The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT


Issue no. 01 29 January 2016

In this Issue...

President's Message
 News Items

              Vale Clr Roger Larner

              State Grants Commission 2016 Council Hearings and Visits

              Engineering a Better Tasmania: To reform or not to reform – what delivers the best outcomes?

              The Role of Transport Connectivity on Stimulating Development and Economic Activity

              Clr Bernadette Black Resigns from Kingborough Council

              New Auditor-General Appointed

              Expressions of Interest sought for Consumer Consultative Forum

              New Appointments to State Fire Commission Confirmed

              International Women’s Day 2016 Calendar of Events          

 Awards & Scholarships
Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
Local Government Events

LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor



In the Spotlight


From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

In 2016, free State Grants Commission methodology presentations are being held in conjunction with council hearings and visits.  To register, contact Pam Marriott.
Round 3 of the National Stronger Regions Funds ends on 15 March, with $1 billion over 5 years for priority regional infrastructure http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/NSRF/ 

President's Message

Happy 2016!  I hope you all had a happy and restful Christmas break in preparation for another busy year in Local Government. 

At the end of last year, it was my pleasure to represent the Australian Local Government Association at the National Environment Ministers Council meeting held in Melbourne, on 15 December.   I was pleasantly surprised to discover how effectively many of the issues facing Local Government can be taken up nationally by all three levels of government, working through COAG (ALGA is a member) and the ministerial councils. 

The meeting was chaired by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt and included his counterparts from all states and territories, as well as New Zealand.  The agenda included endorsing the National Clean Air Agreement and a cooperative framework to improve air quality in Australia.  The ministers agreed on three initial actions under the agreement to: 

  • Reduce air pollution from wood heaters by adopting new emission and efficiency standards for new wood heaters, and sharing best management practices across jurisdictions;
  • Introduce emission standards for new non-road spark ignition engines (such as garden equipment and marine outboard motors); and
  • Strengthen national ambient air quality reporting standards for airborne fine particles. 

Ministers had a very useful exchange of information on the challenge of managing the feral cat problem.  Feral cats are of major concern throughout Australia and it can be expected that efforts to eradicate feral cats and control domestic cats will be strengthened in the future. 

Management of end-of-life tyres was also discussed and is recognised as a problem in all jurisdictions.  A project was endorsed to see whether old tyres could be processed for use in road construction.  A link to the statement from the meeting which covers the key matters discussed at the meeting can be accessed here.  

Also at the end of 2015, LGAT received, as a member of the Steering Committee, a report on the completion of Stage One of the iPlan project.  I was interested to note that there is increasing usage of the iPlan system by a broad range of stakeholder groups across the community, as well as State and Local Government.  Indeed the project won a Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Tasmania Award for Planning Excellence.  The planning schemes of all but eight councils are now online with iPlan and LGAT is helping to prepare the business case for Phase 2 which will bring all councils online and give applicants the ability to lodge and track their development applications online.  This project was highlighted as a priority in our State Budget submission and is considered essential to the implementation of the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme. 

The Premier’s Local Government Council also met in December.  At that meeting we signed off on the Terms of Reference for the targeted review of the Local Government Act.  The CEO and I have been appointed to the Steering Committee along with LG Professionals Tasmania President, Karen Hampton.  The first meeting is in February and we will be able to provide firm advice about the consultation process following that.  Also at the PLGC meeting we considered the issue of airport rating, received an update on the voluntary amalgamation/strategic resource-sharing project, raised the issue of the exemption from rates for commercial development in exempt areas and received a progress report from the working group looking at the disposal of used tyres. 

The CEO and I already look to have quite busy calendars with more council visits, breakfast forums and a General Meeting all happening before mid-February.  We look forward to seeing many of you very soon.

News Items

Vale Clr Roger Larner

The Local Government Association of Tasmania would like to acknowledge the passing of Clr Roger Larner of Tasman Council who passed away suddenly as a result of an ATV accident at Port Arthur, on 27 December 2015.  Clr Larner, aged 75, has been a dedicated community leader and a strong advocate on Council since he was first elected in 2009.  Family, friends and community members paid their respects at his funeral, held at Port Arthur on 5 January.  The Tasmanian Electoral Commission has since conducted a re-count to fill the vacancy on Council and Dave Moser has been elected to serve until the 2018 ordinary election.  Our sincere condolences to Roger's family, colleagues and friends at this difficult time.

