The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT


Issue no. 04 10 March 2016

In this Issue...

 President's Message
 News Items

               Australian Natural Disasters to Cost $33 Billion per year by 2050

               Good Governance – the Role of the Council and Councillor

               Local Government Growing Tasmania through Better Workforce Planning

               Revised Food Standards Code in Effect

               Smart Cities and Communities Survey 

               Change of Name for LGMA 

 Awards & Scholarships
 Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
 Local Government Events

LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor



In the Spotlight


From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

Good Governance – the Role of the Council and Councillor

Register today!

Planning laws create suburban sprawl http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/planning-laws-create-suburban-sprawl/news-story/36ba3563303ce87a547be237c98e29b8 


President's Message

Last week, the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) appeared before the Parliamentary Inquiry into the State Fire Commission.  This followed a submission from LGAT which focused on proposed changes to the funding of the SES, including the potential move to a centralised funding model which has been the subject of discussion with our sector since July last year.

A working group, chaired by the Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) and involving members from LGAT, the TFS, SES and TFS Corporate services, has been established to explore options for the centralisation of SES volunteer services and the funding for State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer assets and resources. 

The working group has engaged Wise, Lord and Ferguson to audit the current funding for SES volunteer units, including council, cash and in-kind contributions, and to get a clear understanding of the value of the capital assets.  We are waiting on the outcomes of that audit which will provide the working group with a firm understanding of the current cost of running the volunteer SES units, and will provide valuable information to inform future funding model options. 

It would appear that, in general, there would be support for a move away from the funding of the SES units at the municipal level to a more centralised model.  Historically, we have had a variety of arrangements in place including differing funding levels, differing levels of control and differing resource impacts.  These have been negotiated largely through Memorandums of Understanding.  It has meant there has not been the ability to reflect the different capacity of councils and the varying risk levels between Municipal Areas.  It also has provided different levels of control to SES in managing their resources and functions.  The is no real alignment between risk and resources.

How that centralised funding is generated and managed becomes the issue, where broad consultation will be needed.  One of the suggestions on the table is an extension to the current fire service levy.  Historically, Local Government has had issues with being the collector of the fire levy because of the perception that it is a council ‘tax’.  If there was to be an extension to the levy, clearly the process would need to be transparent and cost-neutral to ratepayers.  What we would not want to see is a continued expectation that Local Government provides funding in some form or other, as well as an extension to the levy.

Councils will continue to be consulted on the project and will be informed about the findings of the audit.  Communication about progress on the project will be regularly reported to councils, the General Management Committee and through General Meetings. 

Mayor Doug Chipman
LGAT President

 News Items

Australian Natural Disasters to Cost $33 Billion per year by 2050

According to two new reports launched by the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities, the annual cost of natural disasters in Australia is expected to increase from $9 billion to $33 billion per year by 2050.  The reports provide the first economic analysis of the social impact of natural disasters and the benefits of ensuring infrastructure assets are more resilient to extreme weather events.  Highlighting three case studies from different regions - the 2010-11 Queensland floods, the 2009 Victoria Black Saturday bushfires and the 1989 Newcastle earthquake - the report estimates social costs are at least as high as, if not higher than, tangible costs such as the destruction of property.  The reports also found that $17 billion (in net present value terms) will need to be spent on the direct replacement costs of essential infrastructure impacted by natural disasters between 2015 and 2050.  Click on the following links to access the reports and Roundtable's recommendations:  The Economic Cost of the Social Impact of Natural Disasters and Building Resilient Infrastructure.

Good Governance – the Role of the Council and Councillor

Good Governance - 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.  The 8 April session is now fully subscribed and LGAT has been able to negotiate a second session to be delivered in Launceston on  7 April.  For more information and registration, click here

Local Government Growing Tasmania through Better Workforce Planning

Three half-day workshops, coordinated by the UTS:CLG Centre for Local Government in partnership with LGAT, are being held in Launceston (30 March), Burnie (31 March) and Hobart (7 April) for general managers, directors, senior managers and other Local Government officers who are, or who will be, involved in workforce planning.  The workshops will: explore the benefits of workforce planning as an important facet of strategic corporate planning; discuss and identify key workforce challenges in Tasmania; and provide feedback on the important elements to consider for the development of workforce planning guidelines for Local Government in Tasmania.  The workshops are being provided free of charge.  For further information or to register, click here.

