Vic councils in the red | Relief for childcare providers | Regional tourism grants | ALGA News 25 September 2020

President's column

National Cabinet had two jobs: fight Covid-19 and fight for the economy. Big ticks for item one, but how about the economy, and jobs? There is one obvious sector that needs help. Tourism, and the local communities that depend upon it, have been badly affected. This is particularly true for those geared for international tourists.+

Small regional Victorian councils ‘facing bleak financial outlook’

Many Victorian councils are expecting to report operating deficits in 2020-21, some for the first time, because of Covid-19 impacts. The revelations come from a survey of Victorian councils conducted by Local Government Finance Professionals and published as a report by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) Australia. The FinPro survey found that councils have+

More councils wanted for heavy vehicle productivity initiative

A national project to assess key assets like bridges and culverts on local government heavy vehicle routes is being expanded to include more councils. The pilot phase of the Strategic Local Government Assessment Project (SLGAAP) involving 12 councils is now well underway, and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is moving to Round 1 of the+

Meet the Shire President – Gingin’s Wayne Fewster

Cr Wayne Fewster has lived and worked in Gingin all his life, and was first elected to the Gingin Shire Council in 1993; serving 16 years, including two as Shire President. After a break of several years from council, Cr Fewster won election again in 2015, and became  Shire President in 2019. He is a+

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Struggling Vic childcare providers get $306m in federal funding

Victorian childcare providers, including councils, are getting additional Commonwealth support to allay the effects of the state’s second-wave Covid-19 lockdowns. The $305.6 million Child Care Recovery Package announced this week includes: A recovery payment of 25 percent of pre-Covid revenue to Victorian childcare services, until 31 January 2021; An extra payment of 15 percent of+

Councils taking part in NSoA survey guaranteed a quick win

Councils which provide data for ALGA’s next National State of the Assets Report can immediately download a performance report of their key asset classes. ALGA has partnered with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasian (IPWEA) to produce the 2021 report, which will provide consistent, evidence-based, infrastructure data for use by all levels of government.+

Tourism projects in fire-affected LGAs get $7m shot in the arm

More than 30 fire-affected councils in NSW, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland are to share $7 million in federal grants to invest in tourism drawcards. The 65 projects being funded under the $10 million Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program include food and music festivals, art installations, sporting events, and nature trails – and are+

NSW councils praised for replacing bridges with an eye to safety

Efforts by NSW councils to incorporate improved freight access into road safety and disaster recovery works have been lauded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. NHVR stakeholder manager (NSW) Tim Hansen said several road managers across NSW were taking an innovative approach to improved freight routes as part of their road safety programs. “In the+

ALGA and state associations on the emergency management radar

The Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee (ANZEMC) has highlighted ALGA’s key role in national emergency management coordination. ANZEMC’s latest “On the Radar” newsletter also highlights the activities of state local government associations – all of which work closely with their member councils and state government agencies to improve emergency management. As well as being a+

High-profile women enlisted in push to close LG gender gap

Ten serving and former female councillors, including Lucy Turnbull, Clover Moore, and Linda Scott, are spearheading efforts to get more women to stand for election to local government in NSW. Launching the state government-funded campaign last week, Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said: “Currently, women represent just 31 percent of all NSW councillors, which in+

Now is the right time to go, says champion of women in LG

Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) president Coral Ross will not stand for re-election at the Victorian local government elections on 24 October.  After more than 18 years as a councillor for the City of Boroondara, including three terms as mayor, Cr Ross said this week that now is the right time to stand aside. She+

NSW councils to partner with Govt for Covid-safe summer plan

The NSW Government will work with local councils to showcase open public spaces, including beaches, as part of its new Covid Safe Summer Plan. The plan is intended to support local businesses by encouraging more outdoor dining in the lead-up to the Christmas-New Year period and throughout summer. To help support current public health orders,+

Infrastructure planning ‘must factor extreme weather events’

More than 90 per cent of Australians want new infrastructure projects to prepare for more extreme events such as floods and fires, new research suggests. Polling by JWS Research, conducted on behalf of Infrastructure Australia in June, also found similar concerns are held about planning for epidemics and disease. The agency engaged JSW Research to+

Universities headed for Perth’s CBD under finalised City Deal

The City of Perth Council and the Commonwealth and West Australian governments will invest $695 million in moving Edith Cowan University’s law and business schools into the CBD. The finalised Perth City Deal announced this week also includes initiatives to relocate the WA Academy of the Performing Arts into the CBD and expand the CBD+

Draft Tasmanian Bill opens way for quicker bushfire measures

New legislation allowing faster processing of applications by land owners to reduce fuel loads has gone on public exhibition in Tasmania. The State Government says its draft Bushfire Mitigation Measures Bill will make it easier to reduce fuel and mechanically clear vegetation for a fuel break “while balancing environment and community concerns”. Announcing the new+

Final call for LG representatives for ATO’s govt relations group

The Australian Taxation Office wants tax or finance professionals working in local government to consider helping it improve the government client experience. Local governments are a critical element of Australia’s system of government, and the ATO says it would welcome strong local government representation on its newly established government relations group. This group will collaborate+