The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT


Issue no. 20 5 November 2015

In this Issue...

 President's Message
 News Items

              Record Level of Participation for Garage Sale Trail in Tasmania

              Register Now for Elected Member's Professional Development Weekend

              Sector Contributing to Review of the Local Government Act

              LGAT News Survey

              Energy Efficient Street Lighting Offers Significant Savings

              Secondment to the Planning Taskforce

              Stand Up to Violence Against Women

              Report Examines Local Government's Role in Supporting Refugees and CALD Communities

              Cloud Based Tools Reduce Asbestos Reporting Time            

 Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
 Local Government Events

LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor



In the Spotlight


From the Twittersphere... twitter icon


You are invited to complete a short survey to assist LGAT to better understand member attitudes towards the LGAT News magazine and what drives council purchasing decisions. Please complete the survey by 25 November.


New Local Government Association of Tasmania President says it will be a slow road to council mergers http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/new-local-government-association-of-tasmania-president-says-it-will-be-a-slow-road-to-council-mergers/story-fnj4f7k1-1227586070478 

President's Message      

My busy induction into the LGAT Presidency has continued this last fortnight.  I have been engaged with the Premier’s Local Government Council and strategic planning with the General Management Committee and LGAT staff, presided over my first General Meeting and hosted three regional breakfast forums focusing on Tourism.  As a consequence, I have managed to meet many LGAT members which has been fantastic.  The breakfast forums were very well received and I must thank our speakers from Tourism Tasmania, the Tourism Industry Council and the regional tourism organisations as well as our sponsors, MyState and Dial Before You Dig.

I also had the opportunity last week, with the LGAT CEO and Policy Director, to brief the Legislative Council with regard to the Land Use Planning (Tasmanian Planning Scheme) Amendment Bill.  The Land Use Planning and Approval Amendment Bill is currently before Parliament.  On behalf of the sector, LGAT has previously raised a number of concerns about the proposed Bill.  Our main issue was the reduction in the assessment timeframe for Permitted Development Applications from the current 28 days to 21 days.  We had a very productive discussion with the Legislative Council.  We indicated our broad support for the Bill and noted there were a few areas where later amendments could be made to improve the function of the Bill, but that we would like to see the current 28-day timeframe remain as a priority.  It appears the Legislative Council has listened to our concerns and retained the 28-day timeframe, among a number of other amendments, during their Committee phase.  We will keep you posted on its progress.

News Items

Record Level of Participation for Garage Sale Trail in Tasmania

Hundreds of Tasmanians hit the streets on Saturday, 24 October for the fifth annual Garage Sale Trail - a day of simultaneous garage sales across the country which aims to promote reuse, reduce landfill, build community connections and enable fundraising in a fun and social way.  The event was supported by 21 Tasmanian councils, and 174 councils nationally.  Tasmania achieved a record level of participation this year, with 814 stalls registered statewide, and more than 1,822,146 items listed for sale at an estimated value of $1,531,745.  Around 20% of the sales were fundraising for a cause and 27,001 new community connections were made via the day.  Councils got into the spirit, providing areas for car boot sales or for locals to hold group sales, or hosted their own sales such as Glenorchy City Council at the Royal Hobart Show, Huon Valley Council at the Reuse Shop in Huonville, and Meander Valley Council partnered with the Deloraine Folk Museum.  Congratulations to Derwent Valley Council which, on a per capita basis, emerged as the number one Municipal Area in the State, based on the number of stalls held, and ranked fifth on the national leaderboard.  Delivered in partnership with Federal, State and Local Government, the Garage Sale Trail has grown to become the country’s largest community and waste education event.

Register Now for Elected Member's Professional Development Weekend

The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) will be hosting an Elected Member's Professional Development Weekend at Wrest Point in Hobart, from 20-21 February 2016, providing a valuable learning and networking opportunity.  Sessions will be held on burying the hatchet with council colleagues, community engagement skills for councillors, what the new Planning Scheme will mean for you, making the relationship with your General Manager work and managing conflicts of interest on Council.  There will also be a Q&A session on the NBN and a LGAT policy update.  Accommodation bookings at Wrest Point are required by 20 January 2016.  Click here to download the Program and Registration Form.  For enquiries, please phone LGAT on (03) 6233 5119.

