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Appendix I : 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. The Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services manages the Awards.

The Awards have attracted thousands of entries over their 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 2004 Awards were launched at the Local Government Managers Australia, National Congress in Melbourne on 24 May 2004 and were presented in conjunction with the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly in Canberra on 7 November 2004.

The Awards are funded with sponsorship from a number of Australian Government agencies. In 2004, 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 as well as the Australian Greenhouse Office.

With 18 categories available in 2004, the Awards reflect the diverse range of services local government provides to its communities, and are a reminder that local government is much more than rates, roads and rubbish. This year, 250 entries were received from local government across Australia. The 18 categories recognise excellence and innovation in the areas of:

  • Arts and Heritage
  • Economic Development
  • Engineering
  • Health Services
  • Information Services
  • Information Technology
  • Infrastructure Management and Development
  • Integrating Biodiversity Conservation into Planning and Management
  • Land Use Planning
  • Local Greenhouse Action
  • Management Improvement
  • Planning for Safe, Accessible and Adaptable Built Environments for Ageing Communities
  • Social and Community Engagement
  • Strength in Diversity
  • Strengthening Indigenous Communities
  • Tourism Development
  • Work and Family Balance
  • Youth Engagement.

Judging panels selected winners in each category and these winners were announced in September 2004.

National judging to select the winners of the 2004 Awards took place in Canberra between 12 and 15 October 2004. Representatives from local government, sponsors and industry bodies judged the entries. The national judging panel, which included an independent chair from the industry sector, a local government specialist, representatives from the Australian Local Government Association, Local Government Managers Australia, and the Department of Transport and Regional Services, selected the national winners following presentations from the 25 category award winners.

Leading Practice Database

Summaries of all entries received this year, along with the thousands of projects entered in the Awards since 1997, are included on the Leading Practice Database, an interactive, searchable database, featured on the DOTARS web site www.dotars.gov.au/local/index.aspx. This valuable resource further encourages the sharing of ideas, excellence and innovations between local government bodies across Australia.

Leading Practice Seminar Series

The Leading Practice Seminar Series is a DOTARS initiative started in 2000. Since that time, 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 Local Government Section of DOTARS 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 2004

National Award for Innovation

CITY OF BURNSIDE, South Australia
Books in the Sky

The City of Burnside library, in partnership with PLAIN Central Services and the Royal Society for the Blind South Australia piloted this initiative, which bypasses cassettes and CDs and creates a potentially cost-effective, easy-to-use digital solution to providing books, magazines and newspapers to people with sight impairments. In a world first, the system was trialled by clients of the Royal Society for the Blind and customers of the City of Burnside's library.

The Books in the Sky project is the first significant advance for many years in providing books, magazines and newspapers to sight- impaired people in a simple to use and cost- effective way. It has the potential to revolutionise such services and eventually replace talking books on cassette and CD. The technology will also eventually be available as a means of providing council documents, community information and so on to the sight-impaired, making library and council services more accessible. It will provide access to an unlimited range of digital text 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This access will be particularly beneficial in rural and remote areas.

Books in the Sky is an innovative application of existing technology to an increasing problem for all providers in making written material available to the sight impaired. The project has the potential to be used more widely to improve access to a wide range of information and information services and to be marketed to other local government bodies both nationally and internationally.

Contact Ms Margaret Moxon
Telephone (08) 8366 4280
Fax (08) 8366 4274
Email mmoxon@burnside.sa.gov.au

National Award for Innovation - awarded to a rural council or council with a ratepayer base less than 15 000

HUON VALLEY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Development of a Bridge Workbox

The Huon Valley Council, local government at large and many other transport asset owners across the world need workers to conduct maintenance and repairs on the sides and undersides of bridges, often where access is difficult or impossible from below. In Huon Valley alone council has over 180 bridges throughout its municipal area and allocates considerable resources each year to maintain them. Local government is responsible for 20 000 bridges Australia wide.

Huon Valley Council developed the Bridge Workbox in response to safety and cost concerns associated with traditional methods of carrying out work on bridges. The Workbox, which can be attached to an excavator for work on the side or underneath bridges, is a significant breakthrough in terms of safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The invention is a simple, cost-effective and practical solution to a large-scale problem. Risk management and workplace safety are extremely important issues for local government. The Workbox, used by the Huon Valley Council since the beginning of 2004, has demonstrated its ability to dramatically improve productivity and the safety of workers.

The Workbox can be transported on the back of a lorry, flat bed truck or utility and is adaptable to other activities requiring a stable, safe but elevated work platform - anywhere an excavator can access or reach - and for other elevated tasks such as tree lopping, painting and cleaning of gutters. Council has patented the design to enable the product to be sold in the open market.

Contact Mr Daniel Smee
Telephone (03) 6264 8435
Fax (03) 6264 8440
Email dsmee@huonvalley.tas.gov.au

National Award for Excellence

WARRNAMBOOL CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Migration to Warrnambool

The Migration to Warrnambool project had its origins in the council's goal to promote population growth and employment for the region through migration. The region's key industries were suffering from a shortage of both skilled and unskilled labour and it was vital to the economic future of many of the larger Warrnambool employers to attract people to the region to meet their needs.

In 2003-04 Warrnambool City Council led a 'Supporting Relocation to the South West' initiative, with a coalition of partner agencies, to pilot migrant settlement into the Warrnambool community. The project has so far successfully settled 15 families (79 people) from two cultural communities since June 2003. Twenty-three of these new settlers have attained full-time employment and the program is helping the region's key industries meet labour shortages.

Adopting a whole-of-community approach to migrant settlement has been critical to the success of the project to ensure a welcoming community, employment opportunities, access to services and the ability to connect with their own community. One indicator of the success of the project is that Warrnambool has now started to experience direct migration from the Sudan. The council has shown its commitment to the ongoing project by restructuring its Residents' Services Division to include Community Development staff. This change in business practice will help raise awareness and change attitudes, facilitate improvements in public information, and help Warrnambool advocate for social change and changes in refugee policy that will benefit the economic and social development of the region.

The Migration to Warrnambool project involved a comprehensive and participatory process that recognised and respected culture and aspirations and built upon community strengths. In undertaking this initiative council was mindful of the need to gain community and key industry support. Through an evaluative process Warrnambool City Council has documented the lessons learned through its How to Guide that will help other communities with successful settlement of refugees in regional areas.

This project has not only contributed to the region's economic development and future sustainability, it has also provided an excellent practical example of one approach to migrant settlement in Australia.

Contact Mr Paul O'Brien
Telephone (03) 5564 7800
Fax (03) 5562 8774
Email pobrien@warrnambool.vic.gov.au

National Award for Excellence - awarded to a rural council or council with a ratepayer base fewer than 15 000

WELLINGTON, BLAYNEY and CABONNE SHIRE COUNCILS, New South Wales
WBC Strategic Alliance

The WBC Strategic Alliance is an historic partnership between three rural councils, providing economies of scale that have produced significant savings and a better range of services for ratepayers and residents.

When the New South Wales Government initiated its Agenda for Structural Reform, the three councils involved in the Alliance conducted extensive community consultation, including public meetings in various parts of the shires to determine the wishes of their constituents. From these meetings, it was evident that the three communities were opposed to council amalgamations but were in favour of more extensive resource sharing and cooperative arrangements to increase efficiencies and achieve savings. A draft model was developed in consultation with residents, council staff and relevant unions.

The Alliance has created a body with a combined population of more than 30 000 and a total annual budget of $60 million. It has provided significant efficiencies through economies of scale and will improve integrated natural resource management and planning. Through cooperative arrangements, joint purchases, and staff and resource sharing, it has delivered savings of more than $720 000 to the residents of the three member councils within the first 10 months of its operation and is on target to reach a goal of $1 million in savings in 2004. By participating in the Alliance each council has been able to better deliver services and improve the range and quality of those services. Importantly, the initiatives already introduced and the ongoing development of Centres of Excellence within the Alliance has helped ensure the future of small rural communities that rely heavily on their local councils for employment and services.

The Alliance is a highly successful and extremely efficient alternative to council amalgamations and provides a model of excellence that can be applied Australia-wide.

Contact Mr Dale Jones
Telephone (02) 6845 2099
Fax (02) 6845 3354
Email dale.jones@wellington.nsw.gov.au

Special award

SHIRE OF MOUNT MARSHALL, Western Australia
Environmental Protection Program

With a very small ratepayer base of 494 people generating rate revenue of $840 000; an area of 10 134 square kilometres to manage and 1725 kilometres of road to maintain, the Shire of Mount Marshall has embarked on an ambitious natural resource management strategy to combat the escalating land degradation and salt expansion within the north-eastern wheat belt.

The program shows how a small rural council, in concert with a supportive community, can have a beneficial effect on their harsh environment to manage and preserve their natural environment and achieve a sustainable future for the community. It is a prime example of how a community partnership can work towards a solution regardless of the issue, size or location of that community. This program and in particular the council's engagement of the community has wide application and is indicative of the resourcefulness, spirit and ingenuity, which are the hallmarks of local government across Australia.

Contact Mr Kevin Trustum
Telephone (08) 9685 1202
Fax (08) 9685 1299
Email trustumk@mtmarshall.wa.gov.au

Category and commendation award winners 2004

Sustainable Development - Economic Development

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

This Award recognises local government's role in:

  • providing cultural activities and facilities in their communities
  • developing mechanisms to encourage integration of cultural planning with economic, physical, social and environmental planning streams
  • collecting, documenting and preserving local heritage buildings and materials which contribute to and record Australia's national identity.

Projects should have:

  • celebrated the value of arts, culture and heritage in the local community
  • sought to raise community awareness of buildings and works of cultural significance
  • promoted diversity in arts and culture
  • involved a consultative process that had developed a long-term vision and goals, cooperative marketing, business plan and future development strategies.

