The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT


Issue no. 02 15 February 2016

In this Issue...

President's Message
 News Items

              Review of the Local Government Act

              Working Towards Better Outcomes for Ratepayers 

              Reducing Organic Waste in Landfill

              New Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner Appointed

              Local Government Representatives Appointed to Tasmanian Library Advisory Board 

              Community Input sought on New 15-year Waste Management Strategy 

              New Australian Heritage Strategy Available                         

 Awards & Scholarships
 Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
Local Government Events

LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor



In the Spotlight


From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

The Tasmanian State Government has announced a targeted review of the Local Government Act 1993.  Find out more on the Local Government Division website
Congratulations to Mr Andrew Hawkey, new Electoral Commissioner for Tasmania

President's Message

It was another busy week for LGAT last week.  The CEO and I continued our visits to our member councils, making our way to King Island, meeting with staff and councillors.  We held the last of our Regional Beakfast Forums in Launceston, providing fuel for thought in relation to preparing for and leveraging off the NBN, and considering the impacts of and opportunities from digital disruption.  Our thanks to the NBN Co for their support of this event.

The CEO and Policy Director met with the CEO's of the regional Local Government authorities to continue to explore opportunities to collaborate on improved support, advocacy and outcomes for our sector.  

The General Management Committee met to discuss a range of strategic issues for the Association and the CEO, and being Launceston-based, I took the opportunity to meet with the Minister for Planning and Local Government, Hon Peter Gutwein MP.  We finished the week with a General Meeting of the Association. 

The General Meeting allowed for debate and decisions on a range of topics.  We heard about the extensive and well-received community engagement that has been taking place on the West Coast as part of the Council's 2025 Strategy.  We also had opportunity to learn more about the Government's Draft Climate Change Strategy and how councils can engage in that process. 

We discussed emerging issues around the rising prevalence of Airbnb, the future and focus of the regional authorities, and how the declaration of office could be linked to professional development.  We also considered the impact of electronic gaming machines in some communities and how councils might be able to better reflect the concerns of their particular communities. 

The meeting agreed, amongst other things, to seek that the State Government undertake a review of elected member allowances, recognising that this has not occurred since 2008 and that the nature of council services and functions, as well as the expectations of councillors, has changed over time.  It was also agreed that councils would adopt a common approach to the rating of residential units owned by charities which fell outside 'aged care'. 

As you read this, I will be heading to a strategic planning session of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).  This is a critical meeting given we are in a Federal Election year.  As with the advantage provided to Tasmanian councils through their joint membership of LGAT, the united voice of Local Government nationally, as provided by ALGA, can strongly influence the debate and decisions at Federal level.

News Items

Review of the Local Government Act

The Tasmanian State Government has announced a targeted review of the Local Government Act 1993 as part of its commitment to improving the efficiency and governance of Local Government, and reducing costs to ratepayers.  The Minister for Planning and Local Government , Hon Peter Gutwein MP said Local Government must be efficient and effective, and deliver good value for ratepayers if we want to make Tasmania the best place in the country to live, work, invest and raise a family.  "This targeted review of the Local Government Act will ensure the legislative framework for Local Government is effective and efficient, with a focus on governance improvement," he said.

A Steering Committee has been established, chaired by Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Deputy Secretary, Rebekah Burton, and including representatives from the Local Government Division, the Local Government Association of Tasmania and Local Government Professionals Australia (Tasmania).

While Local Government is expected to play a significant role in the review, all interested parties, including community groups and members of the public, are encouraged to participate in the review process.  Later this year, the Minister will release a discussion paper outlining a range of ideas identified by the Government, or raised by members of the public and Local Government, to help inform people who wish to make submissions.  It is anticipated that any necessary amendments to the Act as a result of the review will be introduced to Parliament by May 2017.

