FILTER BY:
  • The Commonwealth will set up a standing national resilience and recovery agency and support other key recommendations of the bushfires royal commission. Detailing the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new agency will initially incorporate the functions of the National Bushfire+

  • This is my final contribution to ALGA News as your President with my four-year term expiring today. I’ll miss it, and you. But as I look back there is so much to celebrate and to look forward to. Firstly, it has been an honour and a privilege to be the lead advocate for the local+

  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has called for greater support for local government in its pivotal role of developing the creative sector. In a new Arts and Culture Policy Position statement, ALGA says developing the creative sector is essential to the liveability and economic sustainability of all communities. Local government recognition of this was+

  • A settlement strategy and long-term vision would help restore Australia’s social and economic strength after the Covid-19 crisis. The Committees for Cities and Regions says Australia and New Zealand have managed the health crisis well – and should now capitalise on this by developing consistent standards for a common recovery roadmap. The independent network has+

  • An exposure draft Bill has been published as part of the Federal Government’s plan to make critical infrastructure assets more cyber-secure. The Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020 seeks to amend the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 to implement an enhanced framework to “uplift the security and resilience of critical infrastructure”. New regulations+

  • The Grattan Institute has added its voice to calls for governments to shift their focus from large transport infrastructure projects to smaller local projects. The influential public policy thinktank this week cast doubt on the fast-tracking of transport projects by Australian governments to engineer an infrastructure-led recovery from the Covid-19 recession. “Spending big on transport+

  • The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience is hosting a webinar to showcase its newly updated Flood Planning for Disaster Resilience Handbook. Leading experts, including Floodplain Management Australia president Ian Dinham, will unpack the principles and practice of emergency planning during the special event. The AIDR says the significant risk posed to Australian communities by flooding+

  • The Federal Government has stepped up efforts to reduce the risk of exotic environment pest species entering and becoming established in Australia. Acting on a recommendation of the 2017 review of Australia’s biosecurity system, the Government this week published a National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases. The list prioritises national actions+

  • New guidelines to promote Aboriginal languages for place-naming in Western Australia have been published as part of NAIDOC Week – which this year recognises the continuous connection of Aboriginal people to language and country. The State Minister for Lands, Ben Wyatt, said the Aboriginal and Dual Naming Guidelines will help preserve and reawaken local languages+

  • National Road Safety Week 2020 is being launched to coincide with United Nations World Day of Remembrance for Road Victims on Sunday. The Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week – running from 15-22 November – is intended to raise public awareness about the level of road trauma, and to improve outcomes. While road deaths and+

  • Australia‘s urban canopy cover continues to increase, with the City of Launceston the stand-out local government performer over the past four years. In the period 2016-20, tree-cover in the northern Tasmania local government area increased 9.5 percent, according to the 2020 update of a national benchmark of urban canopy cover begun in 2013. The report,+

  • Local government spent $595 million on household waste collection, treatment, and disposal services in 2018-19, new statistics show. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Waste Account published last week showed households generated 12.4 million tonnes of waste in 2018-19. This was 16 percent of all waste generated in Australia, and up five percent since 2016-17. Households+

  • Directly funding local government investment in the arts would help grow Australia’s $112 billion creative and cultural economy, ALGA has told a federal parliamentary inquiry. In a submission to a House of Representative inquiry into Australia’s creative and cultural industries and institutions, ALGA said recognising councils as arts organisations (thereby making them eligible to apply+

  • Those who have read the bushfire royal commission’s final report would probably agree it is a compelling document from which the local government sector can take some comfort – except for what it missed. Although the report is cogent, it could – and should – have been broader in its perspectives, stronger in its language,+

  • The National Homelessness Conference has been relaunched as an online event after the face-to-face event in Canberra was cancelled. Jointly convened by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and Homelessness Australia, the conference will feature policy makers, researchers and those with lived experience of homelessness discussing strategies and solutions. Among the speakers will+

  • How people use their mobile phones is changing rapidly – propelled by the rollout of 5G technology promising higher data access speeds, low latencies, and greater reliability. Local governments support more connected communities but often find themselves conflicted on the installation of facilities to widen 5G coverage. Processing applications for installing new equipment, including managing+

  • Nancy Pierorazio outlines the steps the council has taken to prevent violence against women. In 2013, the City of Melbourne developed its first Preventing Violence Against Women (PVAW) Strategy and action plan, which guided our work in the primary prevention and early intervention space. Actions included the development of workplace policies and procedures to promote+

  • Canberra has been rated as Australia’s most bike-accessible city using a new tool that local government can apply to making riding easier. The tool was developed by the Bicycle Transport Analysis (BTA) project – and uses open-source, publicly available data. Peter Bourke, who led the BTA project for We Ride Australia, says the tool can+

  • Plans for a Perth trackless tram service have received a boost, with the Federal Government tipping $2 million into a business feasibility study. Trackless trams do not require rails and can operate on existing roadways, making the technology easier and less expensive to incorporate into established transport systems. The Perth proposal is for a trackless+

  • Donald Shoup, the American urban planner who first drew attention to the true costs of off-street parking, will speak at a WA Local Government Association event next month. In his 2005 book, The High Cost of Free Parking, Mr Shoup argued that free parking has contributed to car dependence, rapid urban sprawl, wasteful energy use,+

  • Round 2 of the accelerated Fixing Local Roads program, funded by the Federal and NSW governments, opened on Monday. Projects that can start this financial year and be delivered within two years will be given funding priority, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said. In June, the Federal Government committed $191 million+

