Fixing the EPBC Act | New anti-violence toolkit for councils | Meet Richmond Valley’s Mayor Mustow | ALGA News 24 July 2020
Coastal councils are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place when it comes to rising sea levels and storm-related coastal erosion. We saw it demonstrated again this week when the Central Coast Council – under fire from residents whose beachfront properties had been destroyed or damaged by a severe storm the previous week+
‘Fundamental reform’ of EPBC Act needed, says Samuel
A federal environmental protection law review has suggested a greater assessment and approvals role for the states and territories. In an interim report into the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act published this week, Professor Graeme Samuel says delays caused by the complexity of current processes could be reduced if the Commonwealth devolved more decision-making powers+
Expert panel calls for regional White Paper, new funding
An expert panel has backed Senate calls for a White Paper supporting a strategic approach to development in regional Australia. It has also recommended the Commonwealth reform its approach to regional development funding and “substantially increase” funding to Regional Development Australia (RDA) Committees. The panel was convened by the Federal Government after it agreed to+
Meet the Mayor – Richmond Valley’s Robert Mustow
Robert Mustow was born in Casino in northern NSW, and has lived in the Richmond Valley his entire life. After finishing high school, he became a qualified panel beater and successfully operated his own smash repair business for 15 years. With a long-running passion for local sport, especially basketball, he was then employed by Basketball+
New toolkit to help councils battle violence against women
A new online resource to help local governments prevent violence against women in their workplaces and communities has been published. It includes information setting out the role council can play in prevention, actions they can take, how to engage communities, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures. The Prevention Toolkit for local government+
Public sector building certifiers to return in ACT
The ACT Government will establish a team of public sector certifiers as part of a new developer licensing scheme announced this week. Minister for Building Quality Improvement Gordon Ramsay said: “We have seen too many cases where property developers have forced other parts of the industry to cut on costs and influence process”. He said+
$5m boost for Tasmanian disaster resilience and risk reduction
Tasmanian local governments delivering natural disaster risk reduction initiatives are eligible for a share of $5.22 million in new Commonwealth grants funding. The National Partnership funding will be distributed by the Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Grants Program (NDRRGP) under a five-year agreement to support the implementation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework. Disaster risk+
Qld bushfire-affected councils get $1.8m in recovery funding
Bushfire recovery and resilience-building projects in 23 Queensland local government areas will receive $1.8 million in state and federal grant funding. The projects receiving a grant under this round of the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) include: $68,848 to Baffle Creek Community Inc to undertake improvements to the Baffle Creek Community Centre; $35,000 to+
Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC transition plan unveiled
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre will evolve to become a “world-class” disaster study centre utilising $88.1 million in federal funding. Federal Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud announced the new funding on Thursday. It includes an additional $2 million to allow the BNHCRC to continue its Black Summer Bushfires research begun in the+
No time to waste: final webinar looking at plastic crisis
The final webinar in a three-part series looking at plastic use and disposal – hosted by Plastic Oceans Australia and Griffith University – will be held on 29 July. The panelists include ALGA President David O’Loughlin, Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch, and the director-general of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, Kosi Latu.+
Australian Dietary Guidelines to be reviewed by NHMRC
The National Health and Medical Research Council is getting $2.5 million in federal money to review the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines. This is to ensure that government dietary advice is based on the best and most recent scientific evidence about the types and amount of food needed for good health. The Federal Minister with portfolio+
New $4m crisis response fund will focus on technology
Technology giant Google is setting up a $4 million fund to support technology-driven projects building long-term resilience to bushfires and other crises. Google Australia managing director Mel Silva said in a blog post that the new Crisis Response and Recovery fund will finance projects creating innovative technology focusing on artificial intelligence. Google Australia interim head+
Deliveroo’s popularity ‘shows need for more dedicated cycleways’
The popularity of app-based food delivery services has reinforced the need for local and state governments to invest more in active transport, a university researcher claims. Professor Christopher Petti, from the University of NSW City Futures Centre, says governments seem “way behind” in responding to rising numbers of bikes on footpaths, many of them delivering+
New agency to take charge of Sydney’s open space and parklands
A new agency will work with Sydney local councils to revitalise and expand the city’s open spaces and parklands, the NSW State Government revealed last week. NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the Greater Sydney Parklands (GSP) agency will bring together the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, Parramatta Park Trust,+
Council backing sought for improved cycling infrastructure
A new campaign urging local governments to improve cycling infrastructure so more people can walk and ride during and after Covid-19 began this week. Launched by cycling advocacy group We Ride Australia, the Let’s Keep Moving campaign calls on all Australians to ask their local council what their plans are for better footpaths and bikeways.+
WA Govt touts ‘development-ready’ land to boost regions
The WA State Government is releasing over 1000 “development-ready” lots at discounted prices to boost construction activity in rural and remote areas. Residential lots at Madigan Estate in Karratha will be made available from $95,000, a saving of $24,000. State Lands Minister Ben Wyatt said lots zoned for residential, industrial and commercial purposes will be+
ACT urban forest strategy aims for 30pc canopy cover by 2045
An Urban Forest Strategy designed to achieve a 30 percent canopy cover in Canberra by 2045 has gone on public exhibition. Modelling undertaken by the CSIRO in 2019 indicates that 450,000 trees will have to be planted over the next 25 years to achieve this target. The ACT Government is funding the planting of 25,000+
NSW development contributions review moves ahead
The NSW Productivity Commission has published an issues paper as part of its review of infrastructure contributions initiated in April. The review’s terms of reference (set by the State Government) are that the Commission should: review the infrastructure contributions system to determine whether it meets the objectives of certainty and efficiency while delivering public infrastructure+
Last chance to recognise the great Australians in your LGA
There’s just one week left to nominate an outstanding Australian for the 2021 Australian of the Year Awards.
You know great Aussies in your local community – and just one nomination from a member of the public is all it takes for someone to be in the running for an award. Just think, the next Australian of the Year could come from your local government association.
Your nominee can be from any walk of life: science, sport, the arts, business, philanthropy, or community service.
There are four categories in which to nominate – Australia’s Local Hero, Young Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year and Australian of the Year.
Nominations close on Friday 31 July so take your opportunity to recognise someone going above and beyond. Nominate now at australianoftheyear.org.au.
Webinars, workshops and websites; digital engagement is here to stay!
How will digital and traditional engagement techniques work together in the future and how can local government practitioners maximise their effectiveness?
The last few months have seen big shifts in the way we all live our lives. Social distancing requirements have forced us to re-think how to deliver engagement for our communities who still want to be informed and involved in the projects and policies that affect them.
Elton Consulting is hosting a 60-minute ‘lunch and learn’ webinar to discuss three recent case studies from across the nation.
We will share our learnings from when planned face-to-face engagement was disrupted by global events and delivered online. This session will give you confidence to plan and deliver a successful mix of face-to-face and digital engagement techniques.