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The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT

The Pulse - 5 May 2016

 

Issue no. 08 5 May 2016

In this Issue...

 President's Message
 News Items

              Nominations Open for Meritorious Service Award

              Meander Valley Council General Manager Resigns

              Council Road Managers urged to Comment on Draft Data Standard

              2016 Building Code of Australia Available in Print

              Bridging the Digital Divide with NBN's Sky Muster™ Satellite

              New Australian Business Register Tool

              Healthy Young People

              TasWater on the Move

              Crime Stoppers Week

 Awards
 Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
 Local Government Events 



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In the Spotlight

 

From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

Would you like to recognise an elected member who is doing an exceptional job?  Nominations for the 2016 Meritorious Service Award are open now.  Register here!
 
R2R funding up $50 million a year from 2019-2020

 President's Message

It has been yet another busy fortnight in Local Government.  We saw the release of the discussion paper for consultation on changes to the Local Government Act as part of a targeted review focused on improving governance, providing role clarity and reducing red tape.  I  believe that the paper allows for a broad range of ideas and issues to be canvassed in this first stage but there is opportunity to bring other important matters forward for consideration of the Steering Committee, of which I am a part.  The LGAT CEO has been in contact with mayors and general managers regarding a sectoral consultation process but individual submissions may also be made.  All the information you need can be found on the Local Government Division’s website.  Feedback can be provided until the 10 June.

The Government also released a Draft Tasmanian Cat Management Plan in the last fortnight, with 25 recommendations pertaining to Local Government.  Critically, there is still much detail to be provided in relation to the anticipated role for Local Government, particularly in relation to compliance and how the plan will be resourced appropriately.  These were key concerns for our sector under the 2008-09 Plan, introduced by the previous Government.  The Association will be coordinating a whole of sector submission, with a closing date of 30 June.  LGAT is represented on the Tasmanian Cat Management Reference Group.  For more information, see www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au.  Discussions about feral cats are also happening at a national level.  When I attended the last meeting of the Environment Ministers, representing the Australian Local Government Association, the Ministers had a very useful exchange of information on feral cats.  These are of major concern in all jurisdictions and it can be expected that efforts to eradicate feral cats and control domestic cats will be strengthened in the future, where this has not already occurred.

Finally, this week LGAT launched our Federal Election advocacy document, Partnering for Prosperity, which highlights the key commitments we are seeking from an incoming Australian Government.  The highest priority is securing appropriate funding for our sector including: restoring the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs); increasing the overall quantum of FAGs funding in recognition of an increasing role and increasing costs; maintaining the current high levels of Roads to Recovery Funding; and embedding Bridges to Renewal funding for the long-term.  Local Government is also keen to see investment in community infrastructure and human services nationally, and for Tasmania, we have identified key statewide and regional infrastructure critical to the economic growth of our communities and our State.  The document is available on the LGAT website.

Mayor Doug Chipman
LGAT President



News Items

Nominations Open for Meritorious Service Award

Nominations are invited for the 2016 Meritorious Service Award, presented by the Life Members of the Local Government Association of Tasmania.  The annual award was introduced in 2011 to recognise exceptional service to Tasmanian Local Government by an elected member.  Nominations are invited for elected members who have made a demonstrable contribution to Local Government in one or more of the following areas: enhancement of the status of Local Government; introduction of a significant new or amended policy; innovation; entrepreneurship; new or improved services; improved structural or operational outcomes; or engagement and consultation.  Contributions may be within a community or council area, or at a regional or statewide level, and must have brought recognisable benefit or change.  The award winner will be announced at the LGAT Conference Dinner on Thursday, 21 July, at Wrest Point.  The winner will receive a trophy and $300 from the Life Members of the Association to donate to their preferred charity.  Nominations close at 5pm on Monday, 20 June.  The Life Members of the Association encourage all Tasmanian councils to support one of their own with a nomination.  Visit the LGAT website to download the Meritorious Service Award Entry Guidelines and Entry Form.  For enquiries, please contact LGAT on (03) 6233 5966 or email reception@lgat.tas.gov.au.