The Steering Committee will consider and make recommendations to the Minister in relation to:

  • The functions of mayors, deputy mayors and elected members;
  • The appointment, functions and powers of the general manager;
  • Financial management and reporting;
  • The functions and powers of the Director of Local Government;
  • The functions, powers and procedures of the Local Government Board;
  • The functions, powers and procedures of a Board of Inquiry;
  • Local Government elections – electoral rolls, funding and advertising; and
  • The reduction of unnecessary administrative requirements.

Further information about the review can be found on the Local Government Division’s website.

Working Towards Better Outcomes for Ratepayers

Southern councils have taken a significant step towards achieving better outcomes for ratepayers by working towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Local Government.  To ensure that ratepayers are receiving the best possible services for the lowest possible rates, the State Government is working with Tasmanian councils to look at voluntary amalgamations and resource-sharing.  Research will now be conducted to provide solid, reliable information so that councils can make informed decisions in close consultation with their communities. 

Currently there are two proposals: 

  1. A Greater Hobart proposal which includes the City of Hobart, Clarence City, Glenorchy City and Kingborough Councils; and
  2. A South East Councils proposal which includes Clarence City, Sorell, Tasman and Glamorgan-Spring Bay Councils.  

The study will model four voluntary amalgamation proposals:

  1. Clarence City, Sorell, Tasman and the Glamorgan-Spring Bay Councils;
  2. Clarence City, Sorell and Tasman Councils;
  3. Sorell and Tasman Councils; and
  4. Sorell, Glamorgan-Spring Bay and Tasman Councils.

The Greater Hobart Council study will model the municipal areas of the City of Hobart, Clarence City Council, Glenorchy City Council and/or Kingborough Council.  Both studies will also consider the potential for shared services, or any other model that would best serve ratepayers.  In total, 25 out of Tasmania's 29 councils have agreed to take part in modelling voluntary amalgamations and resource-sharing.  The modelling will be completed later this year.

Reducing Organic Waste in Landfill

Local councils and other businesses can now seek support from the Australian Government for projects to keep greenhouse gas-producing, organic waste out of landfill through a method now available under the Government's Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).  The Source Separated Organic Waste method covers new projects that separate organic material from other waste types and divert it away from landfill to eligible alternative treatments such as composting.  This new method will benefit organisations that deal with food or garden waste by helping them to reduce the millions of tonnes of organic waste which goes to landfill each year.  For questions about the Source Separated Organic Waste method, please contact the Clean Energy Regulator.  More information about the Emissions Reduction Fund is available here.

 New Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner Appointed

Mr Andrew Hawkey has been appointed as Tasmania’s Electoral Commissioner, taking over the position from Mr Julian Type who announced his retirement late last year.  Mr Hawkey has held the position of Tasmania’s Deputy Electoral Commissioner since 2010, where he has been responsible for managing Tasmanian Parliamentary and Local Government elections.  Mr Hawkey’s achievements include managing the development and implementation of an electronic counting system for Local Government councillor ballots, coordinating the development of extensive electoral education resources, and developing new polling place manager training resources for the 2014 House of Assembly elections.

Local Government Representatives Appointed to Tasmanian Library Advisory Board

Four Local Government representatives have been appointed to the Tasmanian Library Advisory Board.  Ald Sandra French of Burnie City Council, Clr Dick Adams of Northern Midlands Council, Ald James Walker of Clarence City Council and Ald Suzanne Cooper of the City of Hobart will represent the sector on the Board until December 2018.  Board members provide advice to the Minister for Education on matters relating to library and information services in Tasmania.

 Community Input sought on New 15-year Waste Management Strategy

The City of Hobart encourages the community to have their say on a Draft Waste Management Strategy aimed at achieving zero waste to landfill by 2030.  The Draft Waste Management Strategy 2015–2030 is an ambitious strategy that represents a long-term commitment to waste reduction that will provide environmental, financial and social benefits.  The Draft Strategy was developed following a comprehensive community and stakeholder engagement process  Residents, traders, clubs, community groups and users can have their say by visiting the Council’s community engagement website.  The public comment period closes on 11 March.

