The NSW Government has released its ‘Destination 2036’ Draft Action Plan, setting out a process for the further consideration of issues identified at the Destination 2036 summit held in Dubbo in August 2011.

The event was staged to discuss the future for the local government sector in the light of likely demographic, economic, technological and environmental change over the next 25 years.

The Draft Action Plan considers the 16 initiatives proposed, grouped in the five strategic directions for local government: Efficient and effective service delivery; Quality governance; Financial sustainability; Appropriate structures; and Strong relations. Initiatives that are likely to have legislative implications are to be considered for input into the proposed review of the Local Government Act 1993.

Successful round one applicants under the Digital Hubs and Digital Enterprise programs have been announced by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.


The programs, which provide $13.6 million and $10 million in funding respectively, will enable local communities to take advantage of the National Broadband Network (NBN).


The programs will deliver digital economy services in the five NBN mainland first-release sites and three stage one communities in Tasmania.


Local councils representing the first-release communities are developing project business cases for funding under round one of the $17.1 million Digital Local Government program, which will support councils to use the NBN to deliver enhanced online council services to residents and businesses.


Senator Conroy also called for applications from local organisations for round two of the Digital Hubs, Digital Enterprise and Digital Local Government programs to deliver services under these programs in the next 19 communities to benefit from the NBN.


The Digital Hubs program provides funding of $13.6 million to help communities gain skills needed to maximise the benefits provided by the NBN. It will provide training in digital literacy and the opportunity to experience NBN-enabled services and technology.


The Digital Enterprise program provides funding of $10 million to local service providers to assist small-to-medium enterprises and not-for-profit organisations to provide group training seminars as well as one-on-one advice on how participants can use the NBN.

Local Government Minister Simon Crean has released the report by the independent Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government.

The City of Sydney has reported a record number of residents taking part in the last electronic waste collection for the year, with over 20 tonnes of old televisions, computers, mobile phones and electronic devices handed in.

The New South Wales Government has advised councils of new reporting requires under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 which sets out a framework for protecting public officials who disclose wrongdoing in accordance with the Act.

A new agreement has been finalised between Main Roads WA and the WA Waste Authority that could see more than one million tonnes of recycled construction and demolition (C&D) waste diverted from landfill and used to build roads.

Plans for a proposed civic hub for Melbourne’s Docklands have been released including an estimated $12.7 million library.


To be delivered through a partnership model comprising Places Victoria, the City of Melbourne and Lend Lease, the centrepiece of the proposed civic hub, to be known as Dock Square, is a library and community centre, subject to planning approval.


Located at the intersection where Collins Street will meet Bourke Street, the proposed library and community centre is designed to become a meeting place where the Docklands community can access a range of resources and activities.


The Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy said the plans demonstrated strong, long-term partnerships between State and local government and the private sector, a key ingredient for any urban renewal project.


Throughout 2011, City of Melbourne and Places Victoria sought input from the Docklands community to inform how planning, development and community activity should be supported in the next decade.


Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the proposed location of the building was ideal and would be the cornerstone of a range of community infrastructure to be delivered in this part of Docklands.


Construction of the library and community centre is anticipated to commence in April 2012, subject to planning approval, and is due for completion by mid 2013.

The Queensland Government has releaseds its Greenspace Strategy 2011-2020, aiming to assist the State Government in reaching its target of 50 per cent increase in land protected for conservation and recreation.

The Local Government and Shires Association of NSW (LGSA) has continued to push for the establishment of a Container Deposit Scheme.

Federal Minister for Local Government and Regional Australia Simon Crean and Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will seek to support the state’s regions currently experiencing infrastructure, skills and unemployment pressures.

Victoria has released the  Final Report of the Review of the 2010-11 Flood Warnings and Response, conducted by Neil Comrie.

The Western Australian Government has called for public submissions to the Metropolitan Local Government Review, which will form the State Government’s approach to Perth’s local government over the next 50 years.

The Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA) has called for a review of exisiting local government election legislation, arguing that online voting is too expensive for council elections.

The City of Sydney has announced it will begin final negotiations with energy provider Cogent Energy to build and operate the country's first low-carbon energy network tasked with powering central Sydney.

The Queensland Government has announced bursary grants of $9000 for women looking to develop their careers in Queensland’s local government sector.

Consult Australia has launched its latest report, Tomorrow’s Cities Today, calling for ambitious governance reform to position city planning as a national priority.

The University of Western Australia has entered an agreement with six regional councils to form the WA Regional Cities Alliance to research major regional issues including population distribution, infrastructure and services, and employment.

The Federal Government has published the country’s first urban design protocol. Aimed at improving the design of public spaces and city buildings, the plain-English protocol provides a checklist for decision makers and professionals involved in the area of public space design.

The Federal Government is inviting nominations for the 2012 National Awards for Local Government.

The Federal Government has announced a new Carbon Farming Initative methodology that will aims to incentivise waste management industry and local governments to reduce emissions.

The Queensland Government has announced its $159 million Waste Avoidance and Resource Efficiency Fund has opened. The fund is aimed at assisting businesses to cut waste costs, develop new markets for recycled materials and crack down on illegal dumping and littering.

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