State Grants Commission 2016 Council Hearings and Visits

The State Grants Commission’s 2016 council hearings and visits have been scheduled for the Northern Region (Launceston) from 8-10 February, Southern Region (Hobart) from 29 February - 2 March, and North-West Region (Burnie) from 15-17 March.  The 2016 hearings and visits represent an opportunity for councils to raise issues of interest to councils with the State Grants Commission and potentially influence the State Grants Commission’s 2018-19 Triennium Work Plan.  Free State Grants Commission methodology presentations are also being held in conjunction with this year’s hearings and visits.  For details of sessions and to register your attendance, please contact Pam Marriott on 6166 4274 or via email.  For further information on the State Grants Commission and its Draft 2018-19 Triennium Work Plan, please visit the State Grants Commission’s website.

Engineering a Better Tasmania: To reform or not to reform – what delivers the best outcomes?

There is potential for Local Government reform to impact on services that heavily rely on engineering; including infrastructure, planning and transport.  Join Local Government experts over breakfast for a facilitated panel Q&A session to discuss the key issues that need to be included in the reform conversation.  Speakers include Melissa Gibbs, Deputy Director, Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government,  Allan Garcia, CEO, Infrastructure Tasmania, and Dr Katrena Stephenson, LGAT CEO.  The breakfast will be held at the Best Western, Hobart on 1 March, from 7.15am.  Tickets cost $55 (Engineers Australia members) and $85 (non-members).  Register Now!  For enquiries, contact Engineers Australia, Tasmania on 1300 653 113.

The Role of Transport Connectivity on Stimulating Development and Economic Activity

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities has commenced an inquiry into the role of transport connectivity in stimulating development and economic activity for both major urban areas and in regional Australia.  The Standing Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference.  LGAT is currently seeking feedback from councils.  The deadline for submissions is 12 February.  For more information and to access the Terms of Reference, please click here.


Clr Bernadette Black Resigns from Kingborough Council

Clr Bernadette Black has stepped down from her role with Kingborough Council to focus on her work as CEO of the Brave Foundation - a national charity which provides support for teenage pregnancy and parenthood.  Clr Black was first elected to Council in 2011.  She was Chair of the Council’s Infrastructure and Recreation Services Committee, a member of the Planning Authority and Development Committee and served as Council’s representative on the Kingborough Community Enterprise Centre Committee.  Clr Black has also represented Local Government on the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children Consultative Group since 2012.  Following a recount of the 2014 Local Government election ballot papers, the Tasmanian Electoral Commission has announced that Sue Bastone will fill the vacancy.

New Auditor-General Appointed

The Tasmanian Government has announced that Rod Whitehead has been appointed as Tasmania’s new Auditor-General.  Mr Whitehead replaces Mike Blake who announced his intention to retire last year after almost 12 years' service.  Mr Whitehead has had a distinguished career as an accountant and manager.  Mr Whitehead has served as a Senior Manager at Price Waterhouse and as a partner with PBS Partners in Launceston.  In 1998, Mr Whitehead began working for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and was the Managing Partner in Tasmania between April 2006 and May 2013.  More recently, Mr Whitehead has managed Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s Launceston office.  Mr Whitehead also held the position as Chairman of the Tasmania Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants from 2011-2013.  The Auditor-General is an independent statutory position with responsibilities that include undertaking audits of the financial statements of Tasmanian State entities, and issuing audit reports which outline their compliance with relevant legislation and accounting standards.  Mr Whitehead will commence in March.

Expressions of Interest sought for Consumer Consultative Forum

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is looking for up to seven consumer representatives to join its peak consumer group, the Consumer Consultative Forum (CCF).  The CCF brings together key stakeholders including consumers, industry and government representatives twice a year to discuss issues of relevance to users of mobiles, the internet and fixed-line telephones.  The ACMA is particularly encouraging people representing disabled consumers, youth and rural communities to submit an expression of interest.  Travel expenses to attend meetings are reimbursed and a sitting fee of $150 per meeting is available.  Expressions of interest are due by 29 February.  If you think you can contribute to improving consumer matters in telecommunications, find out how to apply on the ACMA website,  or call Darren McClelland on (03) 9963 6880.

