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  • ALGA is a member of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) which aims to promote and strengthen effective democratic local government throughout the Commonwealth, to build local government capacity and to facilitate the exchange of good practice in local government structures and services. The CLGF holds a conference every two years and ALGA has been+

  • We are pleased that Kate Fielding the Program Director of A New Approach, and an arts and cultural sector leader, advocate, and strategist will share the results of recently released research on investment in arts and culture by local government. This investment provides the building blocks of local and regional arts and cultural experience and+

  • Minister for Regional Services and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Bridget McKenzie has welcomed Telstra’s new communications investments, which will make landlines more reliable across regional and rural Australia. Telstra committed to undertake a dedicated program of work to improve the reliability of regional and remote landlines. The announcement comes after the release of an+

  • A consultation process with people with disability and their families concerning draft Terms of Reference for a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, began this week. Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said the commencement of this public consultation phase follows consultation last week with national peak+

  • Local Government Workforce challenges revealed One of local government’s most valuable assets is its workforce and councils across Australia employ around 189,000 across an amazing 394 occupations. Most of our employees are full time (68%), committed, long term employees with the unplanned turnover rate in our sector being a relatively low 8.3%. But we do+

  • The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), established by the Australian Government last year to improve housing affordability, is seeking greater engagement from councils which want to access its National Housing Infrastructure Facility.    The Facility has $1 billion and has been set up to provide finance for eligible infrastructure projects that will unlock+

  • Mayors, General Managers and key staff from more than 530 Local Government Areas across the country are being invited to join a national conversation in Canberra – with the countdown now on for the Regions Rising National Summit on 4-5 April. Hosted by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), the Summit will place regional issues including+

  • The Tourism Hub is a collaboration between the government and private sector to develop a central platform to access tourism research, news and opportunities. It supports a social community to connect tourism professionals to seek advice, and to share knowledge and solutions to common challenges. How can The Tourism Hub benefit our local council? When+

  • The Australia Council Awards offer an opportunity to reflect on the significant contribution of Australian artists and to highlight the inherent value of culture and its contribution to society. This year, three First Nations artists were among the impressive list of Australia Council Award recipients, including Rhoda Roberts who received the prestigious Ros Bower Award,+

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Minister for the Environment the Hon Melissa Price MP have announced that the Government will invest more than $22 million to deliver practical environmental projects, giving communities new opportunities to protect and care for their local environment. The Communities Environment Program will provide up to $150,000 to each Federal+

  • As one of Australia’s fastest growing municipalities, Cardinia Shire Council has always been acutely aware of the need to provide the community with information on its operations. “With as many as seven new families calling Cardinia Shire home each day, it’s imperative that the Council makes smart decisions about resourcing to ensure residents get access+

  • Applications are now open for the 2019 Resilient Australia Awards. Now in their 20th year, the awards celebrate those in the community who show initiative in helping to create a more disaster-resilient Australia. Minister for Defence Industry, Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, said this summer has reminded us that+

  • The National Library of Australia is calling for applications to the 2019 Community Heritage Grants (CHG) program. The program provides grants of up to $15,000 to community groups to help preserve and manage locally-held but nationally-significant cultural heritage collections. These collections include a range of materials from archival records, oral histories and textiles through to+

  • 244 Local Drug Action Teams are now established across Australia to prevent and minimise alcohol and other drug-related harm in their communities. The Commonwealth Government and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation recently announced an additional 72 Local Drug Action Teams, to join 172 existing teams. The Local Drug Action Team Program supports organisations to build+

  • The National Rural Health Alliance CEO, Director Policy and Strategy Development and Director Communications and Media Liaison have initiated discussions with ALGA to explore possible areas of partnership involving their rural local government area members. Local government is playing an increasingly important role in health and wellbeing for local communities and there are many areas+

  • The NGA is an important opportunity for you and your council to influence the national policy agenda. The primary focus of all motions should be to strengthen the capacity of local government to provide services and infrastructure in Australia. To be eligible for inclusion in the NGA Business Papers, and subsequent debate on the floor+

  • Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton has recently announced that round four of the Safer Communities Fund will provide funding for security infrastructure and activity-based projects that aim to protect children from violent attacks and harassment. Almost $32 million in funding is available in the fourth round to assist organisations working with children that are+

  • We are living through an exciting time in history where gender equality has become an expectation, rather than a far-fetched ambition. The community is increasingly questioning its absence at the same time celebrating a whole new era of heroes (or heroines if you prefer). The tenacious campaigns during the early 20th century by the suffragettes,+

