In 2014, Coorong District Council built a state-of-the-art civic centre in Tailem Bend. The Director of Community and Corporate was charged with addressing the bare walls (with support from the CEO), and from this, developed an innovative and accidental art gallery. The transformation started as a community call-out on Facebook for ‘loan art’; the response was unexpected and overwhelming. The leadership team responded, allocating $15,000 to make impromptu alterations to accommodate exhibition space. Within 18 months the $85,000 rural renewal program ‘Creating Coonalpyn’ emerged; a suite of community arts projects in a struggling town. Its flagship project is a silo mural, and when completed in February 2017, will be SA’s largest art canvas.
The ‘Business Transformation Project #CommunityFirst’ consists of multiple projects which interlink and work towards the ultimate goal of bringing services online and making the customer interaction experience quick and easy. This included a new mobile responsive website, online payments with online transactions and forms, establishing a single view of customer, and a digitisation program. An outcome of the above projects was being able to provide the planning permit application process completely digitally from end to end inclusive of: the customer submitting their application including all required documents and paying online the entire workflow of the application process including internal and external referrals, advertising, delegate reports, generating invoices within the department via the accounts receivable system for additional costs and customers subsequently being able to pay them online Marking up of the endorsed plans and the issuing of the permit. A truly Community focussed project that delivered many benefits including cost and time savings for both the organisation and the applicants, development opportunities for staff members, sharing of lessons learned and benefits gained with other Councils.
Fire Station 101 is the factory for this innovation agenda, welcoming all comers for co-working, startup incubation and acceleration, events and workshops, mentoring and investment pathways. Fire Station 101 is Australia’s first and only fully government backed innovation hub. Since opening less than 12 months ago, Fire Station 101 has attracted 75 startup members, spawned 15 new digital technology companies, delivered 110 events attended by 1230 people, secured seed funding for multiple prototype developments and implemented a young entrepreneur program in local high schools.
Tweed Shire Council took a fresh approach to community engagement by establishing the Community Engagement Network (CEN) – a group of 20+ Council employees from office and field-based roles, across all job grades and levels of experience, trained in IAP2 principles, to have conversations with our Tweed community. I
The network was established to:
- Have meaningful conversations and build relationships to establish trust with the community.
- Provide a ready to go network of 20+ trained engagement specialists to support the organisation and its broad engagement requirements.
- Strengthen the organisation’s capacity and cultural change in community engagement.
- Provide learning and development opportunities for staff outside their traditional roles.
- Meet the needs of the Fit for the Future reforms and Council’s project ‘Tweed - The Future is Ours’ to engage greater public participation in future service planning and service satisfaction levels.
Kingborough’s biodiversity offset program was born from the need to find an innovative solution to the problem of unrecoverable loss. Kingborough has been experiencing strong growth over the last decade, resulting in development proposals pushing into significant native vegetation at an unprecedented rate. In response to this pressure, Council’s NRM and Environmental Planning staff have developed an innovative offset scheme to tackle the challenge of balancing development needs whilst conserving biodiversity. Offsets ensure conservation of natural values outside the development footprint, when options to avoid or minimise impacts have been exhausted. From inception to implementation, this program has been pioneered by Liz Quinn (NRM Coordinator) and Nikki den Exter (Environmental Planner). In developing this scheme, Liz and Nikki have collaborated with colleagues from State Government, Forest Practices Authority, other Councils and NGO’s working in conservation.