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National Awards for Local Government

The Australian Government's National Awards for Local Government are the peak national awards that reward and highlight outstanding achievements in local government. They recognise councils' resourcefulness, and congratulate councils for finding better ways of delivering services and developing local solutions to often complex and challenging problems.

The awards were established in 1986 to foster and acknowledge innovation and continuous improvement in local government. They are managed by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

The awards have attracted thousands of entries over its history, many receiving both national and international attention. They help to show how local governments throughout Australia demonstrate remarkable enterprise in developing excellent and innovative ways of delivering services and managing scarce resources in a changing environment.

The 2003 awards were launched at the Local Government Managers Australia, National Congress in Adelaide on 26 May 2003 and were presented in conjunction with the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly in Canberra on 23 November 2003.

The awards are funded by sponsorship from a number of Australian Government agencies. In 2003, sponsors were the Departments of Environment and Heritage; Family and Community Services; Health and Ageing; Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs; Industry, Tourism and Resources and Transport and Regional Services.

With 19 categories available in 2003, the awards reflect the diverse range of services provided by local government to its communities, and are a reminder that local government is much more than rates, roads and rubbish. This year, 355 entries were received from local government across Australia. The 19 categories recognise excellence and innovation in the areas of:

National judging for the 2003 awards took place in Canberra between 16 and 19 September 2003. Representatives from local government, sponsors and industry bodies judged the 355 entries received across the 19 categories available in 2003. The National Judging Panel, which included an independent chair from the industry sector, a local government specialist, representatives from the Australian Local Government Association, the Local Government Managers Australia, and the Department of Transport and Regional Services, selected the national winners and presented an award for outstanding achievement following presentations from the 27 category award winners.

The national winners and the award for outstanding achievement were announced at a presentation dinner on 23 November 2003 held in conjunction with the Australian Local Government Association's National General Assembly in Canberra.

Summaries of all entries are available on an interactive web-based database at Leading Practice in Local Government.

Leading Practice Seminar Series

The Leading Practice Seminar Series is a Department of Transport and Regional Services initiative started in 2000. Since that time award entrants in the National Awards for Local Government have shared their experiences with around 150 other local government bodies across Australia.

The Seminar Series is run as a partnership between the Department of Transport and Regional Services' National Office of Local Government and host councils, regional organisations of councils or local government associations. It provides an opportunity for councils to come together to hear from their colleagues and to discuss how particular project case studies might apply in their specific situations.

National and special award winners 2003

Special award for outstanding achievement

Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia

Assessing the Load Capacity of Timber Bridges

Australian local government is responsible for 20 000 bridges and over 70 per cent of these are ageing timber bridges. It has been a major challenge to develop cost-effective strategies for their maintenance and rehabilitation. The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia has worked with the University of Technology Sydney in consultation with 14 New South Wales councils to find a solution using new technologies based on the dynamic response of the structure to a small impact load.

The New South Wales councils involved in the original implementation project included Kyogle, Copmanhurst, Uralla, Armidale-Dumaresq, Parry, Manilla, Nundle, Walcha, Gosford, Cabonne, Tumut Shire, Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and Tallaganda.

This project provides a valuable tool to prioritise bridge maintenance and rehabilitation. It maximises the return on investment in existing infrastructure. For the first time, it is now possible to provide reliable information to manage bridge infrastructure, place cautionary load limits on bridges, monitor the deterioration rate and predict intervention timeframes at a costs of only 15-20 per cent of traditional load testing. This is a particularly timely technical innovation, which promises to improve safety, lessen the inconvenience to bridge users while also providing a substantial benefit to councils. It has application both nationally and internationally.

Contact Mr Chris Champion
Telephone (02) 9639 3650
Fax (02) 9283 5255
Email cchampion@ipwea.org.au

National Award for Innovation

City of Salisbury SA

Parafield Stormwater Harvesting Project

The Parafield Stormwater Harvesting Facility is an outstanding and innovative example of best practice in urban stormwater management involving local government, industry and the community. It is a showcase development in converting stormwater from an urban nuisance and pollutant threat into a valuable resource for industry and the community.

Creating wetlands to cleanse stormwater was Salisbury's key strategy to help the ecological rehabilitation of the ecologically fragile Barker Inlet of Gulf St Vincent while providing cheaper water to local industry and other users. The Parafield Stormwater Harvesting Facility is the latest project to 'come on stream'. The City of Salisbury adopted a visionary partnership with G H Michell & Sons Australia, Parafield Airport Management, the State Government, Northern Adelaide and Barossa Catchment Water Management Board, other industry stakeholders and community groups.

Michells, Australia's largest wool processing company has traditionally been a major user (around 1 billion litres per year) of Adelaide's mains water, much of which was pumped from the Murray River. The costs of fresh water and the disposal of effluent and sludge were high enough to force the company to consider cheaper locations elsewhere - potentially resulting in the loss of around 700 local jobs. Through the Parafield Stormwater Harvesting project, Michells will now receive water with a significantly lower salinity than from the Murray River and the 1.1 billion litres of water previously pumped annually from the Murray now stays in the river.

The Parafield Project serves as a prototype for similar schemes around Australia and potentially overseas to improve the health of waterways and enhance the viability of industry.

Contact Mr Colin Pitman
Telephone (08) 8406 8215
Fax (08) 8281 5466
Email cpitman@salisbury.sa.gov.au

National Award for Innovation (Awarded to a council with a ratepayer base of less than 15 000)

Town of Northam WA

Michell on Avon Project

The Mitchell on Avon project is an innovative, viable and achievable model for local government and their communities throughout Australia.

It demonstrates how local government in a rural community can take a lead role in developing their own built infrastructure with significant economic and social benefits. This project is an outstanding example of how sustainable growth can be achieved while still meeting the social and economic needs of the community through cooperation and ongoing consultation between the town, the private sector and the community.

The Town of Northam took on the role of 'developer' resulting in significant economic, aesthetic, heritage and social benefits for their community. The project, which was designed to showcase the railway housing that is an integral element of Northam's heritage, has revitalised Northam's western entry, creating a positive first impression for visitors and residents alike.

By purchasing, refurbishing and selling excess West Australian Government Railway Commission homes, Northam has been able to:

The substantial economic benefits of the project will also greatly assist Northam by improving other main roads leading into the town, contributing to Stage 2 of the town's central business district redevelopment project, and helping develop recreation facilities. This project is an excellent example of how a council can transform a neglected urban precinct into a revitalised streetscape of which the community can be proud.

Contact Ms Tash Holden
Telephone (08) 9622 6132
Fax (08) 9622 1910
Email comserv@northamtown.wa.gov.au

National Award for Excellence

Indigo Shire Council Vic.

Indigo Way Services

Small communities across rural Australia are facing the challenge of survival in an economic environment, which demands high quality services at competitive prices. Indigo Way Services was set up as the business arm of the Indigo Shire in 1996 to ensure survival of the small rural Victorian shire and its capacity to provide services. Indigo Way Services has brought about changes in work practices, management techniques, financial systems and staff flexibility. Operating with the community in mind has also seen a marked improvement in performance with a 500 per cent increase in revenue since formation. Turnover has grown from $3.5 million to $17 million in seven years and staff numbers have increased from 45 full-time to about 180 full-time providing substantial economic benefit to the community. This project is an excellent example of how a small proactive council improved the economic viability and sustainability of their community.

