Court hangs up on Telstra | Aussies warm to walkability | Cloudy Australia Day outlook | ALGA News 27 November 2020

President's column

In two weeks’ time, it will be my honour to represent you at the first-ever meeting of the National Federation Reform Council (NFRC). The NFRC was set up, if you recall, after intergovernmental reforms triggered by the scrapping of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) – of which ALGA was a foundation member. ALGA was+

Federal court win for councils in payphone cabinet dispute

Telstra payphones with large digital screens are not “low-impact facilities” and the company must obtain council planning permission to install them, the Federal Court has ruled. The decision overturns a previous Federal Court ruling that allowed Telstra and its outdoor media company business partner, JCDecaux, to install large digital billboards as part of a roll-out+

Councils cancel Australia Day events amid Covid-19 concerns

Several councils in NSW and WA have cancelled their Australia Day events, blaming Covid-19 restrictions and ongoing health concerns. Canterbury Bankstown, Liverpool, North Sydney, Inner West, and the Hills Councils in NSW have all cancelled events – as have the Perth metropolitan councils of Armadale and Bassendean. It is believed other councils are reconsidering Australia+

LGs to get clarity on carrier obligations around 5G equipment

Fact sheets setting out carrier obligations before and during 5G infrastructure installations are being developed for local governments, utilities, and infrastructure owners. The information will help parties understand their right to object to proposed activities and the timeframes for making objections, the Federal Government said this week. The Government was responding to a Parliamentary inquiry+

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Extra time made available for BLER funding applications

Communities and businesses in bushfire-impacted regions of NSW now have till 28 January to apply for grants under the $250 million Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) fund. Federal Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said the deadline extension would enable as many communities and businesses as possible to access BLER funding provided by both the Federal+

Focus on walkability ‘can make LGs a population drawcard’

Australians overwhelmingly want to live locally in walkable neighbourhoods close to parks, a new Heart Foundation study has revealed. The survey also found that a sense of safety is high on the priority list for Australians when deciding where to live. The foundation surveyed 2895 Australians on “what matters most to them in making neighbourhoods+

How Parramatta helps its community say no to domestic violence

By SHARMILA FALZON It often takes place behind closed doors but violence against women is a complex problem the whole community must address. The Parramatta City Council (PCC) recognises it has a key role to play in driving change and we have worked extensively over the past six years to empower the community to take+

Federal Govt looks to accelerate adoption of Peppol e-invoices

The Commonwealth Treasury has begun consultations on options to accelerate the take-up of electronic invoicing by businesses and other commercial entities. Having adopted the Peppol framework as the national standard for e-invoicing in 2018, the Federal Government recently mandated all its agencies to adopt e-invoicing by 1 July 2022. The state and territory governments, and+

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council adds to its trophy haul

A council that was recently vying for the 2020 National Award for Local Government has been named as one NSW’s most progressive and innovative councils. Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council was awarded the 2020 A.R. Bluett Memorial Award (metropolitan/regional) at the annual conference of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) held this week. Bellingen Shire Council took out the+

Eureka moment for researcher working on hydrogen from WAS

Hybrid technology able to transform sewage treatment plants into low-emissions operations capable of generating energy has earned its developer a Eureka Prize. University of Technology Sydney researcher Dr Qilin Wang received the 2020 Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher for his work in creating a closed-loop system for hydrogen production from waste-activated sludge (WAS). His+

NSW and Victoria grasslands face ‘above-normal fire conditions’

Australia’s climate is being influenced by La Niña event, but fire remains a concern in NSW and Victoria as grasslands dry out in the warmer weather. The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020- February 2021 reports that above-normal fire conditions now exist in “large parts of NSW west of the Great Dividing Range face, as+

Queensland locals have their say on future ROSI corridor projects

Stakeholders met in Townsville and Toowoomba this week to discuss the next priorities for Queensland’s northern and southern Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative. Federal Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said both meetings were productive affairs that enabled local representatives to have their say and to put their ideas forward+