Water banking in the MDB | Plugging LG’s skills gaps | Sharpe observations on resilience | ALGA News 30 October 2020

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

President's column

The call for Australians to acquire new skills or train for completely new roles has become louder in recent months – and it has created opportunities for us. Covid-19 is the reason federal and state governments are talking up the need for greater flexibility and skills development – particularly at the vocational level – and+

ALGA confirmed as a National Federation Reform Council member

The Australian Local Government Association will be a member of the National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) and will continue to be involved in relevant meetings and national bodies. However, nearly two dozen former COAG councils and ministerial forums will be disbanded under new streamlined intergovernmental structures revealed last week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined the+

The man in the driver’s seat of community/infrastructure resilience

The Black Summer bushfires have put out a whole new lens on local infrastructure resilience says a civil engineer eminently qualified to know. Warren Sharpe OAM is Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, and he was also the shire’s Emergency Management Officer during the fires that left local communities throughout the NSW South Coast+

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$8m boost for provision of temporary emergency mobile facilities

Four telecommunications providers are getting $8.3 million in Federal funding to provide bushfire-threatened communities with temporary mobile and broadband facilities. The grants are being provided under the Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disaster (STAND) package and will enable NBN Co, TPG Telecom, Telstra, and Optus to provide temporary telecommunications facilities and equipment such as cells on+

‘Water banking’ sites found in the Murray-Darling Basin

The CSIRO has identified aquifers in the Murray-Darling Basin it says could be used for long-term underground water storage and to enhance water security. The aquifer regions, which include areas around the Warrego River, Condamine-Culgoa Rivers, Darling River, Macquarie-Bogan Rivers and Namoi River, could potentially store than 200 gigalitres, CSIRO researchers say. Study co-author Declan+

Greater Dandenong’s youth-led initiative is changing behaviours

The Greater Dandenong local government area has the highest rate of family-related violence offences in metropolitan Melbourne. So, to change attitudes and behaviours, the City turned to its youth and the power and immediacy of video in an innovative project that won it a 2020 National Award for Local Government in the category of “Addressing+

Insurers looking to work more closely with LG in disaster recovery

The Insurance Council of Australia is holding a webinar series next month to help councils make best use of the insurance industry’s post-disaster coordination arrangements. The ICA, the representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia, works closely with each level of government to ensure disaster recovery processes are harmonised and effective. To that+

Waste industry ‘supports Federal Budget recycling measures’

Waste industry stakeholders have generally welcomed Federal Budget spending measures designed to facilitate a circular economy. According to the new Parliamentary Library brief, the Australian Council of Recycling (ACR) expressed concerns in 2019 that “4.5 million tonnes of waste could end up in domestic landfill without major public investment”. The ACR stated that the COAG+

New tools to evaluate water-sensitive infill developments

The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities has released new tools to facilitate liveability and amenity in infill developments, particularly usable green space. Noting that infill development is promoted nationwide as a way of accommodating growing urban populations, the Cooperative Research Centre says current infill patterns “increase building footprint and thus imperviousness of the redeveloped lot,+

New cement-free concrete ‘reduces corrosion by 96pc’

An eco-friendly zero-cement concrete that all but eliminates corrosion has been developed by researchers from RMIT University. Concrete corrosion in wastewater pipes is a significant maintenance issue, as are residual lime leaks that contribute to the formation of fatbergs – congealed lumps of fat, grease, oil and non-biodegradable wipes and nappies. But RMIT engineers have+

SA council cuts through with arts-based domestic violence project

BY VESNA ROZMAN Working collaboratively in the domestic and family violence prevention space was not new to the City of Charles Sturt. We had been working solidly with our local community, neighbouring councils and peak bodies to better the lives of women and children in our western region of Adelaide for the previous five years.+

NBN Co launches grant program for regional tech-businesses

A grants program for digital-savvy businesses in regional Australia has been launched by NBN Co. Business-led initiatives in health, the arts, education, agriculture, tourism, women in regional business, and indigenous businesses will be eligible for $10,000 grants. In addition, NBN Co will award $25,000 to one regional/remote business or individual. Applications for the grants program+

New alliance to help drive national awareness of the regions

 A new body – the Regional Activators Alliance – has been launched to help drive population to the regions. The alliance, whose members include councils and Regional Development Australia committees, is a  Regional Australia Institute initiative to promote living, working, and investing in regional Australia through a national awareness campaign. The institute’s CEO, Liz Ritchie,+