  • The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will host another round of information sessions to support the heavy vehicle industry with the transition to recent changes to Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws. NHVR’s A/Director Strategy and Stakeholder Relations John Gilbert said the information sessions would explain the changes to CoR, the impact on supply chain businesses+

  • The NGA19 preliminary program is now available online, with hard copies to be mailed to councils in the coming week. This year, NGA19 is Future Focused celebrating past achievements while firmly focused on the future. The theme acknowledges that change is constant, be it digital transformation, community activism, ageing demographics, population policies or even artificial intelligence. It is+

  • Shoalhaven City Council is entering into a long-term contract with Bioelektra Australia Pty Ltd to build and operate a new waste processing facility that uses state-of-the-art technology to provide an environmentally-sound solution to a landfill problem that all local governments in Australia are facing.   The new Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) will be constructed on council-owned land+

  • The ALGA Secretariat in Canberra has been abuzz with preparations for the upcoming National Assembly of Local Government, which will be held on 16 – 19 June. At last year’s Assembly, the NGA encouraged you to donate coats to support our first partner charity – National Coat Day via Enormity – and we are excited+

  • The improvement of interoperability, ‘smart cities’ initiatives, and blockchain technologies entering smart water metering were the predictions of 2018. Now, in 2019, the continual ground-swell of interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought many new opportunities for smart water metering.   This year’s predictions will have a particular focus on Australia and the Asia-Pacific+

  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has partnered with the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network in South West Victoria to produce simple tax facts sheets for all tax-registered primary producers. These fact sheets explain what farmers can claim in tax for undertaking Landcare works, agroforestry, and what to claim to prepare for a fire. Many rural+

  • A senior executive from the WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries has been appointed as the new CEO of the WA Local Government Association (WALGA). ALGA President Cr Lynne Craigie announced Nick Sloan has been appointed to the role and will commence in March. “Mr Sloan has extensive experience working in senior+

  • Australians’ ever-increasing appetite for data-hungry video services is transforming the communications landscape. This is a key finding of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) Communications report 2017–18, which was recently tabled in federal parliament. The annual ACMA report examines the current telecommunication and media environment, including the latest in industry innovations and consumer trends.   “Over+

  • Consultations are now open on Australia’s next national tourism strategy, with industry stakeholders encouraged to have their say on a draft report developed by the Beyond Tourism 2020 Steering Committee. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham urged stakeholders, from local and state governments to peak industry bodies and individual tourism operators to have their say+

  • The Australian Airports Association has provided feedback to the Department of Home Affairs on its Aviation Security Roadmap for 2019, which outlines the proposed consultation and implementation time frames for a significant number of changes to airport security requirements. Feedback focused on ensuring the transition process minimises the burden on industry and is progressed in+

  • The Federal Government has announced $78 million in funding to support women and children escaping domestic violence. The funding includes a $60 million grants program for eligible organisations to provide new or expanded emergency accommodation facilities for those escaping domestic and family violence. The grant program will be structured to encourage contributions from other levels+

  • The Productivity Commission was asked to look at the effect of mental health on people’s ability to participate in and prosper in the community and workplace, and the effects it has more generally on our economy and productivity. The Commission’s inquiry into mental health will look at how governments across Australia, employers, professional and community+

  • New AHURI research has developed a case for social housing to be treated as a form of essential infrastructure in order to create a viable basis for private investment. The research, A conceptual analysis of social housing as infrastructure, undertaken by researchers from the University of Tasmania, The University of New South Wales, and RMIT University+

  • Heavy vehicle rest areas (HVRAs) are provided to help heavy vehicle drivers manage fatigue and comply with driving hours regulation. To help road managers in this task, Austroads has produced Guidelines for the Provision of Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Facilities. The guidelines draw on and provide an update to the 2005 National Transport Commission Guidelines and+

  • The 20th NSW Weeds Conference, being held from 26 – 29 August in Newcastle, provides an opportunity for the NSW weeds management community to showcase new research and ideas for controlling and eradicating weeds. The conference is calling for presentation submissions from weeds officers, weed professionals, weed researchers, market and industry analysts, government officials and+

  • Australia’s Closing the Gap targets will be redeveloped in partnership with Indigenous Australians with a direct focus on education.  Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the 2019 Closing the Gap report highlighted successes across the country but that refreshed targets were an opportunity to work together to accelerate progress. “We cannot hide from the fact that on average+

  • The Commonwealth has this week announced $17 million in grant funding to be made available under round 2 of the Community Child Care Fund. This funding will help child care services in many disadvantaged regional and remote areas to improve access to early learning opportunities for families in their local communities. Guidelines are now available+