New Australian Heritage Strategy Available

The Australian Government recently launched the Australian Heritage Strategy to recongise, identify and better manage Australia's rich natural and cultural heritage that underpins our sense of place and national identity, and makes a positive contribution to the nation’s wellbeing.  A diverse range of community groups, organisations, individuals and government agencies contributed their ideas to help the Australian Government develop the vision, outcomes and objectives within the Strategy.  Collaboration is a strong focus of the Strategy, with the vision to be achieved through national leadership, strong partnerships and engaged communities.  The Strategy considers ways in which Australia’s heritage places can be better identified and managed to ensure their long-term protection.  The Australian Government will review the Strategy after five years.  A copy of the Strategy is available here.


Marketing Tasmania Grants

Marketing Tasmania grants of up to $10,000 in matched funding can be sought by eligible organisations with either a new or established event in Tasmania.  This program can provide funding to help with specific marketing costs if that will: bring people to Tasmania; get visitors and locals travelling to a regional area; or promote and market the State.  Preference will be given to quality applications that can demonstrate how the proposed event and associated marketing project will drive visitation to regional parts of the State outside of the high tourism season.  The event and proposed marketing project must be completed during the 2015-16 or 2016-17 financial years.  Applications close on 18 March.  For further information, guidelines and the application form, please visit the Events Tasmania website, or contact info@eventstasmania.com.

26Ten Literacy Grants

Improve the literacy, numeracy and communication skills of your workforce to increase productivity and compliance, and reduce accidents and injuries.  All employers, industry associations and peak bodies operating Tasmania are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $50,000 (including GST).  Eligible activities include:  literacy skills building for individuals or groups; literacy support for other workplace based training: assessing the literacy needs of an organisation; training for employees so they can support colleagues or clients with low literacy; resource development to support literacy skills building; and rewriting work documents in plain English.  Grants up to $50,000 are available until 11 March.  Information about the grant program is available here, or contact Jennifer Dunbabin on 6165 6064.

Awards and Scholarships

North East Mountain Bike Project Receives BOFA Innovative Award

Northern Tasmania Development has received an award for the Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival’s 2015 Innovative Awards:  Sport, Leisure and the Arts category.  The award was presented for the North East Mountain Bike Project, involving 75km of mountain bike trails, mapping, signage, skills development and marketing to drive regional economic development.  The Hollybank Mountain Bike Park was completed as Stage 1 of the North East Mountain Bike Project after funding of $800,000 was secured through the Tasmanian Jobs Package.  A successful application with the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund secured an additional $2.4 million which enabled construction to commence on new mountain bike trails at Derby (Stage 2) and Blue Tier (Stage 3).  The initiative has resulted in immediate jobs, training and economic outcomes associated with the construction of the trails, including new businesses, accommodation, bike related infrastructure and increased visitors to the region. 

Local Government to be Celebrated with National Awards

The 2016 National Awards for Local Government are now open for entries.  The awards recognise local governments for their achievements and for the crucial role they play in Australian communities.  The Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, Paul Fletcher, said the national awards recognise local government projects that demonstrate innovation and improved outcomes for their community.  "This year we're encouraging all local governments to submit projects that aim to deliver better services at the community level and contribute to building a stronger more productive local economy," he said.  There are ten award categories including: Arts Animates; Boosting Productivity through Infrastructure; Contributing to Regional Growth; Digital Innovation in Local Government; Disability Access and Inclusion; Excellence in Road Safety; and Youth Economic Participation.  Applications close on 4 March.  More information is available at infrastructure.gov.au/nalg.

Local Government Scholarship Opportunity

The Australian Public Service Commission is funding national scholarships to boost Local Government participation in the Public Sector Management Program.  The Public Sector Management (PSM) Program is a tertiary level qualification to develop skills in middle to senior level managers from Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local Government sectors across Australia.  The Training Consortium (TTC) has secured one scholarship for Tasmania in 2016, on a 'two for one' basis.  TTC in conjunction with LGAT, are running a process to select two scholarship recipients, with each recipient receiving a 50% discount on the enrolment fee.  To be eligible, applicants must be a Tasmanian Local Government employee and fulfil the course entry requirements set by Queensland University of Technology.  Scholarship applications close on 18 March.  For more information, click here.

