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The Pulse e-newsletter - LGAT

The Pulse - 1 August 2016

 

Issue no. 14 1 August 2016

In this Issue...

 President's Message
 News Items

              2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence Winners Announced

              Devonport Mayor Recognised with Meritorious Service Award

              Stalwarts Honoured for Service to Local Government

              Local Government Portfolio Elevated to Cabinet Ministry

              National Local Government Twitter Day

              Tasmanian Floods and Preparedness across all Hazards

              Cradle Coast Tourism Winners Announced 

              Submissions Open for Draft Transport Access Strategy

              Superannuation Merger Official 

              Examining Bushfire Policy and Preparedness 

              2016 Census Night Approaching                            

  Awards
  Grants
  Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
  Local Government Events


LGAT Annual Conference Sponsor
 


 

 

In the Spotlight

 

From the Twittersphere... twitter icon

Congratulations to Circular Head Council and Clarence City Council - the winners of the 2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence
 
Get  get a behind the scenes look at your local council on National Local Government Twitter Day - Wednesday, 3rd August
#yourratesatwork

 President's Message

The LGAT staff are back in the office catching up on things following our annual conference: Metamorphosis: A Time of Change and Transformation.  One of the catch-up tasks is collating the delegate and trade feedback forms, but I am confident, based on my discussions over morning teas and lunches, that the conference was well received by most, if not all who attended. 

The theme was very timely.  As I noted in my closing remarks at conference, community expectations are changing.  We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another.  We often find ourselves between a rock and a hard place with regard to revenue and costs.  We can’t ignore the pressures for change and must adapt and find better, more cost-effective ways to deliver our services and maintain our infrastructure.

 Our varied conference speakers shared their experiences of facing their own pressures, adapting their organisations and overcoming obstacles, both internal and external.  We heard how leaders of change can be pilloried, their plans upset by agendas outside of their control, how they can make mistakes and ultimately, how hard it is to lead change.  But we also heard about some of the opportunities out there.  We’ve heard how through collaboration between tribes, through technology and smarter procurement for example, there is actually low hanging fruit out there.  

We were also able to celebrate the excellent work being undertaken in Local Government at a council and individual level, and in general, we were challenged to move from cocoons to butterflies.  I encourage you to take some of the new ideas back to your Council.  Speaker presentations are being uploaded to the LGAT extranet. 

I would also like to acknowledge those without whom the conference simply would not be possible.  The wonderful sponsors and trade exhibitors, the knowledgeable and giving speakers,  the hardworking LGAT team and of course, the delegates.  Thank you all. 

Now to start planning for next year!

Mayor Doug Chipman
LGAT President 



News Items 

2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence Winners Announced

Circular Head Council and Clarence City Council were declared the winners of the 2016 Local Government Awards for Excellence at this year's LGAT Annual Conference.

Circular Head Council won the Delivering Excellence - Smaller Councils (populations under 15,000) Award for a whole of community literacy project called the Reading Bug Egg.  The project was initiated in response to research indicating major literacy issues in the Municipal Area.  Central to the project is a ‘rare egg’ which needs to be read to in order to hatch.  The Reading Bug Egg visited schools, community events, even a council meeting to be read to and in the nine months since the project started, nearly 3,000 books have been read throughout the Circular Head area.

Clarence Council’s aWake Before Death project received the Delivering Excellence - Larger Councils (populations over 15,000) Award.  The initiative provided the opportunity for people of all ages to have meaningful conversations about death, grief and end-of-life planning in a safe and supportive environment.  The conversations were captured on film and turned into a portfolio of quality, flexible and sustainable educational and training resources for wider community benefit.  Doing this through a community development process helped build capacity and resilience by learning from others.  The collaborative project had wider benefit when the video created from the conversations was showcased at the MOFO Arts Festival.  The portfolio has been adapted and distributed widely as a valuable palliative care resource. 

The award winners each received a trophy and $1,000 prize money courtesy of the Awards Sponsor, MAV Insurance. 


