Dr John Martin, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University will present at the 2018 National Congress & Business Expo on the state of local government in Queensland. The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) Chairman Mr Alan MacSporran recently stated that local government was a “broken” system, “on the nose” and “a hotbed of perceived corruption”. His comments came on the back of the CCC’s Belcarra Inquiry into campaign funding for the 2016 local government elections in several, large SE Queensland councils.
Mary Seddon BA (Hons) Town Planning
Trevor Seymour-Jones BSc FRICS PhD
Some of the latest terminology used in city development are smart or ubiquitous cities, world cities, and sustainable development. But, what do these terms actually mean? Are they mere ‘buzz’ words for the latest fads in urban development and management?
In May 2016, Kogarah City Council and Hurstville City Council amalgamated to form Georges River Council.
The Georges River Council area spans 38 square kilometres, has a population of around 150,000 residents, and includes one of Sydney’s eight regional centres, with dynamic economic growth, a proud sporting legacy, and broad cultural diversity.
A response to Part 2 in the Systems Thinking Series by Hoa Nguyen, Vice Director of the Football for All in Vietnam Project
In the last article, the case study explained how easily even good intentions can lead to unintended and adverse consequences. The Indian government wanted to solve the problem but instead generated another, more serious problem that contributed to the death of thousands of farmers.
The failure of the Indian Government and the aid agencies can be explained by the inability of decision-makers to grasp the idea of interconnections and link a holistic perspective to proposed actions.
They are each successful lead applicants for funding under the $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. Round 1 was announced last month.
The good news for councils not on the list is that Round 2 applications are expected to open in the first half of 2018.
Last month I sat down with McArthur's Nick Kelly to talk about recruiting the right person for the job and getting more women to the GM and CEO level of local government.
As most of the readers on the HUB work in local government, it can be easy to forget how outsiders might initially find our systems and services complex, and by surprised at the vast differences between councils around the country. Then there's the challenge of understanding how the sector pulls together, interacts and creates a voice for itself.
This is especially true when LG Professionals Australia begins working with local governments, associations and the wider sector in other countries. We typically have to put some serious effort into understanding how the other country's local government sector works, how the sector interacts with its national government and what we have in common versus what runs quite differently.
The following article outlines some of the complexities in Nepal's re-emerging local government sector. LG Professionals Australia runs our International Mentor Program in Nepal and is also working in Nepal as a host organisation for the Australia Awards Federation.
Local government associations – important contributors
By SHESH RAMAN NEUPANE AND CHAY JAMES GARDE
Local Government Associations (LGA) are organisations comprised of the local authorities in a geographic area (usually a country, state or province). These LGAs seek to both represent and advocate for the interests of the local government.
You studied ‘Transitioning to Democracy’ at university. What has struck you most when comparing an academic understanding of working towards democracy and seeing local government practitioners in Nepal in action?
To actually hear about not only the fundamentals of transitioning to democracy – which I would say are covered well in university – but to also hear about the smaller details, has been extremely enlightening for me. The academic understanding is very overarching and big picture, whereas working with and hearing from the local government practitioners in Nepal drills down to the next levels of issues associated with transitioning.
Nisha Shrestha, an administrator with Dhulikhel Municipality and Bheshraj Adhikari, a Finance Officer from Dharan at MuAN's National Conference in Kathmandu.
Recently I had the honour of representing LG Professionals Australia at the SOLGM Conference in Rotorua New Zealand. And, with all the other international delegates, was greeted with a wonderful evening at the Te Puia which features the Pohutu Geyser. Witnessing the work of Mother Nature in between getting to know members of the SOLGM Board was amazing. To be a part of the traditional welcoming ceremony was truly a moving experience and afforded all delegates a glimpse into the Maori culture which is so special to New Zealand.