Category winner

SHIRE OF CUE, Western Australia
QFest - Cue's Outback Festival

The Shire of Cue is a small local government authority 650 kilometres north east of Perth, with an area of almost 14 000 square kilometres and a population of less than 400 people. Cue is the historic administration centre for the Murchison region and boasts numerous heritage buildings and an historic streetscape. The Municipal Inventory lists over 100 places of significance.

In 2001 the Shire of Cue embarked on an ambitious project to establish 'QFest' - Cue's Outback Festival. QFest sought to achieve a number of objectives, such as putting Cue back on the map by re-establishing a profile for the community, promoting Cue as a tourist destination, building the community's capacity, providing a focus for community development activities, and interpreting Cue's rich heritage assets through arts and performance.

The festival has now run for two years with visitor numbers growing to over 2000 in 2003 and has established a reputation as a quality festival with artists, exhibitions and entertainment. The Shire of Cue has embraced the opportunity presented by the district's heritage assets and its innovative approach complements heritage with arts, entertainment and tourism, and provides a fine example to other struggling communities.

Contact Mr Stanley Scott
Telephone (08) 9963 1041
Fax (08) 9963 1085
Email cueshire.ceo@bigpond.com

Commendations

CAPEL SHIRE COUNCIL, Western Australia
Art in the Community

The Shire of Capel is working with residents to build community spirit and capacity through 'Art in the Community', a project which engages residents in cultural mapping and produces artworks that are installed in the community.

Contact Ms Liz Watkins
Telephone (08) 9727 0235
Fax (08) 9727 0223
Email lwatkins@capel.wa.gov.au

NORTH SYDNEY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Conservation of Aboriginal Heritage

Creation of the Aboriginal Heritage Officer's position is the result of a partnership between North Sydney, Lane Cove, Willoughby City and Warringah Councils. These councils collectively fund the position and employ the Aboriginal Heritage Officer to help identify and conserve local Aboriginal heritage sites.

Contact Mr Martin Bass
Telephone (02) 9936 8181
Fax (02) 9936 8177
Email basmar@northsydney.nsw.gov.au

TOWNSVILLE CITY COUNCIL, Queensland
Townsville Yarns - Celebrating our Community's History

Townsville Yarns, a key project of Townsville's centenary celebrations in 2003, was a series of community gatherings that captured Townsville's social and oral history as a basis for developing a social history centre.

Contact Mr Dolan Hayes
Telephone (07) 4727 9300
Fax (07) 4727 9057
Email dbh@townsville.qld.gov.au

Economic Development

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

This Award recognises:

  • local government's key role in strengthening local and regional development opportunities either by an individual council or by a regional group of councils
  • 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:
    • establishing improved access to services or infrastructure to support local or regional business development or growth
    • developing and participating in strategic approaches to economic development
    • assisting business ventures
    • facilitating transport opportunities
    • improving domestic or export sales opportunities
    • developing regional programs.

Projects should have:

  • had a proactive role in attracting business investment in the area
  • promoted employment in the area
  • streamlined council operations or service delivery to facilitate private business investment
  • involved strategic and financial planning based on an integrated business planning model, linking community sustainability outcomes to business planning processes and outputs.

Category winner

BURNIE CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Saving the 'Burnie Airport'

In 2001, Burnie City Council initiated a course of action to prevent the inevitable closure of the Burnie Airport, a vital interstate and intrastate air services passenger and freight transport link located at Wynyard in far north west Tasmania. In the previous three years, the airport had suffered a 43 per cent decline in passenger movements, down to 65 000 annually.

The airport acquisition initiative encountered many daunting challenges. These challenges included being a major new business for the council and a significant divergence from council's past role and function; not having any previous airport involvement or experience; and being hard on the heels of the shocks then facing the aviation industry. Nevertheless, the council moved forward with the purchase late in 2001.

The council set up a corporate business that took over the ownership, management, and operational responsibilities of the airport from 1 February 2002. In the space of just 2Vi years, the outcomes at the airport have been dramatic in all respects, with the airport now achieving close to 100 000 annual passenger movements, operating strongly and achieving sustainable operating profits.

Contact Mr Lionel Young
Telephone (03) 6430 5723
Fax (03) 6430 5743
Email lyoung@burnie.net

Commendations

LIVERPOOL PLAINS SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
The Resurgence of Quirindi

Through The Resurgence of Quirindi project Liverpool Plains Shire Council evaluated its strengths and weaknesses and designed and implemented a wide range of strategies to achieve higher levels of growth, improved quality of life and new opportunities for sustainable social and economic development. The council undertook extensive community consultation and created partnerships with the public and private sectors, thereby providing numerous economic and social achievements. New industries attracted to the area will generate over 300 direct jobs, community spirit and confidence in the town's future has been enhanced and community facilities have been improved.

Contact Mr Robert Hunt
Telephone (02) 6746 1755
Fax (02) 6746 3255
Email robert@lpsc.nsw.gov.au

HUNTER COUNCILS, New South Wales
Film Hunter

Film Hunter is a multi-faceted project that strives to aid economic development and tourist spending in Newcastle and the Hunter Region of New South Wales by attracting major film and television production into the area. Film Hunter exists under the auspices of Hunter Councils and attracts and manages film activity on behalf of the 11 local government areas in the region. The project has helped generate over $4.5 million in filming expenditure since July 2000, employed over 1000 services and individuals and helped eight new businesses open.

Contact Ms June Hamrick Taylor
Telephone (02) 4974 2889
Fax (02) 4929 5948
Email carmstrong@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Engineering

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

This Award recognises innovation and excellence in the field of engineering, particularly where it demonstrates savings in financial or environmental costs, gains in energy efficiency, improved service delivery, improved asset management or overall ecologically sustainable development.

Projects should have:

  • successfully showcased an innovation or excellence in concept
  • demonstrated best engineering practice
  • used leading edge technology
  • used work practices and/or other techniques that set it apart from 'standard' processes
  • used work practices and/or other techniques that conserve energy or materials
  • demonstrated more effective and efficient use of resources
  • contributed to development of engineering excellence in Australia
  • encouraged development of young engineers.

Category winner

HUON VALLEY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Development of a Bridge Workbox

Huon Valley Council developed the Bridge Workbox in response to safety and cost concerns associated with traditional methods of carrying out work on the sides and undersides of bridges. Council has over 180 bridges throughout its municipal area and allocates considerable resources each year to maintain them. Development of a workbox that can be attached to an excavator for work on the side or underneath bridges is a significant breakthrough in terms of safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The Bridge Workbox, used by council since the beginning of 2004, has demonstrated its ability to dramatically improve productivity and the safety of workers. The invention has a wide range of alternative applications for work in elevated areas and council has patented the design to enable the product to be sold in the open market.

Contact Mr Daniel Smee
Telephone (03) 6264 8435
Fax (03) 6264 8440
Email dsmee@huonvalley.tas.gov.au

Commendation

DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Reservoir Civic Centre - Building Community Sustainability

The Reservoir Civic Centre is a tangible example of sustainable technologies that can be transferred into residential homes. It is a demonstration of Darebin City Council's commitment to sustainability and is growing into a key community educational resource, based around sustainable living.

Contact Ms Libby Hynes
Telephone (03) 9230 4442
Fax (03) 9470 2259
Email lhynes@darebin.vic.gov.au

Health Services

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This Award recognises the role of local government in understanding and addressing local major health and aged care priorities.

Projects should have:

  • positively and successfully addressed a major health issue in the area
  • demonstrated measurable positive outcomes
  • involved partnerships with community stakeholders (which may include health professionals) to identify and/or address local health issues
  • delivered new or extended primary health care services.

Category winner

CITY OF TEA TREE GULLY, South Australia
Saturdays for Us Program

The Saturdays for Us Program began as a revolutionary six-month pilot project to identify and attempt to meet the needs of men (55 years and over) with Dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It was found that a gap existed in the services available for men diagnosed with such conditions. Home and Community Care funded services were generally geared towards frail, aged or younger disabled people, with aged services primarily catering to men over the age of 65 years who were isolated and required support to prevent premature admission into residential care. In response to this situation, the Saturdaysfor Us Program provides male clients from 55 years of age who suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer's with an opportunity to enhance their quality of life through a program that is collaborative, flexible, client led, encouraging social development with weekend inclusion, and integrative. This type of project, targeting this age group and incorporating weekend activities, has not previously been undertaken in South Australia. The pilot project has proven its success by gaining recurrent Home and Community Care funding to continue the program. Already, other councils and service providers have expressed their interest in developing the program for their areas.

Contact Ms Brigitta Ford
Telephone (08) 8397 7303
Fax (08) 8397 7400
Email fordb@cttg.sa.gov.au

Commendation

CITY OF MELVILLE, Western Australia
The Men's Health Program

The Men's Health Program recognises that men's health care is a critical issue that has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the whole community. The program takes an holistic view of men's health and addresses the issues from a social, physical and emotional perspective. The flexible and proactive initiative relied on a range of community partners to bolster available resources. These alliances were instrumental in facilitating a growing project that evolved in direct response to community demand. Facilitating the exchange of information and ideas between groups with a vested interest in men's health has been an important project outcome, which has also contributed to recognition of men's health by the Western Australian Government.

Contact Ms Janet Armarego
Telephone (08) 9364 0666
Fax (08) 9364 0285
Email mailto:jarmarego%20@melville.wa.gov.au

Information Services

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

This Award recognises that each member of the Australian community has an equal right to information and information services and that this access is essential to the democratic process and to the social wellbeing of the community.

Projects should have:

  • effectively engaged members of the community
  • sought to remove barriers to social participation by providing avenues for all sectors of the community to access council and/or community resources
  • empowered people to use technology.