 Revised Food Standards Code in Effect

A revised version of the Food Standards Code has now come into effect and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has advised that there is no transition period between the old and the new version of the Code.  The Code has been revised so it more closely aligns with food Acts in Australian states and in New Zealand, and the changes are relatively minor in nature.  Industry stakeholders will benefit from a clearer, easier to follow Food Standards Code.  The new version of the code, including a summary of the changes, can be viewed on the FSANZ website.

 Smart Cities and Communities Survey

The Australian Smart Communities Association, in conjunction with Tech Research Asia, has launched a broad-based survey to gauge the level of maturity of smart city and smart community projects across Australia.  Anyone who is interested in, or connected with smart cities and smart communities projects is encouraged to participate in this survey by 11 March.  This initial survey will form the foundation of a longitudinal study that will track the maturity of Australia’s smart communities and smart cities initiatives.  Click here to start the Smart Cities and Communities Survey. 

Change of Name for LGMA

Following the decision by its members, Local Government Managers Australia (Tasmania) Incorporated (LGMA Tas) has changed its name to Local Government Professionals Australia, TAS Inc. (LG Professionals, TAS).  The Board believes the new name and logo better reflects what the organisation stands for with the diversity of professions that are now being represented within its growing membership.  The Board has been working towards the change of name for a period of time following a move from other states in adopting the more contemporary branding.  The National Office also adopted the new name and logo in 2015.

Awards & Scholarships

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.  Applications close on 18 March.  For more information, click here.

National Local Government Customer Service Awards

The National Local Government Customer Service Network understands the importance of recognising, rewarding and showcasing the achievement of customer service professionals and councils, and has therefore launched the prestigious National Local Government Customer Service Awards.   There are eight categories in the awards program and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 27 October in Wollongong, NSW.  Award submissions close on 22 April.  Click here to enter.

  Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Communicate with Influence

A lack of communication breeds assumptions of what the other is thinking or feeling and assumptions are, more often than not, incorrect.  This workshop focuses on key aspects of effective and professional communication.  Participants will develop a strong understanding of how effective communication can potentially avoid conflict and diffuse conflict situations.  The workshop will also cover: active listening; body language do’s and don’ts; styles of conflict resolution; negotiation and compromise; problem solving techniques; and developing a personal action plan.  This course is suitable for any employee who is required to work as part of a team and for those employees who are regularly dealing with clients and customers.  The half-day workshop will be held in Launceston (16 March), Devonport (17 March) and in Hobart (23 March).  Attendance costs $195 (TCCI members) and $295 (non-members).  Register now, or call the TCCI for further information on 1300 559 122.

The Truth about Employee Motivation!

Is your team motivated?  Motivated employees care, make better decisions, collaborate, innovate and stay.  Hear about motivation, the workplace drivers of motivation and how to be a motivating manager at an interactive presentation that will include case studies and insights from over 20 years of research and consulting.  Meet Louisa Vanderkruk and the research team behind Peoplepie Surveys - a new, online, self-service survey platform for managers.  Before establishing Peoplepie in 2015, Louisa led research for business and government in Australia and overseas to investigate and report employee motivation, engagement, culture and leadership.  Coordinated by the TCCI, the presentation will be held from 5.30pm - 7.00pm, on 23 March, in Hobart.  RSVP by 21 March.  Attendance is free for TCCI members and $15 for non-members.  For further information, contact the TCCI on 1300 559 122.

