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The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT

The Pulse - 16 June 2016

 

Issue no. 11 16 June 2016

In this Issue...

 President's Message
 News Items

              Agreement to Freeze TasWater Dividends

              Building Bill set to pass through Parliament in August

              Proposed Options to Improve Heavy Vehicle Charges

              State Government not Proposing to Introduce a Statewide Waste Levy

              Flood Relief Assistance - How You Can Help

              Flood Investment Crucial

              Appointment to the Premier's Physical Activity Council

              New Councillor Fills Devonport City Council Vacancy

              Ten-year Plan set to Transform Hobart

              NIB Foundation Community Grant Program

              What's the Big Idea?

              Get your Local Vet on board to Help Reduce the Number of Unwanted Litters

  Awards
  Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
  Local Government Events



LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor

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In the Spotlight

 

From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

Tasmania's flood victims urgently need your support.  To find out how you can help, please click here.
 
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the floods and all the people working hard to get things back to normal


President's Message

I am sure the news last Friday that 18 councils would be eligible for funding under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements was most welcome, but I know that many councils and communities still have a hard road ahead.  The scenes and stories were confronting and often heartbreaking, and the costs are only just starting to be fully realised. 

I wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of mayors, councillors and council staff in supporting those directly affected by the floods, in helping to make them safe and in helping their lives to return to normal as soon as possible.  It has made me proud to be part of the incredible community that is Local Government. 

I know in a number of cases you will still be very busy for many weeks and months to come as you assess the damage, and implement plans to restore essential infrastructure. 

The staff at LGAT tried to keep everyone informed as much as possible and will continue to do so as they interact with the State Government and participate on the Taskforce, and in relation to funding applications and specific issues such as waste management.  Please don’t hesitate to make contact with LGAT should you have further questions.

Mayor Doug Chipman
LGAT President



News Items 

Agreement to Freeze TasWater Dividends

Local Government owners of TasWater have agreed to freeze distributions for the next decade should the State and Federal Governments agree to contribute some $400 million to a proposed $1.8 billion water and sewerage infrastructure plan.  The plan would see the elimination of ‘boil water’ and ‘do not consume’ alerts to ensure as many Tasmanians as possible have access to healthy, potable water along with working to a resolution to the combined stormwater and sewage issue in Launceston.  In addition, there would be a significant reduction in the number of waste water and water treatment plants in the State that would operate at the appropriate standards, and assistance to relocate the Macquarie Point Sewage Treatment Plant while ensuring consumers do not face huge increases in their water and sewage bills.

Chief Owners' Representative and Mayor of the Northern Midlands Council David Downie said councils have demonstrated their willingness to contribute to the $1.8 billion that is required to fix Tasmania’s ageing water and sewerage infrastructure.  “We now call on the State and Federal politicians to help bridge the gap to enable us to have a ten-year plan to address the water and sewerage infrastructure issue in Tasmania once and for all,” Mayor Downie said.



Building Bill set to pass through Parliament in August

The new Building Bill 2016 recently received its third reading in the Legislative Council and it is anticipated that the legislation will be passed in August and enacted in late 2016.  The new legislation forms part of the revised Tasmanian Building Regulatory Framework which aims to reduce unnecessary red tape and support the industry, whilst providing additional support and protection for consumers.  Councils have been working with the State Government's Division of Building Control throughout the course of the development of the framework. It is understood that there will be training provided in September/October to assist councils with transition processes and forms to accommodate the new legislative provisions.  The Bills can be viewed here.



Proposed Options to Improve Heavy Vehicle Charges

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a discussion paper outlining possible options to improve the current method of setting heavy vehicle charges in Australia.  The paper has been developed in response to a recognised need to better balance heavy vehicle charges and government revenues.  Governments, the heavy vehicle industry and all other interested parties are invited to consider the merits of each of the options contained in the discussion paper.  Proposed options include: changing the methodology used to calculate the heavy vehicle cost base; ring-fencing of revenue from heavy vehicle charges; or moving to independent price regulation.  Submissions can be lodged before 27 July.  To read the discussion paper, click here.



State Government not Proposing to Introduce a Statewide Waste Levy

At the May meeting of the Premier’s Local Government Council (PLGC) the State Government confirmed it did not support the introduction of a state waste levy.  However, it was acknowledged that a new statewide waste management strategy is needed to deal with issues that are beyond the capacity of regional waste authorities, and for which responsibility is shared across the three tiers of government, the community and private sector.  There was strong support from both the State Government and Local Government to work collaboratively on a new statewide strategy.  View the full communiqué here.



