Struggles with childcare | FAGs start flowing | ALGA’s National Cabinet role | ALGA News 29 May 2020

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

President's column

National Cabinet has proven useful in tackling Covid-19 head on, and it could expand to take on job creation, population and infrastructure planning, freight productivity, recreation and sport, culture and arts, social cohesion, aged care, childcare, ending domestic violence – and many more areas where local government plays a key role and therefore must be+

NSW cultural institutions cleared for 1 June re-opening

Museums, galleries, and libraries will be allowed to reopen from 1 June 2020 after the NSW Government said it would begin easing Covid-19 restrictions. NSW Health will provide guidance to ensure the museums, galleries and libraries operate in a Covid-19 safe way, including: exclusion of staff and visitors who are unwell; limiting the number of+

Losses at council-run childcare centres starting to mount

Council-run childcare centres are racking up big financial losses in their struggle to stay open without access to the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper program. The City of Whitehorse Council has had to shut two of its four childcare centres in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, and is forecasting a $650,000 loss for the current quarter. Thirty-one staff at+

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NSW councils get advance payments on 2020-21 FAGs

The NSW Office of Local Government has begun making advance payments of Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants to NSW councils. The payments follow last week’s announcement that the Federal Government will again bring forward the first two instalments of the estimated 2020-21 FAGs. The advance payments will represent about 50 per cent of the amount to+

Images and videos sought for bushfire history project

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements has launched a Bushfire History Project to document the 2019-20 bushfires for the historical record. The commission is inviting people to submit videos or photographs taken during the bushfires or the ongoing recovery, or to submit a short video account explaining what they experienced during the bushfires.+

SA crash sites in line for Black Spot Funding improvements

Twenty-four dangerous crash sites across South Australia will be fixed under the Black Spot Program’s 2020-21 funding round. Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack announced this week that SA would receive $8.7 million under the program’s latest funding round. A list of the funded projects can be found in his media+

Councils urged to create more people-friendly streets

The Heart Foundation is calling on local government to ensure all Australians have safe streets for walking and cycling during the Covid-19 crisis. In a new position snapshot entitled “Active Streets –the new normal for public space”  the foundation says councils should allocate more space on roads and footpaths for people to walk and ride+

Pro-bono scientists on offer to local communities

Local community sustainability initiatives needing hard facts and evidence to progress their goals are being offered a potential new solution: pro-bono scientific advice. Future Earth Australia is accepting applications from community leaders to develop a community science partnership where a selected pro-bono scientist designs, develops, and produces research to enable progress on a community’s priority.+

Household behaviours under study to reduce food waste

A new research project to better understand household behaviours around food waste and lessen the amount of food sent to landfill has begun in South Australia. The project is a collaboration between the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre, East Waste (a regional subsidiary of seven Adelaide councils), the University of Adelaide, Green Industries SA,+

Call for lower emissions in post-pandemic Australia

The Energy Efficiency Council has called for upgrades of community and government buildings to stimulate jobs and rebuild a strong economy post the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement this week, the council and other peak bodies said: “If done well, these investments would durably lower energy bills; ease strains on a rapidly changing energy system;+

Councils top of mind for new Gen Z startup Ripple

Councils that work to empower young people and foster their engagement in community and civic affairs are being invited to send two individuals to a virtual workshop series in June. The series is aimed at providing young Australians with practical tools to help build their communities, and is being organised by Ripple, a new platform+

Motoring group looks to partner with councils on facilities

The Australian Motor Association wants to work with local government to help develop Motocross, Enduro, Supermoto and other facilities for its members. The AMA says its goal is to increase participation of women, children, indigenous Australians, and people with disabilities in its activities and that it has “hundreds of clubs and thousands of members across+

Veterans’ support services: find out more via free webinars

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Older Persons Advocacy Network are hosting free webinars to publicise support services for veterans and their families. The fourth webinar in the series (scheduled for 16 June) will canvass aids, equipment and home modification to support clients to live independently at home. Participants need to register for this+