  • Councils now have until 30 November to update their asset data details as part of the Australian Local Government Association’s National State of the Assets (NSoA) project. This long-term project is about enabling ALGA and its State and Territory Association members to reinforce a clear case to governments on how investment in local government infrastructure+

  • The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has launched a new program to track the progress of national packaging targets. The 2025 National Packaging Targets Monitoring Program highlights seven areas across the packaging value chain considered vital to ensuring that the 2025 targets are realised. According to APCO, the Monitoring Program provides a “series of staged+

  • Applications have opened for local groups and organisations to secure federal funding to develop reskilling, upskilling and employment projects. The Federal Government intends the Local Recovery Fund to help boost employment prospects across 25 regions impacted by Covid-19. Local groups and organisations can apply to receive funding ranging from $10,000 to $200,000, to develop projects,+

  • Round 2 of the Commonwealth’s Regional Airport Program (RAP) has opened with new guidelines for small local governments and Indigenous corporations. Councils and corporations with projects valued at $300,000 or less may seek funding for 100 percent of eligible project costs. Eligible projects can include: upgrading runway surfaces; upgrading stormwater drainage; installing or upgrading runway+

  • It will no longer be mandatory to screen passengers at some regional airports under new Commonwealth rules being rolled out on 19 December. The new federal regulations follow a review of the risk profiles of airports conducted by the Department of Home Affairs. As a result, the department is introducing a new “tier” framework which+

  • The Commonwealth should boost funding for road safety, including the Black Spot Program, and work more closely with other governments to reduce road trauma. In a report published last week, the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety – established in August 2019 to inquire into the steps that can be taken to reduce road accident+

  • A long-term strategy is needed to bolster Australia’s resilience to natural disasters, along with greater support for local government, the bushfires royal commission said last week. In a statement accompanying the tabling of the report of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, Commission chairman Mark Binskin said: “While state and territory governments have+

  • The call for Australians to acquire new skills or train for completely new roles has become louder in recent months – and it has created opportunities for us. Covid-19 is the reason federal and state governments are talking up the need for greater flexibility and skills development – particularly at the vocational level – and+

  •  A new body – the Regional Activators Alliance – has been launched to help drive population to the regions. The alliance, whose members include councils and Regional Development Australia committees, is a  Regional Australia Institute initiative to promote living, working, and investing in regional Australia through a national awareness campaign. The institute’s CEO, Liz Ritchie,+

  • A grants program for digital-savvy businesses in regional Australia has been launched by NBN Co. Business-led initiatives in health, the arts, education, agriculture, tourism, women in regional business, and indigenous businesses will be eligible for $10,000 grants. In addition, NBN Co will award $25,000 to one regional/remote business or individual. Applications for the grants program+

  • BY VESNA ROZMAN Working collaboratively in the domestic and family violence prevention space was not new to the City of Charles Sturt. We had been working solidly with our local community, neighbouring councils and peak bodies to better the lives of women and children in our western region of Adelaide for the previous five years.+

  • An eco-friendly zero-cement concrete that all but eliminates corrosion has been developed by researchers from RMIT University. Concrete corrosion in wastewater pipes is a significant maintenance issue, as are residual lime leaks that contribute to the formation of fatbergs – congealed lumps of fat, grease, oil and non-biodegradable wipes and nappies. But RMIT engineers have+

  • The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities has released new tools to facilitate liveability and amenity in infill developments, particularly usable green space. Noting that infill development is promoted nationwide as a way of accommodating growing urban populations, the Cooperative Research Centre says current infill patterns “increase building footprint and thus imperviousness of the redeveloped lot,+

  • Waste industry stakeholders have generally welcomed Federal Budget spending measures designed to facilitate a circular economy. According to the new Parliamentary Library brief, the Australian Council of Recycling (ACR) expressed concerns in 2019 that “4.5 million tonnes of waste could end up in domestic landfill without major public investment”. The ACR stated that the COAG+

  • The Insurance Council of Australia is holding a webinar series next month to help councils make best use of the insurance industry’s post-disaster coordination arrangements. The ICA, the representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia, works closely with each level of government to ensure disaster recovery processes are harmonised and effective. To that+

  • The Greater Dandenong local government area has the highest rate of family-related violence offences in metropolitan Melbourne. So, to change attitudes and behaviours, the City turned to its youth and the power and immediacy of video in an innovative project that won it a 2020 National Award for Local Government in the category of “Addressing+

  • The CSIRO has identified aquifers in the Murray-Darling Basin it says could be used for long-term underground water storage and to enhance water security. The aquifer regions, which include areas around the Warrego River, Condamine-Culgoa Rivers, Darling River, Macquarie-Bogan Rivers and Namoi River, could potentially store than 200 gigalitres, CSIRO researchers say. Study co-author Declan+

  • Four telecommunications providers are getting $8.3 million in Federal funding to provide bushfire-threatened communities with temporary mobile and broadband facilities. The grants are being provided under the Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disaster (STAND) package and will enable NBN Co, TPG Telecom, Telstra, and Optus to provide temporary telecommunications facilities and equipment such as cells on+

  • The Black Summer bushfires have put out a whole new lens on local infrastructure resilience says a civil engineer eminently qualified to know. Warren Sharpe OAM is Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, and he was also the shire’s Emergency Management Officer during the fires that left local communities throughout the NSW South Coast+

  • The Australian Local Government Association will be a member of the National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) and will continue to be involved in relevant meetings and national bodies. However, nearly two dozen former COAG councils and ministerial forums will be disbanded under new streamlined intergovernmental structures revealed last week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined the+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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+

  • 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,+

  • 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+