Devonport Mayor Recognised with Meritorious Service Award

On 21 July, Devonport Mayor Steve Martin was awarded the Meritorious Service Award by the Life Members of the Local Government Association of Tasmania.  The Meritorious Service Award was launched in 2011 to recognise individual service and significant achievements by an elected member.

Steve Martin was elected to Devonport City Council in 2009 and to the position of Mayor two years later.  He made his name taking on causes to assist the local community.  He has played a strong role in the creation of the East Devonport Child and Family Centre, in turning Devonport into a Learning Community, and in attracting the 2017 Australian Masters Games to the North West Coast.  Mayor Martin also initiated the Mayor’s Charity Gala in 2013 in an effort to raise funds to provide schools with the means to provide breakfast to students. 

More recently, Mayor Martin has been leading the $250 million Living City project - the largest urban renewal project ever undertaken in regional Tasmania - to revitalise the central business district of Devonport.  He also volunteers in the community and for the past 20 years, has mentored a group of young people in the highly successful youth group, Enormity.  Mayor Martin received a trophy and $300 to donate to the charity of his choice. 


Stalwarts Honoured for Service to Local Government

Two General Managers, who between them have served Local Government for more than 50 years, and the long-serving Mayor of Central Highlands Council were honoured at the LGAT Annual Conference Dinner, on 21 July. 

Ian Pearce, the General Manager of West Tamar Council, was presented an Outstanding Achievement Award.  Ian started his career in Local Government in 1995 when he was appointed to the role of Financial Services Manager at West Tamar Council.  After four years, he became General Manager, a position he has held for 17 years, taking his total time at Council to 21 years.  Highlights of his time include maintaining a strong and sustainable financial position for Council, the establishment of the Windsor Community Health and Wellbeing Centre, and playing a pivotal part in the planning for the Legana Structure Plan and the Exeter Structure Plan.  Ian retires this month. 

Greg Preece, General Manager of Meander Valley Council, received an Outstanding Commitment and Service to Local Government Award.  Greg commenced his career in Local Government in 1985, as Manager of Construction at Launceston City Council, where he introduced a number of innovative work practices to help improve efficiencies and productivity.  After 10 years, he was appointed to the Executive Team at Council.  He left in 1999 to take up the General Manager role at Dorset Council where he embarked on a debt reduction and 10-year financial management plan.  Six years later, Greg was appointed as General Manager of Meander Valley Council, taking his total service to Local Government to 31 years.  At the dinner, Greg received an additional award from Local Government Professionals State President, Karen Hampton, acknowledging 15 years' continuous membership of LG Professionals. 

Central Highlands Mayor Deirdre Flint, OA also received an Outstanding Commitment and Service to Local Government Award for her personal commitment, eminent service and contribution to the whole of Local Government.  Mayor Flint has served tirelessly in this role for the past 14 years and on the Council since 1996.  She has also been a long-serving member of the LGAT General Management Committee, has served as Vice President and  as an Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Board Member from 2010-2012.  Mayor Flint was the Local Government representative on the first five-year-plan on positive ageing, on the Rural Doctor’s Workforce Council and also the Building Appeals Board.  She was awarded the Order of Australia in 2010.


Local Government Portfolio Elevated to Cabinet Ministry

The Local Government portfolio has been elevated to the Cabinet in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s new Ministry, a move that has been welcomed by the peak national body for Local Government, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).  Senator, the Hon Fiona Nash has been appointed the Minister for Local Government and Territories in addition to her role as the Minister for Regional Development.  Describing the appointment as a positive step for Local Government and community priorities, ALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard said it illustrates the importance of preserving and strengthening the partnership between Federal and Local Government to ensure the sustainability of local communities, and to ensure the continued and consistent coordination of national policies at the local level to deliver positive outcomes for Australian communities.  “Senator Nash’s appointment as Minister for Local Government will also be particularly significant when it comes to the Federal Government’s regional development policy, which Minister Nash has stated will be released in 2017," Mayor Pickard said.  ALGA also welcomed the continuation of the Hon Darren Chester as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and the appointment of the Hon Paul Fletcher as Minister for Urban Infrastructure.


