The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT


Issue no. 21 19 November 2015

In this Issue...

President's Message
News Items

              Auditor-General Declares All Tasmanian Councils Financially Sustainable

              2014-2015 LGAT Annual Report Now Available

              Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment Approved

              Consultation Open on Macquarie Point Sewage Treatment Plant Relocation Study

              LGAT News Survey

              Report Shows Congestion Cost Trends for Australian Capital Cities

              Disability Employment Framework - Round Two Consultations Now Open

Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
Local Government Events

LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor




In the Spotlight


From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

Across Tasmania, councils flew their flags at half mast this weekto demonstratesympathy and support to those communities affected by theterrorist attacks in Paris.
Congratulations Dorset Council on your Economic Development Australia Community Award for Blue Derby Trails.

President's Message

I am sure, like me, you were shocked and saddened at the events in Paris last Friday. When tragedy hits, communities often look to their councils and to their elected representatives to guide and support them through difficult times. As a Mayor, I can think of a number of recent occasions when across Tasmania, councillors and staff have stepped up, despite being personally impacted by an event. Local Government understands well the importance of communities coming together, standing strong and resilient. For that reason, councils across Tasmania showed their sympathy and support for all those impacted by such terrible events by flying their flags at half mast on Tuesday.

The October General Meeting generated some actions for LGAT including advocacy around consultation with Local Government on Parks and Wildlife Service priorities and a decision paper for our February General Meeting around a review of elected member allowances. 2016 marks eight years without a formal review of allowances, the last being carried out independently by the Fair Work Commission. At the General Meeting, members also agreed to continue to co-fund a Local Government drafting position with the Planning Taskforce in recognition of the significant work still to be done and the potential impact on the sector.

This week, the ALGA Board met and discussed a number of issues that overlap with LGAT priorities including building a strategic approach to freight issues nationally; the need for disaster funding to be maintained; protection for liability to be addressed; the Federal Budget submission; and election framework.

The CEO, Katrena Stephenson and I have been continuing to visit councils and by the end of January, we will have visited all councils. These visits have been most enjoyable and informative, and we hope of benefit to councils too.

News Items

Auditor-General Declares All Tasmanian Councils Financially Sustainable

LGAT President, Mayor Doug Chipman has welcomed the Auditor-General’s report on Local Government Authorities which was tabled in Parliament today. “We have seen consistent improvement over the past few years and the Auditor General has found that all Tasmanian councils are financially viable,” said Mayor Chipman. “While there is still room for improvement in some areas, this is a great result. It reflects the strong emphasis councils have placed on financial and asset management." Mayor Chipman said for the first time in nine years, the sector has a surplus. "Councils continue to build on the improvements made under the Commonwealth funded Local Government Financial and Asset Reform Project which was managed by the Local Government Association of Tasmania. All councils want to ensure cost-effective and sustainable services, with no single generation wearing a disproportionate cost burden. LGAT will continue to support its members to implement best practice, long-term planning and financial management practices through the provision of tools and training," he said.

2014-2015 LGAT Annual Report Now Available

The Local Government Association of Tasmania's 2014-15 Annual Report has been released. The report documents the Association's performance against its strategic plan, annual plan and budget, and highlights achievements and challenges in key strategic areas. The Association recorded a small surplus this year, largely savings related to staff vacancies. Subscriptions continue to be our main source of income but we think that the Association is virtually paying for itself through savings being delivered to the sector through our procurement and public street lighting contract work. The main focus of the Association will continue to be advocacy and policy support for the Local Government sector, as well as building sector capability and efficiency. The LGAT staff and General Management Committee are currently in the process of finalising the next annual work plan for the Association. The Annual Report is available on the LGAT website.

Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment Approved

This week, the Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Tasmanian Planning Scheme) Bill 2015 completed its Parliamentary path when the House of Assembly accepted the amendments proposed by the Legislative Council. This included a significant issue for our sector, the maintenance of a 28-day timeframe for permitted development assessments. Local Government felt it was premature to consider reducing the timeframes which had already been reduced from 42 to 28 days in 2014, ahead of having a full understanding of the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme and the likely complexity of permitted application pathways. We are pleased that both the Legislative Council and the State Government have recognised this key concern and allowed the amendment. The amended legislation provides the framework for implementing the Tasmanian Planning Scheme (TPS) next year. LGAT continues to provide advice in relation to the development of the TPS through representation on the Planning Taskforce and the Technical Reference Group, as well as through co-funding the secondment of a Local Government planner to the Taskforce drafting team. On a planning related matter, the take-up of the next LGAT course for elected members on land use planning has been beyond expectation. We could not accommodate all those who wanted to attend but will look to run a second course early next year.