  • Adoption of emerging technologies in Australian agriculture is expanding at a rate faster than the consumer’s capacity to understand the opportunities – creating an urgent need to explore community perception and regulatory challenges around the use of new technologies. This is the focus of two new AgriFutures Australia-funded reports: Emerging technologies in agriculture: Consumer perceptions around+

  • The Federal Government has committed to working with the Queensland Government and local councils in South East Queensland to develop a City Deal and unlock further investment to the region. It will be the second City Deal for Queensland following the policy being first established in Townsville and comes in addition to the Federal Government+

  • The Federal Government announced this week that it would provide an immediate non-gratia payment of $1 million to shires in north west Queensland recently inundated by devastating floods. “This payment will be for them to use on priorities they deem most urgent – whether that be rate relief for impacted properties, infrastructure, or the disposal+

  • Infrastructure Australia has released the 2019 Infrastructure Priority List, presenting 121 nationally-significant infrastructure proposals and a $58 billion project pipeline designed to guide investment towards projects that will deliver the best outcomes for Australia’s growing communities. “The 2019 Infrastructure Priority List is the largest, most comprehensive and most diverse list of investments identified by Infrastructure Australia to meet the+

  • Do you want to run a mile when invited to an annual Strategic Planning workshop? Yet we all know it is a vital process in local government to ensure our limited resources will be applied to the most important tasks in the coming year. Population, infrastructure and planning, waste and recycling, workforce development, and services+

  • Major cities may be able to cut congestion by charging ride-sharing firms for time spent dropping off and picking up passengers, according to a new study published by the Ash Centre for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. The study entitled Reforming Mobility Management: Rethinking the Regulatory Framework urges cities to develop ‘light’ regulations around their own digital+

  • National Shelter is conducting a research project to develop a better understanding of inclusionary zoning within our planning systems across Australia and we need your input. Councils are invited to complete a short survey about inclusionary zoning. The Inclusionary Zoning Project is a priority for the National Shelter in 2019 to assist in its advocacy and policy+

  • Outgoing Regional Australia Institute CEO has penned a farewell message reflecting on the ‘greatest hits’ during his time at the institute. When we started the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) in 2011 we wanted to achieve several things. We wanted to create an influential voice for regions in the national conversation. One that was independent of+

  • Farmers now have a single and straightforward place to find out what drought assistance is available to them. A new online resource was recently launched bringing together information on drought support available for individual farmers. Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said FarmHub brings together the services of the Commonwealth, states, councils and+

  • Temperatures nudging 50 degrees, bushfires ravaging rainforests and people at increased risk of cardiac arrests because of heatwaves – this is the new normal for Australia and it’s being driven by climate change. The Climate Council’s latest report, Weather Gone Wild, has found climate change is increasing the frequency and/or severity of extreme weather and that+

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians will now have access to a new digital tool to support them in improving their digital literacy and protect their online safety. The app, launched this week by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, is funded through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and is specifically designed for use in+

  • Labor’s National Platform outlines its key policy priorities heading into an election year. In its recently-released National Platform, Labor has pledged to work with local government to ensure it has a secure economic base. The Platform states that Labor will: provide long-term funding certainty provide funding through the ongoing Financial Assistance Grants and index these+

  • Six councils are part of 27 organisations that will share in an investment of almost $23 million by the Commonwealth Government aimed at getting millions of older Australians moving more often. The funds will be invested over the next two years under the Move It Aus Better Ageing Grants with a focus on helping inactive+

  • Should there be consistency of Local Government Acts across states and territories in Australia? I had the opportunity last week to speak at the WALGA Future of Local Government State-wide Forum and offer a possible answer to this question by looking at Local Government Act trends in Australia. Local government is a creature of the+

  • Councils have been invited to make a submission to the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. Information about the National Inquiry, and the full Terms of Reference, can be found on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s website. Councils are in a unique position to provide valuable insights to the inquiry on the particular workplace+

  • The Leukaemia Foundation is calling for communities to help them ‘shave’ the world from blood cancer during the annual World’s Greatest Shave campaign this March 13 – 17. The fundraising campaign this year has an urgent message – the number of Australian’s living with blood cancer is facing a 30 per cent increase over the next decade+

  • The Federal Government has announced assistance to support Tasmanian and far north Queensland communities following bushfires in Tasmania and record-breaking floods in far north Queensland. Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds and Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman announced that the assistance in Tasmania is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery+