Speaking out on National Cabinet | Airports losing $300m a month | Vic libraries step up | ALGA News 21 August 2020

President's column

How different would it have been had local government had been represented at National Cabinet meetings when discussions turned to border closures? Completely, I would argue. The substantial risk that comes from sidelining local community voices has been exposed in recent media reports of anomalies arising from Covid-19 border restrictions. One story centred on a+

Airport owners need help to limit crippling losses, Senate told

Australian Airports Association (AAA) members are losing around $300 million a month, a Senate select committee on Covid-19 heard on Thursday. Making the case for direct government assistance to airport operators (including local governments), AAA chief executive James Goodwin said the aviation sector has been hit by some of the “deepest lows” of the crisis.+

Victorian Govt. unmoved by calls to delay council elections

Victorian council elections set down for October 24 will go ahead as planned, the State Government confirmed this week. The decision comes despite claims the polls will be compromised by Covid-19 restrictions. The State Government says it sought advice from the Chief Health Officer before making the decision. “The Chief Health Officer has advised that+

Meet the Mayor – Southern Downs Regional Council’s Vic Pennisi

Vic Pennisi has been an elected member of local government since 2004, and was elected Mayor of the Southern Downs Regional Council in April this year. He has a background in vehicle fleet maintenance, the horticulture sector, and retail business management. The SDRC is located in Queensland’s Darling Downs region, and was created in 2008+

More News

ALGA’s National Cabinet campaign spotlighted in national media

ALGA’s ongoing advocacy to reverse local government’s exclusion from National Cabinet was highlighted on ABC radio and digital platforms this week. In an interview with the national broadcaster, ALGA National President David O’Loughlin said the scrapping of COAG in March effectively meant local government could speak to first ministers and treasurers only once a year.+

New measure of disaster resilience for local communities

The first national snapshot of disaster resilience to help governments and emergency services improve their communities’ resilience to natural hazards has been published. The Australian Disaster Resilience Index provides a nationally standardised index of resilience in the form of navigable maps of regions across the country and is presented as an interactive website. Funded by+

Vic council libraries going above and beyond during lockdowns

With Melbourne in its fifth week of stage four restrictions, council libraries have resorted to new and innovative ways to stay connected with their users. The Yarra Plenty Regional Library – a service comprising nine branch libraries withing the Banyule, Nillumbik, and Whittlesea councils – reacted to the plight of people unable to borrow books+

Tasmania’s towns to help rural Australians get up and be active

An online tool to support regional Australians to become more active will be developed and assessed in Tasmania before being rolled out nationally. The project – a joint four-year collaboration between University of Tasmania, RMIT University, and Deakin University – is being funded by the NHMRC Medical Research Future Fund’s Preventative and Public Health Research+

Roll-out of SA’s new planning system delayed for three months

The implementation of South Australia’s new planning and development system across large regional towns and metropolitan areas has been delayed until late December. Minister for Planning and Local Government Vickie Chapman said the final phase of the launch had been set down for September, but would be postponed to give stakeholders more time to understand+

ACT Govt. tables draft Draft plastic reduction Bill

The ACT Government has tabled its draft Plastic Reduction Bill 2020 in the Legislative Assembly as a prelude to phasing out certain single-use plastics. Beginning from July 2021, the sale and supply of single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers such as plates, cups, bowls, and “clamshell” takeaway containers will be banned+

New round of grants to advance pest animal and weed control

The Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is offering grants for projects targeting established pest animals and weeds. Funding of $13 million is being made available under the Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions Competitive Grant Round. Grants will range in amounts from $300,000 up to a maximum of $2 million. Successful+

Trials underway using 100pc recycled material for pipeline backfill

Recycled materials with self-compacting properties that could be used as an alternative backfill for sewer pipeline trenches are being tested in a new Australian study. Current sewer pipeline backfill practice is to use natural aggregates that need to be excavated, crushed, and often trucked in from great distances. To identify alternatives, researchers from Victoria University,+

Victoria Govt. funds different approach to family violence

The Victorian Government is investing $20 million in efforts to relocate domestic violence perpetrators from the family home rather than the victims. The program to find alternative accommodation for perpetrators comes after a spike in the number of people asking for help from the Men’s Referral Service during the pandemic. The $20 million package, announced+

WA coastal erosion hotspot projects to share $7m in funding

The West Australian State Government has allocated nearly $7 million for high-priority coastal erosion hotspots as part of its WA Recovery Plan. Of this money, $5 million will be allocated to four high priority coastal erosion projects across WA including: $3.25 million to the City of Fremantle for the Port Beach large-scale sand nourishment project+

Coffs project wins Streets as Shared Spaces program funding

More than 40 councils in regional and metropolitan NSW have successfully applied for funding under the state’s $15 million Streets as Shared Spaces program. Successful trial projects include: creation of a “green spine” on Harbour Drive in Coffs Harbour; activation of an underutilised laneway in Parramatta; a temporary road closure to create a public square+

Federal funding boost for Alice Springs microgrid project

A project to boost renewable energy generation in Alice Springs with large batteries has been given $2.17 million in Federal Government funding. The Alice Springs Future Grid project, led by Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy, also aims to deliver reliable power to nearby remote towns. Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said:+