Meander Valley Council General Manager Resigns

Meander Valley Council's long-serving General Manager, Greg Preece, announced his resignation this week, effective from 5 August.  Greg began his career in Local Government in 1985 with Launceston City Council as a manager of the outside works department.  In 1999, he took on the role as General Manager at Dorset Council, where he  stayed until 2005 before moving to Meander Valley Council.  During his career, Greg served two terms (six years) as the Local Government representative on the Premier's Physical Activity Council and instigated Meander Valley Council's health and wellbeing program which has achieved great outcomes for the community.  Greg developed a policy which led to the establishment of the Westbury Industrial Estate that will become a major employment hub for the area, and established a Sustainable Environment Committee which has lead to multiple energy saving projects throughout the community.  In previous roles, Greg received awards for developing a night works program to undertake the upgrade of the Launceston CBD, he provided the support for Council to progress the expansion of the Hadspen township and was instrumental to securing funding for the Barnbougle Dunes golf development.  Greg has also been a strong advocate of careers in Local Government and has enjoyed watching young people progress their council careers. 

Meander Valley Council Mayor Craig Perkins said, "In accepting Greg's resignation, it is fair say that he will be a loss to not only Meander Valley but the Local Government sector in Tasmania generally.  The Council staff have tremendous respect for Greg and the way he manages the organisation, which speaks volumes of Greg's character and capacity." 



Council Road Managers urged to Comment on Draft Data Standard

Austroads commenced the development of a Data Standard for Road Management and Investment in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.  This work is in response to a need to standardise and harmonise data sets that support common road management and investment functions.  The Data Standard is being designed to be usable and user friendly for multiple road agencies and local council road managers.  Benefits for road managers expected from the Data Standard, include improved effectiveness in data driven decision-making and  more productive design, construction, maintenance and operation of the roads network.  The draft Standard is currently available for review.  Comments can be submitted until 12 May.  For further information, or to register an interest in this project, visit the Austroads website.



2016 Building Code of Australia Available in Print

The National Construction Code (NCC) is now available via the Australian Building Codes Board’s website.  The NCC provides the minimum necessary requirements for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in the design and construction of new buildings and new building work in existing buildings.  Recognising that some people prefer a printed version, the Housing Industry Association reproduces the Building Code of Australia (Volumes 1 and 2 of the NCC) under licence from the Australian Building Codes Board.  Volume 1 applies to Commercial Buildings (Class 2-9 Buildings) and Volume 2 applies to Residential Buildings (Class 1 & 10 Buildings).  More information on purchasing a printed copy is available on the Housing Industry Association website.



Bridging the Digital Divide with NBN's Sky Muster™ Satellite 

NBN has successfully launched its wholesale broadband satellite service, Sky Muster™,enabling fast broadband access for rural, regional and remote Tasmania.  Since blasting 36,000kms into space on 1 October last year, the satellite and 10 NBN ground stations have since undergone significant technical testing and user trials.  The service is expected to provide wholesale speeds significantly faster than those used now to around 400,000 premises across the country – with around 16,000 of those in Tasmania.  In drafting a new report, Satellite Broadband: A Global Comparison, Telecom's research firm, Ovum, found that selected plans based on NBN's Sky Muster™ service delivered outstanding results across all service requirements, establishing itself as a world leader in terms of download speed and peak monthly data allowance, that will deliver a great service for regional and remote Australians.  The full Ovum report is available online.



New Australian Business Register Tool

A new ABR Explorer tool is making it easier for councils to access Australian Business Register (ABR) data.  The online tool, available to all councils, provides direct access to information about more than seven million ABN-holders, with the data refreshed weekly.  The new tool will make it easier for council staff to access non-public ABR information and use it to identify critical needs.  Councils can use ABR Explorer data for different purposes including: planning and economic development activities; disaster management; sending invitations and making announcements; community engagement; issuing licences and registrations; investigating and enforcing regulatory compliance; procurement; checking eligibility for grants; and fieldwork activities.  The ABR Explorer tool can be accessed here.