I was pleased to be a part of the International Panel which also featured Marc Ott, Executive Director of ICMA; Lee Feldman, President of ICMA; and Mark Haynes of SOLACE, as we discussed some of our International success stories and important issues facing our local government authorities. (Dennis is second from the left)
“Infor Public Sector delivers a robust and easy to use asset management platform. This in turn allows our planning engineers and asset managers to make sound and confident decisions regarding the operation, management, and future of our assets.” Palmerston North City Council
The Australian Government has launched the Digital Economy Strategy consultation paper encouraging all Australians to have their say on the digital future of the nation. The consultation paper is available from www.industry.gov.au/digitaleconomy.
When the strategy is published in 2018, it will outline the benefits of Australia’s digital transformation, focusing on how the government, the private sector and the community can work together to:
You have until November 30 to share your ideas:
• Make a submission through our Consultation Hub www.consult.industry.gov.au
• Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Mail your submission to: Digital Economy Strategy team,
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601.
LG Professionals Australia is a host organisation for the 2017-2018 Australian Awards Fellowship. As part of the fellowship, September saw 15 delegates from Nepal visit Australia to learn more about local government. As part of the visit, the delegates spent 5 days in an Australian council.
Here, Dennis Hovenden, CEO of Frankston City Council in Victoria shares his thoughts on the visit
Frankston City Council was fortunate to host five delegates from across Nepal.
The opportunity to spend time with the delegates, and to get to know them and understand their needs and issues, has been mutually beneficial. They were engaged and engaging and very keen to learn from us and equally keen to share their experiences and express their needs.
Obviously, Frankston is very different from Kathmandu and even more different when compared to rural or regional Nepal. For a start, we have a beach which most of the delegates had never seen before!
This year's International Mentor Program – which connects seasoned professionals from Australia's local government sector and industry with young people from Nepal and Cambodia to run community-improving projects – is currently in progress. Dr Shayne Silcox is the Program Director, and was recently in Nepal to kick-off this year's program, which is sponsored by OurSay and InSync.
According to Shayne, who is also CEO of the City of Melville in Western Australia, this year sees the program running with 29 mentor-mentee partnerships, and an excellent lineup of projects with focuses including providing materials and books for primary schools, economic and social Inclusion of people with disabilities, raising gender equity in the workplace, and reducing open defecation in rural communities.
Each mentee is given an orientation and trained in developing a business case to support their project. Mini assignments are given to help mentees and mentors discuss accountability, resume writing, leadership, and trust and resilience. The program runs from July to the end of November.
With three councils now having removed reference to Australia Day on January 26th, there have been plenty of murmurs that councils should stick to the basics. But Australia Day is not the only social change councils have been working towards. For instance, Geelong Council has recently used its powers to ban soft drinks from community cafes and canteens, and Port Phillip City Council, which runs the popular South Melbourne Market, is considering stopping stallholders handing out single-use plastic bags by 2018.
An interesting article in the Age recently took a closer look at what local government can weigh in on.
According to the preamble of Victoria's Local Government Act, 'It is the role of council to provide governance and leadership for the local community through advocacy, decision-making and action.' The act itself says, 'The preamble and the local government charter are not to be construed as having the effect of limiting the functions and powers of councils under this act, or any other act.'
Professor Roberta Ryan, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Sydney's University of Technology, said local government had a history of influencing state and federal government issues, from lobbying for women's right to vote, to pushing for gender equality in the workforce and same-sex marriage. . . Reflecting the views of local communities and advocating their views to other levels of government is actually the fundamental role of local government, . . . Councils are much more than just a service provider because they are the level of government closest to the people, so there is a democratic dimension you don't get from any other level of government.'
Too often local governments don’t receive the credit they deserve for the good work and enlightened policies they deliver. Often they are called upon to deliver the unpopular policies of state or the Commonwealth Government, and resources aren’t provided to help them enable communities to reach their full potential.
Housing is one of those areas where the important role played by local government is often unappreciated and unacknowledged. In recognition of this, researchers at the University of South Australia and the University of Technology Sydney are looking at the vital contributions local government plays to the planning, supply and maintenance of housing and residential environments. Part of this research is a web-based survey, targeted at CEOs or other senior staff within local governments and we would encourage you to contribute to this important work by bringing it to the attention of the responsible staff so that they can complete the questionnaire.
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