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The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT

The Pulse - 29 February 2016

 

Issue no. 03 29 February 2016

In this Issue...

 President's Message
 News Items

              Inquiry into Built Heritage Tourism in Tasmania

              Expressions of Interest Sought for Membership of the New Local Government Code of Conduct Panel

              Report Highlights Important Role of Local Government in Boosting Freight Productivity

              Tasmania’s Sewerage Problems put on the Map by Infrastructure Australia

              World Environment Day Awards 2016

              Boil Water Alert for the Town of Strahan

              Local Government Representative Appointed to Family Violence Consultative Group

              Research into Regional Economic Development On-line Survey

              Oil Containers out of Scope for DrumMUSTER                    

 Grants & Scholarships
 Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
 Local Government Events


LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor

 

 

 


 

In the Spotlight

 

From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

Speaker presentations and notes from the Elected Members' Professional Development Weekend are now available on the LGAT extranet.  To obtain your Council's username and password, please see your General Manager, or contact LGAT.
 
Infrastructure Australia releases its Infrastructure Plan, outlining priorities and reforms for the nation’s future http://bit.ly/1omAZ27


President's Message

Late last week, the CEO and I attended the first meeting of the Steering Committee for the Review of the Local Government Act (the Act).  Our initial task was to agree on the broad scope of the review in relation to the Terms of Reference, agreed by the Premier's Local Government Council last year.  Additionally we agreed on the project plan, timeframes and communications strategy.

The Terms of Reference required us to consider the Act in relation to the roles and functions of mayors, deputy mayors, councillors, general managers, the Director of Local Government, the Local Government Board and Boards of Inquiry.  Procedures for the Board and Boards of Inquiry are also captured.  Further, there will be opportunity to comment on any issues remaining after significant legislative reform in relation to financial and asset management, as well as electoral reform in 2014.  Finally there will be opportunity to identify unnecessary red tape and areas where processes could be improved.

 The Steering Committee has three guiding principles outlined in the Terms of Reference.  These are: recognising Local Government as an independent sphere of government; striving for less rather than more prescription; and focusing on governance improvement in the interests of the Tasmanian community.  Further, the Steering Committee agreed it was important not to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater' and that a corporate governance model should be retained whereby the elected representatives operate as a board of non-executive directors, chaired by the mayor.

We were aided in our conversations by comparative analysis of legislation from the other States and the Northern Territory.  When the discussion paper is circulated for consultation, the comparative analysis will be made available as supporting material.  It is hoped consultation leveraging off the discussion paper will commence at the end of April.  This will be determined at the next Steering Committee meeting to be held on 7 April.

The Terms of Reference, including membership of the Steering Committee, are available on the Local Government Division's website.

Mayor Doug Chipman
LGAT President


News Items

Inquiry into Built Heritage Tourism in Tasmania

The Legislative Council Sub-Committee inquiring into Built Heritage Tourism in Tasmania has released a Final Report.  The Inquiry resulted in 55 findings and 26 recommendations covering leadership and strategic direction in the built heritage tourism sector, through to presentation and marketing, adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, funding and other significant recommendations.  Inquiry Chair, the Hon Rob Valentine MLC, said the inquiry found built heritage tourism is increasingly making a significant contribution to the Tasmanian economy but it does need to be backed up with greater recognition in government policies and strategic planning,” Mr Valentine said.  "The sector has great potential to improve the economy of our regional areas, providing a boost for not only employment but also related commercial activity in some of our towns and cities across this State."  The Inquiry found that adaptive reuse and repurposing of heritage buildings is an effective way of maintaining many of our State’s key assets.  Other key findings and recommendations include the importance of emerging markets and ‘value adding’ to the visitor experience, the vital role undertaken by volunteers, signage and interpretation.  The Final Report has been tabled and is available on the Parliament of Tasmania website.



Expressions of Interest Sought for Membership of the New Local Government Code of Conduct Panel

The Minister for Planning and Local Government, the Hon Peter Gutwein MP, is seeking expressions of interest from interested persons for membership of the new Local Government Code of Conduct Panel.  The Local Government Code of Conduct Panel will be responsible for the investigation and determination of code of conduct complaints against councillors under Tasmania’s new code of conduct framework.  Members must have experience in Local Government, or be an Australian lawyer.  Please note you are not eligible if you have been a councillor or council employee within the proceeding two years.  Members are entitled to receive remuneration and allowances as determined by the Minister.  The closing date for expressions of interest is 4 March.  For further information visit http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/local_government.