2016 UNAA World Environment Day Awards Now Open

Held each year in support of United Nations World Environment Day (5 June), the World Environment Day Awards recognise innovative and outstanding environmental programs and initiatives from across Australia.  Local governments, businesses, community organisations and individuals are invited to enter in the following Award categories:  Local Government Award; Biodiversity Award;  Clean Energy Award; Infrastructure Innovation Award; Business Award; Community Award; Environmental Education Award; Environmental School Award; Excellence in Water Management Award; Individual Award; Media Award for Environmental Reporting; and Organisation Leadership Award.  Nominations close on 8 April.  Winners will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held on 6 June in Melbourne.  For entry forms and criteria, visit the website

Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Minutes and Agendas Made Easy

Effective minutes and agendas can greatly improve the outcomes of a meeting.  Learn about the role of the minute taker, preparing and circulating agendas, structuring meetings, taking accurate notes, recording motions and amendments, and writing up what needs to be recorded.  Workshops will be held on 16 February in Hobart, on 16 March in Devonport, and on 8 June in Launceston.  Click here for details.  Register now!

Golden Rules of Crisis Communication and Social Media Crisis

Any organisation’s reputation can be damaged in an instant by a crisis it didn’t see coming.  Crises can take many forms, from sexual harassment and embezzlement to workplace injury, or even death.  And with the advent of social media, a crisis can destroy an organisation’s reputation and brand within hours, even minutes.  Hear from two of the State’s leading crisis communication strategists – Greg Ray and Becher Townshend – about the golden rules for effective crisis and issues management, through both traditional communication channels and online platforms.  The event will be held from 5.00pm - 7.00pm, on 24 February, at The Old Woolstore, Hobart.  Admission costs $25 (PRIA members) or $30 (non-members).  Click here to register

Transformation: Leadership and Economics for a Sustainable Economy

The IPAA Vic/Tas Executive Forum is designed to provide thought provoking discussion about the transformation needed to develop sustainable shared economies and the public sector's role in this.  The next forum will be held on 26 February in Hobart and will be hosted by Productivity Commissioner, Allison McClelland.  Guest speakers include:  Professor Elaine Mosakowski, Prof of Management, Purdue University, USA - who will talk through the techniques used by social entrepreneurs to find solutions to social problems; Richard Bolt, Secretary, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Vic) and Michael Trail, CEO, Social Ventures, will discuss opportunities for the public sector to help the social economy to expand and develop; Tracy Gosling, National Director, State Government Sector and Commercial Sector, Australia Post, will share the experience of transforming one of Australia's largest public sector organisations; Rhys Edwards, former Secretary of the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet, will discuss the skills leaders need in an increasingly collaborative, connected and competitive world on a panel with Kym Goodes, CEO TasCOSS and Penny Armytage, IPAA National President and Partner at KPMG; and Prof Adrian Franklin, co-host of ABC TV Collectors, Author of The Making of MONA, and Prof of Sociology  at UTAS, will analyse how cultural institutions can use their collections to influence and deliver sustainable social developments.  Participation costs$550.  Register now.

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.

International Womens' Day Luncheon

International Women’s Day salutes the economic, political and social accomplishments of women.  To celebrate, Common Ground will be hosting an International Women’s Day luncheon from 12 noon - 2pm, on 8 March, at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart.  The event will be hosted by Federal Group Director, Julia Farrell, and attended by special guest speaker, Trish Winchester, Founder and Director of Advanced Skin Technology, one of Australia’s leading, global skincare companies.  Trish’s insightful reflections are shared with a refreshing honesty and humour that guests are sure to enjoy.  Proceeds will support Common Ground Tasmania, a local social housing project designed to permanently house and support people who have been chronically homeless.   Seats cost $95 each, or $900 for a table of 10.  RSVP by 26 February to hayley@commongroundtas.com.au, or phone 6231 1118.

