Call for aid overhaul | Asset assessment pilot | LG identities honored | ALGA News 12 June 2020

President's column

Two weeks have passed since news broke of the most far-reaching federation governance reform in nearly 30 years: the abolition of COAG in favour of a broadening of the Covid-19 National Cabinet initiative. Local Government’s shock exclusion from National Cabinet was, we said at the time, a missed opportunity to add impetus to the economic+

Overhaul of disaster recovery aid needed: NBRA chief

Changes need to be made to limit confusion over disaster recovery payments, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements has heard. A “no wrong door” approach and a one-stop shop principles would help deliver relief quickly to victims, National Bushfire Recovery Agency coordinator Andrew Colvin said. “It would be ideal that a victim of+

NHVR partnering with 12 councils in asset assessment pilot

A national project to help local government road managers assess bridges, culverts and other assets on key local roads will begin shortly. Run by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator with $7.96 million in Commonwealth funding, the project is the pilot phase of the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP) announced in 2019. It is+

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TIC sets ball rolling on revised heavy vehicle charges

Public consultations on four proposed changes to the way governments set heavy vehicle charges – and invest the proceeds – are planned in coming months. The proposals agreed to by the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) have four broad elements: service level standards, expenditure planning, the independent setting of heavy vehicle charges, and the hypothecation+

Citizenship ceremonies set for return to local government

Local government councils have been told they can resume hosting in-person citizenship ceremonies if they meet strict health conditions. These include abiding by state and territory-defined allowable gathering sizes, ensuring all attendees keep a 1.5 metre distance from each other, and providing tissues, hand-washing facilities, and hand sanitiser. Councils will also have to develop a+

Round 4 BBRF projects for drought-affected areas gazetted

One hundred and sixty-three new local infrastructure and community projects in drought-affected areas have received funding under Round 4 of the Building Better Regions Fund. The local infrastructure projects slated to receive $207 million include: Tenterfield Water Treatment Plant replacement, NSW ($2,645,000); Disability Respite Care Facility in Goondiwindi, Qld ($589,523); Construction of Ravensthorpe Cultural precinct+

Mayor ‘Tractor’ Ferguson awarded OAM for services to LG

John (“Tractor”) Ferguson, who began his career as a grader driver for the Bulloo Shire and later became its mayor, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Mr Ferguson was one of 12 serving or retired councillors who were recognised in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours for their services to local+

Qld councils encouraged to apply for disaster resilience funding

More than $13 million is being made available through the Queensland Resilience and Risk Reduction Fund to help local communities better prepare for future disasters. “I encourage Queensland councils, government departments and not-for-profits to think outside the box when it comes to disaster resilience and risk reduction and take advantage of this funding,” Queensland Treasurer+

WA councils invited to make use of developer contributions

The Western Australian Planning Commission is inviting councils to apply to use developer cash contributions to fast-track new community infrastructure projects. Under WA’s planning framework, developers progressing a subdivision can be granted permission to provide cash payments to local governments for reinvestment in public open spaces, in lieu of setting aside land in a subdivision.+

Growing Suburbs Fund opened to Melbourne peri-urban councils

Six peri-urban councils will be able to access Victoria’s Growing Suburbs fund for the first time after the State Government said it would top up the fund with an extra $25 million. The councils that will now have access to the fund are Baw Baw, Golden Plains, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Bass Coast and Surf Coast.+

July 31 start confirmed for phase two of SA’s planning reforms

South Australia’s Planning and Design Code will begin in the state’s rural areas on 31 July, the SA Planning Commission confirmed this week. The code is already operating in outback areas (phase one of the reforms), and the commission says that when phase two begins, the code will be accessible via a modern ePlanning platform+

Boost for WA social housing in new $444 million stimulus package

The WA State Government has earmarked $319 million to build, buy, renovate, and maintain social housing as part of a new $444 million housing stimulus package. The social housing component of the package will see 1500 homes refurbished, around 250 dwellings built, and a regional maintenance program delivered for up to 3800 homes – including+

Wastewater treatment plants ‘could boost hydrogen production’

Australia’s nascent hydrogen industry could be supported by co-locating hydrogen production at wastewater treatment plants, says Yarra Valley Water. A new paper co-produced by the corporation and Jacobs consulting engineers uses the Aurora wastewater treatment plant as a case study to explore the relationship between both outputs from electrolysis – hydrogen and pure oxygen. It+

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