Report Highlights Important Role of Local Government in Boosting Freight Productivity

Local roads are an essential component of the national road network and make a significant contribution to state and national productivity, and Local Government has an important role to play in enabling more efficient movement of freight.  Infrastructure Australia's 15-year Australian Infrastructure Plan encourages a collaborative effort between all levels of government to support strategic investments and deliver productivity-enhancing reforms.  Mayor Troy Pickard, President of the Australian Local Government Association, said there is a need for greater federal support and investment in local roads through Local Government.  "Programs like Roads to Recovery help with the basic maintenance of our local roads but with freight traffic only getting bigger and their loads heavier, more needs to be done to upgrade the local road network to handle the significantly higher volumes of freight traffic, and provide safe access for all major classes of heavy vehicles," he said.  For more information and to download the plan, visit the Infrastructure Australia website.



Tasmania’s Sewerage Problems put on the Map by Infrastructure Australia

TasWater’s Chief Owners Representative and Mayor of the Northern Midlands Council, David Downie, is pleased that the Federal Government has recognised the need to assist TasWater in addressing its ageing sewerage infrastructure, with the announcement that Tasmania is seen as a priority in Australia’s Infrastructure Plan.  In its latest assessment, the upgrade of sewerage in Launceston, Hobart and Devonport has been elevated to the infrastructure priority list as an initiative.  “The TasWater Board has advised its 29 owner councils that the projected cost of the capital projects needed to be completed over the next 10 years, in order to bring Tasmania’s ageing and in many cases failing water and sewerage infrastructure up to modern day standards, is in the order of $1.7 billion,” Mayor Downie said.  “TasWater is only able to fund $1.2 billion of that by itself, with an extra $500 million required from other sources to finish the work.”



World Environment Day Awards 2016

Entries for the 2016 World Environment Day Awards are now open!  The awards are held each year in support of United Nations World Environment Day (5 June), to recognise the most innovative and outstanding environmental programs and initiatives taking place across Australia.  Entries are invited from councils, businesses, community organisations and individuals in the following Award categories:  Wetland and Wildlife; Clean Energy;  Infrastructure Innovation; Business; Community; Environmental Education; Environmental School ; Excellence in Water Management; Individual; Local Government; Media Award for Environmental Reporting; and Organisation Leadership.  Nominations close on 8 April.  Winners will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held on 6 June at Federation Square, Melbourne.  For more information, contact the UNAA Victoria office on (03) 9670 7878, or by emailView criteria and entry forms here.



Boil Water Alert for the Town of Strahan

TasWater has issued a boil drinking water alert to residents in Strahan and is currently working to resolve water quality issues detected during routine sampling of the water supply.  After boiling, water must be allowed to cool before using it, and be stored in a clean, closed container for later use.  Residents should boil all water used for:  drinking; brushing teeth; washing and preparing food or beverages; preparing baby formula; making ice.  The Department of Health and Human Services advises that consumption of unboiled water could lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and a general feeling of being unwell.



Local Government Representative Appointed to Family Violence Consultative Group

Clr Mary Knowles of Northern Midlands Council has been appointed to the Family Violence Consultative Group (FVCG) as the Local Government representative.  The Consultative Group will provide feedback and be consulted on family violence issues, particularly in response to the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children, and Tasmania's Family Violence Action Plan.  We thank all the nominees for their interest in representing Local Government in this capacity.



Research into Regional Economic Development On-line Survey

Economic development and strategic foresight practitioners are invited to complete a ten-minute, online survey, being conducted as part of a body of research aimed at re-conceptualising the regional system in a manner which permits the application of strategic foresight and futures methodologies.  The survey seeks to get a sense of the geographic element of the operating environment.  Elements of the strategic framework in terms of policy and strategy are explored, as are the  economic development practices used and favoured by practitioners.  Questions also address innovation and innovation systems.  The survey has been developed by Swinburne University of Technology Ph.D program candidate, Brian Scantlebury.  Click here to commence the survey.  To receive more information about the project, email Brian Scantlebury



Oil Containers out of Scope for DrumMUSTER

VIP Packaging and the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP) recently announced the discontinuation of their service to collect and recycle used oil plastic lubricant bottles up to 10 litres in capacity from various waste transfer stations in Tasmania due to a lack of funding for the AIP Program.  DrumMUSTER Regional Consultant, Andrew Winkler said, "The termination of the oil recycling program is disappointing and may have knock on effects to other stewardship programs operating around Australia.”  DrumMUSTER is a stewardship program that collects non-returnable metal or plastic containers between 1 to 205 litres in capacity from participating AgVet manufacturers.  Oil containers are not within the program’s scope and anyone wishing to dispose of these are advised to contact their local council to find an alternate means of disposal.  Collection locations can be found on the DrumMUSTER website.  For further information, call 1800 008 707.