Sector Contributing to Review of the Local Government Act

LGAT has been canvassing issues which members would like to see captured through the targeted review of the Local Government Act, announced by Minister Gutwein in July this year.  The review will largely focus on improving: governance and consider roles and responsibilities; administration including financial management; red tape reduction and electoral reforms.  LGAT’s goal is to ensure the terms of reference are flexible enough to allow for key concerns of the sector to be raised during the consultation process next year.  The General Management Committee will have opportunity to review the draft terms of reference which will likely be endorsed at the December meeting of the Premier’s Local Government Council.

 LGAT News Survey

The quarterly LGAT News magazine and Managers' Resource Directory is distributed free of charge to all Tasmanian councils and is fully funded by advertisers.  LGAT News is a valuable tool to promote the achievements of Tasmanian Local Government and to inform the sector of arising issues and new resources available.  In recent times, advertising revenue has fallen, reducing essential income to produce the magazine.  Without sufficient advertising revenue, the magazine cannot continue to be distributed free of charge in its current, printed format.  Council managers, officers and elected members are encouraged to complete this 5-minute survey to assist LGAT to better understand member attitudes towards the magazine and what drives council purchasing decisions.  Please complete the survey by 25 November.

Energy Efficient Street Lighting Offers Significant Savings

LGAT is working with a number of member councils on an energy efficient street lighting project.  This project, being driven by the City of Launceston, is investigating models for the replacement of old technology street lights with improved energy efficient lighting such as LED.  Local Governments around Australia and the world are replacing old, outdated street lights with low energy LED technology and realising both energy and emissions savings.  Preliminary findings of work to date suggest that a council owned TasNetworks maintained model could yield particpating councils significant cost, energy and emissions reductions.  A number of northern Tasmanian councils have provided in principle support to further the project with a regional focus.  Working as a region will significantly improve bargaining power with key stakeholders, such as TasNetworks, and potential economies of scale in regards to purchasing.  LGAT is involved in the project in both a support and liaison role, but additionally to investigate options to extend the project statewide to all LGAT members.  Interested councils should contact Kate Hiscock at LGAT.

Secondment to the Planning Taskforce

LGAT members agreed to continue to co-fund a drafting position with the Planning Taskforce for a further six months.  Councils agreed that input from Local Government was important in ensuring a usable, functioning scheme for all involved.  In addition to the technical reference group to the Taskforce, comprising the LGAT Policy Director and nine Local Government planners from across the three regions; it was agreed that input in the form of a planner on a secondment basis, who could work with the Taskforce in taking the technical issues and translating them to implementable levels for Local Government, was important.

Stand Up to Violence Against Women 

The silence is being broken around men's violence against women and increasingly, men are standing up, speaking out and acting to prevent it.  Please support White Ribbon Day on 25 November by taking the new Oath, wearing a white ribbon, or by hosting an event.  To find out more, visit the White Ribbon website.

Report Examines Local Government's Role in
Supporting Refugees and CALD Communities

The UTS Centre for Local Government, in partnership with the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, has released a new report that investigates the activities and programs seven councils have put in place to provide support for newly-arrived refugees.  The report, titled Local Government Services for Refugees Focusing on African Muslim Refugees, examines initiatives that seven Australian councils are taking to support refugee and CALD communities in settling, employment, education and housing.  One initiative highlighted in the report is the Refugee Welcome Zone, an initiative of the Refugee Council of Australia, currently involving 87 councils around the country that have made a commitment to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding their human rights, demonstrating compassion and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.  The report is available in full on the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government website.

Cloud Based Tools Reduce Asbestos Reporting Time

Licensed building assessors under pressure to keep up with legislation and develop methods to track and maintain accurate data are turning to cloud based solutions to collate information and reduce cost.  The cost of creating and updating asbestos registers can be reduced by using online tools, with the average asbestos report taking up to half a day to complete if the building consultant does not use an effective capture tool.  Online tools can enable reports to be created easily, in a pre-tabulated format reflecting the minimum data capture requirements required by legislation.  An online template, Beyond Condition, keeps building consultants, surveyors and auditors on top of workflow by creating rapid reports.  The user simply takes site photos, enters the data and sample dates, and Beyond Condition automatically calculates risk based on likelihood and consequence, generating a formatted photographic presentation report.  A Basicsubscription comes with standardised report templates and a Professionalsubscription enables users to set up custom report templates and define custom fields.  For more information, click here.  Tasmanian councils can take advantage of a free, three-month trial by visiting the Beyond Condition website and entering coupon code "LGATTAS201511".


