Rate peg found wanting | ‘Prioritise prescribed burns’ | Call to road managers | ALGA News 28 August 2020

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

President's column

Are you ready to play an even greater role? Last week, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe provided National Cabinet with an economic update which will have a direct and important bearing on our local government sector. Dr Lowe told first leaders that jobs and unemployment are the biggest economic challenge Australia faces during Covid-19, and+

NSW inquiry clears way for more bushfire hazard reduction

NSW landowners will have to conduct more prescribed burns after the State Government this week agreed to all 76 recommendations of a statewide bushfire inquiry. The independent inquiry, led by former NSW Police deputy commissioner Dave Owens and NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane, also said local councils and partner agencies should be supported by the+

Rate peg ‘hindering councils’ ability to build new infrastructure’

NSW’s rate peg is being blamed for councils not having enough money to provide their rapidly growing communities with new infrastructure. The State is said to have foregone about $15 billion in rates compared with Victoria (which does not cap rates) since 2000, and the NSW Productivity Commission says that except for raising user charges+

Meet the Mayor – Blue Mountains’ Mark Greenhill

Mark Greenhill has been a Blue Mountains City councillor for 17 years, seven of which he has served as Mayor. In 2016, Cr Greenhill was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to local government and to the Blue Mountains community. When not attending to council matters, he works in industrial+

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Hobart airport improvement plans take wing under City Deal

Important progress has been made on turning Hobart’s airport into an international gateway, the first annual report of the City Deal has revealed. The 10-year agreement between the Federal and Tasmanian governments and the Hobart, Clarence, Glenorchy, and Kingborough councils was signed in 2019. It aims to deliver initiatives valued at nearly $890 million across+

LG road managers urged to sign up for phase 2 of SLGAAP

Road managers and freight operators are being called on to get involved in phase two of a Commonwealth project to improve heavy vehicle access. The Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP) was established by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in 2019 with $8 million in Commonwealth funding. The intended outcomes of the project+

NSW Govt scheme to combat emerging solar panel waste stream

The first phase of a NSW Government scheme to recycle solar photo-voltaic panels and batteries and reduce PV waste to landfill has begun. Forecasts are that the waste stream in NSW comprising end-of-life solar PV panel systems and energy storage batteries could reach between 3000 to 10,000 tonnes a year by 2025 and then rise+

WA councils ‘need more support to meet 2030 waste targets’

A lack of “tailored support” for WA local governments means few are on track to meet 2030 resource recovery targets, the Auditor-General has found. In a new report published last week, the Office of the Auditor-General found inadequate planning at local, regional, and statewide levels was also a significant impediment to WA’s ability to meet+

Show of hands wanted for cash to fix NSW country roads, bridges

Applications are now open for the NSW Government’s 2020 Fixing Country Roads program and its Fixing Country Bridges program. Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said funding under the 2020 Fixing Country Roads program will build on improving connectivity between regional freight points, communities, and state roads, with councils encouraged to apply+

New approach to cooling city commons in a warming climate

Urban heat mitigation could be enhanced by planned development that takes account of cities as collections of public, not private spaces, new research suggests. Landcom, the NSW Government’s land and property development agency, says the research “shifts the focus from technical solutions to the role that commons play in adapting to urban heat”. Its report+

M-D Basin communities share $14m in development grants

Fifteen local councils have successfully applied for funding under Round 2 of the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program. The program supports economic development projects in identified communities in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia impacted by water recovery under the Basin Plan. Round 2 was open to 31 eligible communities, including those moderately impacted by+

EPIC new way for councils to act on the ‘plastic pandemic’

A new program to help local councils identify and eliminate single-use plastics from their workplaces has been published. The Engagement for Plastic-free innovation and Change (EPIC) program was designed by Plastic Oceans Australasia (POA), and includes: a step-by-step EPIC program manual;   access to scientific research and documentaries on plastic pollution, including the award-winning film A+

Waste recycling framework Bills now before Parliament

Landmark legislation establishing a national industry relationship framework for recycling was introduced in Federal Parliament this week. The Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 (and associated provisions) will also authorise the progressive implementation of bans on waste plastic, paper, glass and tyre exports. Australia presently exports around 645,000 tonnes of processed plastic, paper, glass and+

WA leads nation in decade of new home builds as NSW lags

Almost 1.5 million homes were built in Australia from 2006-16 but the growth of housing stock in each state and territory was uneven, new AHURI research shows. Growth ranged from 26 per cent in Western Australia to just 12 per cent in NSW. Only the building boom of 2015-18 pushed NSW to reach supply levels+

City of Victor Harbor CEO named as new LGPA national president

Victoria MacKirdy is replacing Queenslander Mark Crawley as the national president of Local Government Professionals Australia (LGPA). Ms MacKirdy is CEO of the City of Victor Harbour Council in South Australia, and has served as a national director on the LGPA Board for five years. She has over 27 years of experience in the local+

Commonwealth tips another $10m into industry-led recycling research

A further $10 million is being made available for research into new processes and markets for waste plastics, paper, glass, and tyres. Research projects eligible for funding under Round 10 of the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grants program can also include other problem materials, such as building waste. The funding is part+

New skatepark in the pipeline for the kids of Condingup

A project to build a new skatepark in Condingup, in WA’s Esperance Shire, has been approved for funding under the Tackling Tough Times Together Program. All up, 30 projects will share $1.1 million in funding being made available under Round 17 of the TTTT program, which is  run under the auspices of the not-for-profit Foundation+

Proposed WA planning regulation changes open for consultation

Thirty proposed changes to Western Australia’s local planning regulations have gone on public exhibition. The proposals will, among other things, exempt small residential and non-residential projects from requiring development approval and introduce improved change-of-use and parking requirements for small businesses in certain locations. The proposed amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations+