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  • Austroads invites councils to register and join two free webinars on local roads. On Monday 17 February, 1-2pm AEDT, the topic is the lifecycle management of Sealed and Unsealed Local Roads. “It will highlight the Austroads Guides and the AUS-SPEC national local government specification system which assist local government practitioners to design, construct and maintain+

  • National industry organization, Skills Impact, seeks feedback from councils and the wider public about a review of training schemes for the pet care and animal training sector. Skills standards under review include animal regulation, general animal care, assistance animal services, and animal training & behavior. Skills Impact is holding consultations in-person throughout February, as well+

  • The Federal Government’s eSafety Commissioner has released a new guide for adults to help keep safe children under five when they’re using the internet. The free booklet was released during Safer Internet Day on 11 February, and more than 11,000 copies have been sent to every early childhood education and child care centre across Australia.+

  • Councils are encouraged to apply for their share of $10m in Federal Government grants when applications open on Monday 17 February. The Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program has two funding streams. The first – aimed at local government authorities and regional tourism organisations – will support events, concerts, festivals and visitor attractions in fire+

  • On 13 February, the Federal Government announced an additional $17m for the 60 Local Governments in bushfire-affected areas. The grants range from $200,000 to $416,667 and are in addition to the funds the Federal Government announced on 9 January for these 60 councils in NSW, VIC, SA and QLD. The Federal Government said all councils+

  • An assessment of how some of Australia’s largest local governments are cutting their emissions has found 58 percent have a target or aspiration to reach net zero by 2050 for their “operations emissions” – those activities or emissions sources owned or controlled by the local government. Thirty seven percent of those local governments have a+

  • Restore our funding to 1%, fix the infrastructure backlog, invest in recycling, improve community resilience and tackle climate change risks. These are a precise of the top five issues raised at this week’s ALGA strategic planning session in Canberra. It was also an opportunity for noting our successes over the past three years. These include+

  • The City of Adelaide has announced a plan to become what is said will make it the first South Australian council to switch to 100 percent renewable electricity for its operations from 1 July 2020. It’s part of the City’s goal to become one of the world’s first carbon neutral cities, and follows recent actions+

  • The NSW Government has established a panel to assess whether to hand back to the State management and responsibility for 15,000 km of local roads in rural and regional areas. Led by former NRMA president Wendy Machin, other panelists include people from local government, roads, and transport sectors. Deputy Premier Deputy Premier and Minister for+

  • Delegates to the upcoming Smart Urban Futures national conference will discuss how to build liveable, walkable and sustainable communities, regardless of size or ability. The themes of the 29-30 April gathering include building healthy cities, planning for road safety, women in the city, and case studies of better streets. Guest speakers include Lucy Saunders, Director+

  • The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) seeks feedback from councils and other aerodrome operators as part of a consultation process for the upcoming changes to Part 139 (aerodromes) regulations. These consultations focus on the transition from the current rules, to the new rules which come into effect in August this year.  CASA proposes delaying some+

  • The Australian Local Government Association’s submission for the 2020-21 Federal Budget outlines how funding at the local level can support the Commonwealth’s priorities of keeping the economy strong, and Australians safe and together. Local Government has repeatedly demonstrated it is a reliable, professional and cost-effective partner in delivering Commonwealth programs, for example the more than+

  • Arts and cultural activities offer creative outlets for local communities to come together and help with recovery following a natural disaster or other types of calamity. For example, this may be a community memorial, a collaborative mural, story book, or an event like a concert.. Sometimes councils lead these  projects or may lend support through+

  • Prime Minister Morrison’s bushfire condolence motion this Tuesday said that the response to the tragic summer bushfires which have affected such a large area across five jurisdictions included “unceasing efforts and close cooperation between state and local governments”. He later noted “the actions of every level of government have been exemplary” and he paid tribute+

  • Albury City Council, Mackay Regional Council and King Island Council are among the recipients of 20 regional arts projects that have secured new funding from the Commonwealth Government. Festivals Australia has distributed more than $550,000 in its latest round of funding for projects across regional and remote communities for art forms including visual art and+

  • Two metropolitan councils – Perth City Council and the City of Adelaide – are taking steps with data and reflective road surfaces to try mitigating urban heat effects which scientists and planners have warned will be exacerbated by increasing temperatures. The urban heat island effect is where some places absorb and hold heat more than+