Consultation Open on Macquarie Point Sewage Treatment Plant Relocation Study

As plans unfold to redevelop the former railyards site on the edge of Hobart’s CBD, TasWater has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Macquarie Point Development Corporation and the Tasmanian Government to investigate the feasibility of relocating the Macquarie Point sewage treatment plant. From preliminary assessments, TasWater has identified the existing Selfs Point sewage treatment plant as the most likely site to re-direct the sewage currently being treated at Macquarie Point. TasWater is eager to seek public comment and community consultation is open on the website until 7 December, with broader consultation being provided in early 2016 to confirm the proposed siting of all infrastructure. To access online information about the Macquarie Point Sewage Treatment Plant relocation project and to have your say, follow the link.

LGAT News Survey

Do you make purchasing decisions (both large and small) on behalf of Council, or in carrying out your role with Council? If so, the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) invites you to complete the LGAT News Survey. The quarterly LGAT News magazine and Managers' Resource Directory is distributed free of charge to all Tasmanian councils andis 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. The survey takes just 5 minuts to complete and will assist LGAT to better understand member attitudes towards the magazine and what drives council purchasing decisions. Please complete the survey by 25 November. LGAT would like to thank all those who have participated in the survey so far.

Report Shows Congestion Cost Trends for Australian Capital Cities

A Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics report has identified the long-term trends in urban traffic growth and estimated the consequent impacts of that traffic growth on road network congestion levels within Australian capital cities. The report found that the avoidable cost of congestion for the Australian capital cities is estimated to be around $16.5billion for the 2015 financial year, having grown from about $12.8billion for 2010. The Australian Logistics Council said the report serves as a timely reminder to Governments to give equal consideration to the movement of freight as is given to the movement of people. The report is available on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website.

Disability Employment Framework - Round Two Consultations Now Open

The Australian Government’s Disability Employment Taskforce was established to review the disability employment system and develop a new National Disability Employment Framework to boost employment rates for people with disability. Building on the principles and feedback from a first round of consultations, a discussion paper has been developed outlining detailed policy proposals for the new framework and is the basis for a second round of consultation. The second round consultation sessions will present the findings from the first round, provide an overview of the discussion paper, and encourage feedback on the policy proposals through an online survey. The Government wants to hear from people with disability, their families and carers, service providers, employers and peak bodies to explore ways to improve disability employment in Australia. A public information session will be held in Hobart, on 26 November. The online survey will remain open until 7December. The discussion paper, survey and information session details can be found at www.engage.dss.gov.au.


Local Councils Recognised at Tasmanian Awards for Planning Excellence

Planning plays a significant role in shaping our towns through the creation of strong, well-connected and sustainable communities. Several councils were recognised for planning excellence at this year's planning awards ceremony, hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). In the Best Planning Ideas - Small Project category, awards were presented to: the City of Launceston in partnership with the CoDesign Studio for the 'Launceston City Heart' project; and to West Tamar Council in partnership with Renaissance Planning for 'Legana Structure Planning'. The City of Launceston in partnership with Renaissance Planning also took out the Best Planning Ideas - Large Project Award for the 'Greater Launceston Plan'. The Public Engagement and Community Planning Award was presented to Glenorchy City Council in partnership with The Regional Development Company for the 'City of Glenorchy Community Plan 2015-2040'. The Improving Planning Processes and Practices category, sponsored by the Local Government Association of Tasmania, was awarded to Dr Anna Lyth, Mr Corey Peterson, Mr Kamal Singh, Mr Nigel Hutson, Dr Emma Pharo and Mr Aaron Archer of the University of Tasmania for the 'University of Tasmania Sustainable Transport Strategy 2010-2016'. Details of the award winners are available on the PIA website.

Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre Recognised for Outstanding Business Practice

The City of Hobart’s Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre has taken out the Visitor Information Services category at the 2015 Tasmania Tourism Awards. Presented by the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, the awards represent the pinnacle in industry recognition for outstanding business practices in tourism. Last financial year, the Centre’s team served 232,521 visitors to Tasmania, a 6% increase on the previous year, providing an important service as part of Tasmania’s visitor economy. The team will now vie for the national award as the representative for Tasmania in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards next year.


Community Support Levy Charitable Organisations Grants Program

Applications are invited for the 2015-2016 Community Support Levy (CSL) Charitable Organisations Grants Program. The 2015-2016 Grants Round offers up to $15,000 (plus GST) per organisation for projects that maximise the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups and communities. The focus of the 2015-2016 grants round is building capacity in individuals, families and communities. Applications close on 11 December. For more information about the CSL Grants Program, grant eligibility, funding preferences and how to apply for a grant, please read the CSL Grant Program Guidelines, or call (03) 6166 3564.

