FILTER BY:
  • 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+

  • An analysis of the Labor party’s national affordable rental strategy has found it could save the federal government up to $11 billion over a decade by reducing the amount of crisis services needed for people facing homelessness. The Amplify Insights – Housing Affordability and Homelessness Report by the McKell Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers analysed what is+

  • Urgent action on climate change must be the incoming federal government’s priority, 15 mayors from across Australia said in a joint statement released 8 May. They demanded greater Federal support for local projects on climate change, a commitment to a 100% renewable energy target, and a rapid phase out of fossil fuels. Their statement came+

  • The 2019 Federal Election is eight days away, and whilst so far it’s been a lacklustre campaign for local government, to date Labor’s policies are marginally ahead of the Coalition’s, except for local councils fortunate to be in marginal electorates where the results are more mixed. However neither of the major parties have met all+

  • Local councils have until 6 May to contribute to a survey for Future Earth Australia’s National Strategy on Urban Systems Transformation in Australia. The survey explores issues and options for the sustainable development of Australia’s cities and urban settlements, regardless of size, and considers economic, social and environmental factors. Responses to the survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6VW77MT, should+

  • 2019 is an important year for women in Australian politics, especially local government. December 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the first woman elected to any tier of Government when Susan Grace Benny was elected to Brighton Council in South Australia. Local Government led the way in women’s representation. It was another two years before+

  • The Coalition has announced an Environmental Policy that relates to Local Government efforts to strengthen Australia’s circular economy (Item #10 on AGLA’s Federal Election Initiatives). The policy includes $100 million as concessional loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to go into a “recycling investment fund” that will help fund manufacturing projects. The finance will+

  • Do you know how to protect yourself if you’re using public wifi spots? How can you spot an online scam or protect your Facebook data? Learn these and much more at the Australian eSafety Commissioner’s series of webinars in May and June aimed at helping older Australians when online. Register for the sessions and learn+

  • Local governments are invited to nominate for the 20th Resilient Australia Awards, prizes which recognise and celebrate initiatives which make communities safer and better prepared to respond to disasters, hazards, and emergencies. The awards, which began in 2000 and are managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, honour outstanding collaborations and new ideas in+

  • The Cook Chill for Foodservice and Manufacturing Guidelines, the Blue Book, are being reviewed to make them more user-friendly for readers including people who work with food and Environmental Health Officers. The booklet, published by the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, will maintain technical information for large scale manufacturers, while possible additions may+

  • National Road Safety Week, which runs 6-12 May, is an initiative that honours more than 1,200 people who are killed and 35,000 injured on Australia’s roads each year. As our President, David O’Loughlin explained in his column, Local Government have a responsibility, as the owners and managers of most of the country’s roads by length,+

  • A new National Class 1 Agricultural Notice which began on 1 May 2019 will benefit farmers who need to move combination agricultural equipment on public roads, after almost two-thirds of Australia’s local government areas agreed to the changes. The harmonisation will apply across designated roads in more than 270 local government areas, following about two+

  • Some 52% of all casualty crashes and 40% of all road deaths occur on local government roads. Around 1,200 people die in crashes on Australia’s roads each year, while 35,000 people are injured and all of us in Local Government have a responsibility to do what we can, as owners and managers of 75% of+

  • The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has recently called for a review of local infrastructure contribution rates, with a discussion paper available and feedback required by 3 May 2019. Chair of IPART’s Local Government Committee Deborah Cope said escalating developer contribution rates by a representative index allows them to change broadly in-line with+

  • The Victorian Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek has announced the timeframes and terms of reference for the State Government’s review of the local government rating system. The review will be undertaken by an independent panel led by former Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Childrens Hospital and City of Melbourne, Dr Kathy Alexander. The+

  • In the majority of towns and cities within Australia there are memorials to veterans that have not returned home. A growing problem, however, continues to be the integration into the community of those that have returned from active service and have been affected by that service, whether it be physically or psychologically. Organisations such as+

  • Last month the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Families and Social Services, and the Hon Sarah Henderson MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services issued a media release announcing that from April, the Australian community can take part in national consultations to shape the future of Australia’s disability policy for beyond+

  • My column this week comes at a time of reflection for us as individuals and as community service providers. Today marks the end of a week which has included Easter and Anzac Day, events of great religious and national significance which have been celebrated and commemorated in local communities right across Australia. Councils and elected+

  • National Road Safety Week is an initiative of Safer Australian Highways and Roads (SARAH) Group, founded by President Peter Frazer following the tragic death of his daughter Sarah, who was killed in a roadside crash on the Hume Highway in 2012. In March this year, the ALGA President, David O’Loughlin and Peter Frazer sent a+

  • The Coalition Government has committed to invest more than $58 million in 10 Industry Training Hubs in key locations across regional Australia to create more jobs for young people. The investment will also include 400 Vocational Education and Training (VET) scholarships and is part of the Coalition’s plan to address youth unemployment in key parts+

  • Labor is committed to reducing Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, net zero pollution by 2050 and 50 per cent renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2030. These are some of the other areas in the renewable energy policy that may be of interest to local government. Labor will+

  • Don’t miss the early bird registration discount for this year’s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA), which will be held from 16 to 19 June in Canberra. Early bird registrations are set to close on 10 May. The theme for this year’s NGA is Future Focused, reflecting that change is constant – and we+

  • The upgrade of 1860 payphones across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are causing Councils concerns. In March the City of Melbourne refused 81 development applications by JCDecaux to upgrade Telstra payphones including new 75 inch (190cm) digital advertising screens that will display commercial advertising. Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Planning portfolio Councillor Nicholas Reece+

  • This week, ALGA News is coming to you a day earlier than usual because of the Easter break and I expect that many Australians will be taking the opportunity for an extended break over the Easter/Anzac Day period. This period also coincides with school holidays in the majority of states and territories and so people+

  • Soldier On Australia is calling for support for modern veterans and their families this Anzac Day, in honour of those who suffered after World War I. One hundred years ago, with WW1 having ended only a few months before, hundreds of thousands of Australian ex–servicemen – many terribly injured mentally and physically – began to+