  • Austroads has released a new, free guide which attempts to address a dearth of relevant information about road safety guidance for local government. “The purpose of the guidance is to rectify this, by compiling contemporary information on the reasons for establishing, and processes for developing and implementing a road safety management framework for local government+

  • Outstanding people from across the local government sector have been recognised in the annual Australia Day honours list for service to their communities. In particular, ALGA President David O’Loughlin congratulated two former ALGA Board members for their achievements. Rae Kingsbury (Perry) AM, who in 2004 became the first woman to serve as President of the+

  • I want to begin by congratulating two former ALGA Board members for their recognition in the 2020 Australia Day honours. Rae Kingsbury (Perry) AM, who in 2004 became the first woman to serve as President of the Australian Local Government Association, was named a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the+

  • The Australian Local Government Women’s Association NSW branch will host an information session in Gunnedah on 29 February, as part of its series of events to encourage women to contest upcoming local council elections, and to support female staff members into leadership roles. “In September this year, all 128 local councils across New South Wales+

  • The Bureau of Meteorology invites councils to join its free webinars and speak directly to its weather, water, climate and ocean experts. On 13 Feburary the webinar covers weather for boating, in which participants will learn more about marine weather forecasting for winds and waves, and how to use the Bureau’s tools to assess conditions+

  • The ATO urges people in bushfire-affected communities to focus on getting their affairs in order, and not worry initially about their tax obligations. As many local government areas (postcodes) have been granted access to the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, the ATO will automatically grant deferrals for activity statement lodgements and payments for anyone in+

  • Councils across the country have begun their celebrations for the Australia Day long weekend, with some also hosting Lunar New Year of the Rat festivities which this year falls on 25 January. Activities include citizenship ceremonies, citizen of the year awards, street parades barbecues and sport events. The Australian of the Year Awards will be+

  • The Commonwealth will expand mental health services for young people living in 10 places affected by bush fires in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The Commonwealth is also providing additional funding to Primary Health Networks to support Headspace services in bushfire affected regions. “Supporting the long term mental health of young people living+

  • Three councils in Adelaide have commenced an initiative to explore new techniques and technologies to build and resurface local roads.  Roads are the largest asset among Australia’s councils and local governments are responsible for 75 percent of the country’s road network. Led by the City of Mitcham, in partnership with the cities of Unley and+

  • The Australia Day celebrations this long weekend gives us chance to stop and celebrate with our community. Councils will proudly bring their communities together with events like citizenship ceremonies, barbecues, and concerts. We’ll demonstrate community cohesion and resilience, so important as this summer we’ve witnessed terrible bushfires across large swathes of the country, in addition+

  • The Commonwealth will host Australia’s first national plastics summit this March to explore new ways of remanufacturing the ubiquitous product and boost understanding about recycling strategies. Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, said around 200 people will be invited to Canberra, including representatives from local government associations, State Governments, researchers, children and retailers. “Consumer and community education+

  • A comprehensive assessment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ views on a new national agreement for Closing the Gap has found overwhelming support for formal partnerships between indigenous communities and governments. This was one of four reform priorities highlighted in a community engagement report produced by the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander+

  • Time’s running out for councils to draft motions and submit them for the 2020 National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra. The deadline is 11:59pm AEST Friday 27 March, meaning many councils may have only two monthly meetings in which to discuss and debate any motion. Held each June, the National General Assembly of+

  • Support including money, people with skills and resources, information and equipment continues to be expanded into bushfire affected communities across the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 15 January announced funding for additional mental health support and for “community recovery hubs” which provide much needed well being recovery services and programs including mobile hubs to+

  • The worst of the bush fires across the country may be over, at least in the short term, but the recovery and reconstruction is just getting started. Ordinary people from Australia and around the world have donated tens of millions of dollars, there’s an initial $2 billion from the Australian Government, and defence force personnel+

  • Artists across Australia who are from asylum seeker or refugee backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the City of Greater Dandenong’s 5th annual HOME national arts program which culminates with an exhibition in July. The organisers of HOME say the program is aimed at recognising and nurturing artists and they encourage work around the themes+

  • The Commonwealth says 183 councils can apply by 5 February to share in $10m for biosecurity management as part of the second round of the Communities Combating Pest and Weed Impacts During Drought Program. Drought-hit councils can use the money for projects that target pest animals and or weeds, generate economic activity and create local+

  • The Commonwealth’s initial $60m for immediate assistance to 42 Local Government Areas hit by bushfires is welcome money that lets local councils continue working with their communities to get back on their feet, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) said on 9 January. The funding package is based on one in place after the 2019 Queensland+

