Is this an issue that has been raised to your council? How have you responded? Let us know in the comments.
Both Bega and Eurobodalla Councils have recently banned the release of helium filled balloons. According to environmental groups, banning balloons stops them landing as litter and harming wildlife that may eat them.
Is this an issue that has been raised to your council? How have you responded? Let us know in the comments.
There was a lot of talk about #censusfail last year, and yes, the whole online crash thing was a total PR debacle, but as it turns out, all was not lost. One of our partners, .id – the population experts, recently caught up with the ABS. And got some very interesting facts about Census 2016.
Now, you may be wondering why we're discussing Census Data here . . . but what we're really talking about is getting the numbers, and getting the experts to analysis them. That's where .id come in, and that's where they'll come in at Congress 2017 when we get the data scoop on local government data with the launch of the State of the Sector Report in May!
For now, here are a few facts from our recent National Census collection:
Smart Cities . . . we’ve all heard the term, but what makes a city ‘smart’ and how can local government get on board? Even before Smart Cities was a Federal Government policy, it was a world-wide movement. As a result, there is a vast treasure-trove of knowledge and learning to be exploited on what can be done to create and enable smart cities at both the local and national levels. And it is waiting for you at Congress!
Congress 2017 will see Adam Beck, founding Executive Director of Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ), deliver a Smart Cities Readiness Masterclass on making cities more liveable, workable, and sustainable. Adam will focus on how local government professionals can leverage capacity-building and knowledge sharing to accelerate sustainable outcomes in your city, town, or region via the adoption of technology, data-driven decision-making and intelligent design.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could bring your partner to Hobart with you during Congress . . . But then they'd be bored while you attended the presentations and workshops, right? Actually, you can bring your partner with you – in fact you most definitely should!
Partner tours are available on both the Tuesday and Wednesday of Congress, and promise to keep the most discerning participants in several layers of bliss. We've lined by some great options, so as you register for Congress 2017, make sure you also signup your partner for some pampering. Options include touring the world-renowned MONA, including an onsite lunch, visiting the convict colonies of Port Arthur or Hunter Island;, taking in the sights from the air, indulging in oysters, seafood and boutique Tasmanian cider on the historic tall ship Lady Nelson; or sipping whisky at the cellar door of one of Australia’s leading distilleries.
It'll be tough, but someone's got to do it. Sign up when you register for Congress!
Michael Burton, editorial director of the UK's Municipal Journal, considers both the long-term and short-term impacts of the recent White Paper on the UK's housing environment, and the clash between the needs of ratepayers and the wider community.
My house in a suburb of outer west London in the UK is a couple of blocks from rolling green fields; one side of the road is suburbia, the other is farmland. The reason London stops dead is because the Green Belt was introduced back in the 1930s to halt the huge growth in housebuilding that swallowed up scores of villages to the north west of the capital in the period between the two world wars.
The Green Belt, a ring of countryside around cities designating greenfield sites where housing will always be refused permission, remains sacrosanct to this day. Many politicians argue that without it London would stretch 186km from Brighton on the south coast to Milton Keynes in the north, a suburban sprawl that might be acceptable in Australian cities with the huge space around them in which to expand but not in cramped England. The trouble is . . .
This week, several states and New Zealand are running their rounds of the Australasian Management Challenge, so it seems timely to ask what we want from leaders – both emerging and well-established.
As discussed in a recent article in Forbes, one of the greatest leaders of history, Cyrus the Great – who also wrote mankind's first human rights charter – ruled over those he had conquered with respect and benevolence. Since then, many great leaders have relied on the same principles: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Julius Caesar all used Cyrus' inspiring example.
Here's a couple of thoughts for local government that ask us to take the higher ground:
"Brevity is the soul of command. Too much talking suggests desperation on the part of the leader. Speak shortly, decisively and to the point--and couch your desires in such natural logic that no one can raise objections. Then move on."
Be an Example
"In my experience, men who respond to good fortune with modesty and kindness are harder to find than those who face adversity with courage."
by our Principal Partner for 2017, JLT
Cyber-related incidents and attacks have come to dominate news headlines in recent years, and for good reason. Digital platforms are growing exponentially from desktop through to portable devices and other internet connected technology. This proliferation of data and technology, together with the increasing sophistication of targeted cyber-attacks and the potential for human error mean that the likelihood of a cyber-related incident affecting an organisation’s systems, data and reputation is perhaps now greater than ever.
Unconscious bias negatively impacts workforce diversity right from the recruitment stage.
If your organisation is looking for the best candidate for the job, consider using some of these strategies to eliminate unconscious biases:
These days it's a fairly well-established logic that too many men ruling the roost results in a bigger pay gap for women. But did you realise that a heavily female-dominated management team also negatively impacts the gender pay gap? This holds true across the healthcare, retail and education industries – traditionally female dominated industries – with the data clearly showing the unconscious-bias that values men over women.