Grants & Scholarships

Tasmanian Community Fund General Grants

The Tasmanian Community Fund provides grants to fund community organisations that make a difference by enhancing wellbeing and improving the social, environmental and economic outcomes for the Tasmanian community.  Applications for funding are now open.  Small grants (up to $20,000) close on 16 March and Medium Grants (between $20,001 and $90,000) close on 6 April.  Additional information and a copy of the guidelines can be obtained from the Tasmanian Community Fund website.  The Tasmanian Community Fund can also be contacted at admin@tascomfund.org, or by phone on 6232 7269.


Public Sector Management Program - 2016 Local Government Scholarships

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, aimed 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.


Tasmanian Community Road Safety Grants Program

Funding is available through the Tasmanian Community Road Safety Grants Program to assist local councils, community organisations and schools to undertake community road safety projects.  Projects must be evidence-based, using research or best practice principles.  They must address localised issues or be of road safety benefit, targeting a specific group or issue, and align with the Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2007-2016.  There are two funding streams available:  Small projects from $500 - $5,000; and Medium - Large projects from $5,000 - $25,000.  Applications are due by 1 April.  Click here for more information.



Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Stormwater Symposium – Stormwater Management in a Changing Climate

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia and the Australian Water Association are holding Stormwater Symposium at the Old Woolstore in Hobart, on 4 March.  Keynote presenter, Mark Christison, Business Director - Operations and Maintenance for Beca, has been heavily involved in the response and recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes including leading the initial response and recovery of water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste services.  Mark will be supported by a great program of local speakers covering a diverse range of topics and case studies. A trade exhibition will be open throughout the day and there will plenty of opportunity for networking.  Register now!


Think on Your Feet®

Think on Your Feet® is a globally acclaimed course that trains you to analyse, organise and present your ideas, even under pressure.  The two-day course introduces the capsules-of-persuasion concept: 10 plans that structure your ideas quickly.  By incorporating both left and right brain thinking, we can be articulate and creative within the framework of a logical structure.  It helps you communicate confidently in an impromptu situation, handle difficult questions and get your ideas across when there is no time to prepare.  This course is presented by The Training Consortium in partnership with the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and will be held from 1-2 March and 18-19 May in Hobart, and from 22-23 June in Launceston.  Participation costs $1,000 (TTC members) and $1,120 (non-members).  Find out more on The Training Consortium website.


Speaking Confidently to Groups

Gain the skills and confidence to give logical and interesting presentations at a workshop being held by The Training Consortium on 8 March in Hobart, and on 15 June in Launceston.  Participants will be invited to deliver a 5-minute presentation to the group which can be video recorded to obtain the trainer's feedback following the workshop.  Cost is $495.00 (TTC members) or $618.75  (non-members).  For more information, call (03) 6232 7511, or visit The Training Consortium website.


Local Government Growing Tasmania through Better Workforce Planning

Skills Tasmania has appointed the Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology Sydney, in partnership with the LGAT, Waratah-Wynyard , Circular Head and Burnie City Councils, to improve sector understanding of the benefits of workforce planning and build sector capacity.  A new Local Government research project aims to ensure a more sustainable Local Government sector that is better able to support employment and economic growth in local communities.  In the first phase of the project, senior executives are invited to attend a half-day workshop in Launceston (30 March), Burnie (31 March) and Hobart (7 April) to explore the benefits of workforce planning, identify key workforce challenges and discuss elements to consider during the development of the Tasmanian Workforce Planning Guidelines.  To attend, please email Roberta Ryan - Associate Professor, University of Technology Sydney, or Dion Lester - LGAT Policy Director.  



Local Government Events

Engineering a Better Tasmania, Hobart 1 March
MAV Insurance & Risk Conference, Hobart 3-4 March 
General Managers' Workshop, George Town 9-10 March
Good Governance - The 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 

 

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Email: reception@lgat.tas.gov.au

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