The issue we need to own | LG capacity ‘fully stretched’ | DRFA review | ALGA News 5 June 2020

President's column

Remember our “last” road safety crisis – 1200 road deaths a year and flatlining?  And serious injuries (hospital admissions) approaching 40,000 a year and rising, not falling, despite 10 years of road safety effort and billions of dollars spent on road maintenance and upgrades. And before we point the finger at other governments, 30 percent+

ALGA’s exclusion from National Cabinet ‘a lost opportunity’

Failure to include the Australian Local Government Association in the National Cabinet is a lost opportunity to drive jobs growth and economic reform at the local level, President David O’Loughlin said last week. His comments followed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement on 31 May that the Council of Australian Governments had been abolished and replaced+

LG finances and capacity at full stretch, federal inquiry told

Local Government’s “remarkable capacity to deliver in times of disaster and other events” has been stretched by drought, flood, fire and Covid-19, Federal Parliament heard this week. Major-General Andrew Hocking, the deputy coordinator of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, told the Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional Australia that “in terms of manpower in local councils, horsepower+

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Review to examine equity of disaster recovery funding 

Commonwealth-State/Territory Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements are to be reviewed to ensure that assistance under the program is fair and equitable. The review will examine how each state applies the DRFA and whether the program should be adjusted to deliver more equitable, needs-based, assistance for all Australians, regardless of where they live. Emergency management ministers agreed+

NSW roads and maintenance projects accelerated

Road and maintenance works across NSW are being brought forward as part of the state government’s $2.3 billion Covid-19 package announced in March. The more than 70 regional road projects that are underway, or about to be started, are worth around $100 million according to Regional Roads and Transport Minister Paul Toole.   Projects already+

More funding needed for social infrastructure: AHURI

Councils need more funding to provide parks and open space for apartment residents, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute says. Developer contributions and voluntary agreements are too uncertain to ensure good results, according to a new AHURI report. “We need to get baseline infrastructure in place no matter what,” said Laura Crommelin, a research+

WSAA hails water’s potential to boost Covid-19 recovery

The Water Services Association of Australia says wastewater and stormwater infrastructure investment could provide flow-on benefits for Covid-19 recovery. In recent months, several regional urban water utilities have supplied more water to support local businesses increase production to replace imports, the WSAA said in a recent submission to the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission. “During the+

Social licence ‘critical for infrastructure providers’

A failure to win and maintain a social licence in the infrastructure sector can lead to extreme community backlash and costly delays, a new paper has warned. Where governments and businesses have adequately developed and maintained their social licence to operate, and earned the trust of the community, however, they are able to deliver assets+

Council-run East Waste wants wine bottles added to CDS

Wine and spirits bottles should be added to South Australia’s container deposit scheme to cut down on dumping costs and improve recycling rates, East Waste says. A subsidiary of seven Adelaide metropolitan councils, East Waste is concerned that the bottles often break in bins, contaminating other recyclables such as paper and cardboard. The call comes+

Future NSW planning to have greater Indigenous input

A discussion paper on how to better incorporate Aboriginal cultural elements into future planning decisions in NSW was released this week. Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Secretary Jim Betts said the Designing with Country Discussion Paper provides an opportunity to share ideas on how to better incorporate Aboriginal cultural elements into future planning decisions.+

PC to audit national water resources reforms

The Productivity Commission is to inquire into how governments are progressing in achieving the objectives and timelines of the National Water Initiative. In its 2018 report on national water reform, the PC found that Australia is managing its water resources well given a dry and highly variable climate and the importance of water to the+

Council veteran named as LGNSW’s new chief executive

Scott Phillips, a two-decade veteran of local government, has been appointed Local Government NSW’s new chief executive. Mr Phillips is currently filling a locum position at Uralla Shire Council. He was chief executive of Sutherland Shire Council from 2015-18, heading up 1800 employees and managing an annual operating budget of some $250 million. Before that,+

Council views wanted on filling Australia’s IoT skills gap

IoT Alliance Australia wants to understand what skills developments are needed to advance the adoption of Internet of Things technologies.  The peak industry body is working with education providers to develop an IoT “skills barometer” and to use this to identify where to focus development of the IoT skills needed in Australia. The IOT skills+