Environmental laws set for overhaul | Hunting for more own-source income | Rush for resilient homes program | ALGA News 29 July 2022

President's column

As we celebrated the first sitting week of the 47th Parliament in Canberra, your ALGA Board also met to finalise National General Assembly motions and discuss post-election ALGA priorities. I was honoured to be in Canberra to congratulate former ALGA Vice President Tracey Roberts MP on her first speech, and welcome former mayors and councillors,+

Grim outlook painted for Australia’s vulnerable ecosystems

Climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, and mining continue to threaten at-risk species and ecosystems, the latest State of the Environment report says. Released last week by Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, the State of the Environment Report 2021 paints a sombre picture of the overall outlook for the Australian environment. Among other things, the+

‘New national laws needed to restore damaged ecosystems’

New national environment laws enforced by a federal environmental protection agency have been flagged by Environment Minister Tanya Pliberesek. Speaking at the National Press Club last week after the release of 2021 State of the Environment Report, Ms Pliberek said a “fundamental reforming” of national environment laws was needed to restore damaged landscape, repair coral+

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Airport high alerts after FMD outbreaks in Indonesia

Biosecurity and surveillance measure have been stepped up at Australian airports following outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) across Indonesia. The measures include giving airport biosecurity officers extra powers to direct travellers from Bali and other Indonesian ports to use sanitising foot baths or clean their shoes. Testing and surveillance of meat products has+

Flood victims rush Qld’s $471m resilient homes program

Over 4200 people have registered with the Queensland government for funding to repair and retrofit their houses to better cope with future floods. The $741 million Resilient Homes Fund also allows for properties to be bought under a voluntary buy-back program. State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Minister Steven Miles said this week that+

RCV probes alternative income streams for rural councils

Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) has engaged SGS Economics and Planning to explore specific funding challenges facing its member councils. The research also aims to identify potential alternative income sources for rural councils struggling financially to meet the needs of their communities. Such challenges can stem from smaller dispersed populations, lower rates base, and large geographic+

Sustainability/productivity focus at 2022 Roads Congress

The sustainability, resilience, productivity, and safety of roads and transport infrastructure will be a major focus of ALGA’s 2022 National Local Roads Congress. The growing incidence of extreme weather events in Australia has significant implications for the sustainability of council road and other infrastructure assets, which the 2021 State of the Assets Report valued at+

Sheldon to fill newly created disaster recovery envoy role

NSW Labor Senator Tony Sheldon has been appointed to the new role of Special Envoy for Disaster Recovery by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Senator Sheldon, a former national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, will work with Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt to “ensure much-needed support is delivered to communities when natural disasters hit”. Mr+

Disaster funding extended to another five NSW LGAs

Disaster assistance has been made available in five additional local government areas (LGAs) in NSW after damaging rains and flooding. Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to the Kempsey, Port Macquarie Hastings, Narromine, Oberon, and Strathfield LGAs. It takes the number of LGAs in NSW that have+

Entries for the 2022 National Awards for LG closing soon

Entries for the 11 categories of the 2022 National Awards for Local Government, including entry-level employment initiatives, waste management and disaster preparedness, close next month. Submissions of no more than 350 words can be entered via the online platform. Following the entry period, councils and communities will have the opportunity to recognise the work and+

How councillors can build urban transition leadership skills

Twenty councillors from across Australia are being sought to take part in a pilot program to create practical tools for leading communities through urban change. The six-week program, run by Studio THI (formerly the Hornery Institute) will involve two-hour online workshops from 4-6 pm every Monday, starting 1 August 2022. Studio THI says the program+

Circular economy leaders booked for Melbourne conference

Infrastructure’s role in driving a circular economy – with recycled and reused materials at the forefront – will be explored at a Melbourne conference in September. The Greener Infrastructure Conference, convened by ecologiQ, will also examine how governments at all levels can use procurement and policy to change how waste is used. Keynote speakers will+

LGs offered support to raise awareness of single-use plastics

A nationwide project to reduce single-use plastics from entering landfills and the ocean has been widened to include support for councils. Plastic Oceans Australasia’s (POA) EPIC Business (community initiative) program will provide support and guidance for councils, community groups and schools. POA will work with councils to make strategic investments in pre-paying waste avoidance programs (to+