National Local Government Twitter Day

Councils across Australia will be taking to Twitter on Wednesday, 3 August for Local Government Twitter Day to increase awareness of the important work that Local Government does, and to showcase the diverse range of services councils offer.  Councils will be getting behind the campaign and tweeting using the hashtag #yourratesatwork to give ratepayers a first-hand look at the activities and business of their local council, which go beyond the presumed 'roads, rates and rubbish'.  Local Government has evolved to become a well-developed national network of 536 councils Australia-wide, providing a range of more than 150 essential services to communities, employing 190,000 people and managing more than $350 billion in assets, including local roads infrastructure valued at $165 billion.  All councils with a Twitter account are encouraged to participate on the day by using #yourratesatwork on 3 August.  All tweets using the hashtag will be aggregated at http://www.lga.sa.gov.au/mycouncil.  For more information, please contact the Local Government Association of Tasmania on 6233 5966.


 Tasmanian Floods and Preparedness across all Hazards

The flooding rains that have drenched eastern Australia have tragically left several people dead.  This is an all too common story, with flooding rains being a major cause of deaths around the world.  Since 1994, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC has studied the trends and causes of deaths due to natural disasters.  Recent research into flood fatalities in Australia from 1900 to 2015 is revealing some important insights.  A new report by Dr Katharine Haynes argues that many of these deaths are avoidable in a paper titled An Analysis of Human Fatalities from Floods in Australia 1900 to 2015Click here to read the article.


Cradle Coast Tourism Winners Announced 

Fifteen Award Winners were announced at the annual WIN TV Cradle Coast Regional Tourism Awards, held on 28 July, in Ulverstone.  Tasmania’s longest running Regional Tourism Awards acknowledges excellence in a range of categories including accommodation, festivals and events, and visitor services offered in the Cradle Coast region.  Congratulations to all the winners including: Waratah Wynyard Council which took out the Festivals and Events Awardfor its Bloomin' Tulips Festival and the Visitor Services Awardfor its Wonders of Wynyard Exhibition and Visitor Information Centre; Mrs Diane Davis of the Ulverstone Visitor Information Centre who was namedTourism Volunteer of the Year; and Johanna Robertson, Marketing and Events Officer at Devonport City Council who was awarded the Roger Jaensch Scholarship.


Submissions Open for Draft Transport Access Strategy

The State Government has released its draft Transport Access Strategy for public comment.  The draft Strategy sets out the Government’s approach to providing better coordinated passenger transport services for Tasmanians, particularly those disadvantaged through economic circumstances, age or disability.  It also identifies the need for the State Government to work with Local Government and form alliances between private, public and not-for-profit transport providers.  LGAT is currently seeking council feedback for the development of a submission.  The draft Transport Access Strategy is available for comment until 9 September.  Find out more here


Superannuation Merger Official

With the Retirement Benefits Fund’s merger with Tasplan formally approved, Tasmania's three superannuation funds are set to merge as one by April 2017.  The move has been several years in the making, with Quadrant Superannuation merging with Tasplan last year.  Tasplan currently manages $3.4 billion on behalf of 106,000 active members.  Following the merger, Tasplan will manage over $7.1 billion on behalf of around 165,000 members.  Four RBF board members have been added to Tasplan’s board and Tasplan Chief Executive, Wayne Davy will continue in his role.  Tasplan Chair, Naomi Edwards said the fund’s increased scale meant it could offer lower fees and will allow it to continue investing in Tasmanian businesses, infrastructure and properties.


Examining Bushfire Policy and Preparedness

A key study has examined the effect that bushfire policy and preparedness has on behaviour during an extreme bushfire.  Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Researcher, Prof John Handmer of RMIT University and Co-author, Saffron O’Neill of the University of Exeter in the UK have investigated the circumstances surrounding the fatalities which occurred during the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfires, with the results available in Examining Bushfire Policy in Action: Preparedness and Behaviour in the 2009 Black Saturday Fires in the Environmental Science and Policy journal.  The study uses a unique and detailed fatality dataset compiled by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, which includes police and forensic records, as well as testimony from family and friends of the victims.  Using the data, Prof Handmer and Dr O'Neill focus specifically on the Victorian 'Stay or go' bushfire safety policy in the context of Black Saturday.