Category winner

CITY OF BURNSIDE, South Australia
Books in the Sky

In 2001-02 the Burnside Library issued 11 697 cassette books to customers with sight impairments. The City of Burnside Library, in partnership with PLAIN Central Services and the Royal Society for the Blind South Australia, piloted the exciting new Books in the Sky initiative, which bypasses cassettes and CDs and creates a potentially cost-effective, easy-to-use digital solution to providing books, magazines and newspapers to people with sight impairments. In a world first, the system was trialled by clients of the Royal Society for the Blind and customers of the City of Burnside's library.

The Books in the Sky project is the first significant advance for many years in providing books, magazines and newspapers to sight- impaired people in a simple to use and cost- effective way. It has the potential to revolutionise such services and eventually replace talking books on cassette and CD. The technology will also eventually be available as a means of providing council documents, community information etc. to the sight-impaired, making library and council services more equitable.

Contact Ms Margaret Moxon
Telephone (08) 8366 4280
Fax (08) 8366 4274
Email mmoxon@burnside.sa.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

TENTERFIELD SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Tenterfield Public Library - Holistic Management Approach

Tenterfield Public Library is responsible not only for library operations, but also for museum and theatre/cinema management in the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts. An holistic management approach has been implemented to maximise the cultural benefits for the community and to allow all sectors to benefit. To achieve this, the library provides management skills and planning, mentoring, emergency relief and shared use of equipment, such as photocopiers and scanners, to produce cost efficiencies. Functions are organised to flow between the museum and the library. The library's Youth Panel makes recommendations for movies as well as books, periodicals and music. Schools are encouraged to combine Children's Book Week visits with museum study tours. A Special Exhibitions Collection Policy was established to record the collection of artefacts outside the criteria of the museum's National Trust collection for use in any part of the building. Signage in the museum encourages tourists to browse the collection, relax with a newspaper or use the Internet free of charge.

The School of Arts has become a successfully integrated information and cultural centre for Tenterfield.

Contact Mrs Robin Riley
Telephone (02) 6736 1454
Fax (02) 6736 1146
Email r.riley@tenterfield.nsw.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF THURINGOWA, Queensland
digital. literacy @thuringowa. library

Access to electronic resources does not necessarily translate to an ability to locate and use information productively, so <digital. literacy@thuringowa.library> is a three-part project aiming to improve the information- seeking skills of Thuringowa residents.

Contact Mr Warren Cheetham
Telephone (07) 4773 8503
Fax (07) 4773 8608
Email warrenc@thuringowa.qld.gov.au

CANTERBURY CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
It's Safe Again

The It's Safe Again information campaign aims to increase residents' perceptions of safety while addressing specific local area issues as the need arises. The kit is displayed in all libraries and community centres, and is mailed with all correspondence as part of the It's Safe Again program. The kit includes a feedback section encouraging residents to raise community safety concerns and to reassure them that council, in strong partnership with local police, is ready to respond to their concerns.

Contact Ms Lara Kirchner
Telephone (02) 9789 9508
Fax (02) 9787 3064
Email larak@canterbury.nsw.gov.au

Information Technology

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

This Award recognises innovative uses of information technology, particularly through services delivered online, which provide substantial benefits to communities including important community sectors such as local small businesses.

Projects should have:

  • innovatively used information technology to improve the delivery of services to the community
  • promoted/involved partnerships with universities, business, other councils and/or the community to develop information technology solutions
  • improved the flow of information between council and the community and between councils, for the benefit of their communities
  • achieved measurable outcomes and given added value
  • reflected a commitment to sharing or mentoring the uptake of the findings and/or the technology
  • reflected community involvement.

Category winner

URALLA SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
New England Smart Communities Action Project

The New England Smart Communities Action Project aims to develop carrier-grade broadband infrastructure in Uralla and Armidale for the benefit of council, local businesses and the general community. Council has successfully brought together over 20 private and public stakeholders with diverse and sometimes complex objectives to deliver project objectives.

As well as investigating the range of options to attract and reticulate broadband infrastructure for the region, the project's specific objectives are to help 'future proof' the Uralla and Armidale region through telecommunications, to reduce the cost of telecommunications for existing businesses and the community, to encourage availability of high-speed broadband telecommunications infrastructure that will help the region attract new industry, and to ensure equity of access to broadband services (voice and data) for the community.

The New England Smart Communities Action Project has facilitated development of alternative broadband infrastructure in both Uralla and Armidale by working with Australian and State Government stakeholders and by directly engaging with Soul Pattinson Telecommunications to deliver carrier-grade broadband services through a Wireless Local Loop.

Contact Mr Kevin Abey
Telephone (02) 6778 4606
Fax (02) 6778 5073
Email kevin.abey@northnet.com.au

Commendations

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF TASMANIA, Tasmania
CouncilConnect

The CouncilConnect web site is the first specific transactional portal for local government in Australia. All of Tasmania's 29 councils are participating and offer services through the portal. It allows citizens to access high quality online services irrespective of their council size or location.

Contact Mr Brian Oliver
Telephone (03) 6233 5968
Fax (03) 6233 5986
Email brian.oliver@lgat.tas.gov.au

CITY OF WHITTLESEA, Victoria
WIRED Development Project

The City of Whittlesea conceived the project to encourage broadband infrastructure investment in greenfield estates. The project facilitates establishment of a broadband network, capable of providing a range of telecommunications, data and video services, for the benefit of local communities in new estates including businesses, government and educational institutions, private residents and other community groups.

Contact Mr Brad Wynter
Telephone (03) 9217 2127
Fax (03) 9217 2399
Email brad.wynter@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Infrastructure Management and Development

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

With local government facing serious difficulties in the ongoing maintenance, improvement and replacement of community infrastructure this Award aims to recognise infrastructure management and development plans and/or projects which will meet the future needs of their communities without adding a significant cost burden to the community. Examples may be:

  • new management techniques that enable existing infrastructure to service greater numbers of clients
  • management processes to extend the life or reduce the maintenance or management cost of infrastructure
  • innovative systems to reduce or better manage the replacement burden.

Projects should have:

  • provided a framework to meet the municipality's social, economic and environment needs for the longer term
  • used partnerships with other local government bodies or the private sector
  • introduced and used new technologies
  • used and promoted ecologically sustainable use of renewable energy sources, such as, water and power
  • improved asset management or impact on asset holdings and demonstrated any attempt made by council to quantify the benefits.

Category winner

KOGARAH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, New South Wales
Streetlight Assessment Project

The Streetlight Assessment Project is a geographically-based computer program used to help manage street lighting infrastructure. The project was developed in response to a broader review of street lighting conducted by the Southern Sydney Region of Councils. The need for this project arose when responsibility for street lighting assets was transferred from EnergyAustralia to local government authorities. Before the system was developed, local councils and EnergyAustralia had largely determined street lighting infrastructure design requirements on a case- by-case basis. This practice was not necessarily an efficient use of energy or an effective distribution of lighting, as required by the Australian Standard.

The project enables the council to model lighting levels of particular light types and mounting heights across an entire street lighting network. This was achieved by combining spatial information from the council's GIS databases, EnergyAustralia's infrastructure data and lighting manufacturers' luminary model specifications. The project is believed to be the first of its kind, and uses variable input data options to optimise network design and portability across councils. The principle functions of the project are to assess current levels of compliance against standards, identify and prioritise the worst areas of non-compliance, identify excessive lighting levels and to determine the potential benefits of switching to new luminaries. Overall it will significantly enhance the operational energy efficiency of lighting networks and consequently provide ongoing financial, social and environmental benefits to councils and the community.

Contact Mr Glen Moody
Telephone (02) 9330 9474
Fax (02) 9330 9561
Email glen.moody@kogarah.nsw.gov.au

Commendation

CITY OF WEST TORRENS, South Australia
The Hamra Centre

The Hamra Centre is a new style community centre in the City of West Torrens, successfully delivering a wide range of services and facilities over an extended range of hours. It comprises a refurbished auditorium, new community meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art public library with flexible display, meeting and performance/exhibition spaces, a large information technology training suite and a new, web-based Library Management System providing virtual library services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact Mr Declan Moore
Telephone (08) 8416 6333
Fax (08) 8443 9099
Email dmoore@wtcc.sa.gov.au

Integrating Biodiversity Conservation into Planning and Management

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage.

This Award recognises high-level council commitment to conserving biodiversity through strategic planning and management processes.

Projects should have:

  • biodiversity conservation considered and incorporated into high-level council planning strategies and management plans
  • biodiversity conservation concerns incorporated into council's on-ground operations and activities
  • mechanisms to monitor and evaluate biodiversity conservation outcomes
  • mechanisms to report on biodiversity outcomes
  • mechanisms to allow for participation in regional planning processes for natural resource management to ensure a strategic and cooperative approach to biodiversity conservation.

Category winner

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, Western Australia
Perth Biodiversity Project

In 2001 the Perth Biodiversity Projectwas launched to help Perth's local governments plan a future for local bushland, wetlands and other natural areas. The project is delivered in partnership with Perth's 30 local governments, the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust and the Swan Catchment Council. The project supports local government biodiversity conservation efforts in the Swan Region through direct financial assistance for on-ground works and capacity building projects as well as providing expert and technical information, advice and assistance for local biodiversity planning. Significantly the project has prepared the Local Government Biodiversity Planning Guidelines for the Perth Metropolitan Region to help local government develop strategic approaches to conserving biodiversity. The project has also provided $450 000 of Natural Heritage Trust funding to help 22 local governments with 42 on-ground and capacity-building projects. The Natural Heritage Trust investment stimulated a further investment of $1.025 million by local government on biodiversity conservation initiatives.