MAV Insurance Risk Management Award

The MAV Insurance Risk Management Award will recognise one council officer from Victoria and one from Tasmania for their excellence in risk management.  The purpose of this award is to provide the risk management practitioner with the opportunity to build their risk capability by participating in a major international risk conference and to recognise the achievement of risk management excellence in the Local Government sector.  The award includes attendance at the Risk Management Society Annual Conference in San Diego from 10-13 April 2016 or an alternative risk conference.  Award winners will be asked to present at the ‘Round Two MAV Best Practice Forums’ in mid-2016, to share the key learnings from the conference.  Nominations are required by 4 December.  Click here for further information, or contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.

2016 Tasmanian Employer of Choice Awards

A total of 67 organisations across Tasmania have been recognised as Employers of Choice since 2007.  Is your Council among them?  The Tasmanian Employer of Choice program aims to assist employers to attract and retain skilled workers to support the growth and sustainability of their business.  Councils and local businesses are encouraged to enter the 2016 Employer of Choice Awards.  Entries are open until 10 December 2015.  All organisations employing staff in Tasmania are eligible to enter.  Organised by Skills Tasmania in the Department of State Growth, the annual awards recognise and promote Tasmanian employers who provide great places to work.  In addition to the awards, regular, free forums are offered around the State on topics relevant to building great workplaces.  For further information, visit the website, or call 6165 6043.

Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Finance Assets and Infrastructure in Local Government

The LGAT is partnering with the LGMA and IPWEA to convene a forum for council asset, finance and infrastructure practitioners at the Windsor Community Precinct in West Tamar, from 12-13 November.  Attendees are invited to register for both days or alternatively, single days, depending on areas of interest.  These sessions provide a great opportunity for Local Government practitioners working in these fields to get updated on issues of relevance and to network with their sectoral colleagues.  Registration for this event will be $110 per day, or $180 for those wishing to attend both days.  Catering and refreshments will be provided.  For further details or to register, visit  the LGAT website's Professional Development page, or contact Melanie Brown, Senior Policy Officer at LGAT at melanie.brown@lgat.tas.gov.au.

Ten Things Every Leader Should Know About Strategy Execution

Join Jeroen De Flander, author of the international bestsellers Strategy Execution Heroes and The Execution Shortcut, as he presents for the first time in Tasmania.  Jeroen is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy execution and has helped more than 23,500 managers in over 35 countries master the necessary execution skills.  Jeroen will share a range of strategies and tips for successfully executing your organisation’s strategy in a two-hour presentation being held on 18 November, in Hobart.  Attendance costs $125 (incl GST) for members of The Training Consortium.  For further details or to register, click here.

Translating and Interpreting Service National Information Session

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides high-quality interpreting services throughout Australia, connecting people from non-English speaking backgrounds with business, government and community agencies.  TIS National are providing information sessions in November  for agencies who would like to know more about communicating effectively with their clients through the use of an interpreter.  The session will include: the benefits of using an interpreter; the types of interpreting services available; interpreter accreditation and allocation; support and resources.  Sessions will be held from 6.30pm - 7.30pm at the Tramsheds Function Centre in Launceston, on 18 November, and at Catholic Care Tasmania, 35 Tower Road, New Town, on 19 November.  Light refreshments will be provided.  For more information or to RSVP, email Karen Levis at Tas.Humanitarian.settlement@dss.gov.au by 13 November.  More information about TIS National is available at www.tisnational.gov.au.

Employing People with Disability Symposium

National Disability Services Tasmania is hosting the Annual Members Meeting and Symposium to engage with NDS members and key stakeholders on advancing the inclusion of people with disability in the workforce.  The purpose of the symposium is to outline the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which provides a range of social and economic opportunities for individuals and the wider Tasmanian community.  The event will focus on opportunities for economic participation of people with disability and progress public discussion to encourage a greater number of Tasmanian employers to employ people with disability.  The event will be held at Parliament House from 12.30pm-2.30pm, on 20 November.  For more information, visit the Symposium website.