Healthy Young People

A new resource is available for secondary school students, youth workers and others who work with young people.  Healthy Young People (HYP) provides free, locally-developed resources on adequate sleep, physical activity, sedentary time, positive body image, healthy eating and water consumption.  HYP was developed by Public Health Services in collaboration with the Department of Education to help Tasmanian secondary schools make healthy choices easy, positive and normal for every student every day.  HYP can be accessed here.



TasWater on the Move

TasWater is moving much of its North West Coast operations to a new office space in Devonport, relocating from its present site at Forth.  The 2,000 square metre office building in Steele Street is currently undergoing a total revamp to become TasWater's statewide Customer Service and Network Operations Centre.  The new Customer Service Centre will handle enquiries from across Tasmania, while water and sewerage facilities will be monitored around the clock from the state-of-the-art Network Operations Centre.  The centre is designed to capture real-time information from all TasWater's sewerage and water treatment plants and other infrastructure, identifying faults or outages and directing work crews to where they are needed, bringing greater efficiencies to their operations.  The new office will offer long-term, secure employment opportunities on the North West Coast, with 110 employees set to be working from the site.  Employees will be relocated to the new Devonport office later this year following the refurbishment.  Water treatment facilities will remain in Forth along with a base for operations and maintenance crews. 



Crime Stoppers Week

Crime Stoppers Week is 9 – 16 May, 2016.  Create a safer Tasmania for our children, for our families and for each other.  For information, contact Crime Stoppers General Manager, Ron Franks.



Awards

2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence

The 2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence, coordinated by the Local Government Association of Tasmania and proudly sponsored by MAV Insurance, are now open!  Tasmanian councils are encouraged to submit one or more nominations for projects that have, or are delivering a positive result for Tasmanian communities.  Initiatives may be linked to social and community services, infrastructure services, environmental services, or operational aspects of Council.  Projects might include community collaborations, education and cultural change projects, risk management and climate change initiatives, sustainable developments, best practice infrastructure projects, or the protection or improved management of built heritage.  There are two award categories:  Delivering Excellence - Smaller Councils (populations up to 15,000), and Delivering Excellence - Larger Councils (populations over 15,000).  Category winners will each receive a trophy and $1,000 prize money for staff development activities.  The winners will be announced at the Local Government Conference on 22 July.  Entries close on 6 June.  For a copy of the Entry Guidelines and Entry Form, please visit  the LGAT website.  For enquiries, email LGAT, or phone 6233 5966. 

 

2016 Resilient Australia Awards

Nominations for the 2016 Resilient Australia Awards are open.  Now in their 17th year, the national awards program recognises and promotes initiatives which strengthen community disaster resilience.  Disaster resilience is about making our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to manage natural disasters.  By celebrating innovation and best practice, the awards showcase work that is often unrecognised, inspiring others to think about how they can be more disaster resilient.  This year, there are five Tasmanian State award categories and three national awards categories.  Nominations close on 9 June.  For further information, please visit the Resilient Australia Awards portal. 

 

Engineering Excellence Awards Tasmania 2016 Now Open!  

Engineering surrounds us – be it the roads we drive on, the way we communicate, or the innovative architecture we admire.  The Australian Engineering Excellence Awards (AEEA) is an opportunity to showcase these engineering feats and their contribution to the Tasmanian economy, community and the environment.  Categories include: Project Management; Innovation/Research and Development; Environment; Products and Manufacturing Facilities; Buildings and Structures; Project Infrastructure; Reports, Procedures and Systems; Control Systems, Networks, Information Processing and Telecommunications; and Small Business Ventures and Projects.  Submissions close on 8 July.  For further information, please visit www.excellenceawards.org.au.



Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Skills for Assertive Communication

In any situation where people interact, there is the potential for disagreements, challenges and struggles.  Asserting yourself skilfully is a learned skill.  It provides opportunities for positive change.  An Assertive Communication course is being held in Launceston, on 26 May, for anyone who would like to develop their workplace confidence and communication skills.  Learn to recognise and understand the different types of conflict, and strategies to resolve these effectively.  Cost is $495 (Training Consortium members) and $618.75 (non-members).  Register here.