Contact Ms Birgit Schonafinger
Telephone (02) 6027 1203
Fax (02) 6027 1495
Email Birgit.Schonafinger@indigoway.com.au

National Award for Excellence (Awarded to a council with a ratepayer base of less than 15 000)

Mapoon Aboriginal Council Qld

Mapoon Dreaming - Planning for 2000 and Beyond

Mapoon Dreaming involved a comprehensive and participatory strategic planning process that recognised and respected local culture and aspirations, and built upon community strengths and assets to find workable solutions to priority issues. Effective strategic planning has contributed to a strengthening of community governance capacity and ensures new initiatives are in keeping with community priorities and aspirations. As a result, Mapoon Aboriginal Council has developed a number of new economic, social and environmental initiatives, resulting in significant employment outcomes, income-generation, capacity building and greater self-reliance. Mapoon Dreaming succeeded in engaging the majority of Indigenous residents in identifying needs, building a vision, setting priorities, and planning strategies.

Achievements to date in a variety of new business enterprises, training initiatives, and social and environmental projects attest to the success of the process. Issues being addressed are similar to those experienced in other Indigenous communities, including the difficulties of operating in a remote location. Particular attention has been paid to identifying barriers to development, including infrastructure, staffing, training and resource needs.

Mapoon Dreaming is an excellent example of participatory community visioning and planning, in a community with a history of disadvantage and difficulty. The wide range of practical initiatives resulting from the process are contributing significantly to community cohesion and enthusiasm for continuing to build a better future. Indigenous residents are actively engaged in community and project governance. Employment and income-generating opportunities have increased significantly, and individual, organisational and governmental capacities increased.

Mapoon Council's experience in effective Indigenous community engagement in both planning and implementing a variety of linked strategies provides an excellent example from which other Councils could benefit.

Contact Mr Jason Pfingst
Telephone (07) 4090 9124
Fax (07) 4090 9128
Email jasonp.mapoon@bigpond.com

Category and commendation award winners 2003

Sustainable Development - Economic Development


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises innovative and excellent local government projects and partnerships including those with private enterprise, education and training providers, community groups and other spheres of government. Examples include:

Projects will have:

Category winner

Logan City Council Qld

Teys Trade Waste Agreement

The Teys Trade Waste Agreement was the first step in attracting waste treatment revenue directly by a pipeline connection from a non-Logan company. It demanded a new way of doing business.

The agreement is to take waste from an abattoir in an adjoining local authority for between five and 10 years. As a result of this initiative and natural expansion pressures, the plant is being expanded over the next two to four years at a cost of around $12 million. This expansion will create employment throughout the construction stages and ongoing employment in operational areas. In addition, the pipeline will allow Teys to operate and expand more efficiently, providing potential for direct employment for residents living adjacent to the abattoir. Economic benefits to the treatment plant are being achieved by higher throughput levels under controlled content regimes and by a biological balance achieved by the mix of effluent from different sources.

The project is a win-win result for the customer and for Logan ratepayers. Logan Enterprises entered the agreement consistent with its business planning, sustainable over the next 10 years and beyond, which is suitable for further expansion within council's boundaries and into adjacent councils. The project integrates well with other council initiatives, such as the liquid waste tracking project.

Contact Mr John Betts
Telephone (07) 3826 5359
Fax (07) 3808 0014
Email johnbetts@logan.qld.gov.au

Rural winner

Bungil Shire Council Qld

The Revitalisation of Injune

The Revitalisation of Injune project takes an innovative, integrated multi-disciplinary approach to small town revitalisation by recognising the need for a variety of initiatives to address all dimensions of sustainable community development. The project identified the shire's main strategic advantages and sought to leverage these to achieve sustainable economic/business, social/community and environmental outcomes.

The project included implementation of a number of integrated strategies, including streetscape beautification, signage, theme development, urban design/redesign, promotional image development, focused tourism and other business development. The Revitalisation of Injune not only is the result of strategic planning, but it is clear the high levels of community engagement have substantially influenced future planning for the shire as well as helping the shire work collaboratively on a regional level.

Key outcomes have included expansion of local business, attraction of new business and business investment, enhanced community spirit, improved relationships (between council, community, other government agencies and the private sector), expanded and improved planning, improved community facilities and services, and increased tourist visitation.

Contact Ms Liz Wilkie
Telephone (07) 4622 1144
Fax (07) 4622 1038
Email elizabethw@bungil.qld.gov.au

Commendations

City of Whittlesea Vic.

Developing Regional Growth through Clusters

Developing Regional Growth through Clusters is a partnership with the City of Hume to facilitate regional economic growth, strengthen existing businesses, attract new investment in the region and increase job growth and employment opportunities for residents.

Contact Mr John Francis
Telephone (03) 9217 2123
Fax (03) 9217 2111
Email John.francis@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Eurobodalla Shire Council NSW

Steering the Development of Southern Phone Company

Steering the Development of Southern Phone Company is an innovative project in partnership with other local government organisations, private enterprise, academia, Federal and State Governments to develop a new telecommunications network for the region.

Contact Mr Phil Herrick
Telephone (02) 4474 7100
Fax (02) 4474 1234
Email phil.herrick@eurocoast.nsw.gov.au

Newcastle City Council NSW

Newcastle City Centre: Targeted Tenanting Strategy

The Targeted Tenanting Strategy is proactivly attracting business investment to Newcastle City Centre through leasing previously vacant business premises leading to new employment opportunities.

Contact Mr Shawn Day
Telephone (02) 4974 2817
Fax (02) 4974 2222
Email sday@ncc.nsw.gov.au

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Sustainable Development - Environment Local Agenda 21


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage.

This award recognises the efforts of local governments, regional organisations and communities in promoting and implementing ecologically sustainable development at the local level through Local Agenda 21 or other integrated planning frameworks.

Projects should have:

Category winner

Manly Council NSW

Hop in and Help Manly Lagoon

The Hop in and Help Manly Lagoon project provides a model for communities wishing to tackle an environmental problem through direct action as well as through community education and behavioural change. The project includes numerous ways of engaging with the community - providing a suite of ideas that most communities and projects would be able to draw on to suit their own needs. The application of the methods used in the project need not be restricted to environmental matters.

The aims/objectives of the Hop in and Help Manly Lagoon project were to:

The project involved a wide variety of innovative activities designed to successfully target multiple user groups. The actions and initiatives of the project are closely bound with the Manly Council Sustainability Strategy, which outlines the planning and implementation processes of Manly Council to ensure long-term sustainability with all environmental actions. The entire geographical area of the Manly Lagoon Catchment was involved.

To stimulate long-term understanding, responsibility for the environment and a sense of ownership through involvement of all sectors, a strategic communication strategy using a multi-media approach was designed in consultation with an extensive group of partners and stakeholders. The project was inclusive throughout the community and equitable both between and within generations. The lagoon is the most polluted recreational waterway in New South Wales, with direct and diffuse sources of pollution. To reduce diffuse pollution sources, the pursuit of sustainability needed to become a larger, everyday part of the lives of the people who live, work and play in the catchment. This was achieved by encouraging understanding of the catchment's ecological processes and their interrelation with human behaviour through highlighting that the lagoon is a living thing with amazing biodiversity.