Contact Mr Andrew Del Marco
Telephone (08) 9213 2047
Fax (08) 9322 2611
Email marco@walga.asn.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

SHIRE OF MOUNT MARSHALL, Western Australia
Shire of Mount Marshall Environmental Protection Program

In 2003-04 the Shire of Mount Marshall began a process of natural resource planning to enable better management of the environment. This process involved a two-stage Environmental Protection Plan; assessment, evaluation and prioritisation of water, biodiversity, infrastructure and land resources assets; creation of project monitoring handbooks; a review of environmental information provision to ratepayers; employment of a Landcare Technical Officer; adoption of reserve use licensing; management plans for large shire vested reserves; adoption of a gravel pit rehabilitation program; on-ground Landcare works on a shire basis; and adoption of a vermin control program.

Recognising that environmental care is now a core business of local government, the Shire of Mount Marshall formed a shire-based Landcare Committee (now Natural Resource Management Committee). The committee works on a number of resource management issues, including remnant protection and re-vegetation, salinity management, vermin control and engineering earthworks. Early 2004 saw promotion of Catchment Groups within the shire. Shire staff coordinate Catchment Groups and they work to address catchment issues, primarily water management and biodiversity conservation. Council recognises that environmental repair must be coordinated on a district basis as natural resource management does not conclude at municipal boundaries.

Contact Mr Kevin Trustum
Telephone (08) 9685 1202
Fax (08) 9685 1299
Email trustumk@mtmarshall.wa.gov.au

Commendation

CLARENCE VALLEY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Clarence Valley Floodplain Project

The Clarence Valley Floodplain Project was initiated in 1997 and operates as a series of programs to identify and develop management techniques to improve water quality and land management, yet still provide adequate flood protection to the people of the Clarence Valley Floodplain.

Contact Mr Jeremy Challacombe
Telephone (02) 6642 3277
Fax (02) 6642 3108
Email jchallacombe@crcc.nsw.gov.au

Land Use Planning - 2004 Year of the Built Environment

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

This Award recognises innovative projects that support a coordinated approach to land- use planning, urban design or development assessment. Projects should balance social, economic and environmental values and contribute to well-designed, safe, healthy, and environmentally responsive built environments.

Projects should have:

  • provided a framework for sustainable growth to meet your municipality's/region's social, economic and environment needs
  • embraced intergovernmental and institutional cooperation between all spheres of government, the private sector and the community
  • ensured local communities had a role in determining their own futures through consultation in planning and implementation
  • reflected the community's needs and aspirations for their locality, such as:
    • greater choice and affordability of housing high quality urban design
    • safe, efficient and convenient transport choices
    • urban design solutions which reduce crime and the perception of crime within the community
    • more liveable neighbourhoods
    • revitalisation of town centres and transport interchanges
    • improvements to parks and public open space
    • retaining and reusing historic structures of significance.

Category winner

BLUE MOUNTAINS CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Blue Mountains Draft Local Environmental Plan 2002

The aim of the new Blue Mountains Draft Local Environmental Plan 2002 is to provide a comprehensive development framework for the 'City within a World Heritage National Park', in a manner that is consistent with and promotes the principles and practices of ecologically sustainable development. Its principal objectives reflect the broad challenges faced in ensuring that development within the urbanised parts of the City enhances the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Blue Mountains. The draft Local Environmental Plan encourages a range of land uses and development activities that seek to contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of the Blue Mountains community. Such elements include encouraging a range of accessible and affordable housing types, and providing guidance and requirements for attractive urban design that promotes community safety within core township and village areas.

The draft Local Environmental Plan also implements a series of place-specific zones and land use categories that actively encourage new small business development within the Mountains. Most notably, the draft Local Environmental Plan demonstrates a number of innovative approaches to planning for a sustainable built environment that limits urban expansion and minimises environmental impacts on the surrounding World Heritage National Park. By integrating with the environmental constraint mapping techniques developed through council's geographical information system, the plan identifies the City's urban development capacities through establishment of a 'sustainable development threshold'.

The draft Local Environmental Plan also demonstrates the importance and value of establishing a place-based planning framework. This framework was developed in collaboration with individual communities, and reflects the priorities and values of those communities through highly tailored precinct vision statements and development controls to achieve a desired future character for the 21 villages covered by the draft plan. Through effective web-based information systems, all statutory and supporting mapping is readily available to ensure the development industry and the community are able to effectively implement their aims, objectives and provisions.

Contact Mr Paul Grimson
Telephone (02) 4780 5774
Fax (02) 4780 5721
Email pgrimson@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Local Greenhouse Action

Sponsored by the Australian Greenhouse Office.

Local governments are uniquely placed to raise community and industry awareness of greenhouse issues, and through their planning schemes, building codes, waste reduction and recycling programs, as well as their own corporate activities, they can directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This Award acknowledges that local government action in Australia is making a real difference to Australia's greenhouse emissions.

Projects should have:

  • delivered ongoing, cost effective greenhouse gas abatement
  • involved the community in on-ground action
  • raised community or industry awareness of greenhouse issues
  • successfully integrated greenhouse gas abatement with economic and social goals
  • integrated regional environmental objectives
  • included mechanisms that support the goal of continual improvement
  • demonstrated mechanisms within the council's decision-making procedures that ensure processes, projects and initiatives consider greenhouse gas abatement principles.

Category winner

KOGARAH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, New South Wales
Kogarah Town Square

The Kogarah Town Square is Australia's largest solar powered medium density development. It is the first residential/commercial development to use photovoltaic cells for its entire roof area. The development consists of 194 apartments, commercial/retail space, library and underground car park. The solar power produced by the development will save about 145 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This, in conjunction with the passive design principles of the development, will result in a saving of 375 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, compared to a typical development. The Town Square is a leading example of urban water collection, treatment and reuse - with 85 per cent of rainwater and stormwater collected on site and reused - resulting in a 40 per cent reduction in potable water use.

The Town Square has played an important role in promoting sustainable development through regular tours of the development, visual display and information signs showcasing the solar energy and water reuse principals, training of tradespeople involved in the development, creation of Kogarah Town Square web site, and production of Kogarah Town Square Educational CD-ROM.

The CD-ROM provides a detailed look at the sustainability features of the Kogarah Town Square. This includes a detailed case study of the development revealing aims, context and the partnership process of the development; a description of the sustainable solutions undertaken in this development (such as solar panels, water conservation, passive design and energy conservation); and detailed information on the lessons learned from this development. This CD-ROM is being distributed to all local government offices in Australia as well as selected government departments, major developers, architects, and educational institutes.

Contact Ms Alexandra Vandine
Telephone (02) 9330 9510
Fax (02) 9587 5779
Email alexandra.vandine@kogarah.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 rate base

TOWN OF NORTHAM, Western Australia
Northam Eco-Retro House

The Town of Northam has an estimated population of approximately 6500. With 36 per cent of household income in Northam being $499 a week or less, the town must design projects that are in reach of the entire community. Along with the Town of Northam's recent 'Mitchell on Avon' Project, council and the community have heightened recognition of the significance of the 1950s and 1960s fibro and weatherboard style home to the towns of the wheat belt. The material and style of home is suited to the area, being economical to construct in rural communities.

The Northam Eco-Retro house demonstrates how you can turn an older style house into a comfortable home that is environmentally friendly and sustainable, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This house incorporates basic, cheap to install features to conserve energy and water, resulting in a more sustainable home that is comfortable throughout the year. Workshops for community members are held at the Northam Eco-Retro House with the opportunity to conduct experiments in the house, and therefore, see the direct results of specific change.

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

Commendations

CITY OF GOSNELLS, Western Australia
Renewable energy from a load of old rubbish

With the support and encouragement of the City of Gosnells and the community, AGL has built a landfill gas powered generation plant that is estimated to generate around 15.7 million kilowatts of renewable electricity per annum over the next few years, on part of the city's former landfill site.

Contact Mr Wayne van Lieven
Telephone (08) 9391 3222
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email wvanlieven@gosnells.wa.gov.au

CITY OF DAREBIN, Victoria
Community Power - reducing community greenhouse emissions

Community Power is Australia's first renewable energy buying group for households. The Project was initiated by Darebin City Council in response to introduction of full retail contestability of electricity in Victoria and promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through purchase of Green Power and wise and efficient use of energy.

Contact Ms Michelle Bennett
Telephone (03) 9230 4535
Fax (03) 9470 2259
Email mbennett@darebin.vic.gov.au

CITY OF SUBIACO, Western Australia
Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration Home

The Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration Home is an example of how stylish, comfortable, affordable homes can be designed and constructed to use minimal resources such as energy and water, massively reduce their ongoing costs and minimise their impact on the environment.

Contact Ms Cindy Siano
Telephone (08) 9237 9271
Fax (08) 9237 9200
Email cindys@subiaco.wa.gov.au

Management Improvement

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

This Award recognises innovative or excellent management or business practices aimed at the continuous improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of local government.

Projects should have:

  • improved and sustained organisational performance
  • contributed to the council planning cycle and management structures
  • improved employee morale
  • improved service delivery to the community or increased levels of community satisfaction
  • established patterns of cooperation and communication that provide for a more effective use of resources and more efficient services.

Category winner

TWEED SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Oper
ational Management System

Tweed Shire Council is committed to establishing and maintaining a clean and ecologically sustainable environment for its community now, and for the future. As part of this commitment, council has integrated an Environmental Management System (EMS) into its existing Occupational Health and Safety Management System. Complying with the principles of ISO 14001, the purpose of the EMS is to improve the environmental outcomes associated with council's operational activities and to lead by example through application of good environmental practices. Rather than create two separate management systems, one for staff safety and another for environmental safety, council has chosen to integrate an EMS into the Occupational Health and Safety Management System. An integrated management system allows for practical advantages related to routine processes, workplace efficiency, staff training, record keeping and workplace auditing to be achieved. To reflect the dual focus of staff safety and environmental safety, the Occupational Health and Safety Management System has been renamed the Operational Management System (OMS).

