Call to overhaul EPBC Act | Circular economy barriers | Chocks away for Scone airport | ALGA News 29 January 2021

President's column

I was thrilled to see the name of Fay Miller in the list of serving and former local government officials recognised in this week’s Australia Day Honours list. Fay was Mayor of Katherine Town Council from 2012 until her forced retirement last September because of ill health – and in that time she exemplified the+

EPBC Act review calls for ‘single-touch’ environmental approvals

Federal environment laws should be amended immediately to allow states and territories to deliver “single-touch” environmental approvals, an independent review has advised. But the new arrangements must be subject to rigorous, transparent oversight by an independent environment assurance commissioner and underpinned by legally enforceable national environmental standards. The significant environmental law reform is one of+

‘Cultural adjustment’ needed to build circular economy: CSIRO

More markets for recycled materials are needed to build a circular economy, says the CSIRO – along with less contaminated waste streams, and a greater reprocessing capacity. In its Circular Economy roadmap for plastics, glass, paper and tyres, Australia’s national science agency says there is no single “silver bullet” for transitioning to a circular economy+

Chocks away for Upper Hunter Shire Council’s bold airport plan

The Upper Hunter Shire Council has approved changes to its ambitious plan to put the Scone Regional Airport on a sustainable footing after years of financial losses. At a special meeting on 7 January, a Council committee supported changes to the construction of the planned terminal, including reducing the building’s overall footprint by 260 square+

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Greater focus on plastic needed to meet packaging targets: APCO

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation says “significant action across the supply chain” is needed for Australia to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets. In a new report on the state of packaging in Australia and progress towards the 2025 targets, APCO said the volume of plastic “placed on market” in 2018-19 had declined by six+

Former Katherine Mayor recognised in Australia Day Honours

Former Katherine Mayor Fay Miller was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to local government, tourism, and the community of Katherine on Australia Day. She was one of several elected and non-elected officials recognised in the Australia Day Honours for their services to local government. Ms Miller, originally from+

Road to recovery ‘can be long for regional communities’

Regional communities can take years to recover economically from natural disasters with the impacts often spilling over to nearby regions. A report released by SGS Economics & Planning and Suncorp Insurance highlights the importance of rapid insurance payments and the need to protect regions from future disasters. The report, Economic Recovery after Disaster Strikes Volume+

Major Darwin City Deal project on track for 2024 completion

The Charles Darwin University Education and Community Precinct is scheduled to completed by 2024, the first Annual Progress Report on the Darwin City Deal shows. Work on the $250 million precinct, which is expected to attract more international students to Darwin and inject about $600 million into the local economy, began in October. The Annual+

‘Help LG to expand Melbourne’s active transport options’

Local government should be supported to increase active transport options to help bolster Melbourne’s recovery from Covid-19, the state’s infrastructure adviser says. With the pandemic having led to more congested roads and crowded public transport in the city, Infrastructure Victoria says the state government is having to grapple with competing objectives such as transmission risk,+

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands reaches 50-year milestone

The signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance half a century ago is being celebrated on World Wetlands Day on 2 February. On that date in 1971, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands was signed into being in Ramsar, an Iranian city on the shores of the Caspian+

Further funding to help bushfire recovery in Qld communities

Seven Queensland councils will share $8.9 million of additional funding for a range of projects to help drive economic recovery in communities impacted by last year’s bushfires. They include the Bundaberg Regional Council, Gympie Regional Council, Scenic Rim Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, and the Toowoomba Regional+

Trials of rural and remote voice services set to begin

Trials to identify better ways of delivering voice services in regional and remote Australia via the internet will begin shortly. As part of the Commonwealth’s $2 million Alternative Voice Services Trials (AVST) Program, NBN Co and two smaller telecommunications companies, ConceroTel and Zetifi, have been selected to conduct the new trials. NBN Co will deliver+

Tax Office issues RAM reminder to LG finance officers

The Australian Taxation Office is reminding local government finance managers to renew their manual authorisation in RAM before their 12-month expiry date. Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) is an authorisation service that allows you to act on behalf of a business online when linked with myGovID. To renew, the ATO says to log in to RAM+

New skills workshop for delivering online arts activities

Accessible Arts has developed a new workshop suitable for arts and cultural organisations in the local government sector. The arts and disability organisation says this would be suitable for councils looking to improve their online engagement with people with disabilities. The 90-minute online events workshop, developed with the support of the Australia Council for the+

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