Contact Ms Jane Murray
Telephone (02) 9976 8902
Fax (02) 9976 1400
Email jane.murray@manly.nsw.gov.au

Rural winner

Alexandrina Council SA

Integrating Sustainability at Alexandrina Council

Alexandrina Council has successfully integrated its environmental, economic and social goals into its strategic planning process. The project is a solid demonstration that smaller, rural councils are able to engage in and benefit from sustainability planning such as that provided by applying Local Agenda 21. The Corporate Plan with its triple bottom line goals and objectives is proof, as are the departmental plans, consultation methods and investment in qualified people that ensures an holistic approach to everything Alexandrina Council does. The council's willingness to open up decision-making processes to the community is testimony of an open and inclusive council.

A review of policies to ensure their relevance to sustainable objectives is ongoing. Engagement of younger people, older people and Indigenous people is a reflection of intent to communicate effectively and be open to receiving criticism. The council's regional approach to community development issues is working effectively with the community housing project and Goolwa Skill project. There are many more examples that provide clear evidence of successful and sustainable working partnerships.

Contact Mr Graham Webster
Telephone (08) 8555 7000
Fax (08) 8555 3603
Email graham.webster@alexandrina.sa.gov.au

Commendations

Townsville City Council Qld

Townsville State of Environment Report

The Townsville State of Environment Report is an innovative, web-based State of the Environment Report, which enables council to communicate its environmental policies and strategies and provides easily accessible information on environmental matters and projects to the wider community.

Contact Mr Greg Bruce
Telephone (07) 4727 9311
Fax (07) 4727 9050
Email gab@townsville.qld.gov.au

Eurobodalla Shire Council NSW

Regional State of the Environment Report

The Regional State of the Environment Report is a landmark body of work demonstrating the capacity of 17 councils and a Territory government collaborating intellectual, technical and financial resources to produce information on the ecological and community health of the region.

Contact Mr Peter Tegart
Telephone (02) 4474 1347
Fax (02) 4474 1234
Email peter.tegart@eurocoast.nsw.gov.au

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Sustainable Development - Tourism Development


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises sustainable tourism management in planning, economic development, marketing, regulation, land and facility management, service provision, industry assistance and community relations.

Projects should have:

Category winner

Launceston City Council Tas.

Riveredge - returning the rivers to the people and the people to the rivers

Riveredge is a proactive public/private partnership, which overcame barriers to development and established an attraction which generated major economic, social and environmental gains for all concerned. It demonstrated a visionary strategic plan that showed excellent understanding of the needs of the tourists, and the future development potential of the industry. Strong community and industry consultation enabled the design of a project that delivered a valuable community attraction and maximised the economic returns to city businesses. Riveredge demonstrates that councils can have a pivotal role in establishing the nature of tourism in their region and, by working in partnership with tourism operators, can leverage significant economic development while at the same time improving community and environmental amenities.

Riveredge has linked major tourism icons in Launceston - Cataract Gorge Recreation Reserve (about 300 000 visitors a year) and Inveresk Cultural Precinct (about 120 000 visitors a year) - with a linear trail experience not previously available due to private land-ownership and the industrial nature of the Launceston waterfront. Riveredge has created strong links between the rivers, the city centre and its shops, and accommodation houses, bringing people to and from the river and adding value to existing city business. Riveredge has created approximately 40 new jobs in the hospitality industry and a new tourism product based around the rivers, adding value to the Launceston and Tamar Valley experience.

Contact Mr Ian Abernethy
Telephone (03) 6323 3218
Fax (03) 6323 3001
Email ian.abernethy@launceston.tas.gov.au

Commendation

Maroochy Shire Council Qld

Maroochy Tourism Industry Levy

Maroochy Tourism Industry Levy is an initiative aimed at increasing tourism to the Sunshine Coast using strategic and destinational marketing. Tourism is one of the major industries on the Sunshine Coast, but the tourism industry is largely composed of small and micro businesses, and the economic benefits are dispersed widely in the community. By taking the lead, Maroochy Shire Council worked with the community to develop consensus on a general business levy across the shire which is being used to market the region and its products to tourists and to develop and coordinate events to attract visitors.

Contact Mr Edward Backer
Telephone (07) 5479 1566
Fax (07) 5441 8338
Email edward@maroochytourism.com

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Community Capacity Building - Strength in Diversity


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

This award recognises local government's pivotal role in migrant settlement, citizenship and multicultural issues:

Category winner

Kingston City Council Vic.

Emerging Communities Project

The Emerging Communities Project exemplifies the role of local government in building participation of their constituents and the capacity of local communities, through allowing them to identify their own needs and by responding appropriately. The project facilitated participation, encouraged inclusiveness in decision making, enhanced community harmony, improved local settlement outcomes, and encouraged a sense of inclusion and belonging to Australia and the local area. Its underlying principles are able to be transferred to other councils, large or small.

The project offered women a pathway to overcoming some of the barriers to participating in community activities and accessing services. Providing a forum for women from newly arrived communities, like the Horn of Africa, to meet with women from the already established migrant community from the Cook Islands, offered the opportunity for the established community to share their experiences and help overcome some of the actual and perceived issues associated with settlement in a new country. The Cook Islander women could empathise with the Horn of Africa women, and their shared experiences of migration and settlement helped establish new friendships and greater confidence among participants. The Cook Islander women also identified services and agencies that helped them settle. Their insight was invaluable to the Horn of Africa women and to the project.

Contact Ms Liz Daley
Telephone (03) 9581 4734
Fax (03) 9581 4500
Email liz.daley@kingston.vic.gov.au

Rural winner

Shire of Kojonup WA

The Kodja Place

Kojonup is a town with a sizeable migrant population, so any representation of it would not be complete without substantial discussion of multiculturalism. The Kodja Place project sought to discuss the contributions made to the community by the local Indigenous people (Noongars) as well as British, Italian and New Zealander immigrants equally, without segregation or trivialisation. The Kodja Place is an interpretive museum of local history that integrates Indigenous, pioneer, and more recent migrant settlement contributions to the local area.

The project began as a Shire of Kojonup Centenary of Federation project, that aimed to be a local, regional and national tourist attraction, a focus for education and promotion of Noongar culture, and a stimulus to local business opportunities. The centre now provides considerable local employment and training opportunities to local Noongar people. It was well planned, responsive to community needs, imaginative and consultative. As well as meeting their development and business goals, the community engagement in the project has built the shire's capacity and confidence to respond to its needs.

The Kodja Place project illustrates the role that local government can play as a leader in community development. One aspect of the project, the Rose Maze tells the story of three women from different cultures, Noongar, British and Italian. Bringing different ethnic groups together in developing Kodja Place united the community in achieving a common goal, and many preconceptions were shattered forever. As a result of its birth as the Shire of Kojonup's celebration of the Centenary of Federation, a major focus of the exhibition has been Australian citizenship - with membership of the Kojonup community as an integral part of that.

Contact Mr Wally Lenyszyn
Telephone (08) 9831 1066
Fax (08) 9831 1566
Email wally@kojonup.wa.gov.au

Commendation

City of Melville WA

City of Melville Multicultural Program

The City of Melville Multicultural Program is helping to ensure all residents have access to activities and services appropriate to their needs to maximise their quality of life, intellectually, physically and spiritually.

Contact Ms Luiza Hopkins
Telephone (08) 9364 0660
Fax (08) 9364 6285
Email lhopkins@melville.wa.gov.au

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Community Capacity Building - Social Development


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services.

This award recognises councils that clearly demonstrate inclusive and participatory approaches to all members of the community.