In early 2004 Tweed Council officially launched its OMS web site on the council intranet. Training staff in their new responsibilities coincided with the launch and will continue as an integral component of the OMS. In addition to improving training outcomes on environmental responsibilities, the OMS has also improved incident and accident reporting procedures, document control and monitoring, and corrective outcomes through the workplace auditing process.

Contact Mr Daniel Walton
Telephone (02) 6670 2440
Fax (02) 6670 2590
Email danw@tweed.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

CABONNE SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
WBC St
rategic Alliance

The WBC Strategic Alliance is an historic partnership between three rural councils, providing economies of scale that have produced significant savings and a better range of services for ratepayers and residents. Formalised on 29 August 2003, it is the first Alliance of its kind in New South Wales and is being used as a model for formation of similar council partnerships in other parts of the State.

The Strategic Alliance has created an entity with a combined population of more than 30 000 and a total annual budget of $60 million, giving it the 'clout' of a major regional centre, while preserving jobs and local representation in country towns. Created in response to the New South Wales Government's push for structural reform in local government, it is seen as a highly successful and extremely efficient alternative to council amalgamations. Through cooperative arrangements, joint purchases and staff and resource sharing, it has delivered savings of more than $720 000 to the residents of the three member councils within the first 10 months of its operation and is on target to reach a goal of $1 million in savings in 2004. By participating in the Strategic Alliance, each council has been able to better deliver services and improve the range and quality of those services. Importantly, the initiatives already introduced and the ongoing development of Centres of Excellence within the Alliance has helped ensure the future of small rural communities that rely heavily on their local councils for employment and services.

Contact Mr Dale Jones
Telephone (02) 6845 2099
Fax (02) 6845 3354
Email dale.jones@wellington.nsw.gov.au

Commendations

LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Lean on Me: A day in the life of Total Workforce

Lean on Me: A day in the life of Total Workforce was a project that communicated the human aspects of Launceston City Council's outdoor crew. Lean on Me was an exhibition of images showing the 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year work the 200 plus workers do to keep Launceston liveable, looking good and functioning. It is a living social history of the unsung heroes who keep the city systems running. The project promoted team spirit and built harmony and unity within and between Total Workforce and the council.

Contact Mr Rod Sweetnam
Telephone (03) 9323 3505
Fax (03) 6323 3501
Email rod.sweetnam@launceston.tas.gov.au

NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Newcastle Environment Management Plan 2003 - A systems approach to a sustainable future

Newcastle Council, together with community stakeholders, developed the Newcastle Environment Management Plan 2003. The plan is based on the systems thinking approach, enhancing the capacity to understand and work within natural systems, the social and built systems of our urban environment and the organisational systems within council. The overall aim of the plan is to enhance effectiveness and deliver efficiencies through articulation of a set of principles, a process based on an organisational systems model and supporting tools for action and evaluation that can be applied across all council's environmental services and activities.

Contact Mr Frank Cosgrove
Telephone (02) 4974 2891
Fax (02) 4974 2804
Email fcosgrove@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Planning for Safe, Accessible and Adaptable Built Environments for Ageing Communities - 2004 Year of the Built Environment

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This Award recognises the important role that local councils can play in planning for and raising awareness of the need for safe, accessible and adaptable built environments to meet the changing needs of Australia's ageing population.

Projects should have:

  • promoted and developed accessible and adaptable built environments to meet the needs of older Australians
  • helped the community to work together to respond to changing needs caused by demographic change in the local area
  • demonstrated innovative planning for built environments to support future demographic change
  • demonstrated that the local council is working to ensure that its planning issues are incorporated into the agenda of other organisations involved in the development, design, manufacture or building of adaptable housing environments.

Category winner

HUME CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Better Living in Broadmeadows and Dallas - Urban Renewal Plan

The Better Living in Broadmeadows and Dallas - Urban Renewal Plan is about creating a better life and a more prosperous future for the people of Dallas and Broadmeadows. The Dallas- Broadmeadows area is one of the oldest suburban areas in Hume City, dating from the 1950s, as one of the former Housing Commission's most ambitious development projects. The community suffers considerable socioeconomic disadvantage, creating a range of problems affecting the area's image. The plan covers an area containing over 5000 homes, most of which were constructed by the Housing Commission, but only a portion of the homes remain in public ownership. Many of the residents have lived in the area for more than 40 years and are facing real issues with home maintenance. There is a strong sense of community amongst the residents and the area is very culturally diverse. This is not a two-dimensional 'town plan'.

The urban renewal plan is multi-faceted and involves local community and economic development, cultural enrichment, strengthening of the social fabric, as well as the more obvious physical aspects of infrastructure renewal, improved community facilities, upgrading of the public realm and property redevelopment. The plan builds on previous research and consultation by council and other organisations. It has cemented a strong partnership between council and the Victorian Department of Human Services and will strengthen the council-community relationship. Dallas- Broadmeadows is geographically located in a key strategic metropolitan location and is on the cusp of change. This plan is about providing some intervention and leadership to ensure the future of Dallas and Broadmeadows.

Contact Mr Dane Truscott
Telephone (03) 9205 2610
Fax (03) 9740 6543
Email danet@hume.vic.gov.au

Social and Community Engagement

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

This Award recognises and acknowledges initiatives that focus on the contribution of local government to:

  • strengthening individuals, families and communities
  • aiding life choices for individuals and families in the community
  • fostering social and economic participation to build resilience and foster a culture of self- reliance and self-help in the community.

Projects should increase community capacity for self-help and sustainability and social and economic engagement by:

  • being designed to increase social and economic participation within the community
  • investing in children and strengthening families
  • fostering local action in response to a local issue(s) and addressing community services needs
  • using innovative government, community and business partnerships for action.

Category winner

BLUE MOUNTAINS CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Blue Mountains Our Future - The Next 25 Years

Through an extensive consultation and innovative engagement process, Blue Mountains residents have worked with the Blue Mountains Council to develop a City Strategy to guide the future of the Blue Mountains over the next 25 years. While council has provided the leadership to initiate the project, the local community has actively shaped, developed and endorsed it. In this sense the project can truly be described as 'Community owned - council led'.

Through a wide range of innovative processes and tools, the project has enabled all age groups, including children and people from all parts of the city, to be involved in shaping a community-owned vision and action plan for a more sustainable future.

The Blue Mountains Our Future Project is an example of local government being at one with community, not only as a result of its innovative and creative engagement processes that have facilitated diverse groups working together, but also because of the way the council has taken on board and responded to the results of the engagement process. In July 2003, council adopted the community-endorsed City Strategy as the 'external policy framework for the City of Blue Mountains to guide decisions and actions of the community, council and external agencies'.

Council also declared 2003-04 a 'transitional year' for 'reviewing council decision making in line with the community-endorsed Outcomes of the City Strategy' to guide development of the 2004-08 Management Plan, Capital Works and the targeting of resources over the next four years. Ongoing engagement with the community is continuing through council's commitment to tracking progress in achieving the City Vision through State of City monitoring and through facilitating action for a more sustainable Blue Mountains.

Contact Dr Rosemary Dillon
Telephone (02) 4780 5679
Fax (02) 4780 5555
Email rdillon@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

GATTON, ESK and LAIDLEY SHIRE COUNCILS, Queensland
Greening Lockyer

Greening Lockyer is a partnership between Esk, Gatton and Laidley Shire Councils, WESROC and Powerlink Queensland. It is a three-year Community Partnership Program funded by a $1 million community grant from Powerlink. It is aiming to enhance the environment of the Lockyer Valley, minimise the impact of electricity infrastructure and create training and employment opportunities for local residents.

The objectives of Greening Lockyer are to improve the environmental quality of the Lockyer Valley; to form partnerships between the Lockyer Valley community and Powerlink, based on good environmental stewardship and by seeking community support and involvement in outdoor environmental activities; and to minimise the impact of proposed transmission infrastructure on the Lockyer Valley in advance of its implementation.

Contact Ms Celeste Lowe
Telephone (07) 5462 0329
Fax (07) 5462 3269
Email greeninglockyer@gatton.qld.gov.au

Commendations

CAMPBELLTOWN CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Strengthening Airds

The Strengthening Airds project is a joint initiative of local, State and Australian government agencies, in partnership with non-government organsiations and residents. The project is managed by Campbelltown City Council and was developed in recognition of the need to develop an integrated response for the residents of this public housing estate, including provision of local employment solutions.

Contact Mrs Frances Jamieson
Telephone (02) 4620 7400
Fax (02) 4620 7433
Email frances.jamieson@campbelltown.nsw.gov.au

CITY OF GERALDTON, Western Australia
Swim Across Australia

The Swim Across Australia initiative was a unique and innovative opportunity to champion and promote the Western Australian Government's initiatives for physical activity, while promoting Geraldton and the 'Keep Watch, Keep Them Alive' campaign internationally and nationally; and fostering youth leadership opportunities for young people of Geraldton. The project successfully raised the profile of Geraldton, and local pride. It engaged a range of young people in Geraldton and along the way facilitated stronger local youth leadership.

Contact Miss Karina Thomason
Telephone (08) 9956 6643
Fax (08) 9956 6674
Email thomasonk@geraldton.wa.gov.au

Strength in Diversity

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

This Award recognises local initiatives that respond to, promote and/or harness benefits arising from migration, settlement, Australian citizenship, and our cultural diversity.

