Albury’s PET project | CSIRO disaster resilience outlook | Road map for LG reform in WA | ALGA News 7 August 2020

President's column

Over 116,000 Australians – more than the population of the city of Ballarat – were estimated to be homeless on Census night in 2016. Can Local Government help? That figure is almost certainly higher now, with key drivers of homelessness like unemployment and domestic violence having spiked dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic. With stage four+

New $45m Albury recycling plant a fillip for circular economy

A new plastic recycling plant will be built near Albury in what is likely to be a major boost to the development of a circular economy in Australia. Multinational company Asahi Beverages, packaging company Pact Group, and Cleanaway Waste Management confirmed this week they would build the $45 million plant at an industrial estate 10km+

Future disaster response ‘needs to be holistic and harmonised’

All jurisdictions should work with local government and industry to take Australia to the next level of building climate and disaster resilience, the CSIRO says. This work needs to concentrate on harmonising data governance and the sharing of common technologies so data and information (including a national risk map) can be produced, analysed, and exchanged+

Meet the Mayor – Bega Valley’s Sharon Tapscott

Born in Wales, Sharon Tapscott emigrated to Australia with her family and grew in the shadow of the Dandenong Ranges, not far from Melbourne. She moved to Merimbula in NSW with her husband in 1985, where they ran a series of small businesses. She became active in local politics during a campaign to save the+

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WA Govt handed road map for ‘more agile, inclusive councils’

A review of WA’s Local Government Act has recommended a renewed focus on integrity, self-regulation, and accountability. The Local Government Review Panel’s final report, published this week, said this will give “local governments the tools to ensure good governance and continuous improvement”. The report follows the 2017 announcement by the McGowan Government of a review+

Vic, Tas, and NT accident black spots to be fixed in coming months

Councils across Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory will get $44.7 million under the Commonwealth’s Black Spot program to help fix 122 dangerous crash sites. Victorian councils will receive $38.7 million under the program’s 2020-21 funding round to fix 92 accident black spots where nine fatal crashes have occurred over the past five years. In+

LG’s response to Covid-19 gets thumbs-up from WA communities

Local Government’s response to Covid-19 in Western Australia has been rated as “good”, with communities giving it 68/100 for its overall performance. The survey of 7666 community members across 128 local government areas found that a majority: Believes local government has demonstrated clear thinking and decision-making; Feels local government has shown empathy and compassion; Has+

NSW rural shires to develop load restraint education campaign

Three shire councils in NSW’s Central West have won federal funding to develop, implement and evaluate a load restraint public education campaign. The joint initiative of the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shires – aimed at raising public awareness of the dangers of heavy vehicle load restraint breaches — has been granted a share of funding+

LRCI Program update shows 175 councils nominated 1000 projects

More than 175 local governments have nominated nearly a thousand projects for funding under the Commonwealth’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program. The update was provided last week by Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, two months after the Government announced the $500 million program to support councils and communities+

DRFA resilience boost for North Qld and WA communities

Efforts to improve infrastructure resilience across north Queensland have been boosted with a $1.2 million grant to stabilise riverbanks in Innisfail. Flooding in early 2019 undermined the banks for of the Johnstone River and weakened a retaining wall below the Innisfail Bowls Club, affecting nearby infrastructure. The money, which is being jointly provided by the+

Public spaces lure to expedite NSW council assessments

NSW councils focused on fast-tacking development assessments generating jobs will be eligible for up to $5.5 million each in funding for public spaces. NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the initiative to incentivise the development of “more and better public spaces” would be part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program. The $250 million program will+

Governments warned not to relax road trauma reduction efforts

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has called for all levels of government to redouble their efforts to reduce road trauma. AAA managing director Michael Bradley said despite road fatalities in the quarter ending June 2020 decreasing 14.6 percent, compared with the previous quarter, Australia is not on track to meet its national road trauma targets+

Urban sprawl ‘destroying habitats and accelerating extinction crisis’

Habitat destruction caused by urban sprawl is hastening the national extinction crisis, a new report by the Australian Conservation Foundation reveals. Between 2000 (when the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act was promulgated) and 2017, at least 20,212 hectares of forested urban threatened species habitat was destroyed. The report says more forested urban habitat was+

Bunnings, Planet Ark enlisted in Sydney tree-planting program

The NSW State Government has signed new partnerships with Planet Ark and Bunnings to drive its target of planting a million trees by 2022. The three-year partnership deal with Planet Ark – which stages National Tree Day – is intended to promote tree-planting efforts across Greater Sydney, while the Bunnings partnership will see the retailer+

Geelong council moves to lock in virtual meetings option

The City of Greater Geelong Council wants the option of staging virtual meetings to made permanent, citing health and efficiency grounds. A council motion calling on the City of Greater Geelong to write to Victoria’s Local Government Minister regarding the matter was passed last week. In April, the Victorian State Government legislated to allow councillors+

Infrastructure priority list widened to aid Covid-19 recovery

Twelve new projects, including road upgrades in suburban and regional Queensland, have been added to the nation’s infrastructure priority list. The updated list, comprising 155 projects in all, was published on Wednesday by Infrastructure Australia (IA), the Federal Government’s independent infrastructure adviser. Sydney’s M12 motorway, two suburban rail proposals in Perth, and the modernisation of+

Councils urged to join Nespresso capsule recycling program

Local governments are being encouraged to set up discrete collection points to promote recycling of aluminium coffee capsules made by Nespresso – and to include the company’s scheme on the recycling pages of their websites. Domestic recycling systems are currently unable to effectively sort and recycle small items such as aluminium capsules. To get around+

National disability pilot information service goes live

An electronic portal to enable people with disability and their carers to find appropriate information and support services has gone live. The pilot website for the Disability Gateway is the first public phase of the Federal Government’s development of a national disability information service supporting the NDIS. During the pilot phase there will be continuous+

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