Community services initiatives within the purpose of this award category may include (this list is indicative rather than comprehensive) the following:

Category winner

Brisbane City Council Qld

Youth in Recovery

The Youth in Recovery program addresses the needs of marginalised members of the community, such as the homeless and youth at risk, by providing opportunities for economic and social engagement in the community through gainful employment, training and/or education.

Brisbane City Council has been proactive in facilitating government, community and business partnerships to provide participants with accredited traineeships to develop skills and employment opportunities and boosting lifestyle choices by helping young people take positive control of their lives. It is a practical, effective and innovative program building community capacity for self-help and sustainability by providing drug and alcohol agencies with a way to help clients in rehabilitation, and aids in relapse prevention.

Brisbane City Council used innovative partnerships to implement the program. The program responds to local issues and meets community services needs as it impacts on
a range of factors identified as relating to drug use, including family relationship breakdown, poor educational experience, unemployment and social isolation. Youth in Recovery Traineeships help young people overcome these problems.

Contact Ms Margaret Harley
Telephone (07) 3403 4146
Fax (07) 3403 9944
Email hrpob8@brisbane.qld.gov.au

Commendations

City of Whittlesea Vic.

Senior Citizens Multicultural Project and Let Everyone Actively Participate Program

The Senior Citizens Multicultural Project and Let Everyone Actively Participate Program offers a range of events and activities that provide older people in the community with opportunities for greater social interaction and participation in community life. The project has successfully addressed issues, such as cultural, linguistic, physical and financial barriers, that frequently prevent active participation by older residents.

Contact Ms Ruth Spielman
Telephone (03) 9217 2243
Fax (03) 9217 2111
Email ruth.spielman@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Fairfield City Council NSW

Community Spirit - The social capital and community development project

Community Spirit project brought together local communities, community organisations, other councils and State government departments to better understand and build social capital in the area. The project highlights the importance of social capital and shows how improving social capital helps create effective community development strategies.

Contact Mr Tony Barnden
Telephone (02) 9725 184
Fax (02) 9725 4249
Email tbarnden@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au

Sutherland Shire Council NSW

Suicide Safety Network

The Suicide Safety Network project is a partnership of community organisations, local and State government bodies, developing and implementing policies to build community capacity and build resilient communities to help address issues that can lead to suicide.

Contact Ms Anita Smith
Telephone (02) 9710 0602
Fax (02) 9710 0265
Email asmith@ssc.nsw.gov.au

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Community Capacity Building - Strengthening Indigenous Communities


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services.

This award recognises Councils, which clearly demonstrate inclusive and participatory approaches to all members of the community.

Projects should demonstrate local government's contribution to the extent to which its project:

Category winner

Shellharbour City Council NSW

Koori Bus Driver Training, Employment and Transport Subsidy Project

The Koori Bus Driver Training project addressed some significant local Indigenous issues, such as low employment rates, low car ownership rates, inadequate public transport for local Indigenous communities, and low usage rates of mainstream public transport. The project's consultations with Indigenous residents resulted in changes to the way community transport services are delivered, including fees and charges and long distance travel.

The project provided capacity building and employment opportunities, while addressing the issue of lack of suitable public transport. Its consultative approach and inclusion of Indigenous people in designing and implementing the project demonstrated how creative solutions can generate social and economic opportunities and contribute to cross-cultural relationships and understanding. The project provides income generation and capacity building, encouraging greater self-reliance and greater economic and social participation.

The project recruited 25 Indigenous workers regionally into four community transport projects, three operating from local government. These workers were inducted into existing volunteer transport projects where they were supported and encouraged by a core of volunteer community bus drivers, while encouraging excellent cultural awareness for existing project volunteers. Relevant policy and procedures responsive to the needs of the community were developed. The project is proving to be of substantial benefit to local Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Contact Ms Yvonne Toepfer
Telephone (02) 4221 6086
Fax (02) 4221 6016
Email yvonne.toepfer@shellharbour.nsw.gov.au

Rural winner

Mapoon Aboriginal Council, Qld

Mapoon Dreaming - Planning for 2000 and Beyond

The Mapoon Dreaming project was developed to enable the council and community to develop their vision for the future. The community is situated on the traditional lands of the Tjungundji people. In November 1963, residents were removed from Mapoon to Bamaga and their houses burnt to prevent their return. In 1974 the community began returning to Mapoon and lobbying for their community to be reopened.

In March 2000 the community received recognition when Mapoon was given formal council status. One of the first projects of the Mapoon Aboriginal Council was to undertake a strategic planning project to consult the community about their vision for the community. The central goal is to build a safe, healthy and prosperous community. In the three years since it was granted Aboriginal Council status, the council has achieved a number of outcomes within this vision, including:

Contact Mr Jason Pfingst
Telephone (07) 4090 9124
Fax (07) 4090 9128
Email jasonp.mapoon@bigpond.com

Commendations

Albury City Council NSW

Collaborating Communities

The Collaborating Communities project is a proactive and multifaceted approach to providing training and sustainable employment opportunities for Indigenous youth in the area. The local community has worked as a whole to achieve shared objectives.

Contact Ms Lesley Atkinson
Telephone (02) 6023 8179
Fax (02) 6023 8190
Email latkinson@alburycity.nsw.gov.au

Bega Valley Shire Council NSW

Memorandum of Understanding between Bega Valley Shire Council and local Aboriginal communities

The Memorandum of Understanding is a benchmark initiative for excellence in strengthening relationships between local government and Indigenous communities. It represents a major investment by Bega Valley Council in reconciliation and strengthening of the wellbeing of the local Indigenous community.

Contact Ms Maggi Hughes
Telephone (02) 6499 2157
Fax (02) 6499 2200
Email mhughes@begavalley.nsw.gov.au

City of Canning/Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku WA

On a Journey - Empowering Remote Communities

The On a Journey project seeks to empower remote communities by providing essential infrastructure which will provide increased capacity to generate income and thereby
a sustainable future. It embraces the coming together of traditional and modern systems
of community self-government.

Contact Ms Penny Wright
Telephone (08) 9231 0709
Fax (08) 9458 2353
Email pwright@canning.wa.gov.au

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Community Capacity Building - Youth Engagement


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services.

This award recognises councils who encourage their young people to be actively involved in their community and in so doing, foster development of leadership skills.

Projects should have:

Category winner

City of Onkaparinga SA

Creating Places: engaging young people in planning and developing open spaces

At the City of Onkaparinga, 45 000 young people - nearly one-third of the population - are aged under 20 years. The Council, through Creating Places, targets those aged 10 to 19, working collaboratively with Youth Centres and relevant agencies, community centres and schools to implement a series of projects to help them gain valuable vocational skills.

Creating Places aims to expose young people to a range of skills and knowledge-building opportunities. These young people take on the role of project drivers in the planning and development of parks and reserves, working closely in teams with council officers and learning how to exercise project management disciplines to achieve their vision. Through Creating Places young people gain skills in preparation of grant applications, negotiation, project and event management, budgeting and costing, community liaison, documentation and record keeping. Participants are also given insights into environmental issues and urban planning. Creating Places actively challenges young people at risk to become leaders in their community by working in harmony with a team which has responsibility for project delivery. Young people, with the support of their team, are encouraged to make decisions with outcomes that have an impact on them as individuals, and on their community.

Council recognises positive outcomes and uses them in setting policy and future directions. The Creating Places program is an example of how the City of Onkaparinga is proactive in building enterprise skills in young people that will help empower them in their future lives.

