LRCI Program money starts to flow | Road safety inquiry responses | WA planning reforms passed | ALGA News 26 June 2020

President's column

“What’s the drift, tell me what’s a’happening!” Regional population growth is more than a song line, it’s actually happening. Demographers, commentators, and economic forecasters are suggesting that arresting the drift to big cities and achieving sustained growth in the regions is not just attainable but perhaps even inevitable. The evidence seems to back them up.+

First round of Federal LRCI Program grants posted

The Brisbane City Council has been allocated $11.7 million under the Federal Government’s $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. Other sizeable allocations have been made to the City of Gold Coast ($5.9 million), Moreton Bay Regional Council ($5 million), Toowoomba Regional Council ($4.1 million) Logan City Council ($3.5 million), Mid-Coast Council ($3.4 million),+

Black Spot Program ‘able to deal with dispersed accident sites’

The Federal Government supports more money for the Black Spot Program and an increase in funding for projects in regional and remote areas. However, it remains detached about revising the definition of “black spot” to account for the dispersed nature of accidents in remote and regional areas, saying the program is sufficiently flexible to fund+

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NSW Government pledges ‘greater flexibility’ in LG rating system

The NSW Government will look at creating “greater flexibility” in the current rating system to allow councils to generate the income needed to support population growth. This would include creating additional rating categories and greater use of differential rating within urban residential rating systems. The proposal follows the Government’s decision to decline Independent Pricing Regulatory+

Townsville, Cairns councils pick up community recovery grants

The Townsville City Council is to receive $145,00 in State and Commonwealth funding to buy five trailer-mounted generators to maintain services in areas susceptible to flooding, tidal inundation or sewer overflows. The Cairns Regional Council will receive $119,000 for a satellite trailer to supplement the communication networks and restore connectivity during network outages. These and+

‘Significant development’ planning reform passed in WA

Major planning reforms brought forward to support the West Australian Government’s economic response to Covid-19 have passed through State Parliament. The reform centrepiece is a new development application process for significant projects that will be in operation for the next 18 months. Significant development will now be defined as:  development proposals with an estimated cost+

Not drowning, waving: regional populations on the rise

Regional Australia attracted more people than it lost in the five years to 2016, contrary to popular perceptions that rural populations are declining, a new Regional Australia Institute report says. The report, The Big Movers: Understanding Population Mobility in Regional Australia said 65,200 people moved to the country based on 2011 and 2016 Census data.+

Feedback on SA Planning and Design Code (phase 3) published

Feedback on Phase Three (urban areas) of South Australia’s Planning and Design Codes has been published by the State Planning Commission. The commission received 1790 submissions from councils, state agencies, industry practitioners and members of the community during a five-month consultation period. The What We Have Heard Report summarises these responses, including   a range+

Energy from waste sector ‘needs social licence to operate’

Local Government, along with the states and Commonwealth, can enable more waste to energy projects by helping the sector develop a social license to operate. This means openly engaging with communities – not only on the benefits of advanced forms of waste processing but also addressing any environmental or health concerns. In a new report+

Parliamentary regional migration inquiry felled by Covid-19

A Federal Parliamentary inquiry looking at how migrants might be encouraged to settle in regional Australia has been suspended because of immigration restrictions. The Joint Standing Committee on Migration had cancelled public hearing in March due to the Covid-19 epidemic, but with no prospect of borders re-opening soon decided last week to wind up proceedings.+

Third tranche of NSW projects up for fast-track assessment

A major rezoning to create new housing in the Hills Shire Council area of Greater Western Sydney is among the latest tranche of projects to undergo fast-tracked assessment in NSW. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) announced the third tranche of fast-tracked assessments on 21 June, with all 19 projects to be determined+

Anne Leadbeater to discuss LG and community-led recovery

Disaster recovery expert Anne Leadbeater will offer her insights on local government and community-led recovery in a Red Cross-hosted webinar on 9 July. Ms Leadbeater worked on behalf of the Murrindindi Shire Council to coordinate the initial recovery effort for communities in the Kinglake Ranges after the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 when 173 people+

Impact of feral and domestic cats under investigation

The problem of feral and domestic cats in Australia will be examined in a new federal parliamentary inquiry that got underway this week. Feral cats have caused the extinction of some ground-dwelling birds and small to medium-sized mammals and they are a major cause of decline for animals such as the bilby, bandicoot, bettong, and+

Local government VET skills review open for comment

Feedback to inform a review of local government vocational and education training qualifications will be open for public validation from Friday, 19 June to Friday, 10 July 2020. Local government employs around 200,000 people nationally, and VET qualifications (Certificate III to Diploma) provide this group with many of their training and skills. Current qualifications have+

Former ARTC boss to head new freight industry reference panel

Former Australian Rail Track Corporation managing director John Fullerton has been appointed chairman of the new Freight Industry Reference Panel. The panel will provide industry with “a clear line of sight” on implementing the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, and it will report to Transport and Infrastructure Ministers annually. It will also elicit more+