2016 Census Night Approaching

The 9 August will be Australia's 17th National Census of Population and Housing.  The Census guides Government funding for essential services and infrastructure, and is crucial in setting electoral boundaries, allocating Australian Government funding to states and territories, planning educational and health services and other infrastructure for local communities.  The Census informs all levels of government, business, academia and the media, and Australians who want to learn the characteristics of towns and cities before buying a home or considering a new job - among many other uses.  The ABS has made a major change to the 2016 Census to make it easier, cheaper, more relevant and more valuable to Australia's rapidly growing and changing population, society and economy.  The Census has gone digital and the ABS expects two-thirds of Australians to complete the Census online on Census night.  The move is expected to save $100 million for taxpayers.  The ABS is urging all households to play their part, as the information they provide will make a difference.  More information is available on the ABS website.



Awards

Call for Nominations - Community Achievement Awards

The Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards are open for nominations.  The Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions individuals, communities and businesses are making throughout Tasmania.  Categories include: Health Achievement; Disability Achievement; Sustainability; Agriculture; Physical Activity; Outstanding Achiever; Environment; Community Group of the Year; and Employer Excellence in Aged Care.  Nominations close on 10 August, with the Awards presented on 5 November.  To find out more, click here

2017 Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women

Do you know an exceptional woman who should be recognised for her contribution to the community?  The Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women publicly recognises outstanding contributions made by Tasmanian women and women’s organisations to their state, nation and humanity.  The aim of the Honour Roll is to express our appreciation and recognition of these women, and to preserve their stories as historical records, so they may inspire the continued achievement of future generations.  Members of the Honour Roll come from all walks of life but each has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to excellence, achievement and service to others.  Their accomplishments are diverse and include fields such as agriculture, science, education, environment, health, architecture, cultural heritage, aboriginal affairs, arts, community and civic service.  If you know someone who deserves to be recognised and celebrated, now is the time to nominate.  Nominations close on 30 September.  Nomination forms and a full list of current inductees are available on the Communities, Sport and Recreation website.



Grants

Wood and Fibre Processing Innovation Program

The Tasmanian State  Government has launched the Wood and Fibre Processing Innovation Program.  Grants of up to $100,000 will be made available through the program to support the development of projects that utilise forest harvesting and timber processing residues and/or agricultural plant residues to create value-added products in Tasmania.  This includes using lower grade logs to produce value-added products like engineered wood products, biomass energy or heat production, and other products such as furniture.  A total of up to $1.25 million will be available through the program.  Applications close on 26 August.  The program guidelines and application form are available online and enquiries can be directed to the program’s contact officer by email, or by calling (03) 6166 3471. 



Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Making the Local Food Conversation Bigger - Lessons from the USA

The National Community Food Hub's Speaking Tour comes to Tasmania on the 10 August.  Attendees will hear from leading International Food Hub and Social Entrepreneur, Anthony Flaccavento, President of SCALE (Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies).  This free public forum showcasing local food initiatives from North West Tasmania and the USA will explore innovative ways to: create greater value for local producers and entrepreneurs; revitalise rural and regional communities; and enhance affordable access to healthy food for all.   The 2.5-hour forum will commence at 5pm at the River Room, Wharf Road, Ulverstone.  Register here.  For enquiries, email sandra.murray@utas.edu.au. 

Creative Cities - Nurturing Creative Communities

A special, one-day REMIX Academy event will be held on the Sunshine Coast on 5 September, where leading urbanists will explore the ingredients needed to nurture creative cities and communities.  Cities around the globe are striving to create innovation districts and grow the creative industries - but how do we move beyond the cookie cutter approach of trying to replicate the 'Silicon Valley model' towards building a more complex, creative ecology, with arts and culture embedded at their core?  Hear from Andrew Kalish, Director of Cultural Development at Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and other leading creative innovators.  Recently named one of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture, Andrew is a key figure in the development of the renowned Brooklyn Cultural District, one of the world’s leading urban creative hubs.  The first 250 people who register before 10 August will receive a $125 discount.  The full registration fee is $325.  Find out more here. 