Contact Ms Wendy Greenslade
Telephone (08) 8384 0666
Fax (08) 8382 8744
Email wengre@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au

Commendations

South Sydney City Council NSW

Drivin' for Employment

Drivin' for Employment is an innovative program which helps disadvantaged unemployed young people secure a basic and often taken for granted employment skill - a drivers licence.

Contact Ms Monica Barone
Telephone (02) 9288 5302
Fax (02) 9288 5999
Email baronem@sscc.nsw.gov.au

South Sydney City Council NSW

Lights Camera Action

Lights Camera Action is an innovative and proactive program designed to provide local oung people with opportunities to secure work in the television and/or film industry. It also seeks to address the under-representation of young Indigenous people in the media.

Contact Ms Monica Barone
Telephone (02) 9288 5302
Fax (02) 9288 5999
Email baronem@sscc.nsw.gov.au

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Community Services - Arts and Heritage


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's role in:

Projects should have:

Category winner

City of Marion SA

Marion Cultural Centre

The new Marion Cultural Centre is the centrepiece of The Domain, a major initiative inspired by the desire to put a heart into the City of Marion, which was without a main street or town square, and known primarily for the huge Westfield Marion shopping complex. The daring post-modern building houses a library, art gallery, retail area, performance space, café and plaza area.

From the beginning, the city's vision was that the Cultural Centre would celebrate, support and inspire local arts and culture. This spirit was reflected in the choice of an architecturally adventurous and exciting building and the inclusion of artists in the project team. In a distinctive architectural statement, the building design is structured around the letters of the word MARION. Environmental considerations were key in the building design, as was acknowledgment of the area's culture and heritage. The Centre's design features replicate the meandering of the nearby Sturt River, which signifies life to the Kaurna people - the area's Indigenous custodians - as well as suggesting the meeting and merging of western and Indigenous cultures and the flow of information and ideas that symbolise learning and community.

Contact Ms Suzy Stiles
Telephone (08) 8375 6682
Fax (08) 8375 6699
Email suzy.stiles@marion.sa.gov.au

Commendations

Marrickville Council NSW

Cadigal Wangal Web site

Cadigal Wangal Web site is a comprehensive Indigenous web site recording archaeological information about Aboriginal history in the Marrickville area and providing a community education resource and a place for Indigenous voices in the telling of Aboriginal history.

Contact Ms Linda Livingstone
Telephone (02) 9335 2154
Fax (02) 9335 2029
Email mcd@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Wellington Shire Council Vic.

Creative Gippsland

Creative Gippsland is a cooperative cultural tourism marketing strategy developed in partnership with private enterprise, Arts Victoria and the Shires of Baw Baw, Bass Coast, East Gippsland, Latrobe City, South Gippsland and Wellington.

Contact Ms Carolyn Crossley
Telephone (03) 5142 3320
Fax (03) 5142 3499
Email carolync@wellington.vic.gov.au

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Community Services - Health Services


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This award focuses on the work of rural and remote communities in this field and places some emphasis on ways that small rural communities are finding local solutions to local primary health and aged care needs.

Examples of relevant rural health and aged care projects include:

Projects should have:

Category winner

Shire of Derby-West Kimberley WA

Environmental Health Education for Aboriginal Communities

Under the auspices of the Environmental Health Education for Aboriginal Communities project the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley Aboriginal Environmental Health Team has developed and presented environmental health programs for isolated Aboriginal communities. The issues covered include the benefits of personal hygiene, safe food handling and storage, and how to recognise the onset of disease. This innovative outreach project clearly improves Aboriginal community access to shire services.

The project was developed in consultation with 45 Aboriginal communities at Community Council meetings, through house-to-house visits and one-on-one discussions, and through liaison with Aboriginal service agencies, local school principals and school nurses. Home and Community Care workers have also been involved and many have undergone special training. The problems being addressed by the Environmental Health Team are difficult and widespread.

The program has been operating for four years during which it has been refined, and its sustainability established. The design and execution of this project make it transferable to any rural or remote local government body.

Contact Mr Nick Alford
Telephone (08) 9193 8999
Fax (08) 9191 1221
Email ehoic@sdwk.wa.gov.au

Commendations

Burdekin Shire Council Qld

Burdekin Centre for Rural Health

Burdekin Centre for Rural Health is a significant project through which the Burdekin community, in partnership with all levels of government, has built a primary health care centre providing infrastructure for local and visiting health professionals.

Contact Mr Bob Frazer
Telephone (07) 4783 3744
Fax (07) 4783 9999
Email robertf@burdekin.qld.gov.au

City of Casey Vic.

Caseyville, the Community Safety Game

Caseyville, the Community Safety Game takes a new approach to community safety. The project teaches students about safety and fosters community responsibility toward crime and injury prevention.

Contact Ms Melanie Sanders
Telephone (03) 9705-5200
Fax (03) 9704-9544
Email msanders@casey.vic.gov.au

City of Melbourne Vic.

The CoMplete Food Safety Training and Education Solution

The CoMplete Food Safety Training and Education Solution is a nationally accredited food safety training initiative aimed at increasing food safety skills and knowledge in Victorian businesses and councils to raise standards, minimise the incidence of food related illnesses and improve public health.

Contact Ms Jenny Graham
Telephone (03) 9658 8801
Fax (03) 9654 4854
Email jengra@melbourne.vic.gov.au

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Community Services - Information Services


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's provision of information for effective citizen participation.

Projects should have:

Joint category winners

Livingstone Shire Council Qld

Small Communities IT Outreach Program

The Small Communities IT Outreach Program has been structured to broaden the capacity of people in isolated rural areas, particularly women, to access information through the use of information technology (IT) and to drive community projects. The project has also demonstrated its capacity for communities to seek out other resources leading to tourism, business and employment outcomes.

The project is community-based and has been developed as part of council's community development strategy. Community members have called for and embraced IT training available through this program, with strong participation levels in each centre where the program has been delivered. With council providing the community contacts and facilitating transport, accommodation, advertising and other assistance, the Capricorn Coast Learning Centre has been able to deliver IT training to communities that would never have had such opportunities. The extent to which this project has been successful can be gauged by the number of people who have, for the first time, turned on a computer during the training provided, and through their ongoing use of this technology as a means of communication. Many are now regularly sourcing funding for community projects directly through the grant finder web site and receive submission-writing advice by email. The project has provided an extension of council's community engagement strategy with more community members now accessing council's web site to do their business.

Provision of IT infrastructure, training and web-based assistance in small rural communities allows communities to access 21st century technology to improve community outcomes. The model is highly transferable and includes provision of access to the Grants Finder web site. The model also enables small communities to build skills that will assist emerging private enterprise. The small cost of the project makes it easily transferable to other councils.

Contact Mr Peter Scott
Telephone (07) 4939 9200
Fax (07) 4939 3290
Email P.Scott@livingstone.qld.gov.au

Town of Vincent WA

PoolWatch

The Town of Vincent developed the PoolWatch program to harness community, council and non-government stakeholders' energy to ensure the ongoing confidence of both patrons and staff in the safety of their aquatic centre.

Following two incidents at the centre, an educational program was developed and marketed that enlists community cooperation in ensuring continuation of the centre. Consultation and endorsement was sought from relevant industry organisations, that led to opportunities for adopting the program across public pools in Western Australia and to industry expressing a positive interest in the program.

