A senate committee lead by former Federal Greens leader Senator Bob Brown has recommended the dropping of a bill that seeks to make a range of changes to planning requirements for mobile phone towers.

The laws surrounding the mobile phone tower construction have been a concern for local government bodies since their inception in 1997, with exemption of state and territory planning requirements causing particular concern amongst local government bodies.

The committee also heard that the bill may have a range of unintended consequences relating to the deployment and maintenance of telecommunications infrastructure, such as emergency communications facilities, simple maintenance and state and territory planning legislation.

The University of Wollongong has launched its StartPad ideas incubator, a joint initiative with Wollongong City Council, NSW Trade & Investment, Enterprise Connect, and RDA Illawarra local business and entrepreneurs.


With initial funding of $50,000 from NSW Trade & Investment and Wollongong Council providing the space, in iHub, StartPad has also been supported by state and local governments.


Councillor Bradbery said: “The development and nurturing of companies in StartPad shows that Wollongong is developing as a city where companies and entrepreneurs can work innovative applications and tools to deliver new businesses and employment opportunities.


“Council is keen to see this area of the city cultivated to support entrepreneurs who have ideas and foresight,” Cr Bradbery said. “This is an opportune time to support a dynamic growth industry in our city.”


“We have a tidal wave of innovation going on and we need to get involved in this evolving digital age. We may become the ‘silicon beach’,” he said.


StartPad is a component of the iAccelerate program built around entrepreneurship and fast growth businesses. The program was developed by the University of Wollongong to position the Illawarra as the capital for ICT in NSW.


The driving force behind iAccelerate, Elizabeth Eastland, Innovation and Commercial Research Director at The University of Wollongong said: “iAccelerate and its associated programs represents a turning point in the industry profile of the Illawarra and will support the growing innovation ecosystem here.


“StartPad delivers real opportunities for companies identified through the Universities Entrepreneur Club, a pipeline of highly engaged and talented graduates into the Illawarra innovation ecosystem.”


Dr Tamantha Stutchbury, General Manager of StartPad said: “Already, in the short time we have been operating, we have seen our eight companies grow and achieve some big goals. Having 16 entrepreneurs co-located in an open-plan space makes for an amazingly vibrant and creative environment.”


A call for applications from early staged technology businesses to join StartPad will begin in mid-2012. For more information about StartPad go to www.startpad.com.au

The Liverpool City Council is continuing to campaign against the Federal Government’s proposed $587 million Moorebank Intermodal Terminal project, calling for community representatives for its No Intermodal Working Party.

The City of Melbourne has secured its 11th consecutive AAA/A-1+ rating from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, the highest possible level.

The South Australian Government has released five regional implementation plans that map out the state’s long-term priorities for health services in regional and rural South Australia. The five plans outline the first three years of action on the recommendations of individual Health Advisory Councils across the state.

The Western Australian Government has announced $3 million in spending to implement cat legislation aimed at reducing the thousands of stray cats being euthanised each year.

The Western Australian Government has called for comment on the development of a plan to ensure continued availability of high quality drinking water in Esperance.

Adelaide City Council has signed a revised National Sorry Day Acknowledgement in recognition of the past dispossession of Aboriginal people at a ceremony in Victoria Square/ Tarndanyangga.


Yvonne Agius and Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood , both Chairs of Council’s Reconciliation Committee, along with John Browne, Chairperson of the Journey of Healing SA, signed the acknowledgement.


“Signing this acknowledgement will help to forge relationships with the City Council and the local Aboriginal community, and I give credit to the Council and Lord Mayor for taking this important step,” said John Browne, Chairperson of the Journey of Healing SA.


National Sorry Day is a national event that takes place each year on the 26th May.


The first Sorry Day was held in 1998 following the national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The Bringing Them Home Report revealed the extent of forced removal policies.


Yvonne Agius, dual chair of Council’s Reconciliation Committee said, “We’re very pleased that the Lord Mayor will sign this document and we value his continued support of reconciliation and the Aboriginal community”.


Council was a leader in reconciliation when it signed the National Sorry Day Acknowledgement in 1998, which also provides the guiding principles for its Reconciliation Action Plan.


The acknowledgement was revised earlier this year to ensure ongoing relevancy, to further enhance Council’s commitment to reconciliation and to respond to the national apology to the Stolen Generation delivered in 2008 by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.


Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said this was another step toward healing the effects of past actions.

“Signing this document is about acknowledging the hurt and harm that was caused by the forced removal of children from their families,” Stephen said.


As part of its commitment to the process of reconciliation, Council has an ongoing relationship of consultation in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.


This includes projects such as community education through the Kaurna cultural walking tours, Kaurna dual naming of Park Lands and City Squares and maintaining the Reconciliation Committee to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and aspirations are represented.


It also involves supporting initiatives through grant funding that improve community services to Aboriginal people in the city such as the Mobile Assistance Patrol.


The signing ceremony was part of the National Sorry Day event on Thursday 24th May in Victoria Square / Tarndanyangga.

The City of Fremantle has become the first council in Western Australia to amend its planning regulations to allow non–family members to occupy and rent secondary dwellings or ‘granny flats’.

The Western Australian Government has announced a $8.9 million funding package for regional airports across the state.

A group of disability advocates, local government representatives and experts have met in Canberra to develop guidelines for building all-abilities playgrounds.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, has released a statement on how the carbon price will apply to pollution from local landfill sites and the potential impact this might have on rates for local communities.

The Victorian Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell has urged the community to further contribute to the Tomorrow’s Library review of the state’s public libraries.

The Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast City Council have committed to a new working relationship after Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie and Mayor Mark Jamieson announced plans for a new era of cooperation.

New South Wales’ Independent Local Government Review Panel has held its inaugural meeting, holding a meeting with the NSW Minister for Local Government Don Page.

The Western Australian Government has called on the people of Perth to submit comments on draft proposals for the suite of changes being made to the state’s local government structure.

 Eighteen local government councils have been awarded funding under the Federal Government’s $20 million Liveable Cities program, which aims to help make Australia's 18 major cities more productive, sustainable and liveable.

The South Australian Government and the SA Local Government Association have signed a State/Local Government Relations Agreement.

The Federal Government has announced that seven Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees have received funding to assist in the development of strategies for the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in their communities.

The Victorian Government has announced it will introduce legislation to extend the Administration of the Brimbank City Council through until March 2015.

Bayside City Council has adopted a long term Climate Change Strategy following a period of public consultation.

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