Flood Relief Assistance - How You Can Help

There are several avenues to support those impacted by last week's devastating floods.  The Rural Relief Fund assists eligible farmers with anything from household goods, fence repairs and fodder.  To support those affected in rural communities, please donate at any ANZ branch, by direct deposit to: BSB: 017 042, A/c. No. 2662 37013, A/c Name: Rural Relief Fund, or online.  The Latrobe Lions Club are coordinating an appeal for those affected by the flood in Latrobe.  Donations can be made electronically to: BSB: 067-015, A/c no. 10067952, A/c name: Lions Club of Latrobe Inc. Disaster Relief Account.  The St Vincent de Paul Society in Tasmania, in partnership with MyState, have coordinated the 2016 Tasmanian Floods Appeal.  To make a donation, visit any MyState branch, call the Vinnies Donation Hotline on 13 18 12, or visit www.vinnies.org.au.  The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, through AgriGrowth Tasmania, has established a hotline to centralise offers of support for farm recovery efforts.  The contact number is 6777 2233 and the email address is AGT.admin@dpipwe.tas.gov.au.  AgriGrowth Tasmania has already established a register of people who have called to offer help with recovery efforts, such as with the provision of large machinery.  Trained volunteers and emergency service workers wishing to volunteer to assist with the recovery efforts should register via the Emergency Volunteering website.



 

Flood Investment Crucial

The widespread flood damage in Tasmania calls to attention the pressing need for investment in flood mitigation around the country.  Floodplain Management Australia (FMA) President, Ian Dinham, said the construction of levees, such as the 13km levee system in Launceston, can provide protection against flooding and resulting community and business losses.  The Launceston Flood Protection Scheme was funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments, and the City of Launceston.  It protects up to 1,600 properties, part of the central business district, and historical and cultural buildings.  “Investment in mitigation is crucial but it must be coupled with community awareness and education initiatives, much like the Launceston Flood Protection Scheme," Mr Dinham said.  “Climate change forecasts indicate that the likelihood of flooding will increase with rising global temperatures.  The threat of flood is not dissipating - flood risk management programs must be supported.” 

Flooding is the most costly, yet manageable of natural disasters, with recent estimates costing Australia over $560 million a year.  Floodplain Management Australia brings together experts from across Australia and overseas to help build a more flood resilient nation.  Members include over 120 councils, catchment management authorities, businesses and professionals involved in urban and rural flood risk management.  For more information on Floodplain Management Australia, visit floods.org.au.



Appointment to the Premier's Physical Activity Council

Ald Heather Chong of Clarence City Council has been appointed as the Local Government representative on the Premier's Physical Activity Council (PPAC) for a period of three years.  PPAC was established in 2001 to provide a coordinated, cross sector and collaborative response to increasing and improving opportunities for physical activity in Tasmania.  The Local Government Association of Tasmania would like to thank Mr Greg Preece of Meander Valley Council for capably serving as the Local Government representative on PPAC for the past five years.  The Association would also like to thank all those who nominated for the position for their interest.



New Councillor Fills Devonport City Council Vacancy

Following the resignation of Ald Justine Keay of Devonport City Council, the Tasmanian Electoral Commission conducted a recount and have announced that Tammy Milne has been elected to fill the vacancy.  Ald Milne will serve until the 2018 ordinary election of the Council.



Ten-year Plan set to Transform Hobart

The City of Hobart’s Transforming Hobart capital works program has been given in-principal approval by the Council, setting out the major projects to be undertaken in the next decade.  The projects aim to improve and modernise Hobart's  roads, paths, buildings, toilets and open spaces, and the improvements will occur in addition to normal maintenance and replacement programs.  Major projects to begin in the next three years are the: rejuvenation of the shopping strips in Sandy Bay, Lenah Valley and New Town; improved footpaths in Salamanca; pedestrian and cycling bridges over the Brooker and Tasman Highways; improved traffic and pedestrian flows in the Elizabeth Street bus mall; new and renovated public toilets across Hobart; improved tracks and toilets on Mount Wellington and the Queens Domain; surface and toilet improvements at the TCA Ground; and traffic improvements on Bathurst and Elizabeth streets to reduce congestion.  While the schedule is over ten years to allow for better forward planning, Council will have the option of reviewing it every year.  For a full list of major and minor projects, visit the City of Hobart website.