 
Emerging Contaminants of Concern - The Reality of the Headlines

The Australasian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) is holding a seminar on from 12.00pm -2.00pm, on 26 May, in Hobart.  The topic is Emerging Contaminants of Concern – The Reality of the Headlines.  Speakers include the EPA Division’s John Gorrie and Lance Stapleton from TasWater.  This workshop is relevant to council officers working in the areas of waste management, contaminated sites and land use planning.  Details of the event and registration options are available here

 

Managing Contracts

The Training Consortium (TTC) is offering a one-day workshop in Hobart, on 27 May, on managing contracts for those who wish to extend their procurement knowledge and skills.  Attendees will become better able to: develop a contract management plan; identify and modify appropriate contractual documentation; confirm start and transition arrangements; monitor contractor performance; obtain approval for variations; develop and maintain records; finalise, cancel and terminate a contract; and evaluate contract management.  Registration costs $495 (TTC members) and $618.75 (non-members).  Find out more here.

 

AURIN Masterclass

AURIN provides urban researchers, policy and decision-makers with infrastructure to facilitate web-based access to a wealth of information on urban environments across Australia.  AURIN provides live links to some 1,650 datasets and over 100 analytical tools by which urban information can be accessed, interrogated, modelled and simulated.  AURIN is pleased to provide two free workshops as part of the Geography and Spatial Sciences Annual Conference hosted by UTAS Hobart.  The first workshop will be held in Hobart, on 6 June and the second will be held in Launceston, on 9 June.

 

Sir Samuel Griffith Conference - A People's Federation for the 21st Century

While the Federal Government's White Paper process may have stalled, public discussion around the reorganisation of responsibilities in the Australian Federation and tax reform continues.  At the fourth, annual Sir Samuel Griffith Conference, themed A people's Federation for the 21st Century, to be held on 16-17 June, in Brisbane, speakers will assess these issues and explore the political appetite and available options for reform in the 21st Century.  A series of panel discussions on important federal and democratic reforms will explore: the changing roles and responsibilities in the Federation; improving intergovernmental collaboration and cooperation; reforming intergovernmental financial relations; and engaging the public in federal reform.  For further details, visit the Griffith University website.

 

2016 National General Assembly

Registrations are now open for the National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) to be held from 19-22 June, in Canberra.  Under the theme, Partners in an Innovative and Prosperous Australia , delegates at this year's NGA will look at the many ways Local Government is being innovative both here and overseas.  The NGA will celebrate and examine the key role of Local Government in helping to build the economy and sustainable communities of the future.  Access the NGA registration brochure here .  Register your attendance here .

 

Conflict in Engagement

The new Australasian Certificate in Engagement has been developed, offering essential training for community and stakeholder engagement practitioners.  Identify the triggers and context for challenging engagement scenarios; practice a range of strategies for dealing with difficult situations; learn a range of mitigation strategies; understand online engagement dynamics; determine your role in challenging situations; and develop personal resilience.  The new course, developed by IAP2 Australasia, consists of a limited number of core modules.  The first module, Conflict in Engagement, will be held in Hobart on 29 June.  The cost is $550 + GST (IAP2 members) and $700 + GST (non-members).  To register, visit the IAP2 website.

 

National Hoarding and Squalor Conference

A two-day National Hoarding and Squalor Conference will be held in Sydney from 29-30 June.  The conference, hosted by Catholic Community Services NSW/ACT, aims to raise awareness about the impacts of hoarding and squalor for individuals, community organisations, local, state and federal governments, and the broader community.  Dr Sheila Woody, Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, will speak about the community-based interventions in both the US and Canada.  Australian presenters include Donna Bowe, Community Development Coordinator, Brisbane City Council, who will discuss the need for a collaborative approach to address the issues associated with hoarding and squalor. Click here to register.



Local Government Events

General Management Committee Meeting, Hobart 19 May
Local Government Disability Access Forum, Campbell Town 2 June
National General Assembly of Local Government, Canberra 19-22 June
Annual Genreal Meeting, Hobart 20 July
General Meeting, Hobart 20 July
LGAT Annual Conference, Hobart 21-22 July

 

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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