The CEO of Cairns Regional Council, Lyn Russell, has been dismissed and will  receive a payout reported to be worth around $500,000, including 12 months’ pay and entitlements.

In a statement the Council said  arrangements had been agreed to end Ms Russell’s contract effective close of business Friday, June 29. 

Mayor Bob Manning said the termination of the CEO’s contract was amicable and that Council wished Ms Russell the best in her future endeavours.

The Auditor General of Victoria, Des Pearson will chair the Advisory Board for La Trobe University’s Centre for Public Sector Governance, Accountability and Performance (CPSGAP). 

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has renewed its push for the recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution following last week’s High Court decision over the Williams Case, which calls into question the Federal Government’s ability to provide direct funding.

Western Australia’s Metropolitan Local Government review Panel is due to conclude its review into the future of local government reform in metropolitan Perth in the coming weeks.

“We acknowledge the many responses to the draft Strategic Regional Land Use policy and will continue to refine the policy over the next few months to ensure NSW has the strongest regulation of mining and gas extraction in Australia, if not the world."

Australia’s regions are leading the uptake of clean energy programs, with 28 of the fist 63 Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) grants being awarded to regional organisations.

The Victorian Government has released detailed mapping of the state’s coastline to assist local decision makers and developers.

The 26th National Awards for Excellence in Local Government has been held in Canberra, with a tool for communicating between cultures and languages and a regional tourism smartphone.

The Melbourne City Council has adopted the city’s 2012-13 budget, committing to a zero per cent rate rise and a $110 million capital works program.

The Federal and Queensland Governments have reached a new cost-saving agreement that will enable councils to choose the option of using their own workforce to complete disaster reconstruction projects.

Lismore City Council has won the 2012 Excellence in Road Safety Award for their innovative Drive to Conditions Project at the National Awards for Local Government.

The Victorian Government has introduced the Local Government Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill aimed at addressing a number of shortcomings in the existing legislation and provide better governance for local government.

The NSW Minister for Local Government, Don Page, will be launching a new book that could help councils prepare for the future of local government in NSW in accordance with his Destination 2036 Action Plan.


The book, Councils in Cooperation, is a study of shared services in local government. It examines the international and Australian literature on shared services, evaluates shared service theory, and advances a new conceptual framework for explaining the comparative performance of shared service programs in practice. It also considers alternative models of shared service provision and investigates their relative merits.


“It’s coming out in time to help local government councils organise their shared services as best they can,” said Professor Brian Dollery, one of the book’s authors. Professor Dollery, the Director of the Centre for Local Government at the University of New England, pointed out that the Minister had just announced, as the first initiative in the Destination 2036 Action Plan, the appointment of an expert panel that will examine the structural arrangements of councils in the context of improving the financial sustainability of the NSW local government sector.


Councils in Cooperation explores both successful and unsuccessful attempts at shared services in Australia. It provides case studies of Regional Organisations of Councils and Strategic Alliances, as well as “vertical” and “horizontal” shared service arrangements, in areas as varied as Greater Western Sydney, the NSW Central Tablelands, the Riverina, and outback Queensland.


Professor Dollery said that the failed New England Strategic Alliance of Councils (NESAC) was one example of an unsuccessful attempt at shared services examined in the book. He said that a major reason for the failure of NESAC has been that “the primary purpose of the alliance wasn’t so much to share services as it was to avoid amalgamation”.


“Councils must go into a shared services arrangement with the determination to make it work,” he said.


The successful examples examined in the book include the Wellington Blayney Cabonne Strategic Alliance (WBC Strategic Alliance – see logo above), established in 2003 and joined in 2005 by Central Tablelands Water.


Councils in Cooperation: Shared Services and Australian Local Government, by Brian Dollery, Bligh Grant and Michael Kortt, is published by The Federation Press. Bligh Grant is the Deputy Director of the UNE Centre for Local Government, and Dr Michael Kortt, who holds a PhD in economics from UNE, is a senior Lecturer at Southern Cross University (SCU).


Mr Page, a UNE graduate himself and the grandson of Sir Earle Page, Australia’s 11th Prime Minister (after whom UNE’s Earle Page College is named), will launch Councils in Cooperation at the Lismore campus of  SCU on Friday 29 June.


More information is here.

The Federal and ACT Governments have announced the appointments and re-appointments to the ACT Regional Development Australia committee. The appointments of two new members to RDA ACT were announced by Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

The Victorian Government has announced an $11.5 million funding package to improve recycling infrastructure across the state. The spending package follows a $13.8 million in infrastructure funding under the State Government’s Conserve Invest and Save strategy.

Smoking in a number of large outdoor areas might soon become illegal in a large section of inner-Melbourne outdoor areas if a proposal by Boroondara City Council us approved.

The Federal Government has increased its support for the City of Sydney's plans to roll out Australia's first large-scale trigeneration energy network.

The Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) National General Assembly of Local Government has unanimously backed the motion requesting the Federal Government confirm its commitment to holding a constitutional referendum of local government in the Australian Constitution.

The Federal Government has released a major review that identifies potential new ways for local governments to plan, finance and deliver infrastructure investments.

Long serving Mayor of North Sydney and president of the Australian Local Government Association Gina McCaffery has announced she will be retiring from local government.

The Australia Local Government has released the 2012-13 State of the Regions Report, concluding that a new approach to regional development is urgently needed to address the growing inequality across the country’s regions.

Archived News

RSS More »