Resilience hubs for regions | Heavy vehicle blueprint | New NSoA report underway | ALGA News 4 September 2020

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

President's column

The first major bushfire of the 2020-21 season occurred on Monday near Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, reminding us that bushfires wait for no-one, let alone the outcome of a Royal Commission. Ironically, the Trewantin fire took hold the day before the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements published its interim report – “mindful of the+

Management of shared disaster responsibilities ‘needs attention’

Local government’s varying ability to manage natural disasters needs to be better understood by the states when delegating roles and providing support. And while many councils share resources during natural disasters to great effect, this warrants greater state backing, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements said this week. In an interim report containing+

Call out to LGs to update National State of the Assets report

New work to address Australia’s $30 billion infrastructure deficit has begun, with councils being asked to contribute to the next National State of the Assets (NSoA) report. The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is partnering with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to produce the report, which aims, among other things, to provide+

Meet the Mayor – Oberon Council’s Kathy Sajowitz

Councillor Kathy Sajowitz was elected to Oberon Council in 2012, having retired and settled in Oberon in 2005 after many years in office administration. She was elected as Mayor at an Extraordinary Meeting in July 2015. Besides representing Oberon Council on numerous external organisations, Cr Sajowitz is on the executive of the Country Mayors Association+

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ALGA seeking clarity on legislation to veto international accords

Last month, the Morrison Government said it would legislate to provide a Federal power of veto over arrangements between state and territory governments, local governments and universities and foreign governments. This legislation will cover an estimated 500 sister city agreements between councils and their overseas counterparts – as well as the 135 agreements that state+

Innovation hubs set for roll-out under drought fund program

Eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs are to be established in regional Australia as part of the Commonwealth’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund. The hubs will support networks of researchers, farmers, agricultural businesses and community groups to enhance drought resilience practice, tools and technology. Federal Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said+

Wraps come off NHVR’s heavy vehicle productivity blueprint

A road freight access and productivity plan two years in the making has been published by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the plan would assist Australia’s 425 road managers to coordinate their approach to addressing Australia’s growing road freight task. “The response to the pandemic has again shown the+

Final projects announced under Qld/Federal infrastructure package

Nine Queensland local governments will receive a share of $10 million in federal and state funding to repair, rebuild and reinforce infrastructure damaged by the 2019 monsoon trough. The $10 million represents the final tranche of a $134.5 million infrastructure package supported by the Queensland and Federal governments, and will enable 12 betterment and recreational+

Cobar Mayor honoured for championing outback communities

Cobar Shire Council Mayor Lilliane Brady OAM was named the inaugural winner of the NSW Minister for Local Government Award for Women this week. The award – which is part of the annual Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government – recognises a female councillor or staff member who has delivered quality outcomes in helping+

Clean-up of bushfire-affected Vic properties done and dusted

Clean-up efforts from the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires have finished, with 736 properties in East Gippsland and the state’s north-east cleared of destroyed and damaged buildings. In total, the 2020 Clean-up Program demolished, cleared and disposed of more than 2500 individual structures on 547 properties in East Gippsland Shire, 183 properties in Towong Shire, and five+

NSW council asset management performance ‘below par’

The decline in asset management capability in NSW local government risks undermining the sector’s ability to plan for, maintain and renew road infrastructure. The 2019 Road Asset Benchmarking Project released last week also indicates that deteriorating timber bridges on local roads risks further isolating already vulnerable local communities. To enable local government to maintain timber+

New round of grants on offer for organisations helping youth

Organisations and individuals supporting young people are being invited to apply for funding under the Youth Action Projects Grant Scheme (YAGPS). This targeted scheme offers grants of between $5000 and $20,000 to help finance projects which respond to the social challenges facing those aged 15 to 24. Projects need to be either new initiatives that+

IPWEA’s new design manual for walkable Qld neighbourhoods

A contemporary guide for designing walkable neighbourhoods in Queensland has been published by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (Qld). Developed with input from across the sector, the Street Design Manual: Walkable Neighbourhoods “recognises streets as an important connector to multi-purpose social spaces in our neighbourhoods … [and] offers access options for active transport+

La Nina ‘will be major influence on 2020-21 fire season’

While much of eastern Australia is experiencing wetter than average conditions, the national bushfire outlook remains problematic in many areas. Releasing its Spring Seasonal Bushfire Outlook this week, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC said there was an above-normal fire potential for south-east Queensland as well as the state’s central coast extending north. Dry conditions+

Policy changes on telco provision in new developments

Federal Government policy changes to improve the delivery of telecommunications services in new developments were announced this week. Designed to provide Australians moving into new apartment and housing developments with better and cheaper access to high-speed broadband services, the Telecommunications in New Developments policy “provides a modernised framework for the deployment of services while fostering+

Federal money set aside for ag event organisers hit Covid-19

Organisers of agricultural shows and field days who cancelled their 2020 events because of Covid-19 can apply for a share of $7.2 million in Commonwealth funding. The Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program will provide a one-off reimbursement to affected agricultural show societies and agricultural field day organisers. Announcing the $7.2 million grant last+