The program has a simple message, and is easily implemented. It relies on a high level of acceptance by staff and patrons of aquatic centres using the principles of Neighbourhood Watch as its basis. The innovative solution to a public relations problem is highly transferable to other councils for their public facilities. Using an education and marketing strategy to ensure a positive outcome for a public facility is an innovative and cost effective way of providing quality council services - an important consideration for local government, particularly small councils with limited resources.

Contact Ms Deb Vanallen
Telephone (08) 9273 6080
Fax (08) 9273 6099
Email deb.vanallen@vincent.wa.gov.au

Commendation

City of Marion SA

2002 Marion Learning Festival

2002 Marion Learning Festival is an innovative approach to learning which took information and activities to the people to remove barriers to social participation in learning and to encourage continual learning. Over 140 organisations provided learning-related information through sample courses, interactive displays, stage programs and a shopfront.

Contact Mr Greg Ratsch
Telephone (08) 8375 6714
Fax (08) 8375 6699
Email greg.ratsch@marion.sa.gov.au

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Engineering and Infrastructure - Engineering


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's role in meeting the challenge of developing engineering solutions to produce innovative and cost effective improvements that meet community expectations.

Projects should have:

Category winner

City of Salisbury SA

Parafield Stormwater Harvesting Project

The region surrounding Parafield Airport is the only remaining catchment in the City of Salisbury without wetland operations to filter and cleanse stormwater before discharge to the marine environment. As a consequence, stormwater has drained directly with pollutant loads into the ecologically fragile Barker Inlet of Gulf St Vincent.

In September 1999, the City of Salisbury approached Parafield Airport Management with a concept proposal to treat stormwater on airport land. It brought in, as a concept partner, Michell Australia Pty Ltd, Australia's largest wool processing company, located directly to the north of the airport. Michell has traditionally been a major user (around 1 billion litres per year) of Adelaide's mains water, much of which is pumped from the Murray River. The concept partners were successful in obtaining a grant of $1.3 million through Environment Australia's Urban Stormwater Initiative Program to advance the project.

The concept involved diverting stormwater from existing drains to a system of constantly flowing, bird-proofed reedbed ponds on Parafield Airport land, where it would be filtered, cleansed and supplied directly to users, with the surplus water injected into underground aquifers for extraction during dry periods. In the first stage alone, 1.1 billion litres of water being pumped annually from the Murray River to supply the Michell plant and other users would stay in the river. These users will instead rely on the high-quality harvested stormwater from the Parafield Airport catchment. The Parafield Project will serve as a prototype for similar schemes around Australia and potentially overseas to improve the health of waterways and enhance the viability of industry.

Contact Mr Colin Pitman
Telephone (08) 8406 8215
Fax (08) 8281 5466
Email cpitman@salisbury.sa.gov.au

Commendations

Blue Mountains City Council NSW

Centennial Glen Road, Blackheath

Centennial Glen Road is a project where engineering's leading practice was used to reduce adverse environmental impacts of the road and runoff in a highly sensitive World Heritage Listed environment.

Contact Mr George Nassif
Telephone (02) 4780 5533
Fax (08) 4780 5555
Email gnassif@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Gold Coast City Council Qld

Carrara Catchment Urban Stormwater Initiative

The Carrara Catchment Urban Stormwater Initiative is a cooperative project between local and State governments and developers, using best practice technologies, to address stormwater quality management for implementation in south-east Queensland and other areas.

Contact Mr Kendall Bott
Telephone (07) 5581 6473
Fax (07) 5596 3653
Email kbott@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

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Engineering and Infrastructure - Infrastructure Development


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's planning and development for key infrastructure for its communities.

Projects should have:

Joint category winner

Casey City Council Vic.

Ray Bastin Reserve - An integrated recreation facility

The Ray Bastin Reserve is an integrated park that provides a great opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to interact, participate and be healthy. This four-hectare site includes a space-themed regional playground, an exciting street-style skate park and a community event site, all set within landscaped parklands with high quality facilities. The skate park provides a safe but challenging area for beginners and experienced skaters. The park targets young people aged 10 to 24 years, of which there are 40 000 in the City of Casey. Around 4000 young people in the municipality are keen skaters.

The reserve is located on one of Casey's busiest roads that carries around 50 000 cars each day. It is close to the railway network and bus routes, as well as to other centres used by residents and visitors, including Fountain Gate Shopping Centre and the Casey Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

Ray Bastin Reserve represents best practice in recreation design. This project displays a new approach to development of an essential community infrastructure - civic space. The playground is innovative in design and uses creative materials and production methods. The development of a play space, rather than play equipment, provides for children of all abilities and promotes every aspect of childhood development including cognitive, physical, sound, and social play and game initiation. The integrated recreation facility at Ray Bastin Reserve is the result of council's strategic planning to provide quality community and recreation assets for the people of Casey.

Contact Mr Jim Davine
Telephone (03) 9705 5200
Fax (03) 9704 9544
Email jdavine@casey.vic.gov.au

Joint category winner

Eurobodalla Shire Council NSW

Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy

The Eurobodalla Water Cycle Management Strategy is the first of its kind to be produced in New South Wales by a local government authority, in partnership with the former New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation and the former Department of Public Works and Services.

The strategy provides for an innovative way of managing urban water supply, sewage treatment and stormwater runoff in an integrated manner to meet the community's needs over the next 30 years. Adoption of innovative Water Sensitive Urban Design principles for all new developments in the shire is a feature of the strategy as well as an emphasis on employing demand management to reduce the size and cost of infrastructure.
Private sector involvement was employed to develop a financial model to assess the opportunities to implement the preferred outcomes and provide funding in an equitable manner for current and future populations.

The 30-year $280 million works program was divided into immediate, short- and long-term works, with the funding sourced from a combination of increased water consumption charges, developer contributions and government subsidy. The project is designed to be directly transferable to other councils.

Contact Mr Mark Hankinson
Telephone (02) 4474 1009
Fax (02) 4474 1234
Email mark.hankinson@eurocoast.nsw.gov.au

Rural winner

Shire of Christmas Island

East Coast Beaches Management Plan

The East Coast Beaches Management Plan has helped maximise local businesses' ability to maintain a viable dive and fishing industry, improved employment opportunities, and provided a greatly improved infrastructure for all residents and tourists.

Contact Mr Gary Dunt
Telephone 08 9164 8300 (ext. 235)
Fax 08 9164 8304
Email gary@shire.gov.cx

Commendations

Beaudesert Shire Council Qld

Water Saving Innovation in Trickle Feed Reticulation

The Water Saving Innovation in Trickle Feed Reticulation project addresses the use of treated water and rain water by residents of the Beaudesert Shire. It helps residents reduce their reliance on treated water by up to half in normal years and have continuous access to rain water for most household consumption.

Contact Mr Noel Hodges
Telephone (07) 5540 5168
Fax (07) 5540 5103
Email noel.h@bsc.qld.gov.au

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Engineering and Infrastructure - Infrastructure Management


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's maintenance of key infrastructure for its communities.

Projects should have:

Category winner

Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia

Assessing the load capacity of timber bridges

This project displays a high level of technical innovation combined with extensive collaboration and information sharing across 14 regional and rural councils, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia and the University of Technology Sydney.

In particular, the three-year project, using new technologies based on the dynamic response of the structure to a small impact load, has developed a solution to the problem of assessing the strength of timber bridges that would be beyond the capabilities of each individual council. This new method measures in-service flexural stiffness, which can be converted into load carrying capacity.

