Fixing the EPBC Act | New anti-violence toolkit for councils | Meet Richmond Valley’s Mayor Mustow | ALGA News 24 July 2020

President's column

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+

More News

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+