Digital Youth Culture and Online Safety Professional Development Webinar

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner values the important role youth advocate and development officers play in supporting the social, emotional and well-being needs of young people.  In this rapidly evolving digital landscape, understanding a young person’s use of technology and its impact on both online and offline behaviour is essential.  Local Government officers who work with young people or their families are invited to join one of several free, one-hour Digital Youth Culture and Online Safety Professional Development webinar sessions being held throughout August and September.  To register for your preferred session, please click here.

Project Management Essentials

This popular two-day course, coordinated by The Training Consortium, provides a comprehensive overview of project management.  It allows project managers to explore the core concepts, tools and techniques to understand how business initiatives are planned, managed and evaluated and to develop the skills necessary for running successful projects.  The course will be held in Hobart from 24-25 August.  Click here for full details. 

Professional Development Opportunity for Not-For-Profit Directors

Not-for-profit organisations play a vital role in society, offering directors an experience that is both professionally and personally rewarding.  The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) is offering a two-day course in Hobart from 30-31 August, Governance Foundations for Not-For-Profit Directors, to provide an understanding of fundamental compliance and performance related roles and responsibilities, specifically in the areas of governance, risk, financial performance and strategy.  The AICD is also offering some briefings on Financial Sustainability for the Not-for-Profit Director in Launceston (21 September) and Hobart (22 September).  As building financial sustainability is a major concern for most not-for-profit organisations, the briefings will explore: the implications of a reduction in government grants; the challenges and opportunities of diversifying revenue; ensuring appropriate business models; and innovative funding approaches.  For enquiries, call  Mark Jablonski at the AICD on (03) 6242 2200. 

Local Government Professionals State Conference

This year’s Local Government Professionals State Conference, Rocking the Cradle, will be held at Cradle Mountain, from 12-14 October.  The speakers selected for this years’ conference are varied in nature and will provide diversity in the areas of innovation from continuous improvement, tourism, marketing, social media and community services.  Accommodation bookings can be made at the Cradle Mountain Hotel (quoting booking referenceno.80200), or at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village, and are required by 31 August.  For full details, visit the conference web page.

Interested in Planning?

Planning is critical for the sustainability of places, communities, regions and environments.  The University of Tasmania is offering a Master of Planning.  This course, professionally accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia, offers outstanding career opportunities and flexible study options.  Planning theory is integrated with knowledge from biophysical, social, cultural, legal and public policy disciplines.  Urban, regional and rural environments are considered, and emphasis is given to planning across all land tenures at catchment and landscape scales.  Extensive use of case studies provides practical experience of major planning issues. Teaching of units within the course is linked to an active research program, with staff involvement in community, government and industry planning activities.  Find out more here.  For enquiries, email Michael Lockwood or phone (03) 6226 2834. 

Clearly Articulating the What and the Why in Local Government

“Too many teams wrongly assume that all the individuals within the team are on the same page.” (L. Richards).  The range of services that councils offer is bigger than ever before.  Community expectations continue to rise, adding pressure to each department.  When busy, employees can lose sight of the bigger picture, departmental silos build up and role ambiguity adds to the confusion.  Preferred Training Networks is offering a course that can be held in-house to  clarify your team's objectives, get the team members on the same page, and to clear up any role ambiguity issues.  Click here for the course outline.  For enquiries, please contact Preferred Training Networks on 1300 323 752, or via email



Local Government Events

 General Management Committee Meeting, Westbury  17 August
 LG Pro Special Interest Group Meeting - Communications Officers - Campbell Town  23 August
 LG Pro Special Interest Group Meeting - Human Resources, Campbell Town  25 August
 LG Pro Special Interest Group Meeting - Legal and Property, Campbell Town  8 September
General Managers' Workshop, Hobart 8-9 September

 

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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