Archived News for Professionals in Local Government - March, 2011
Thousands of road building jobs have become available in Queensland's Fitzroy and Darling-Down Regions as the state begins its reconstruction effort following February's flooding and cyclone events.
The infrastructure repair jobs available in the Fitzroy and Darling-Down regions are part of an expected 12,500 jobs available for the state's infrastructure reconstruction efforts.
The road works, expected to take between two and three years, will include repairing surfaces, roadways and verges, widening, strengthening and rebuilding, and repairing roads, bridges and crossings.
Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) has been allocated an additional $3.45 million by the Victorian Government to continue its work of representing the interests of small rural communities across the state for at least the next four years.
Councils are now expected to be about much more than just "roads, rates and rubbish" according to a research paper into community governance in Australia.
The sister cities of Blacktown City Council and Liverpool Plains Shire Council have produced a toolkit that deals with establishing carbon forests in urban and rural environments.
The new Gascoyne Regional Planning Committee has held its first meeting in Carnarvon, WA, becoming the sixth Regional Planning Committee to be established by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).
The Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced a reshuffle of senior public servants that will result in new leadership of three departments: Premier and Cabinet, Local Government and Planning, and Public Works.
The Western Australian Local Government Minister John Castrilli has announced he will recommend that the Governor declare vacant the remaining councillor positions at the Shire of Cue following the resignations of four councillors in the past two weeks.
The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) is calling on the incoming NSW government to increase funding to deal with noxious weeds by $20 million.
The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) has received a positive response from to all political parties its proposal for a referendum seeking the addition of Local Government to the Australian Constitution.
President of the Local Government Association, Cr Keith Rhoades, said that all parties now support an amendment to allow the Australian Government to directly fund Local Government.
"We're particularly delighted that the Coalition have committed to our proposal for a referendum to include a reference to Local Government in the Australian Constitution," said Cr Rhoades.
"Labor and The Greens signed a formal agreement following the federal election in 2010 agreeing to a referendum to recognise Local Government in the Australian constitution. This was a significant and exciting decision for Local Government across the country, and we're pleased it has now been reinforced at a state level in the responses to our Election Priorities," he said.
"The Coalition and the Greens have given strong support in their response, acknowledging the vital role Local Government has to play in the delivery of essential services for the communities of NSW."
"NSW Labor have agreed to support the proposal in principle, and we hope that they will follow the agreement received nationally from the Prime Minister and support the referendum in practice."
Prime Minister Gillard committed to holding a dual referendum on the constitutional recognition of Local Government and the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the current parliamentary term.
The LGSA, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and other state Local Government Associations have been working together in developing the case for constitutional reform.
Councils across Australia are endorsing ALGA's proposal to demonstrate to Federal and State Governments, and oppositions that the position has widespread support within Local Government.
President of the Shires Association of NSW, Cr Bruce Miller, said that the LGSA's preference is simply to add the words 'and local government' to the funding section of the Australian Constitution.
"It's clearly in the best interests of our local communities that the Australian Government - whoever is in office - has the ability to fund councils directly to accomplish national objectives," said Cr Miller.
"Our rural communities have been without adequate funding for many years, and in recent times we have welcomed with open arms successful federal direct funding programs such as Roads to Recovery and the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program," he said.
"These programs have been critical in building and renewing crumbling infrastructure. Constitutional recognition of Local Government will ensure that they continue in the years ahead."
For a copy of the LGSA's NSW Election Priorities 2011, and background on the LGSA's preferred model for constitutional recognition of Local Government and the full response from all political parties on this and other issues, visit www.lgsa.org.au/election2011.
A proposal to impose a national insurance levy on Council rates is "just silly" according to South Australia’s Local Government Association and should not distract from important national debates about disability reforms.
The Victorian Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell has invited residents and ratepayers of Greater Geelong to have their say on the model for the direct election of the Mayor.
The House of Representatives Inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network has heard that commencement of the NBN nearly a year ago in one of the first three pilot rollout sites, the town of Scottsdale in the Dorset area of north-eastern Tasmania, has attracted several computer-based businesses to the township and has assisted in reviving a local economy that was in decline due to the loss of the meat industry.
The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) have welcomed The Greens NSW launch of their 'Reinvigorating Local Government' platform, and have endorsed their proposals for local communities to make local decisions.
The Federal Government will launch a major review into disaster insurance in Australia, examining if there is a role for the Commonwealth to provide an insurance scheme to protect homeowners, business and government from floods, bushfires and other disasters.
The Victorian government has created a new unit based within the Department of Planning and Community Development to liaise with peri-urban councils in the area surrounding Melbourne.
A report by the independent Infrastructure Charges Taskforce to the Queensland government has made ten recommendations to simplify and standardise the way local government infrastructure charges are calculated.
Local government councils have submitted 38 of the 197 submissions received by the parliamentary inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network.
Local government councils around Australia are passing resolutions to support the financial recognition of local government in the Constitution, according to the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).