What’s a coastal wetland worth? | New regional waste options | Juice HSR proves a sticking point | ALGA News 4 December 2020

President's column

This week, as we celebrated the International Day of People with Disability, I’m proud to have signed on behalf of our nation’s local councils a statement of continued commitment by all governments to deliver a new 10-year National Disability Strategy. This is very positive news to the 4.4 million Australians with disability – including my+

Joint effort needed to improve remote-area waste streams: APCO

Greater collaboration will be necessary to ensure packaging and plastic waste in remote and regional areas are properly managed in future, a new report says. To that end, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) paper identifies 22 opportunities for improvement across capability development, waste collection, transportation, recycling, and end markets. These include actions by all+

Placing a value on wetlands ‘will improve coastal planning’

Local government planners sometimes fail to appreciate that valuations of coastal wetlands as disaster risk-reduction ecosystems can improve decision-making. To help address the failure to adequately consider valuations, the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has published the results of a study into the economic valuation of the disaster risk reduction services provided+

Ministerial forum rejects fruit juice health-star rating compromise

Australian and New Zealand Health Ministers have failed to agree to allow fresh fruit juice with no added sugar to score up to five on the Health Star Rating (HSR) system. The ABC has reported that last Friday’s Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation voted down a proposal by Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud that fresh+

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National urban water reform priorities and options made public

A report setting out a “pragmatic and inclusive” approach to national urban water reform has been made public a year after being handed to the Federal Government. Commissioned by the Urban Water Reform Committee (UWRC), the report sets out how reforms in the areas of institutional arrangements, planning, service delivery, regulation and information, can be+

467 regional phone towers in line for back-up power boost

Telstra, Optus and TPG are getting $13.2 million in federal funding to improve back-up power at 467 mobile phone towers across the country. Money for the upgrades – which will ensure a minimum of 12 hours of back-up power at towers in the event that mains electricity is lost – is being provided under Stage+

NSW waste levy overhaul needed to achieve targets: Auditor

Administrative shortcomings in NSW’s waste levy regime may be putting waste diversion and recycling targets at risk. NSW Auditor-General Margaret Crawford said in a report last week that although the levy helps divert waste from landfills, a lack of timely data means recycling targets for municipal solid waste and commercial and industrial waste “are unlikely+

LG investment in renewables can drive economic recovery: CPP

A new report has identified how councils can invest in renewable energy, urban greening, and climate action to drive local economic recovery. Published by Cities Power Partnership (CPP), the Clean Jobs for Communities report says towns and cities can play a crucial role in helping overcome Australia overcome its climate and health crises. “Local governments+

Federal Govt tips $5.5m into Tasmanian resource recovery

Tasmania’s recycling industry will receive up to $16 million in new investment over the next four years under a national partnership agreement signed last week. Under the agreement, the Tasmanian Government will provide up to $5.5 million in grants, with the Federal Government matching this dollar-for-dollar through its Recycling Modernisation Fund. The grants will be+

LGs eligible for environmental safe havens funding

Councils have been advised that they can apply for Commonwealth grants to build safe havens for threatened native wildlife species. The $6.78 million Safe Havens Grants Program was announced in May as part of the Federal Government’s Environment Restoration Fund, the objective of which is to reduce extinction risk to nationally listed threatened species by+

Service system changes ‘will help reduce homelessness’

A service system reoriented towards early prevention could help Australia reduce and end homelessness, says a new Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) report. In the absence of a national homelessness strategy, Australia has a highly fragmented service system, with over 1500 specialist homelessness services (SHSs) funded by all government, charities, and other organisations.+

How LG can meet demand for more resilient communications

For local government, there is no more vital – or rapidly evolving – task than effective asset management. As the owners of infrastructure valued at more than $345 billion, Australia’s 537 councils comply with laws and regulations governing engineering standards, work health and safety, and electromagnetic radiation, etc. Now, however, they are also having to+

BMF set to finalise position on minimum accessibility standards

The Building Ministers Forum (BMF) expects to settle a position on the inclusion of minimum accessibility standards in the National Construction Code early next year. After a meeting, last Friday, state and federal ministers said a national shortage of accessible residential housing in Australia has implications for the 4.4 million Australians living with disability, older+

Survey call for LG staff involved in 2019-20 bushfires response

Researchers assessing the wellbeing of people who responded to the Black Summer bushfires want to draw on the experiences of local government staff. Many local government authority staff played important roles in responding to the fires, and University of Western Australian (UWA) researchers are inviting them to participate in a study to help ensure the+

Universities want LG input on walking, cycling research priorities

Councils are being invited to take part in a joint Monash University/RMIT project to identify research priorities to advance active transport in Australia. University researchers funded by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation are undertaking two related surveys to develop a list of critical questions that need to be addressed to advance active transport in Australia.+

$1.2m in new TTTT grants for drought-affected communities

Thirty-six projects supporting drought-affected communities in rural and regional areas have won a share of $1.2 million in federal government funding. They include upgrades to the agricultural hall in Aldersyde, WA; funding for the Gunning Arts Festival in NSW; a theatre, gallery and community hub in Monto, Qld; beehives for Students of the Air in+

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