New Appointments to State Fire Commission Confirmed 

Mr Rod Sweetnam of the City of Launceston and Clr Hannah Rubenach-Quinn of Break O'Day Council have been re-appointed as the Local Government representatives on the State Fire Commission.  Their terms will expire in December 2018.  The State Fire Commission's functions include the formulation of policy in respect of service administration and operation, coordination and direction of the development of fire services throughout the State, and the development of a State Fire Protection Plan.  LGAT would like to thank all the nominees for their interest in representing the sector in this capacity.

International Women’s Day 2016 Calendar of Events

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March every year.   IWD is a day of international recognition for the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.  Individuals, community groups and organisations throughout Tasmania are encouraged to host or participate in International Women’s Day events.  Every year, the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Communities, Sport and Recreation compiles a Calendar of Events for each region to advertise events being held across the State.  If you are planning to hold an event and would like the event included on the calendar, please email Marie Meakins to request a registration form.  The closing date for entries is 15 February. 


Tasmanian Government Major Grants Program

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

Multicultural Grants Program Now Open

As part of Tasmania’s Population Growth Strategy, the Tasmanian Government created the Multicultural Grants Program, aimed at assisting migrants to settle and feel welcome in Tasmania.  The grants are awarded to: encourage cross cultural awareness and community unity; support the establishment and growth of ethnic organisations in meeting the needs of their community members; and to establish familiar and transitional arrangements and support mechanisms for new migrants.  Grants up to $10,000 and $20,000 are available to support projects that promote the integration of new migrants into communities and build ongoing inter-cultural and inter-faith relations and supports.  To apply for a grant, please complete the application form and return to the Department of Premier and Cabinet by 12 February.  Click here to download the Application Form and Guidelines.

Safer Streets Programme

Funding applications under Round Two of the Safer Streets Programme are now being accepted.  The Programme is an Australian Government initiative that will deliver local projects to prevent, deter and detect crime in areas identified as having a crime or anti-social behaviour problem.  The programme is divided into two streams for projects directed at either: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Initiatives, or Developmental Crime Prevention initiatives by Police and Citizen Youth Clubs (PCYC) and Bluelight organisations.  To be eligible for funding under Stream 1, the applicant organisation must be either a Local Government organisation or a not-for-profit organisation.  If your organisation would like to be considered for funding, please complete a project application form and project plan template, and submit it by 17 February.  The guidelines and the application documents are available online.

National Stronger Regions Fund

Round Three of the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) is open for applications until 15 March.  The NSRF is a competitive grants programme that promotes economic development in Australia’s regions.  Grants must be between $20,000 and $10 million for capital projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or an extension of existing infrastructure.  Local Government and not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply.  RDA Tasmania can work with applicants to prepare competitive applications, supporting documents and evidence.  More information about the NSRF can be found online

Awards & Scholarships 

Governor's Environment Scholarship Recipients Announced

LGAT is pleased to support the Governor's Environment Scholarship program.  For 2016, Paul Han, Rai Quinlan and Cloe Cummings have been selected to receive The Governor's Environment Scholarship.  Paul Han from Launceston is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours at UTAS in Launceston.  Rae Quinlan from Midway Point is studying a Bachelor of Marine Science with Honours at UTAS in Hobart, and Cloe Cummings from QLD is studying a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Hobart.  A special presentation will be held at Government House by Her Excellency The Governor.  Congratulations to the recipients!

Tasmanian Volunteering Awards

Nominations are invited for the 2016 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards which aim to recognise and reward the contribution of those who exhibit excellence in the volunteering sector.  There are nine award categories covering areas such as: arts and heritage; community care and health; education, science and technology; sport and recreation; emergency services; environment and conservation.  There is also a Corporate Award for organisations with outstanding employee volunteering programs, an Excellence Award for managers of volunteers, and the Premier of Tasmania’s Volunteer of the Year Award.  Nominations close on 4 March.  Click here for details or contact Debra Thurley on 6231 5550.