Page Seager Breakfast Seminar Series

What do office affairs and drink driving have in common?  Conflicts of interest are not well understood yet are an overused term in today’s workplace.  Join David Dilger and David Hodgson of Page Seager for a breakfast seminar from 7.30am, on 24 March, in Hobart.  Find out what a conflict of interest is and why employees should disclose conflicts.  Gain an understanding of effective Codes of Conduct regarding workplace behaviour and recommendations for your internal processes.  Page Seager’s Breakfast Seminar Series are complimentary seminars for Page Seager clients only.  Early bookings are recommended.  Click here to register.

Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal

Journalist and Author, George Megalogenis, has thirty years’ experience in the media, including over a decade in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.  At a lecture, to be held from 6pm, on 5 April, at the UTAS Stanley Burbury Theatre, George argues that Australia risks becoming globalisation’s next and most unnecessary victim.  "The next shock, whenever it comes, will find us with our economic guard down and a political system that has shredded its authority," he says.  "Both sides of politics are clinging defensively to an old model because it tells them a reassuring story of Australian success. Trusting to the market has left us with gridlocked cities, growing inequality and a corporate sector that feels no obligation to pay tax. It is time to redraw the line between market and state. Register now.

High Performance Energy 2016

High Performance Energy 2016 is a practical seminar designed for custodians of Australia’s built environment who share an interest in driving energy efficiency in their buildings in the primary areas of:  HVACR; lighting; building envelope; technology and automation; renewables and storage.  Attendees can learn from industry leaders to explore the latest trends, innovations, technology and economic and environmental solutions to drive energy efficiency in their building stock.  The seminar will be held on 5-6 April, in Sydney.  Click here to register.

Councils Invited to Attend 2016 National Volunteering Conference

Local Government representatives are invited to attend the 2016 National Volunteering Conference, to be held from 6-8 April, in Canberra.  The conference provides a forum for leaders, volunteer managers, policy contributors and corporates to come together to build knowledge, innovation, networks and leadership to advance volunteering.  Register your attendance on the conference website.

Partnership and Collaboration in Complex Systems

We all live in uncertain, changing times.  If you're grappling with how to build effective partnerships and make an impact on complex, multifaceted issues, a one-day workshop, to be held in Hobart on 8 April, offers practical strategies and tools.  It draws together the most up-to-date, international knowledge and experience in the fields of partnering/collaboration and complex systems.  Facilitators, Viv Read and Marcia Dwonczyk, combine extensive experience using complex methods and partnering processes in Australia and internationally.  The cost is $330 (government/private sector) and $240 (not-for-profit organisations).  Click here to register.  For more information, contact Tim Tabart at tim.tabart@gmail.com, or phone 0413 220 373.

Water Technology Symposium

Stornoway and Veolia have combined their expertise and experience to form SV Water.  Together they are hosting a symposium showcasing water technologies and advancements, and to introduce SV Water.  The symposium will be an interactive mix of presentations and demonstrations, discussing and showcasing water technologies and advancements that can improve efficiency and productivity for local councils, water authorities and private enterprise including: Aquadiag; fire hydrant testing; pipe lining; field IT; asset management; Intelligent city; smart meters; sludge management; and waste composting.  Symposiums are being held in Ulverstone (12 April), Launceston (13 April) and Hobart (14 April), with representatives on hand to answer questions.  To register your interest, call Stornoway on (03) 6212 5200, or contact via email.

41st Environmental Health Australia National Conference

The 41st Environmental Health Australia (EHA) National Conference will be hosted by EHA (TAS) Inc. in Hobart from 31 October - 3 November.  The conference theme, A Field of Champions, will bring together presenters from a variety of disciplines across the broader Environmental Health and sustainability profession to share expertise and understanding with the Environmental Health community.  Abstracts are now invited for areas of interest to the Environmental and Public Health field, and submissions close on 18 May.  To submit an abstract, please visit the EHA website.

Local Government Events

Local Government Growing Tasmania through Better Workforce Planning, Launceston 30 March
Local Government Growing Tasmania through Better Workforce Planning, Burnie 31 March
Local Government Growing Tasmania through Better Workforce Planning, Hobart 7 April
Good Governance - The Role of the Council and the Councillor, Launceston 7 April
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 


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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