  • From running evacuation centres to firefighting, to driving machinery, fundraising, or distributing goods, local councils and local government associations from across the country are leading efforts to help bushfire-hit communities. Here’s an overview of what’s been happening around Australia in recent weeks: In New South Wales, general managers of six fire-affected councils on 3 January+

  • Welcome to 2020. I want to express my condolences to people who have lost their loved ones, homes, businesses and animals in the terrible bush fires affecting large parts of Australia in recent weeks and months. The sheer scale of the fires and their destruction has been shocking, and many blazes continue to burn. But+

  • Urgent response for payments appreciated Locally-led response will boost communities’ resilience Councils can build improved infrastructure January 9, 2020 The Commonwealth’s initial $60m for immediate assistance to 42 Local Government Areas hit by bushfires is welcome money that lets local councils continue working with their communities to get back on their feet, the Australian Local+

  • It’s almost the end of the year, and with it the chance for most of us to gather with family and friends to celebrate. Those of us fortunate to be having a break over Christmas and the New Year are thinking of farmers and communities struggling amid the ongoing drought, and also of firefighters across+

  • The Commonwealth Government is encouraging applicants for community grants of up to $5,000 as part of its $10m 2019-20 Volunteer Grants scheme. The Department of Social Services’ funding is to be shared across 151 federal electorates for community organisations to buy small equipment for volunteers, or reimburse fuel, transport or training costs. Local Federal Members+

  • The Department of Home Affairs seeks councils’ views by 14 January 2020 on its new discussion paper, Planning Australia’s 2020-21 Migration Program. The paper notes that the 2019-20 program includes a ceiling of 160,000 places – down by 30,000 places – and an emphasis on attracting 25,000 migrants to regional Australia. Among the questions asked+

  • Armidale Regional Council, in northwestern NSW, has won the Government category at the Australian Human Rights Commission’s annual Human Rights Awards for its efforts in helping Ezidi refugees settle in the area. Judges said the council was nominated for championing the integration and wellbeing of its new residents in ways that were proactive, innovative and+

  • With the hours left in 2019 rapidly dwindling like a battery-operated toy on Christmas Day, here’s a reflection on ALGA’s advocacy over the past year. February: ALGA’s submission on the review of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code notes various concerns from councils including that it is too hot in some locations for ceremonies to be+

  • Local Government is not required to report on supply chains as part of the Modern Slavery Act, but large local councils are welcome to consider voluntarily complying, the Australian Government has said. The Modern Slavery Act 2018, which aims to tackle slavery in global supply chains, applies to all entities – Australian and foreign entities+

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg released the Commonwealth’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on Monday, an update of Australia’s economic and fiscal outlook from the previous budget. The MYEFO also takes account of all decisions made since the release of the budget which can affect expenses and revenue and hence require revision of the budget position.+

  • The Australian Taxation Office advises councils that AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections will be retired at the end of March 2020 and replaced by myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager. MyGovID is a new way to prove your identity online, whereby users confirm their identity once to access government online services. The Relationship Authorisation Manager is+

  • Six local governments, two Aboriginal land councils, and eight state and federal agencies have collaborated to help develop an 80km walk connecting Sydney’s Bondi Beach to Manly. The organisers of the Bondi to Manly walk, which was officially opened on 8 December, said the collaboration was “unprecedented” and involved linking all existing coastal and harbor-side+

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  • We love seeing stories and social media posts about how local councils are celebrating the festive season around the country. Here are some of our favourites. Please tag us on social media so we can share what your council’s doing. Staff behind the Giving Tree at Griffith City Council (NSW) mark a decade of helping+

  • The City of Sydney is urging all three levels of government and businesses to join its effort to reduce the environmental consequences of travelling by preferencing accommodation providers that have a third-party performance rating. NABERS ratings are currently voluntary for hotels, meaning that government and corporate procurement will be essential to increase the number of+

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  • Road safety is a hot button issue at this time of year,  and on Tuesday I participated in the Deputy Prime Minister’s roundtable on Local Government and road safety, convened in Brisbane and also attended by the Assistant Minister for Road Safety, Scott Buchholz.  There were around 30 participants invited including the LGAQ, elected representatives+

  • Fifty five Victorian local councils are working on an Electric Vehicle charging stations network to get the necessary public infrastructure in place so local communities can benefit from an expected increase in zero-emissions vehicles as the models become cheaper and more available. Charging the Regions, led by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, has examined optimal+