There is the potential to build a national database of bridge condition. It can be used to monitor deterioration rate of bridges and also predict intervention timeframes. The cost is only 15-20 per cent of traditional load testing and there is little impact on traffic. The project provides a valuable tool to prioritise bridge maintenance and rehabilitation. It maximises the return on investment in existing infrastructure. For the first time, it provides reliable information to manage bridge infrastructure and the placing of cautionary load limits on bridges.

The model is fully transferable to other councils and to other users of wooden bridges, such as rail networks. It also has the potential to be applied internationally. New South Wales councils involved in the original implementation project were: Kyogle, Copmanhurst, Uralla, Armidale-Dumaresq, Parry, Manilla, Nundle, Walcha, Gosford, Cabonne, Tumut Shire, Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and Tallaganda.

Contact Mr Chris Champion
Telephone (02) 9639 3650
Fax (02) 9283 5255
Email cchampion@ipwea.org.au

Commendation

City of Gosnells WA

Zero tolerance = No graffiti

The Zero Tolerance = No Graffiti project takes an environmentally aware approach to the issue of graffiti management, reduces the amount of graffiti, maintains the aesthetic quality of the structures affected and helps to maintain civic pride in the area.

Contact Mr Michael Hamling
Telephone (08) 9391 3130
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email mhamling@gosnells.wa.gov.au

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Integrated and Regional Planning - Integrated Land Use Planning


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's role in the planning, regulation and approval for development.

Projects should have:

Category winner

Town of Northam WA

Mitchell on Avon Project

This project is an outstanding example of sustainable growth meeting the social and economic needs of the community through cooperation between the town, private sector and the community. It demonstrates how a regional community has taken a leading role in determining its own future through extensive consultation, planning and implementation.

The project has revitalised Northam's western entry, creating a positive first impression for visitors and residents alike. Another benefit of the project was that vandalism of existing dilapidated homes ceased. By refurbishing existing homes, the railway heritage of the town was retained. Keeping the refurbished homes affordable gave existing tenants and the wider community an opportunity to purchase.

The substantial economic benefits of the project will greatly assist Northam by improving other main roads leading into the town, contributing to Stage 2 of the town's central business district redevelopment project and helping develop recreation facilities. This project is an excellent example of how a council can transform a neglected urban precinct into a revitalised streetscape of which the community can be proud.

Contact Ms Tash Holden
Telephone (08) 9622 6132
Fax (08) 9622 1910
Email comserv@northamtown.wa.gov.au

Commendations

City of Holdfast Bay SA

Glenelg Access Strategy

The Glenelg Access Strategy delivers optimum accessibility to the Glenelg foreshore precinct for visitors and residents in the short and longer term. With the close involvement of the community, private interests and government agencies, the strategy has established scenarios for future development which recognise the economic, environmental and cultural/social directions of the precinct.

Contact Mr Justin Hensgen
Telephone (08) 8229 9909
Fax (08) 8298 4561
Email jhensgen@holdfast.sa.gov.au

Fairfield City Council NSW

Cabramatta Common

Cabramatta Common is a strategic land use and urban planning initiative in partnership with the community, other local government and State bodies to develop a vibrant, welcoming, competitive urban centre for Cabramatta.

Contact Mr Paul Graham
Telephone (02) 9725 0804
Fax (02) 9725 4249
Email pgraham@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au

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Integrated and Regional Planning - Integration of Biodiversity Conservation into Local Government Planning


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage.

This award recognises local government's role as a key stakeholder in natural resource management, including biodiversity conservation.

Projects should have:

Category winner

Nillumbik Shire Council Vic.

Sustaining a Diverse Future

Sustaining a Diverse Future demonstrates a strategic approach to land use and biodiversity conservation. Nillumbik Shire Council's Municipal Strategic Statement outlines a vision for sustainable land use and natural resource management, taking into account environmental, social and economic factors. The Environment Strategy is council's major environmental strategic document. It builds on existing strategies and plans, and was developed with extensive community consultation. Implementation of the strategy involves:

Integration of biodiversity conservation into council planning and operations is a shift in the way council approaches land use planning and provides a decision-making framework. Participation of the community in the Environmental Strategy and implementation of numerous incentive and support programs provides new opportunities for the community to influence biodiversity conservation outcomes.

Sustaining a Diverse Future indicates Nillumbik Shire's commitment to sustainable land management, with biodiversity conservation being incorporated as an essential component. The ongoing commitment to the Shire's future as a 'green wedge' corridor supports regional objectives for integrated catchment management as identified in the Port Phillip and Westernport Regional Catchment Strategy and the Yarra Catchment Action Plan. Participation in a number of regional forums, including the Yarra Catchment Committee and the Middle Yarra Land Managers Group, ensures a regional perspective to the delivery of local programs.

Contact Ms Donna Stoddart
Telephone (03) 9433 3216
Fax (03) 9432 9559
Email donna.stoddart@nillumbik.vic.gov.au

Commendation

Sutherland Shire Council NSW

Integrating Biodiversity and Planning

The Integrating Biodiversity and Planning program preserves and maintains biodiversity, both within and outside the Shire. It does this through protecting habitat, maintaining habitat corridors, protecting threatened species, managing and controlling exotic species, and bushfire management, consistent with the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development.

Contact Ms Christine Pitman
Telephone (02) 9710 0556
Fax (02) 9710 0265
Email cpitman@ssc.nsw.gov.au

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Integrated and Regional Planning - Planning for an Ageing Community


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This award recognises local government's involvement in delivering a wide range of economic, environmental and social services.

For example, some councils have produced, or are cooperating in producing, local plans to address aged care and population ageing issues, highlighting the fact that individual councils are becoming more conscious of the wider social and economic implications of population ageing for their communities.

Projects should have:

Category winner

Nillumbik Shire Council Vic.

Ageing in your Home

In developing Nullimbik Shire Council's Municipal Public Health Plan (2002-05), the Nillumbik community identified isolation/access, health sustaining environments (including housing), care and cohesion in the community, and life-long learning and self-fulfilment as very important in improving and maintaining health, especially for older people.

The Ageing in your Home project researched and produced a document to guide existing or would-be rural dwellers to complement design and planning requirements. The project worked with the local community and professionals to develop a thought-provoking ideas guide addressing comfort and safety aspects when building or renovating. The guide, HomeWise - handy hints to identify your future living needs, recommends consideration of effective design within and outside the home that will not hinder independence with progressing years. The guide forms part of an information package for prospective builders, home owners and professionals. It acts as a practical resource that complements existing detailed design requirements and regulatory expectations.

The project raises the awareness of professionals, such as architects, draughtsmen, builders and landscapers, to the importance of designing for ageing in the planning process, and should help older residents by removing barriers of poor housing and landscape design. It acknowledges that safe, accessible housing design helps prevent falls in the home which is extremely important for older people.

The guide is immediately transferable to other rural areas and, with only minor adaptation, could have potential benefits for all local government authorities.

Contact Ms Adrian Culley
Telephone (03) 9433 3302
Fax (03) 9432 9559
Email adrian.cully@nillumbik.vic.gov.au

Commendation

Sutherland Shire Council NSW

The Sizzling Seniors Program

The Sizzling Seniors Program, in association with health professionals, offers a range of health and fitness services to the older adult market, such as exercise classes and a dietician service attracting more than 10 000 visits per year.