Projects should have:

  • facilitated access and equity in service provision for all members of the community
  • encouraged inclusiveness in local decision making
  • enhanced community harmony and social participation
  • improved local migrants' settlement outcomes
  • promoted the value of Australian citizenship as a unifying force in our community, including through ceremonies that welcome new citizens into the community and provide an opportunity for all Australian citizens to affirm their loyalty and commitment to Australia
  • promoted the value of cultural diversity and skilled and business migration to the local community
  • attracted skilled and business migrants to the region.

Category winner

WARRNAMBOOL CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Migration to Warrnambool Project

Warrnambool City Council has led a 'Supporting Relocation to the South West' initiative, in partnership with a coalition of partner agencies, to pilot successful migrant settlement into the Warrnambool community. The project has successfully settled 15 families (79 people) from two cultural communities since June 2003.

Adopting a whole-of-community approach to migrant settlement has been critical to the success of the project to ensure a welcoming community, employment opportunities, access to services; and the ability to connect with their own community. The objectives of the project were to support sustainable population growth in regional areas, create and answer demand for goods and services currently only found in urban and overseas markets, promote the benefits of multiculturalism in the Warrnambool community, provide for the anticipated and current labour shortage and facilitate growth in small to medium enterprises, and provide a stable, safe and welcoming community for refugees to rebuild their lives.

Contact Mr Paul O'Brien
Telephone (03) 5564 7800
Fax (03) 5562 8774
Email pobrien@warrnambool.vic.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF DAREBIN, Victoria
Cramer Street Neighbourhood Project

The Cramer Street Neighbourhood Project was a partnership between the Darebin City Council and representatives from the Cramer Street neighbourhood. The central aim was to tackle racial tension amongst people from diverse backgrounds living in the project area.

Contact Mr Dalal Smiley
Telephone (03) 9230 4411
Fax (03) 9471 2104
Email dsmiley@darebin.vic.gov.au

GUNNEDAH SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Gunnedah International Cup and Cultural Exchange Weekend

This project is a partnership between Gunnedah Shire Council, Auburn Migrant Resource Centre, the New South Wales Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors and the Centre for Social Leadership. The project aims to stimulate cross-cultural activity, bridge the rural-city divide through partnership and sharing of cultural resources, and promote harmony and raise public awareness of the diverse cultures.

Contact Mr Brett Stonestreet
Telephone (02) 6740 2130
Fax (02) 6740 2139
Email brettstonestreet@infogunnedah.com.au

Strengthening Indigenous Communities

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

This Award shows the commitment to and excellence in, local government's approach to increase opportunities for the engagement and participation of Indigenous people in the affairs of the local community and, to improving community governance and service delivery arrangements for Indigenous people.

Projects should have:

  • demonstrated that Indigenous culture, social values, customary practices and aspirations are recognised and respected, and the impact of past policies were acknowledged, when developing, implementing evaluating and administering policies and programs
  • worked in active partnerships of shared responsibility and accountability with Indigenous communities (both location and interest), to find local solutions to local problems and built on community assets and strengths
  • provided income-generating and capacity-building opportunities for Indigenous individuals, families and communities to encourage self-reliance and greater economic and social participation
  • improved community governance and service delivery arrangements for Indigenous people.

Category winner

CITY OF ONKAPARINGA, South Australia
Kaurna urban design - a living culture

The City of Onkaparinga and the local Kaurna community have adopted a new approach to Indigenous consultation with the incorporation of cultural heritage in the redesign of coastal foreshore parks. The new approach moves beyond traditional consultation methods to acknowledge the value of traditional knowledge of the land and invest in the cultural heritage, language, artistic and urban design skills currently within the Kaurna community. It also acknowledges the role of the Kaurna community as traditional owners, by contracting specialised skills to advise council on the care and control of land in culturally important areas.

The process was jointly developed by the City of Onkaparinga, the Kaurna community and Hemisphere Design and uses a series of design workshops to translate the skills and knowledge of a Kaurna design team to provide an understanding of the context for the area and create a design for its upgrade. Designs acknowledge traditional land use and practices, movements, significant places and dreaming stories through recommended land use, configuration and design of parks, landscaping, seats, artworks, shelters, recreational areas, and trails. The process, which has focused on investing in the community's skills and in developing council's understanding of cultural heritage, has been a catalyst for adoption of a reconciliation agreement between four local councils, various cultural heritage bodies and the native title committee by facilitating partnerships and mutual trust between council and the Kaurna community.

Contact Ms Stephanie Hensgen
Telephone (08) 8384 0593
Fax (08) 8384 0713
Email stehen@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au

Commendation

BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Arakwal Aboriginal People and Byron Shire Council

Byron Shire Council and the Arakwal Aboriginal People have developed a successful relationship over 10 years. The Heads of Agreement between the parties ensures mechanisms for including provisions in the planning strategy for recognising and protecting Aboriginal interests are central in council decisions. The relationship has greatly improved the ability of the local Aboriginal people to live harmoniously in the community and to provide for a positive future.

Contact Mr Greg Downes
Telephone (02) 6626 7176
Fax (02) 6684 3018
Email greg.downes@byron.nsw.gov.au

Tourism Development

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

This Award looks at the extent to which tourism related responsibilities are integrated within council activities, such as strategic planning, maintaining relationships with external tourism stakeholders, implementing tourism strategies, and maintaining involvement with industry.

Projects should have:

  • stimulated economic growth and helped business generate employment
  • maximised the market exposure of an existing attraction or region
  • included a strategy to improve the competitiveness of the region's tourism product
  • included a study of tourism-dependent businesses to identify benchmark indicators and to measure the economic effects of tourism.

Category winner

CITY OF GREATER GEELONG, Victoria
Sustainable Tourism in the Geelong Otway Tourism region

Geelong Otway Tourism Inc. (GOT) is a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, the tourism industry and neighbouring municipal councils. The Geelong Otway region is located in southwest Victoria and includes a significant section of the Great Ocean Road. Tourism has become a major driver of the local economy.

During 2003, the Bureau of Tourism Research established that tourism in Greater Geelong directly contributes $478 million to the local economy with this expenditure directly responsible for 4200 effective full-time jobs. The overarching sustainable tourism focus arose from the identified need to actually measure performance against indicators. Little work had been done on this and GOT is filling this critical gap through various initiatives. For example, the Sustainable Tourism Directions Paper; Memorandum of Understanding - Sustainable Tourism written commitment obtained across region between local councils and industry; Green Globe Benchmarking - obtained local community benchmarking under 'Green Globe' (pathway to sustainable tourism); social indicator work - partnership with Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism to establish model social and socioeconomic indicators for use by 'Green Globe'; interactive industry web site specifically on sustainable tourism; and monitoring and evaluation criteria identified for environmental protection, industry profitability, visitor satisfaction and community acceptance.

Contact Miss Kate Robertson
Telephone (03) 5244 7104
Fax (03) 5223 2069
Email krobertson@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 rate base

SOUTH BURNETT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, Queensland
Implementing the South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy

The South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy was undertaken and implemented by the South Burnett Local Government Association to grow and diversify the economy of the South Burnett region. The aim of the project was to capitalise on tourism activities and develop specific industry opportunities resulting in sustainable employment and increased industry investment. This project incorporates the Shires of Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai, Murgon, Kilkivan, Rosalie (Yarraman Section) and the Community of Cherbourg.

The objectives of the South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy include strengthening organisational structure and industry leadership; developing new markets; increasing visitation and length of stay; assisting tourism operators with skills development; and generating increased economic growth in the region.

Traditionally the South Burnett region had shown a lack of coordinated approach to tourism development. Implementation of the strategy has helped the region to identify growth markets and capitalise on potential economic benefits for the betterment of the whole region. This recognition has been the catalyst for continual development and improved tourism knowledge and provides acknowledgment of the economic and social benefits the region can receive from the tourism industry.

Contact Ms Debbie Postle
Telephone (07) 4162 3199
Fax (07) 4162 3474
Email dpostle@sblga.asn.au

Commendation

CITY OF MANDURAH, Western Australia
Mandurah Ocean Marina

The Mandurah Ocean Marina is the culmination of a unique partnering approach between the City of Mandurah, the regional Peel Development Commission, the State government and the private sector. The project successfully combined the introduction of major tourism facilities with residential and public infrastructure development and has produced significant tangible outcomes in both economic development and tourism attractiveness.

Contact Mr Jim Scott
Telephone (08) 9550 3707
Fax (08) 9586 2209
Email m-s@mandurah.wa.gov.au

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:

  • illustrated that work-life balance is a strategic planning outcome for the council
  • articulated the council's commitment to assisting employees to achieve a work- life balance
  • provided a range of flexible work options (for example, telecommuting, part-time work and job sharing, flexible hours, parental and carer's leave, study leave and purchased leave)
  • provided practical strategies to promote the adoption of home-based work arrangements
  • demonstrated that it has responded to a needs analysis to identify what types of flexible work practice employees would prefer to have and the main factors hindering a work- life balance.

Category winner

BANYULE CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Work and Family Balance - Challenging the Traditional Audit Paradigm

The project is an innovative internal audit of the Banyule City Council's Work Life Balance Program that concentrated on understanding the management processes in place; documenting and evaluating the methods associated with control and management of work-life issues and programs; and assessing the possibility of additional mechanisms and efficiencies that result in cost-effective work initiatives.

The objectives of the audit were to identify and review current policies and procedures; assess the effectiveness of the communication of work-life balance policies and procedures to employees; review council's methods on maintenance and revision of policies and procedures; and assess the enterprise bargaining agreement for work- life balance components.

Contact Mrs Kath Baylie
Telephone (03) 9490 4235
Fax (03) 9499 1204
Email kath.baylie@banyule.vic.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF GOSNELLS, Western Australia
Managing Employment Trends - City of Gosnells Work Life Balance scheme

The City of Gosnells Work Life Balance Scheme has been structured to respond to the ever-changing needs of employees in a world of increasing demand and diminishing timelines. It relates to initiatives that help employees maintain a balance between their responsibilities at work and in caring for their family. These initiatives include policies covering flexible working arrangements, child and dependent care, and family and parental leave.