Free Sampling Training

The EPA Division is offering Sampling Training for Local Government staff in Deloraine on 24 November, and at Rosny on 2 December.  Participants will learn how to undertake water, soil and sediment samples.  The training includes both theoretical and practical components including sampling planning, contaminant transport, tips and reminders on how to sample water, soil and sediment, quality assurance, quality control of samples and evidentiary sampling.  The training is free of charge.  To register, visit the LGAT website.

Find out how your Council's Night-time Economy is Functioning

The National Local Government Drug and Alcohol Committee is conducting a one-day conference on 25 November in Honeysuckle, NSW, which will provide insight into the development and growth of night-time economies.  The event will incorporate the release of findings from the 2014 Night-time Economy Report which builds on research undertaken Australia-wide over a five-year period.  There will also be a demonstration of a proposed toolkit for Local Government Areas that are interested in learning how their night-time economy is functioning going forward.  Attendees will receive information on the development of strategies to create, grow and manage activities taking place in entertainment districts.  Register here.

It's All About Relationships: Building Positive, Respectful Relationships at Work

There is no doubt that the quality of team relationships has a direct flow-on effect to morale, team performance and service delivery but relationships with your manager and colleagues are not always easy.  Given the pressures of work and the different personalities you work with, it's easy to get out of step and for misunderstandings to occur.  Participants will learn how to work more easily with the different personalities in your team and overcome upsets when they occur to get relationships back on track.  Sessions will be held in Hobart on 26 November, and in Launceston on 27 November.  The early-bird price of $299 is available to participants who pay a week prior.  This workshop is for team leaders, HR professionals and others who deal with complaints; people who are presently being bullied at work; those who have been unfairly accused of bullying and managers and team members who want to encourage more positive, respectful relationships.  Download the brochure or for enquiries, contact Ken Warren at Positive People Solutions on 0406 534 800, or by email.

Census 2016 Information Session

The upcoming ABS Census will be held on 9 August 2016.  An information session will be conducted from 10am - 12pm, on 27 November, at the ABS' office in Hobart.  The session will comprise a 1-hour presentation, followed by a demonstration of the main Census products planned for releasing 2016 Census data including: QuickStats, Community Profiles and TableBuilder.  Learn more about the new digital-first approach to the 2016 Census, which is described in ‘Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, Australia, 2016’.  The information session will also cover other topics of interest to Census data users, which are detailed in 'Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Proposed Products and Services, 2016', on the ABS website.  Please register your interest in attending this free session at EventBrite.

Accredited Vegetation Condition Assessment Course

NRM South will conduct an accredited training workshop in Vegetation Condition Assessment (VCA) in Hobart, from 30 November to 1 December.  This hands-on workshop will guide participants through the theory and practice of the VCA method. The training is suitable for beginners and NRM professionals who need to assess the condition of vegetation to support their environmental projects, or who are seeking to gain formal accreditation.  Registration is required by 23 November and places are limited.  Attendance costs $100 and bookings can be made via EventBrite.  Further info is available from the NRM South website.  NRM South is also collaborating with Cradle Coast NRM and NRM North to run the same VCA training in Northern Tasmania from 3-4 December.  Their websites will be updated shortly as final details are confirmed.

Local Government Events

Operational Skills Training, Burnie 10 November
Operational Skills Training, Launceston 11 November
Operational Skills Training, Hobart 12 November
2015 National Local Government HR Conference, Melbourne 11-13 November
Finance Assets and Infrastructure in Local Government, West Tamar 12-13 November
2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress, Ballarat 17-19 November
Sampling Training, Deloraine 24 November
Planning Course for Elected Members, Launceston 28 November
Sampling Training, Rosny 2 December
Elected Members' Professional Development Weekend, Hobart 20-21 February


Postal Address

GPO Box 1521
Hobart, TAS 7001

Street Address

326 Macquarie Street
Hobart, TAS 7000

Contact Us

Tel: 03 6233 5966
Email: reception@lgat.tas.gov.au

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