Aviation reform in the wings | No rates cap for SA | $250m for NSW bushfire recovery | ALGA News 16 October 2020

Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

President's column

The Commonwealth’s support for, and regulation of, regional aviation – always a vexed matter for airport-owning councils – is up for serious discussion. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications published an issues paper this week suggesting the Federal Government will consider: Reducing the regulations to encourage greater competition and local investment; Greater+

Aviation issues paper flags lighter regulatory touch for airports

Greater local decision-making on council-owned aerodromes may help strengthen regional aviation after Covid-19 restrictions are eased, the Commonwealth says. In an issues paper addressing longer-term policy and reform options to be implemented over the next five years, the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications also suggests a more strategic and coordinated approach+

SA Govt scraps push to cap council rates, blaming ‘politics’

A pre-election pledge by the Marshall Government to introduce a cap on council rate rises in South Australia has been dumped. After failing to secure Upper House backing for its rate cap legislation, the Government this week introduced a new council reform plan to State Parliament which proposes an alternative mechanism to “protect homeowners from+

Nicki Hutley: financially engineering thriving, vibrant communities

Commonwealth and state governments have racked up vast deficits responding to the Covid-19 crisis – and while local government is not in the same world of financial pain, its future sustainability is just cause for concern. How the sector deals with Covid-19 and the impacts of bushfire and drought while continuing to deliver the services+

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$250m to help recovery in bushfire-affected NSW communities

Councils, businesses, and organisations in bushfire-impacted areas of NSW are being encouraged to apply for project-funding grants enabling local recovery. Applications for the $250 million Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, co-funded by the Federal and NSW governments, open on 27 October. Grants of between $200,000 and $20 million will be available for projects such as:+

Consumers still vague about recycling options, new study shows

A campaign to promote positive recycling behaviours has been launched in response to continuing high levels of waste-stream contamination. Developed in partnership by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and Planet Ark (with Commonwealth financial support), the campaign calls on all Australians to check the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) every time they are at the+

Digital-savvy councils recognised in MAV’s technology Awards

The Alpine Shire Council and the Sunshine Coast Council have jointly won a national award for their innovative approach to digital technology. The two councils won the Australian Achievement of the Year category in the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Technology Awards for Excellence 2020 – Alpine with its “Project Pinnacle” and the Sunshine Coast for+

‘Bridge disaster insurance gap with more mitigation funding’

The economic costs of natural disaster now far exceed insured losses and must be bridged by greater investment in mitigation. In a speech to this week’s Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities, Geoff Summerhayes said the “high, rising and volatile costs” of natural disasters was leading to declining insurance affordability and accessibility.+

Cth drought programs tweaked to address eligibility issues

The design, delivery, and evaluation of Commonwealth drought programs will be improved after two recent reviews. Conducted by the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, the reviews examined the consistency and complexity of eligibility criteria and ease of access to information about the support available for drought-impacted farmers, communities, and small+

How Busselton’s airport project is helping the South-West take off

When Busselton Shire Council decided to build a regional aerodrome in the early 1990s (replacing a small and unsuitable 1940s-era airstrip), the primary users were envisaged to be general aviation operators. However, the shire (now the City of Busselton Council) had another, longer-term vision – creating an asset capable of boosting regular public transport (RPT)+

Victorian fire-fighting strategies ‘need fuel management focus’

State and local government strategies to reduce and manage bushfire risks must concentrate on fuel management, Victoria’s Auditor-General has advised. To ensure Victoria’s strategies to reduce and manage bushfire risks are well-designed, efficiently deployed, and continuously monitored and improved, the Audit Office examined whether responsible agencies were effectively working together to reduce Victoria’s bushfire risk.+

Crisis management framework updated ahead of high-risk weather

An updated Australian Government Crisis Management Framework (AGCMF) came into effect on Monday 12 October. Version 2.3 of the crisis framework outlines the arrangements enabling the Federal Government’s “all hazards” crisis management approach and is focused mainly on near-term crisis preparedness, immediate crisis response and early crisis recovery arrangements. Long-term disaster risk reduction and resilience-building+

Oceania mayors call for more support on climate action

A new steering committee for the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Oceania (GCoM) has met for the first time. The committee, comprising the mayors and governors of 12 cities in Australia, New Zealand and PNG, aims to boost collaboration between cities, local governments and community partners globally to reduce carbon dioxide+

NTC’s year of ‘significant development and achievement’

The National Transport Commission completed 13 projects in 2019, including preparing advice for a national approach to regulating automated vehicles. In its Annual Report 2019-20 published this week, the NTC also listed its “comprehensive engagement program” for the Heavy Vehicle Law review as another achievement across its four program areas. The commission said it facilitated+