New National Art Prize for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The City of Greater Dandenong in Victoria has launched a new, national art prize for artists with an asylum seeker or refugee background. Home and Art provides an opportunity to celebrate their important contribution to Australia’s cultural and social fabric.  Home and Art has been created to recognise artists from asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds who may have had to put their artist identity aside as they establish themselves in their new country.  The artworks can be produced in any media including painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, video, photography or drawing. The content may tell the story of the artist’s personal journey or reflect long-standing artistic traditions or values.  The prize is open to artists that arrived as a refugee or sought asylum in Australia after 1 January 2000.  Home and Art will include an exhibition at Walker Street Gallery, Dandenong in July featuring artists selected from the national call for submissions.  First Prize is $3,000.  Applications close on 14 March.  For more information, visit the Walker Street Gallery website.

Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Pollution Incident Response Seminar: Diesel Spill Case Study

A diesel spill in Prince of Wales Bay in the Glenorchy Local Government Area in 2015 required a joint response between the Glenorchy City Council, the EPA Division and the Tasmanian Fire Service to manage the situation as a hazardous materials incident. Further reports of diesel were reported in the days that followed and the site was monitored daily and an investigation into the spill undertaken.  A seminar, being held in Launceston on 18 February and in Hobart on 19 February, will explore the issues involved in the spill.  It will also provide an overview and context for: the pollution incident response; how the EPA Division and Glenorchy City Council worked together to manage the incident; and look at the lessons learned. It will also provide advice about the kind of resources councils could keep in a ‘grab and go bag’ to assist in their response to similar incidents. Click here to find out more.

Elected Members' Professional Development Weekend

Don't miss LGAT's Elected Members' Professional Development Weekend, to be held in Hobart from 20-21 February, providing a valuable learning and networking opportunity.  Learn ways to bury the hatchet with council colleagues, develop improved community engagement skills, find out what the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme will mean for you, get the most out of your relationship with your General Manager, and effectively manage conflicts of interest on Council.  There will also be a Q&A session on the NBN and a LGAT policy update.  A networking dinner will be held on 20 February and partners are welcome.  Click here to download the Program and Registration Form.  For enquiries, please phone LGAT on (03) 6233 5119.

MAV Insurance and Risk Conference

Learn about what’s happening in and outside the Local Government insurance and risk management space at a conference for MAV Insurance’s Tasmanian members, being held in Hobart from 3-4 March.  The conference is a great opportunity to pick up some innovative risk management ideas and network with peers.  On the first day, the guest speakers will provide insight into how they apply risk management in their respective roles which range from event management to managing a large health network.  The second day will focus on some of the challenges and opportunities facing the sector, from fraud and cyber risks to what happens during a liability insurance mediation.  The cost for both days is $160 and single day entry is also available.  To book, or for more information, contact Sharyn.LaRocca@jlta.com.au.

Bridges Out of Poverty

As part of the Social Determinants of Health capacity building project, Primary Health Tasmania is pleased to announce two Bridges Out of Poverty workshops scheduled for 2016.  The two-day workshop helps us understand the challenges faced by poverty and how it shapes the interactions and experiences of a person’s everyday life.  It includes strategies for changing program design, policies and procedure to improve outcomes for all.  The workshops will be held at the Brighton Civic Centre in Bridgewater on 9 and 16 March, and at the Tramsheds Function Centre in Launceston on 18 and 25 May.  For more information, contact Jackie Grimsey on  6425 8500.

Certificate IV in Government (Statutory Compliance)

The Certificate IV in Government, a nationally accredited qualification delivered by CIT Solutions, will be offered in conjunction with the Building Standards and Occupational Licensing section of the Department of Justice.  The course comprises of 15 study units over five months and utilises scenario-based learning to develop compliance specific knowledge.  It is designed for those who work in the delivery of the building regulatory framework in Tasmania and compliance officers in Local Government, State Government and the private sector.  The course will take place in Launceston in three blocks on 22-23 March, 27-28 April and 24-25 May.  Participants must be able to attend all the workshop dates to be eligible for registration.

Local Government Events

LGAT Regional Breakfast, Burnie 2 February
LGAT Regional Breakfast, Hobart 3 February
LGAT Regional Breakfast, Launceston 11 February
General Management Committee Meeting, Launceston 11 February
General Meeting, Launceston 12 February
Pollution Incident Response Seminar: Diesel Spill Case Study, Hobart 19 February
Elected Members' Professional Development Weekend, Hobart 20-21 February
Engineering a Better Tasmania, Hobart 1 March
MAV Insurance & Risk Conference, Hobart 3-4 March 
General Managers' Workshop, George Town 9-10 March


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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