Contact Ms Kristen Denny
Telephone (02) 8536 9713
Fax (02) 9710 0333
Email kdenny@ssc.nsw.au

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Management Practices - Management Improvement


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's leadership in the community, through their management practices, such as:

Projects should have:

Category winner

City of Playford SA

Playford Partnership

Playford has developed a new model, the Playford Partnership, for governance of the city. The Playford Partnership is a collaborative partnership between the city, State Government, Australian Government and not-for-profit bodies. Its aim is to revitalise the city as the new regional centre for the northern hinterland of South Australia.

The Playford Partnership began in 1999 and its achievements include:

As the local tier of government, council has recognised that it can only achieve the revitalisation of the city through a partnership, which collectively manages the total resources of all of its members. The partnership is a model that can be replicated in any location where service providers are prepared to demonstrate goodwill, trust and persistence.

Contact Mr Ken Daniel
Telephone (08) 8254 0222
Fax (08) 8254 1190
Email kdaniel@playford.sa.gov.au

Rural winner

Indigo Shire Council Vic.

Indigo Way Services

The Indigo Shire is made up of several small communities, many of which struggled to retain their identity and services in the mid to late 1990s. The Indigo Shire Council developed Indigo Way Services to ensure survival of the shire, maintain services and strengthen the local community. With Indigo Way Services' Quality Assurance Systems and VicRoads pre-qualification, Indigo Way Services has won a range of contracts on which it employs local sub-contractors who do not have the resources to develop and maintain such systems.

Indigo Way Services supports the community by providing some services on a cost-plus basis that has enabled them to form alliances within the community. Operating with the community in mind has seen a marked improvement in performance: there has been a 500 per cent increase in revenue since formation and staff numbers have increased from 45 full-time staff in 1996 to more than 270 in 2002-03. Working locally, in an environment where staff are involved in decisions that affect their community, gives staff pride in their work and creates good staff morale. Community satisfaction with their work is high, as staff are aware of the impact of providing good service to their community.

Contact Ms Birgit Schonafinger
Telephone (02) 6027 1203
Fax (02) 6027 1495
Email Birgit.Schonafinger@indigoway.com.au

Commendations

Local Government Association of Tasmania

Online Privacy and Security Policies

The Online Privacy and Security Policies project is development of privacy and security guidelines for councils in association with developing a single entry point for local government in Tasmania called CouncilConnect.

Contact Mr Andrew Koerbin
Telephone (03) 6233 5968
Fax (03) 6233 5986
Email andrew.koerbin@lgat.tas.gov.au

City of Joondalup WA

Employer of Choice

The Employer of Choice project delivers more effective management of Joondalup's workforce to ensure the city's organisational goals are met.

It has also enabled the city to establish a range of industry and community partnerships as a means of sourcing and sharing expertise and resources in areas such as education and training, sponsorships, government funding and joint publicity.

Contact Ms Monica Juricev
Telephone (08) 9400 4331
Fax (08) 9300 1383
Email monica.juricev@joondalup.wa.gov.au

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Management Practices - Information Technology


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources

This award recognises local government's use of new technologies, such as the Internet, to completely re-engineer the way in which they deliver information and services.

Projects should have:

Category winner

City of Whittlesea Vic.

eService

In 1999 the City of Whittlesea was convinced that emerging Internet technology had enormous untapped potential to offer new possibilities for delivering council services. In the absence of existing systems to support service delivery, the council resolved to take the lead. Whittlesea Council established the vision and strategy to deliver electronic services that were both interactive and transactive, and served external and internal customers. This strategy, pursued over the past four years, has required a cooperative partnership, led by Whittlesea Council, informed by local communities and business people, and enlisting councils from around Australia. An existing software vendor was used for product development. The resultant electronic service delivery systems have produced better services, improved citizen communication and significant productivity and costs savings. The current take-up of online services in the City of Whittlesea is around 20 per cent, generating cost savings of $70 000 a year. This is expected to increase to over $500 000 a year when planning and building applications go online and full take-up is achieved.

There are currently 35 councils across Australia using the systems, with many more likely to join. The initial vision and perseverance by the City of Whittlesea has been instrumental in developing an eService delivery model, with national application, which provides significant community and cost benefit.

Contact Mr Neill Hocking
Telephone (03) 9217 2335
Fax (03) 9217 2111
Email nfh@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Rural winner

Local Government Association of NSW and Shires Association of NSW

Local-e: Online Action for New South Wales

Local-e: Online Action for New South Wales commenced in July 2001 and is an initiative of the Local Government Association of New South Wales and the Shires Association of New South Wales, in conjunction with the Australian Government's Networking the Nation Program.

Local-e aims to improve the availability of online services to enable New South Wales country councils to provide services more effectively to their communities using electronic means. Local-e is the first Networking the Nation-funded local government project to deliver comprehensive online services to a large number of country councils. Outcomes to date include development of 130 council web sites, of which 104 have been implemented and 66 are live, and the training of 400 council staff.

Following the success of the Local-e web sites, 90 councils have now elected to participate in Phase 2 of the project. This will allow web site users to make online payments, lodge council requests, locate and book council and/or tourism facilities and numerous other information and transaction services, including community publishing. A comprehensive online purchasing marketplace for councils will also be implemented.

The project has been conducted in a spirit of partnership. An incremental approach to the process has been adopted to ensure the steady acceptance of online services by council staff and communities, thus ensuring the continuity and expansion of such services. The unique web site management software is also configured to facilitate opportunities for councils to share information and develop collaborative programs, generating cost savings and other resource benefits to all councils and communities.

Contact Mr Roger Jayasundara
Telephone (02) 9242 4053
Fax (02) 9242 4188
Email roger.jayasundara@lgov.org.au

Commendations

Adelaide City Council SA

3D Modelling in Development Control

The 3D Modelling in Development Control project has enabled Adelaide City Council to provide the public with an easy and accurate way to assess the impact of proposed developments. Application of the technology is now becoming accepted as a routine part of the process of development control.

Contact Mr Bruce Williams
Telephone (08) 8203 7314
Fax (08) 8203 7575
Email b.williams@adelaidecitycouncil.com

Blue Mountains City Council NSW

'Remote Link' Project for Civil Operations

Through their 'Remote Link' Project for Civil Operations, the Blue Mountains City Council has used lateral thinking, the latest technologies and extensive consultation, to reduce a 'mountain of paperwork' to a 'molehill'. In a new system that employs the iPAQ hand-held computer, field officers now have the capacity to enter and process vast amounts of data in a fraction of the time it used to take, saving valuable time and resources.

Contact Mr Dominic O'Brien
Telephone (02) 4780 5586
Fax (02) 4780 5555
Email dobrien@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

City of Gosnells WA

eWATCH

eWATCH is a major enhancement to community safety in the City of Gosnells in South Perth. The system is an electronic clearing house, providing an information link between police and the community providing an effective means of crime prevention, safety and security tips to registered participants.

Contact Mr Michael Coe
Telephone (08) 9391 3359
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email mcoe@gosnells.wa.gov.au

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Management Practices - Work and Family Balance


Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services.

This award recognises local government's adoption of more flexible work practices.
Projects should have:

Commendation

Maroochy Shire Council Qld

Work and Family Life

Work and Family Life is a program, encompassing a wide range of initiatives, which seeks to create a work environment where employees are able to balance their work and life responsibilities to the benefit of individuals, work teams, and the organisation.

Contact Mr Brendan Hogan
Telephone (07) 5441 8059
Fax (07) 5441 8338
Email hoganb@maroochy.qld.gov.au

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