Contact Mr Peter Laycock
Telephone (08) 9391 3222
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email peter.laycock@gosnells.wa.gov.au

HUME CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Valuing and Supporting Staff

Hume City Council activity promotes work-life assistance and support to staff through provision of opportunities that enable employees to balance their work and life obligations. Council provides a comprehensive range of family- friendly support programs including flexible work and leave arrangements, job sharing, and new initiatives such as telecommuting and work-from-home options.

Contact Mr Dane Truscott
Telephone (03) 9205 2610
Fax (03) 9740 6543
Email danet@hume.vic.gov.au

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:

  • increased the capacity for enterprise in young people
  • provided effective partnerships between council, community support services and young people
  • identified and targeted at risk youths
  • actively encouraged young people to engage in their communities and participate in policy decision making that affects them
  • developed community dialogue and participation and encouraged development of integrated services.

Joint category winner

LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Co-Pilots Community Mentoring Program

Co-Pilots is a community mentoring program developed to support young people who were not connecting with mainstream education. The program was conceived in 1999 through a partnership agreement between State and local government, specifically the Tasmanian Government's Esk Education District and Launceston City Council. In consultation with 15 human service agencies and young people, a framework was developed for a mentoring program. The framework identified elements contributing to the engagement of students in education such as relevance to the real world, addressing different learning styles and interests, experiencing success, the existence of a significant adult and, connecting to the community. The primary aims of the program are to develop skills and confidence, and find new pathways to learning and work.

The program has grown from its pilot in 2001 with seven mentors and seven schools to 27 mentors in 10 schools in 2004. For the first time, the program will be offered to primary schools with the aim of early intervention. The complete program can now be licensed out to other organisations in the form of two manuals with accompanying CD-ROMS. Together they contain all necessary information to implement the program. Train-the-trainer sessions are offered to those wishing to implement the program. Currently there are four high schools and one primary school outside the Launceston area operating fully licensed programs.

Contact Ms Louise McGowan
Telephone (03) 6323 3368
Fax (03) 63233385
Email Louise.McGowan@launceston.tas.gov.au

Joint category winner

CITY OF GREATER GEELONG, Victoria
Young Parents Access Project

The Young Parents Access Project is an innovative community-based initiative developed as a result of a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong and the Corio Bay Senior College. The project began in May 2002 and is targeted to address the needs of teenage parents, to encourage and support their continued participation in school. The objectives of the project are to retain, re-attract and support young parents within the education system, which will in turn improve their educational and employment opportunities.

The Young Parents Access Project has involved the design and manufacture of an appropriate childcare facility on the site of Corio Bay Senior College, development of a play area and outfitting of the facility. Through the City of Greater Geelong Regional Parenting Service, a Project Worker was employed alongside a Parent Support Worker. The City of Greater Geelong also provided on-site childcare support at a second nearby location through its Family Day Care Program for a period of 12 months.

Staff from the City of Greater Geelong Children's and Family Services, and Family Day Care have been members of the working party since the project's inception, providing invaluable information, advice, resources and support to the project. Staff from the City of Greater Geelong's Maternal and Child Health Service also continue to provide regular outreach support to the students and children involved at the centre. The project is currently open as a 15-place childcare centre providing care for the students' children and support for their parents. The City of Greater Geelong is working with the school to expand the childcare centre to 30 places to provide further support to additional students.

Contact Ms Irene McGinnigle
Telephone (03) 5527 0739
Fax (03) 5227 0315
Email imcginnigle@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Category and commendation award winners 2004

Sustainable Development - Economic Development

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

This Award recognises local government's role in:

  • providing cultural activities and facilities in their communities
  • developing mechanisms to encourage integration of cultural planning with economic, physical, social and environmental planning streams
  • collecting, documenting and preserving local heritage buildings and materials which contribute to and record Australia's national identity.

Projects should have:

  • celebrated the value of arts, culture and heritage in the local community
  • sought to raise community awareness of buildings and works of cultural significance
  • promoted diversity in arts and culture
  • involved a consultative process that had developed a long-term vision and goals, cooperative marketing, business plan and future development strategies.

Category winner

SHIRE OF CUE, Western Australia
QFest - Cue's Outback Festival

The Shire of Cue is a small local government authority 650 kilometres north east of Perth, with an area of almost 14 000 square kilometres and a population of less than 400 people. Cue is the historic administration centre for the Murchison region and boasts numerous heritage buildings and an historic streetscape. The Municipal Inventory lists over 100 places of significance.

In 2001 the Shire of Cue embarked on an ambitious project to establish 'QFest' - Cue's Outback Festival. QFest sought to achieve a number of objectives, such as putting Cue back on the map by re-establishing a profile for the community, promoting Cue as a tourist destination, building the community's capacity, providing a focus for community development activities, and interpreting Cue's rich heritage assets through arts and performance.

The festival has now run for two years with visitor numbers growing to over 2000 in 2003 and has established a reputation as a quality festival with artists, exhibitions and entertainment. The Shire of Cue has embraced the opportunity presented by the district's heritage assets and its innovative approach complements heritage with arts, entertainment and tourism, and provides a fine example to other struggling communities.

Contact Mr Stanley Scott
Telephone (08) 9963 1041
Fax (08) 9963 1085
Email cueshire.ceo@bigpond.com

Commendations

CAPEL SHIRE COUNCIL, Western Australia
Art in the Community

The Shire of Capel is working with residents to build community spirit and capacity through 'Art in the Community', a project which engages residents in cultural mapping and produces artworks that are installed in the community.

Contact Ms Liz Watkins
Telephone (08) 9727 0235
Fax (08) 9727 0223
Email lwatkins@capel.wa.gov.au

NORTH SYDNEY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Conservation of Aboriginal Heritage

Creation of the Aboriginal Heritage Officer's position is the result of a partnership between North Sydney, Lane Cove, Willoughby City and Warringah Councils. These councils collectively fund the position and employ the Aboriginal Heritage Officer to help identify and conserve local Aboriginal heritage sites.

Contact Mr Martin Bass
Telephone (02) 9936 8181
Fax (02) 9936 8177
Email basmar@northsydney.nsw.gov.au

TOWNSVILLE CITY COUNCIL, Queensland
Townsville Yarns - Celebrating our Community's History

Townsville Yarns, a key project of Townsville's centenary celebrations in 2003, was a series of community gatherings that captured Townsville's social and oral history as a basis for developing a social history centre.

Contact Mr Dolan Hayes
Telephone (07) 4727 9300
Fax (07) 4727 9057
Email dbh@townsville.qld.gov.au

Economic Development

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

This Award recognises:

  • local government's key role in strengthening local and regional development opportunities either by an individual council or by a regional group of councils
  • 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:
    • establishing improved access to services or infrastructure to support local or regional business development or growth
    • developing and participating in strategic approaches to economic development
    • assisting business ventures
    • facilitating transport opportunities
    • improving domestic or export sales opportunities
    • developing regional programs.

Projects should have:

  • had a proactive role in attracting business investment in the area
  • promoted employment in the area
  • streamlined council operations or service delivery to facilitate private business investment
  • involved strategic and financial planning based on an integrated business planning model, linking community sustainability outcomes to business planning processes and outputs.

Category winner

BURNIE CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Saving the 'Burnie Airport'

In 2001, Burnie City Council initiated a course of action to prevent the inevitable closure of the Burnie Airport, a vital interstate and intrastate air services passenger and freight transport link located at Wynyard in far north west Tasmania. In the previous three years, the airport had suffered a 43 per cent decline in passenger movements, down to 65 000 annually.

The airport acquisition initiative encountered many daunting challenges. These challenges included being a major new business for the council and a significant divergence from council's past role and function; not having any previous airport involvement or experience; and being hard on the heels of the shocks then facing the aviation industry. Nevertheless, the council moved forward with the purchase late in 2001.

The council set up a corporate business that took over the ownership, management, and operational responsibilities of the airport from 1 February 2002. In the space of just 2Vi years, the outcomes at the airport have been dramatic in all respects, with the airport now achieving close to 100 000 annual passenger movements, operating strongly and achieving sustainable operating profits.

Contact Mr Lionel Young
Telephone (03) 6430 5723
Fax (03) 6430 5743
Email lyoung@burnie.net

Commendations

LIVERPOOL PLAINS SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
The Resurgence of Quirindi

Through The Resurgence of Quirindi project Liverpool Plains Shire Council evaluated its strengths and weaknesses and designed and implemented a wide range of strategies to achieve higher levels of growth, improved quality of life and new opportunities for sustainable social and economic development. The council undertook extensive community consultation and created partnerships with the public and private sectors, thereby providing numerous economic and social achievements. New industries attracted to the area will generate over 300 direct jobs, community spirit and confidence in the town's future has been enhanced and community facilities have been improved.

Contact Mr Robert Hunt
Telephone (02) 6746 1755
Fax (02) 6746 3255
Email robert@lpsc.nsw.gov.au

HUNTER COUNCILS, New South Wales
Film Hunter

Film Hunter is a multi-faceted project that strives to aid economic development and tourist spending in Newcastle and the Hunter Region of New South Wales by attracting major film and television production into the area. Film Hunter exists under the auspices of Hunter Councils and attracts and manages film activity on behalf of the 11 local government areas in the region. The project has helped generate over $4.5 million in filming expenditure since July 2000, employed over 1000 services and individuals and helped eight new businesses open.