ANZ Staff Foundation Grants

The ANZ Staff Foundation is funded by regular contributions made by ANZ staff and ANZ. The Foundation aims to support projects run by charitable organisations which offer a direct and tangible benefit to local communities. The ANZ Staff Foundation provides grants of up to $5,000 to community projects that relate to one or more of the following areas: education and employment; urban and rural economic and social divides; financial capability; and urban sustainability. Applications close on 16 January 2016. For further information and guidelines, please visit the ANZ Staff Foundation website, or phone 1300 133 472.

Tasmanian Government Major Grants Program

The Major Grants Program provides grants from $15,000 - $80,000 to clubs, associations, Local Government and other not-for profit providers of sport and active recreation. Eligible projects must benefit sport and/or recreation clubs. Applicants must contribute at least half of the project funding. Applications are required by 3 February 2016. Further information and copies of the Guidelines and Application Form are available from the Communities, Sport and Recreation website.

Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Free Webinar: Motivating Businesses to Help your Community

Phil Preston, who presented at this year's LGAT Annual Conference, is offering a free webinar at noon on 1 December to give the back-story behind six collaboration examplesthat he compiled for theCity of Greater Dandenong in Victoria. Phil will talk about the subtleties of identifying, gathering and telling their stories including: why the City of Greater Dandenong took this approach; the process used in compiling the examples; the benefits of sharing stories to encourage others; and how you can identify examples in your local area. There will be ample Q&A time to increase relevance to your own organisational context. Limited places are available, so register from this link to reserve your place. Phil is a collaboration expert and leading practitioner in the field.

Investigating Workplace Misconduct for Local Government

Apracticalcourse, specifically tailoredfor HR professionals or other managersin Local Government who areoccasionallyrequired to conduct or manage investigations, will be held on 1 December at Riverside. These investigations may beworkplace grievances, misconduct,or performance management issues at work. Participants will be exposed to practical skills to assess complaints, gather evidence and make critical decisions that affect employees. The one-day workshop will provide local case studies highlighting current case law, the latest research on investigation methods including interviewing techniques and the accessibility of digital information. Registration costs $400. More details and registration here.

Effluent Management and Water Quality Outcomes

The Tasmanian Branch of the Australasian Land and Groundwater Association will host a forum in Burnie, on 2 December, on Effluent Management and Water Quality Outcomes. The forum is relevant to people within Local Government, including environmental health officers. Lunch is included. More information about the event is available at the link below. Click here to register. Information about the Australasian Land and Groundwater Association is available here.

Local Government Workforce and Indigenous Employment Forum

The National Local Government Workforce and Indigenous Employment Forum, hosted by Local Government Professionals Australia, will be held in Canberra, on 2 December. The forum will include: a showcase of Local Government workforce best practice and projects across the country; presentations on the Indigenous employment labour market, the Federal Government’s workforce programs, Australia’s future workforce and the implications for Local Government and workforce data; the launch of the Mature Age Workforce Resource; and opportunities for information exchange and input into Local Government workforce issues. Register or Download the draft program here!

Spatial information – Unlocking Economic Potential

Increasingly, huge volumes of spatially explicit information are becoming available in our workplaces, giving rise to new ways of conducting business. Governments are opening up core authoritative datasets for public consumption and big data is being tapped and analysed for the location-specific intelligence that it holds. What does this mean for the economic prosperity of Tasmania? The Tasmanian Spatial Information Council (TASSIC) is hosting an executive forum, designed to unpack aspects of the value that can be derived from spatial information, in Hobart, on 9 December. The forum will highlight emerging global trends in spatial technologies, with a focus on the economic value and community returns from appropriate investment. Click here to register.

Tasmania Report Roadshow
: Working Together toImprove Tasmania

The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI)is pleased to present the inaugural Tasmania Report Roadshow - the business event of the year. Report author and renowned economist,Saul Eslakewillpresent the Tasmania Report at events around the State. The report willinclude a ‘state of the state’- how Tasmania is presently standing, an assessment of the State Government’s fiscal position, plus policy discussion in preparation for the next State election. A breakfast will be held in Hobart on 9 December, followed by a lunch in Launceston and a dinner in Ulverstone. Register by 2 December. For further information please visit the TCCI website, email events@tcci.com.au, or phone 1300 559 122.

Elected Members' 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 LGATpolicy 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.

Local Government Events

Sampling Training, Deloraine 24 November
Planning Course for Elected Members, Launceston 28 November
Sampling Training, Rosny 2 December
General Management Committee Meeting, Hobart 9 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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