourism railway. Some $170m has been allocated for the third tranche of Tasmanian Irrigation’s project, more than $165m for state road upgrades,+

  • The Human Rights Commission’s annual Human Rights Awards have opened for entries across nine categories. These include the Community Organisation Award, Government Award, Racism It Stops with Me Award, Human Rights Medal, and Young People’s Human Rights Medal. “We encourage anyone to nominate individuals and organisations who inspire you with their commitment to advancing human+

  • Congratulations to William ‘Buddy’ Darmody who has retired after 50 years as a Council Officer with Manningham Council. “I am grateful for the opportunities Manningham Council has given me over all these years,” he said, and added he was sad to leave. Buddy started with the council, then called the City of Doncaster and Templestowe,+

  • Local councils are invited to make submissions on version 2 of the draft PFAS National Environmental Management Plan before the end of the month. Version two of the plan includes updates on the soil criteria used in the first version, new guidance on the reuse of soil, and initial guidance on managing PFAS in wastewater,+

  • Local councils, main roads agencies and utilities providers thinking about large-scale upgrades of their street lighting and smart control systems can now use a new free guide to help their decision-making. The Model Business Case was created by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia’s Street Lighting and Smart Control Programme and is supported by+

  • Local councils have numerous activities planned around Australia, such as lectures, expos and cultural performances to mark National Reconciliation Week, which runs 27 May to 3 June. The dates commemorate the 1967 Referendum and the High Court’s 1992 Mabo decision, while the week is a chance to learn about shared histories and how Australians can+

  • ALGA has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on behalf of the sector congratulating him on his election win, thanking him for the increase in Roads to Recovery funding and reminding him of the importance of the Financial Assistance Grants to local governments for unlocking our communities potential. At this stage the new Local Government+

  • The ACT Legislative Assembly on 16 May became the first Australian jurisdiction to pass a motion declaring the country was in “a state of climate emergency that requires urgent actions across all levels of Government.” The motion, proposed by Greens MLA and ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, also called on the+

  • The City of Melbourne’s Draft Transport Strategy 2030 sets goals of becoming Australia’s bicycling capital, prioritising walking and public transport, and restricting private vehicle movements to lower the city’s emissions. Released for public comment in early May, the document also proposes widening many footpaths to reduce overcrowding, building more than 50km of protected bicycle lanes,+

  • Congratulations to Prime Minister Morrison on his victory in the federal election and continuation as Prime Minister after a long campaign that culminated in the 18 May vote. The Prime Minister and the yet to be named incoming Minister for Local Government have the best wishes of councils across Australia as they resume the task+

  • The Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) National Conference has this week convened in Blacktown, western Sydney, to celebrate the achievements of women in local government and renew their efforts toward achieving equal representation. ALGWA National President, Cr Carol Ross, told delegates that Tasmania’s local governments had reached 39% female representation, while NSW, the most+

  • The Productivity Commission’s new National Transport Regulatory Reform paper seeks feedback as it assesses transport reforms since an agreement was reached at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2009. The regulatory regimes cover maritime safety, rail safety, heavy vehicle safety and productivity. COAG’s intention was to improve safety while reducing costs and regulatory burden+

  • The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has approved applications from five Sydney councils, and partially agreed a sixth, to increase general rates above the 2.7% peg. Applications from Burwood, Hunters Hill, Ku-ring-gai, Randwick and Sutherland councils were approved in full and will be effective from 1 July 2019. North Sydney Council’s application was+

  • The 17-19 June conference in Canberra will examine just how prepared communities are for disasters and more extreme hazards. It will bring together a range of voices to explore how a scenario of severe and cascading hazards would impact upon social, natural, structural and economic systems today and in 2035, with some systems pushed to+

  • The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator this week released a new guidebook for road managers who grant access to large vehicles which need to use local road networks. The Performance Based Standards: An introduction for road managers outlines the thousands of combinations such vehicles can comprise, and includes details about how to respond to an access+

  • Australia’s first publicly-available hydrogen vehicle refueling station will open in Canberra at the end of 2019. The facility, a joint project between local utility ACTEWAGL and the French renewable energy company Neoen, is under construction in the industrial suburb of Fyshwick and due to begin operations in December. “Tackling climate change means tackling transport pollution,+

  • A refreshed program for the 25th National General Assembly (NGA19) is now available online, and an app for Apple and Android devices will be released shortly. Registration numbers are looking very strong for both the Assembly and Regional Forum, which runs from 16-19 June at the National Convention Centre Canberra. We’re honoured that one of+

  • ALGA joins Australians in expressing its sadness over the death of former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. Australia’s 24th Prime Minister held a referendum in 1988 to give constitutional recognition for local government and create a new section, 119A. “This would have recognised the existing reality of local governments in Australia as state-created entities but would+

  • Businesses in central Sydney will be able to trade for 24 hours from June, subject to relevant NSW ‘lock out’ legislation, after new planning controls were adopted by City of Sydney Council. The new 24-hour trading area encompasses Darling Harbour in the west to Hyde Park in the east, south to Central Station, while businesses+

  • The major parties have both pledged support for Australian cities with partnership agreements aimed at benefitting communities by improving relations between all three levels of government. Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, wrote to ALGA to outline the Coalition’s plans to develop City Deals with councils in Melbourne’s northwest and southeast and+

  • This week ALGA welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s commitments under the Plan for Local Government issued by the Opposition in response to our Federal Election priorities document, All Politics is Local, which we issued last September. Our document identified 12 priorities including restoring funding assistance to local government, improving the safety of local roads, national+

  • Workers in local councils around the country this week wore yellow ribbons and took an online pledge to be safer drivers as part of National Road Safety Week which concludes on 12 May. Landmarks around the country were lit in yellow, while councils, schools and emergency service agencies held public events to highlight that more+

  • ALGA will be at the Planning Institute of Australia National Planning Congress (15-17 May, Gold Coast). We’re convening a networking and social dinner for local government planners on Thursday 16th May. We are also hosting a session in the program for local government planners. If you are attending and would like to know more, please+

  • The long-proposed east coast High Speed Rail project is back in the news again after Labor on 10 May pledged $1 billion toward land acquisitions to create the corridor. The railway would run between Melbourne and Brisbane via Sydney and Canberra, using trains capable of speeds up to 350km/h. A former Labor government study identified+