2016 International Women’s Day Big Breakfast

Join bestselling author, journalist, TV presenter and human rights advocate, Tara Moss at the 2016 International Women’s Day Breakfast, to be held on 9 March at Wrest Point.  Seats cost $55 each, or $600 for a table of 12 guests.   The breakfast is being coordinated by the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s, Communities, Sport and Recreation and proceeds will be donated to the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation.  Book online by 2 March.

Introduction to the Map of Meaning

Discover The Map of Meaning: A Guide to Sustaining our Humanity in the Workplace in a two-day master class with Lani Morris.  Learn how to: find meaningful direction in your work and life; help connect others to what really matters to them; increase organisations’ ability to support meaningful work.  This workshop explores what is important to both individuals and organisations in the workplace, what makes work meaningful, how to deal with organisational upset, transform organisational practices and how to create and use the Map of Meaning.  The workshop will be held in Hobart on 3-4 March.  Registration costs $475 (includes copy of the book The Map of Meaning). Click here for more information and register here.

NDRC Disability and Employment - Free Breakfast for Tasmanian Councils

Around 3.96 million Australians have a disability – that’s almost 20% of our total population.  Chances are you either experience a disability yourself, or know people who do within the community.  People with disability are a greatly under-used resource in Local Government.  Why not investigate how your Council might benefit from making this smart recruitment choice?  To learn more and hear directly from employers and people with disability about their experiences, in addition to the services available to assist, please join the upcoming Getting to Yes Breakfast for Tasmanian employers.  The free breakfast, hosted by the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC),will be held from 8.00am on 17 March, at The Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart for HR managers, business development managers and disability access officers.  The NDRC works with employers to increase their confidence with and recruitment of candidates with disability through the delivery of a range of education and advisory services.  Register here, or contact Simon Gray on 8102 8789 for enquiries.

Land Capability Assessment for On-site Wastewater Management

A course designed for those involved in land capability assessment, planning, design, installation, regulation, management and performance supervision of domestic on-site and decentralised wastewater management systems is being held from 4-6 April, in Melbourne.  The course teaches key skills in Land Capability Assessment and the design and management of on-site and decentralised wastewater management systems to comply with current legislation.  It covers the EPA Code of Practice 891.3, Victorian Land Capability Assessment Framework and AS/NZS1547:2012.  Attendance costs $2,084.50 (incl. GST).  Click here for more information.

Role of the Council and the Councillor

The Role of the Council and the Councillor course has been developed for Local Government elected members and senior council executives who want to learn more about how to be effective in their governance role.  The aim of this course is to examine the governance role of the Council including the Mayor, Councillors, CEO and executive management in Local Government organisations.  The course is being delivered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Launceston on 8 April.  For more information and registration, click here.

Sponsors Sought for Australian Local Government Women’s Association National Conference

ALGWA (Tas) has been successful in a bid to host the 2017 National ALGWA conference, themed Balancing the Scales.   Around 120 women in Local Government from around the country will meet at the biennial event, to be held in Launceston from 11-13 April 2017.  The conference will provide great opportunities for networking, hearing from informative and diverse speakers, and to access to ALGWA members from across the country.  For your chance to be part of this event, either as a sponsor or potential partner, please contact:  Ald Heather Chong - Conference Chair, or Ald Kay McFarlane - President ALGWA (Tas).

Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania 2016 Conference

The Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania 2016 Conference, themed Rethinking Prevention - a broader agenda, will be held in Hobart, on 12-13 May.  Presenters and delegates will discuss how best to support and provide prevention, treatment and harm reduction interventions in the current environment and into the future.  The conference has secured an exciting line-up of international, national and local keynote speakers to present.  Click here to find out more, or to register.

Local Government Events

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
Role of the Council and the Councillor, Launceston 8 April
Mayors Professional Development, Launceston 21 April
General Meeting, Launceston 22 April 
General Management Committee Meeting, Launceston 22 April 


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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