Archived News for Professionals in Local Government - July, 2012
The City of Sydney has selected Solgen Energy to undertake a $6 million project to fit solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to more than 30 sites over the next two years to generate 12.5 per cent of the electricity needs of all City properties.
The panels will have a total electrical capacity of more than 1,250 kWp (kilowatt peak), making it Australia's largest building-mounted solar PV program, and covering some 9,000 square metres (greater than the area of a regulation football field - 6,800 square metres).
The panels could produce nearly 2,000,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity a year and are expected to reduce the City's annual carbon pollution by 2,100 tonnes.
A new taskforce will advise the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Board on a campaign to reinstate the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) Defined Benefit Plan as an exempt public sector scheme.
The Queensland Government has proposed a $100 million, four year Floodplain Security Scheme (FSS) and called on the Federal Government to match State spending in the program which would aim to flood-proof large parts of Queensland.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has written to the Federal Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon seeking Federal support for an overall approach to flood risk management and mitigation efforts.
Mr Seeney said Queensland would commit $40 million over the next four years to deliver a comprehensive planned program of flood mitigation, but believed Federal and local government involvement could create a $100 million flood mitigation fund.
“It is the Queensland Government’s view that the FSS, part of the Royalties for Regions program, should be funded on a 2:2:1 basis with the Commonwealth and State Governments providing $2 million for every $1 million provided by local government,” Mr Seeney said.
“A matching $40 million commitment from the Federal Government would provide significant and vital investment in reducing the flood risk for Queensland communities and would reduce the financial exposure of all levels of government to future disaster events.”
Mr Seeney said the recent Charleville flood where levees prevented flooding in the town and saved tens of millions of dollars in disaster and insurance payouts showed the benefits of effective proactive mitigation work.
“Upfront investment can provide long term savings to all levels of government and the community and provide increased confidence to the insurance sector.”
The Western Australian Government and Town of Port Hedland have given the green light for the $152million Spoilbank Marina Precinct development in north-west WA.
The committee that will guide the preparation of the Central Queensland Regional Plan has met for the first time to begin development of the region’s Statutory Regional Plan to help resolve land use conflicts.
The committee includes the mayors of five councils, six Members of State Parliament and 11 members representing business, industry and community groups.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the Central Queensland Regional Planning Committee would be a forum to address community issues and interests.
“This committee will oversee the regional planning process and increase understanding within the community of the Central Queensland Regional Plan,” Mr Seeney said.
“Communities will be represented by their mayors who will put forward the views of their local regions during the process. Industry representatives will also have a voice at the table.
“The committee will make sure the views of both local and wider groups are considered in its work.”
There will be widespread community consultation throughout the development of the regional plan and a number of opportunities for community members to have input.
Mr Seeney said including land use mapping in the statutory regional plan would help resolve conflict between landholders and the agricultural and resources sectors.
“Central Queensland has diverse agricultural assets and an abundance of resource deposits,” he said.
“This plan will ensure the region grows in a managed and sustainable way and will let us deal with urban expansion, the timing and sequencing of infrastructure and enhancing agricultural, resource and tourism opportunities while ensuring management of environmental impacts.”
Mr Seeney said the committee would increase transparency of the regional plan development process, following an expression-of-interest process for community and industry representatives.
He said the committee would represent a range of regional viewpoints and interests during the preparation of the Central Queensland Statutory Regional Plan which is expected to be finalised in August 2013.
There will be opportunities for community input during the drafting of the plans over the next six months and a formal consultation period for submissions on draft plans early next year.
Members of the Central Queensland Regional Planning Committee are:
Councillor Ron Carige – Mayor of Banana Shire Council
Councillor Peter Maguire – Mayor of Central Highlands Regional Council
Councillor Terry Munns – Mayor of Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council
Councillor Gail Sellers – Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council
Councillor Margaret Strelow – Mayor of Rockhampton Regional Council
Mr Stephen Bennett MP – Member for Burnett
Mr Bill Byrne MP – Member for Rockhampton
Mrs Liz Cunningham MP – Member for Gladstone
Mr Vaughan Johnson MP – Member for Gregory
Mr Ted Malone MP – Member for Mirani
Mr Bruce Young MP – Member for Keppel
Ms Mary Carroll – Chief Executive Officer, Capricorn Enterprise, Rockhampton
Ms Elyse Riethmuller – Senior Executive, Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. Rockhampton
Ms Sandra Hobbs – General Manager, Central Highlands Development Corporation, Emerald
Ms Diane Morris – Treasurer, Enterprise Biloela Association Inc
Mr Andrew Barger – Director, Resource and Environment Policy, Queensland Resources Council, Brisbane
Mr Paul Bell – Acting Chair, Regional Development Australia - Fitzroy and Central West, Parkhurst
Ms Mabel Quakawoot – Director, Port Curtis-Coral Coast Aboriginal Corporation, Erakala
Mr Ian Burnett – Vice President, AgForce Queensland, Emerald
Mr Sam Bradford – Member, Golden Triangle Community, Springsure
Ms Saleena Ham – Project Officer, Moura Chamber of Commerce
Ms Elizabeth Alexander – Dawson Valley Cotton Growers Assn. & Central Highlands Cotton Growers & Irrigators Assn.
Redland City Council is recruiting a new CEO, following its decision in June not to renew the contract with Gary Stevenson when it expires at the end of the year.
The City of Sydney plans to roll out a city-wide system of stormwater recycling to reduce harbour pollution and ensure Sydney's water supply never runs out.
The New South Wales review of local government is under way with the first meeting between the Independent Local Government Review Panel and councils in Broken Hill this week.
The City of Mt Gambier Library has been awarded the 2012 Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries for its engagement of the community in life-long learning.
The National Assessment Framework (NAF) on-line Portal is nearing completion and will be available for Councils shortly. The NAF will enable Councils to carry out an assessment of their current asset and financial management processes in line with the nationally consistent measures.
A survey by the Local Government Association of Queensland of the conduct of the 2012 Queensland local government elections has found that the Electoral Commission of Queensland failed to perform adequately in regard to key aspects of the poll.
The City of Perth has appointed Mr Martin Mileham as its new Director of Planning and Development. He will commence work at the City on 3 September.
Mr Mileham is currently with the Western Australian Department of Planning where he is Executive Director of Strategy Policy and Projects. He has experience in Australia, the Middle East, South-East Asia and Europe.
Mr Mileham replaces Peter Monks, who resigned earlier this year to work in Sydney.
The City of Perth is hosting a meeting of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) this week, attended by Lord Mayors from around Australia and the Lord Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown.
The Northern Territory Government has announced the formation of a new nine-member taskforce responsible for the implementation of the 32 recommendations outlined in the recently released Deloitte Shire Sustainability Review.
The Federal Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government simon Crean has launched a discussion paper that projects a future of strong growth for the Western Australian town of Geraldton.