Hocking booked for Congress | Bridges assessments | Review of powers & immunities | ALGA News 18 September 2020

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

President's column

It has been nearly eight months since I toured bushfire-affected local governments in NSW with LGNSW President Linda Scott, and my impressions of that time remain vivid. We saw councils doing extraordinary things for and behalf of their communities – helping coordinate fire-fighting response, providing equipment to the NSW Rural Fire Service, opening major evacuation+

Telcos may be held to higher structural safety standards

Reforms to the powers and immunities framework are being considered that could require telecommunications installations to conform to higher safety standards. Under the reform proposals published this week by the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, the framework could incorporate a “primary safety condition” reaffirming that the “safety of telco installations is+

Hocking booked for National Local Roads and Transport Congress

National Bushfire Recovery Agency deputy coordinator Andrew Hocking will head an impressive array of speakers at ALGA’s National Local Roads and Transport Congress in November. After being forced to cancel its annual National General Assembly for Local Government because of Covid-19, ALGA has expanded the National Local Roads and Transport Congress to encompass natural disaster+

Meet the Mayor – East Gippsland’s John White

Cr John White was elected to Victoria’s East Gippsland Shire Council in 2016, and became Mayor in October 2019. His involvement in the local East Gippsland community, particularly through local sporting clubs and the Country Fire Authority, dates back to the 1970s. Together with his wife, Leanne, Cr White operates a sheep, cattle and cropping+

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National heavy vehicle bridge assessment system a step closer

A scoping study assessing the feasibility of developing a National Heavy Vehicle Bridge Assessment System has been published by Austroads. Bridge assessment processes are a major constraint in delivering reliable and timely heavy vehicle access to the national road network, according to Austroads. The large range of vehicle types and masses on an equally diverse+

Seven regional routes dropped as Virgin embarks on restructure

Virgin Australia will stop flying to seven regional destinations as it emerges from administration under the new ownership of private equity firm Bain Capital. Services to and from Yulara, Albury, Tamworth, Hervey Bay, Port Macquarie, Mildura, and Cloncurry would be withdrawn “for the foreseeable future”, an airline spokesman said last week. Nine routes in all+

Cth steps up efforts to secure water assets against cyber attack

Local councils owning and operating water and wastewater assets are being asked to take part in a voluntary national exercise to enhance cyber security resilience. The exercise, to be coordinated by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), will test and strengthen arrangements for responding to cyber incidents. ACSC head Abigail Bradshaw says “a cyber disrupting+

South Australian ban on single-use plastics starts early in 2021

Single-use plastics, including straws and cutlery, will be prohibited in South Australia from early next year after Parliament passed new legislation last week. The Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020 bans the sale, supply and distribution of certain plastic products. But because of Covid-19 the ban will not come into force until+

Communities in WA’s Great Southern getting disaster assistance

Disaster assistance has been extended to help communities in Western Australia’s Great Southern region recover from damage caused by heavy rain and severe flooding. Storms in early August dumped two months of rain in two days in the area, with the City of Albany and the Shire of Denmark both experiencing significant damage to their+

Review of disability access for public buildings under way

Councils that uphold or certify disability access standards for public buildings are being asked to take part in a scheduled review of the benchmarks. The Disability (Access to Premises – Building) Standards 2010 ensure people with disabilities (and their families, carers and friends) have equal access to public building,  and that building certifiers, developers and+

Qld councils get $3.5m to prepare for future natural disasters

Seventeen regional Queensland councils will share almost $3.5 million to fund priority infrastructure upgrades to better prepare for future natural disasters. Funding for the projects, which include upgrades on roads, drainage systems and power supplies, will be administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. Queensland Treasurer and Minister responsible for the QRA Cameron Dick said the+

IA seeking council help to frame national infrastructure plan

Infrastructure Australia is developing its next infrastructure roadmap and wants to confer with interested parties on possible policy directions and reforms. The Australian Infrastructure Plan 2021 will set out IA’s advice on policy and reform (non-build) solutions to improve user and community access to and quality of infrastructure services as identified in the Australian Infrastructure+

Hobsons Bay unveils VPP plan on journey to zero net emissions

A Melbourne council is rolling out a virtual power plant (VPP) and putting solar panels on 40 buildings to help it achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Hobsons Bay City Council says the VPP and the large-scale photovoltaic panel installation (generating four megawatts) will reduce the council’s direct greenhouse gas emissions over the next two+

Local governments vie for national planning excellence awards

The City of Whittlesea is spearheading a big local government presence at next week’s 2020 National Awards for Planning Excellence. The outer Melbourne council is in the running for two awards showcasing leading practice and achievement in planning and the planning profession across a range of disciplines and sectors. Other local governments in the running+

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