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  • 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+

  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out a groundbreaking framework of 17 transformational goals to tackle our social, economic, and environmental challenges. Local government not only has a role to play when it comes to the achievement and delivery of the SDGs, it also has opportunities to reap. Globally, Mayors are leading the way Mayors+

  • Fourteen members of Melbourne’s leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils combined their purchasing power to support construction of an 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands, near Ararat. ​City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said Pacific Hydro has installed 25 of the 39 turbines required and energy has begun flowing into the power+

  • The Commonwealth Government has extended the Roads to Recovery Program from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024. In a recent instrument issues under the National Land Transport Act 2014, the government also confirmed it would set aside an amount of $20,470,450 of the Western Australian allocation. It explained that this money is for a programme+

  • Registrations are now open for this year’s National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA). This year, the NGA celebrates 25 years! Over the past quarter century, the NGA has provided a platform for local government to address national issues and lobby the federal government on critical issues facing our sector. The theme for the 2019+

  • The Hon David Coleman MP, Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, recently wrote to councils seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code. For some time now, the Commonwealth Government has been reviewing the code and, as a result, are proposing the key changes below: local government councils will be+

  • This year’s Australia Day Honours awards have once again recognised and highlighted the contributions and service by outstanding individuals from the local government sector. The Australia Day 2019 Honours List was the largest since the Order of Australia was established in 1975. “On behalf of all Australians I congratulate recipients of Australia Day Honours. These people+

  • New Year etiquette would suggest that today is perhaps a little late to send you good cheer for the new year, but as this is the first ALGA Newsedition of 2019, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a prosperous New Year and every success in the year to come! I trust you all+

  • Event registrations are open for councils, clubs, community groups, schools and businesses for events celebrating International Day of People with Disability on 3 December 2018. There are already more than 300 public events registered nationally taking place on or around International Day of People with Disability, with events listed by state or territory. Assistant Minister+

  • The Federal Government has released its national response to the independent review of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB), accepting all 42 recommendations including recommendation 19 to include the ALGA CEO on the National Biosecurity Committee. The government agreed to the recommendation in principle stating that “Ministers recognise local governments play an important role in+

  • The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, has this week launched the Commonwealth’s digital transformation strategy during an address at the National Press Club in Canberra. The Strategy provides a direction for the Government’s work on data and digital transformation, with the aim to have all government services available digitally+

  • The South Australian Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) will trial a Rural Junction Active Warning System (RJAWS), which aims to improve safety on the South Australian rural road network. The system involves installing variable speed-limit signs at junction approaches, including where there are blind bends, which are radar triggered by the presence of+

  • Applications to join the Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) program close next Friday 7 December. The LDAT program supports organisations to build or extend partnerships in their community and develop activities to prevent and minimise the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs, at a grass roots level. There have been some great success stories+

  • Without additional funding and a broadening of the Commonwealth’s Smart Cities and Suburbs initiative, there is a risk the benefit of investments in smart technologies will not be fully realised. Many communities will be left behind and the full benefits of the digital economy will not be realised across Australia. Linked-up, smart communities will foster+

  • Based on current trends, Australia's population is projected to reach 30 million people between 2029 and 2033, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  Anthony Grubb, Director of Demography at the ABS, said: "The projected time for the nation to grow by 5 million people on current indications will+

  • Safer Internet Day (SID) is an annual, worldwide event held on Tuesday 5 February 2019 to help encourage a better internet. The 2019 theme ‘Together for a better internet’ encourages individuals to create a better internet by developing four, critical skills: respect, responsibility, reasoning and resilience. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is the official Committee for+

  • A need for more efficient movement of commodities during harvest season was the motivation for Moira Shire’s decision to grant increased access for B-doubles within its road network. After initial discussions with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), local transport operators and GrainCorp in September this year, the shire developed a scheme to allow B-double+

  • The team at ALGA would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday season! We would like to thank all our readers and advertisers for your support during the year. We look forward to providing you with the latest information about issues affecting local government from a national perspective in 2019. This is the final+

  • ALGA has urged for continued national leadership from the Commonwealth to ensure consistent policy for waste management and resource recovery at all levels of government following endorsement of the new National Waste Policy (NWP) at the 8th Meeting of Environment Ministers in Canberra last Friday. ALGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin attended the meeting and said: “We congratulate+

  • As Australia’s population grows, we need to improve the way we plan to provide infrastructure in our cities. Between 2017 and 2047, Australia’s population is projected to increase by over 11 million people. Around 80% of this growth will occur in our five largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. To support this+

  • ALGA’s federal election document has called for the repair of federal funding to local government by restoring the level of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue (CTR) – levels last seen in 1996. Councils and state/territory associations were urged to lend their voices to the sector’s call for all federal political+

  • For many years, there has been a shortfall in the level of funding to South Australian councils under the Identified Roads Component of their Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs). This funding is immensely important to helping South Australian councils keep their roads safe for motorists by upgrading and maintaining their local road networks. South Australia has+

  • ALGA is now calling for Notices of Motions for the National General Assembly 2019 (NGA). The NGA will be celebrating 25 years in 2019! Over the past 25 years, the NGA has provided a platform for local government to address national issues and lobby the federal government on critical issues facing our sector. The theme+

  • On 12 December 2018, the Australian and South Australian governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to develop a city deal for Adelaide.  Key to the new Adelaide City Deal will be an Australian Space Agency, to be located at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site, with the Federal Government committing to invest $41 million+

  • Improving population planning and management was the hot topic at Wednesday’s COAG meeting of First Ministers, which I attended as local government’s representative. It seems everyone has an opinion on population, and that would be reasonable given its far reaching consequences – be it pressures on infill, or fringe areas of the city being developed+