Last year VicRoads and the City of Yarra installed the silhouette of Mary Rogers at a new pedestrian crossing in Bridge Road, Richmond.
Now, pedestrian traffic lights depicting female figures (more generic than the silhouette of Mary Rogers shown here) will be installed in Melbourne's CBD as a part of a push for gender equality. The Committee for Melbourne – a non-profit organisation representing more than 120 Melbourne business and community groups – is behind the move.
"The idea is to install traffic lights at some intersections with female representation, as well as male representation, to help reduce unconscious bias," Chief executive Martine Letts said.
Mary Rogers, the first woman councillor in Victoria, was elected on the 5th of November 1920 to Richmond City Council at a by-election (the first woman elected to a local council nationally was Susan Benny).
She was quickly appointed to a board of enquiry into neglected children, and worked to improve the sanitary and living conditions of the poor at Richmond, have baby clinics established, and to get municipal control of the milk supply. After her time on the council, Mary Rogers was also one of the first women appointed as a justice of the peace in Victoria
After our recent post on Dr Fiona Kerr, and the discussion of the core elements of leadership that can rewire the brains of employees – including creating a sense of shared purpose – I was interested to see the new report Delivering Purpose and Meaning from Reventure’s workplace campaign a future that works, citing both the issues and their recommended solutions.
According to the 2016 Snapshot of Australian Workplaces, 72% of Australian workers want more purpose and meaning in their work, and nearly half are looking for another job in a bid to feel more engaged. “Our aim is to spark debate about purpose and meaning in every workplace across Australia, and to provide practical suggestions and case studies to help workplaces renew,” said a future that works lead researcher Dr Lindsay McMillan.
Instilling a sense of purpose in your workforce
1. Foster employee participation and inclusion
Respect is generated and sustained by including employees.
2. Communicate the alignment between individual roles and organisational goals
As a leader, identify and articulate how individual employees' roles contribute to achieving the common purpose.
3. Encourage autonomy and active engagement
Enable employees with a high degree of autonomy to make active decisions.
4. Provide resources and Information
Give employees all the information and resources they require to do their job effectively.
According to Dr Kerr, great leaders possess passionately vivid ideas of their purpose, and are keen to share that vision with the people around them; they have strongly held values on how they and their team can reach those goals; and they tend to be pragmatic optimists. This last point means that great leaders understand reaching their goal will be difficult, but that with the right team, it can be done. This in term tells each member of the team that giving their best is essential, and, according to Dr Kerr, if people feel they are believed in, they will give their very best.
Humans are wired for social connection, When people connect, it causes neurons to fire in the brain – some of these neurons only fire in response to a smile or laughter – and begin trust building. When a leader builds trust, resistance to new ideas is lowered, more information is absorbed, more nimble responses are enabled, and collaboration and creativity happen.
In contrast, a leader who is seen as unfair or authoritarian (doesn't believe in their team), creates anxiety, which in turn smothers collaboration and creativity, stops new information being absorbed, makes it difficult for employees to access knowledge they have already acquired, and turns curious minds into cagey ones.
Now there's an argument to become a better leader.
When it comes to the political hot potato of amalgamations, it appears a divide is opening up between the policy to be applied to regional areas and the policy for cities. New Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that the Coalition state government will no longer pursue forced amalgamations in the country, however for city councils, amalgamations are still on track with fourteen councils in Sydney to be absorbed into five super-councils pending a series of court challenges from current mayors.
And the controversy is set to continue. The economies of scale often cited as the logic for amalgamations are not guaranteed, while the local democracy costs can be high, especially for smaller communities.
'Control of local government is increasingly important. As state and national governments appear unable to deal with a growing number of pressing issues, cities in Australia and internationally have been key sites for leadership.
Last October, we featured a story about an experiment to change the way the public used Garema Place in Canberra. Time-lapse footage over the 8 days of the experiment revealed a stunning transformation – the colourful pop-up park increased foot traffic by 190%:
“The impact is amazing for businesses in the area. . . . It’s transformed it, people feel safe, they linger, they can have a cappuccino, buy a pair of shoes and just be in the space and it’s uplifting. The shopkeepers and owners can see there’s something positive happening. They can see there’s a change.”
Peter Barcley, owner King O’Malley’s Pub
The message – forwarded from a friend – said, We are Professor Tim Lenton and Dr Damien Mansell from the University of Exeter and we're about to launch our free global climate change course. Ask us anything about Climate Change, from challenges to solutions!' Curious, I followed the link, and discovered, not just this course and live Q&A on Reddit, but an entire raft of courses from well known universities on a plethora of topics. Basic Robotics, anyone?
Learning keeps us awake to the possibilities, which is exactly what the LG sector needs.
Thanks to the internet and a movement among some of the world's best learning institutions to share some of their courses free online, the learning never has to stop. Give it a try!
CEO, LG Professionals Australia.