NIB Foundation Community Grant Program

NIB Foundation's Community Grant program aims to support locally-based initiatives that will make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of Australian communities, with a focus on the health of young people, and carers.  Funding of $5,000 to $50,000 will be provided to 10-15 organisations each year to undertake projects that run for approximately 12 months.  Applications close on  30 June.  Click here for more information and to apply.



 What's the Big Idea?

My Big Idea is a citizen-led, nationwide ideas competition that is focused on creating positive change for Australia.  Running until 3 August, My Big Idea invites all Australians to submit ideas on ways to improve aspects of their communities; from how to boost economic growth, care for the disadvantaged and look after future generations.  Ideas can be submitted via the My Big Idea website, with the 100 most popular ideas going before a judging panel and 10 winning ideas from those being developed and brought to life.  Councils are encouraged to promote the initiative to community members to submit their big idea by: including My Big Idea in your newsletters; putting up My Big Idea posters in community centres; and running brainstorming events for staff and/or community members of your community.  More information and resources to get involved in these activities are available from the Australian Futures Project, which can be contacted on info@australianfutures.org.



Get your Local Vet on board to Help
Reduce the Number of Unwanted Litters

Councils and pet owners are being urged to get their local vet on board for National Desexing Month in July to help reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies.  This year’s theme is Don’t like Surprises? Desex your pet.  National Desexing Network Director, Sylvana Wenderhold, said please check with your vet to see if they are part of the program and ask them to sign up if they’re not.  Now in its twelfth year, the National Desexing Network (NDN) asks veterinarians around the country to sign up on the NDN website and offer discounted cat and dog desexing options within their communities.  “We’re urging as many vets to come on board as possible, and for people to take advantage of the discounted rates and get their pets desexed,” Ms Wenderhold said.



Awards

Nominate an Elected Member Today for the 2016 Meritorious Service Award

There are just four days remaining to nominate an elected member who is doing an outstanding job for the 2016 Meritorious Service Award, presented by the Life Members of the Association.  The award was introduced in 2011 to recognise exceptional service to local councils and communities by elected members.  Nominees are to 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.  Nominations can be made by anyone on the Tasmanian Electoral Roll.  Nominations close on 20 June.  The award will be presented at the Local Government Conference Dinner, to be held at Wrest Point on 21 July.  Click here for a copy of the Award Guidelines and Entry Form, or call 6233 5966. 

 
2016 WorkSafe Tasmania Awards

If you are committed to making your workplace safer and healthier for everyone, then you could be eligible for a WorkSafe Award!  Whether it’s an everyday achievement or a large-scale initiative, it could be worthy of being celebrated in the 2016 WorkSafe Tasmania Awards.  The WorkSafe Awards are open to any Tasmanian business, organisation or  individual with an initiative that fits one of seven categories.  Entries close on 10 July.  Visit the WorkSafe website for more information.


2016 Community Achievement Awards

Nominations are now open for the Community Achievement Awards.  Categories include: Health Achievement; Disability Achievement; Sustainability; Agriculture; Physical Activity; Outstanding Achiever; Environment; Community Group of the Year; and Employer Excellence in Aged Care.  If you know an individual, group or business contributing to the community or doing something outstanding, be sure to nominate before 10 August.  You can nominate by email or call 6234 9677.  For more information, head to the website.


Nominate for the EPA Sustainability Award 2016

Nominations are open for the 2016 EPA Sustainability Award (one of the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards), which is designed to recognise businesses demonstrating a commitment to sustainability – through clean production initiatives, waste minimisation and resource efficiency.  Submissions should be for a project or initiative that has achieved measurable improvements in any areas of pollution prevention, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste minimisation and/or resource efficiency, with flow-on benefits to the wider community and/or industry sector.  To find out more about the EPA Sustainability Award how to nominate, go to www.awardsaustralia.com and click on 'Tasmania'.  Nominations close on 10 August.


2016 Innovative Tasmania Awards

Nominations for the 2016 Innovative Tasmania Awards are now open.  The Innovative Tasmania Awards were founded by the Australian Innovation Research Centre, Bell Bay Aluminium and BOFA in Action.  In 2016, there are 11 awards: Innovator of the Year Award; Young Innovator of the Year Award; Innovative Start-up Award; Innovative Product Award; Innovative Science and Technology Award; Innovative Service Award; Innovative Process Award; Innovative Community Award; Innovative Region Award; Innovative Environment Award; and Innovative Government Award.  Nominations close on 14 August.  Click here to nominate.



Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Elected Members' Planning Workshop

Registrations are now open for the LGAT hosted Planning Workshop to be held in Hobart on 19 July, prior to the LGAT Annual Conference.  Speakers include the Manager Strategy at the City of Greater Bendigo, the Acting Manager of the Tasmanian Planning Policy Unit and the Executive Director of the Housing Industry Association.  The sessions will explore innovative strategic planning initiatives being undertaken in Bendigo, an update on the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, and a panel discussion on what the future holds for planning in Tasmania.  Further information can be found here.   


Register Now for the LGAT Annual Conference

The LGAT Annual Conference, Tasmanian Local Government's premier event of the year, will be held from 20-22 July at the C3 Convention Centre, South Hobart.  Themed Metamorphosis: A Time of Change and Transformation, the line-up of accomplished leaders will enhance our knowledge on how Local Government can better prepare for, adapt to and champion change to deliver better outcomes for the communities we represent.  Highlights of this year's conference include: a reception at Government House; the official dinner at Wrest Point incorporating the presentation of the Meritorious Service Award and Long Service Awards; and the announcement of the 2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence.  The conference will be complimented with a trade exhibition featuring the latest products and services available to Local Government.  Accommodation is available at Wrest Point in Hobart - book online by 20 June, call 1800 139 760, or email groups@federalgroup.com.au quoting 'Business Block no 722893'.  Register by 1 July for the chance to win a night's accommodation at Wrest Point and breakfast for two people, valued at $300.  Download a copy of the Conference Program and click here to complete your registration electronically.  For enquiries, call 6233 5119.
 
 

    "2016: an Election Year" with Dr John Hewson

In the final countdown to the Federal Election, join former opposition leader and popular political and economic commentator, Dr John Hewson, for an analysis of the recent performance of Australian Governments and the challenges facing the incoming government - whatever persuasion it may be.  The Institute of Public Administration Australia (Tas) is very excited to be able to host John Hewson as he shares his views on the implications for the public sector of the current political environment, and his analysis on the state of play in the US election.  He will have plenty to talk about in what will be a frank, informed and lively discussion that will take place from 1.00pm - 2.30pm, on 27 June, in Hobart.  Cost is $45 (IPAA members), $60 non-members.  To register, click here.


Aerated Wastewater Treatment System Servicing and Maintenance

A 3-day Aerated Wastewater Treatment System Servicing (AWTS) and Maintenance course will be held in Queanbeyan, NSW, from 1-3 August.  The course will cover the fundamentals of aerated wastewater treatment systems including: the principles of AWTS operation; the variety of systems on the market; performance expectations; and regulatory requirements.  It is particularly suited to council officers involved in approval, inspection and regulatory oversight of aerated wastewater treatment systems.  The course fee is $2,084.50 (incl GST).  For more information, visit www.environmentaltraining.com.au.


Local Government Leadership and Best Practice Summit

The Australian School of Applied Management is pleased to advise that the 4th Annual Australian Local Government Leadership and Best Practice Summit will be held in Melbourne, from 11-12 August.  The 2016 Summit will focus on enhancing collaboration between management and elected members by showcasing examples of best practice in Local Government and exploring the key competencies and behaviours required for leadership excellence in the coming years.  Find out more here


Public Sector Asset Management 2016  

Asset management is an essential component of good governance within the public sector and should be aligned to, and integrated with, an entity's strategic, corporate and financial planning.  Public Sector Asset Management 2016, to be held in Sydney from 15-16 August, will draw on the expertise of more than 15 expert asset management speakers and will address how to improve asset management strategies including: asset management planning for informed decision-making and operational reality; developing an asset management plan with the desired balance of cost risk and performance; and integrating financial sustainability and levels of service to meet community requirements.  Register here.


16th International Cities and Town Centres Conference

Registrations are now open for the 16th International Cities and Town Centres (ICTC) Conference, being held in Launceston, from 9-11 November.  Themed Future Places: Conflict in Harmony, the ICTC program covers a range of topics that consider what our future places will need and look like, and what urban design, planning and economic strategies we adopt to accommodate changing consumer and citizen preferences.  Connectivity, accessibility, digital innovation and infrastructure, and how they tie into the liveable cities agenda will be explored.  The program offers over 80 presentations from European, UK, Australian and New Zealand speakers on topics covering: place making; marketing; main streets; retail and town centres; planning; urban design; property; economic development; architecture; landscape; environment; infrastructure; transport; engineering; public works; technology; demography; and consumer behaviour.  Register now and save $100!  Earlybird registrations close on 8 July.



Local Government Events

National General Assembly of Local Government, Canberra 19-22 June
Elected Members' Planning Workshop, Hobart 19 July
Annual General 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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