Contact Ms June Hamrick Taylor
Telephone (02) 4974 2889
Fax (02) 4929 5948
Email carmstrong@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Engineering

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

This Award recognises innovation and excellence in the field of engineering, particularly where it demonstrates savings in financial or environmental costs, gains in energy efficiency, improved service delivery, improved asset management or overall ecologically sustainable development.

Projects should have:

  • successfully showcased an innovation or excellence in concept
  • demonstrated best engineering practice
  • used leading edge technology
  • used work practices and/or other techniques that set it apart from 'standard' processes
  • used work practices and/or other techniques that conserve energy or materials
  • demonstrated more effective and efficient use of resources
  • contributed to development of engineering excellence in Australia
  • encouraged development of young engineers.

Category winner

HUON VALLEY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Development of a Bridge Workbox

Huon Valley Council developed the Bridge Workbox in response to safety and cost concerns associated with traditional methods of carrying out work on the sides and undersides of bridges. Council has over 180 bridges throughout its municipal area and allocates considerable resources each year to maintain them. Development of a workbox that can be attached to an excavator for work on the side or underneath bridges is a significant breakthrough in terms of safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The Bridge Workbox, used by council since the beginning of 2004, has demonstrated its ability to dramatically improve productivity and the safety of workers. The invention has a wide range of alternative applications for work in elevated areas and council has patented the design to enable the product to be sold in the open market.

Contact Mr Daniel Smee
Telephone (03) 6264 8435
Fax (03) 6264 8440
Email dsmee@huonvalley.tas.gov.au

Commendation

DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Reservoir Civic Centre - Building Community Sustainability

The Reservoir Civic Centre is a tangible example of sustainable technologies that can be transferred into residential homes. It is a demonstration of Darebin City Council's commitment to sustainability and is growing into a key community educational resource, based around sustainable living.

Contact Ms Libby Hynes
Telephone (03) 9230 4442
Fax (03) 9470 2259
Email lhynes@darebin.vic.gov.au

Health Services

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This Award recognises the role of local government in understanding and addressing local major health and aged care priorities.

Projects should have:

  • positively and successfully addressed a major health issue in the area
  • demonstrated measurable positive outcomes
  • involved partnerships with community stakeholders (which may include health professionals) to identify and/or address local health issues
  • delivered new or extended primary health care services.

Category winner

CITY OF TEA TREE GULLY, South Australia
Saturdays for Us Program

The Saturdays for Us Program began as a revolutionary six-month pilot project to identify and attempt to meet the needs of men (55 years and over) with Dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It was found that a gap existed in the services available for men diagnosed with such conditions. Home and Community Care funded services were generally geared towards frail, aged or younger disabled people, with aged services primarily catering to men over the age of 65 years who were isolated and required support to prevent premature admission into residential care. In response to this situation, the Saturdaysfor Us Program provides male clients from 55 years of age who suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer's with an opportunity to enhance their quality of life through a program that is collaborative, flexible, client led, encouraging social development with weekend inclusion, and integrative. This type of project, targeting this age group and incorporating weekend activities, has not previously been undertaken in South Australia. The pilot project has proven its success by gaining recurrent Home and Community Care funding to continue the program. Already, other councils and service providers have expressed their interest in developing the program for their areas.

Contact Ms Brigitta Ford
Telephone (08) 8397 7303
Fax (08) 8397 7400
Email fordb@cttg.sa.gov.au

Commendation

CITY OF MELVILLE, Western Australia
The Men's Health Program

The Men's Health Program recognises that men's health care is a critical issue that has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the whole community. The program takes an holistic view of men's health and addresses the issues from a social, physical and emotional perspective. The flexible and proactive initiative relied on a range of community partners to bolster available resources. These alliances were instrumental in facilitating a growing project that evolved in direct response to community demand. Facilitating the exchange of information and ideas between groups with a vested interest in men's health has been an important project outcome, which has also contributed to recognition of men's health by the Western Australian Government.

Contact Ms Janet Armarego
Telephone (08) 9364 0666
Fax (08) 9364 0285
Email jarmarego @melville.wa.gov.au

Information Services

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

This Award recognises that each member of the Australian community has an equal right to information and information services and that this access is essential to the democratic process and to the social wellbeing of the community.

Projects should have:

  • effectively engaged members of the community
  • sought to remove barriers to social participation by providing avenues for all sectors of the community to access council and/or community resources
  • empowered people to use technology.

Category winner

CITY OF BURNSIDE, South Australia
Books in the Sky

In 2001-02 the Burnside Library issued 11 697 cassette books to customers with sight impairments. The City of Burnside Library, in partnership with PLAIN Central Services and the Royal Society for the Blind South Australia, piloted the exciting new Books in the Sky initiative, which bypasses cassettes and CDs and creates a potentially cost-effective, easy-to-use digital solution to providing books, magazines and newspapers to people with sight impairments. In a world first, the system was trialled by clients of the Royal Society for the Blind and customers of the City of Burnside's library.

The Books in the Sky project is the first significant advance for many years in providing books, magazines and newspapers to sight- impaired people in a simple to use and cost- effective way. It has the potential to revolutionise such services and eventually replace talking books on cassette and CD. The technology will also eventually be available as a means of providing council documents, community information etc. to the sight-impaired, making library and council services more equitable.

Contact Ms Margaret Moxon
Telephone (08) 8366 4280
Fax (08) 8366 4274
Email mmoxon@burnside.sa.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

TENTERFIELD SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Tenterfield Public Library - Holistic Management Approach

Tenterfield Public Library is responsible not only for library operations, but also for museum and theatre/cinema management in the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts. An holistic management approach has been implemented to maximise the cultural benefits for the community and to allow all sectors to benefit. To achieve this, the library provides management skills and planning, mentoring, emergency relief and shared use of equipment, such as photocopiers and scanners, to produce cost efficiencies. Functions are organised to flow between the museum and the library. The library's Youth Panel makes recommendations for movies as well as books, periodicals and music. Schools are encouraged to combine Children's Book Week visits with museum study tours. A Special Exhibitions Collection Policy was established to record the collection of artefacts outside the criteria of the museum's National Trust collection for use in any part of the building. Signage in the museum encourages tourists to browse the collection, relax with a newspaper or use the Internet free of charge.

The School of Arts has become a successfully integrated information and cultural centre for Tenterfield.

Contact Mrs Robin Riley
Telephone (02) 6736 1454
Fax (02) 6736 1146
Email r.riley@tenterfield.nsw.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF THURINGOWA, Queensland
digital. literacy @thuringowa. library

Access to electronic resources does not necessarily translate to an ability to locate and use information productively, so <digital. literacy@thuringowa.library> is a three-part project aiming to improve the information- seeking skills of Thuringowa residents.

Contact Mr Warren Cheetham
Telephone (07) 4773 8503
Fax (07) 4773 8608
Email warrenc@thuringowa.qld.gov.au

CANTERBURY CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
It's Safe Again

The It's Safe Again information campaign aims to increase residents' perceptions of safety while addressing specific local area issues as the need arises. The kit is displayed in all libraries and community centres, and is mailed with all correspondence as part of the It's Safe Again program. The kit includes a feedback section encouraging residents to raise community safety concerns and to reassure them that council, in strong partnership with local police, is ready to respond to their concerns.

Contact Ms Lara Kirchner
Telephone (02) 9789 9508
Fax (02) 9787 3064
Email larak@canterbury.nsw.gov.au

Information Technology

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

This Award recognises innovative uses of information technology, particularly through services delivered online, which provide substantial benefits to communities including important community sectors such as local small businesses.

Projects should have:

  • innovatively used information technology to improve the delivery of services to the community
  • promoted/involved partnerships with universities, business, other councils and/or the community to develop information technology solutions
  • improved the flow of information between council and the community and between councils, for the benefit of their communities
  • achieved measurable outcomes and given added value
  • reflected a commitment to sharing or mentoring the uptake of the findings and/or the technology
  • reflected community involvement.

Category winner

URALLA SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
New England Smart Communities Action Project

The New England Smart Communities Action Project aims to develop carrier-grade broadband infrastructure in Uralla and Armidale for the benefit of council, local businesses and the general community. Council has successfully brought together over 20 private and public stakeholders with diverse and sometimes complex objectives to deliver project objectives.

As well as investigating the range of options to attract and reticulate broadband infrastructure for the region, the project's specific objectives are to help 'future proof' the Uralla and Armidale region through telecommunications, to reduce the cost of telecommunications for existing businesses and the community, to encourage availability of high-speed broadband telecommunications infrastructure that will help the region attract new industry, and to ensure equity of access to broadband services (voice and data) for the community.

The New England Smart Communities Action Project has facilitated development of alternative broadband infrastructure in both Uralla and Armidale by working with Australian and State Government stakeholders and by directly engaging with Soul Pattinson Telecommunications to deliver carrier-grade broadband services through a Wireless Local Loop.

Contact Mr Kevin Abey
Telephone (02) 6778 4606
Fax (02) 6778 5073
Email kevin.abey@northnet.com.au

Commendations

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF TASMANIA, Tasmania
CouncilConnect

The CouncilConnect web site is the first specific transactional portal for local government in Australia. All of Tasmania's 29 councils are participating and offer services through the portal. It allows citizens to access high quality online services irrespective of their council size or location.

Contact Mr Brian Oliver
Telephone (03) 6233 5968
Fax (03) 6233 5986
Email brian.oliver@lgat.tas.gov.au

CITY OF WHITTLESEA, Victoria
WIRED Development Project

The City of Whittlesea conceived the project to encourage broadband infrastructure investment in greenfield estates. The project facilitates establishment of a broadband network, capable of providing a range of telecommunications, data and video services, for the benefit of local communities in new estates including businesses, government and educational institutions, private residents and other community groups.

Contact Mr Brad Wynter
Telephone (03) 9217 2127
Fax (03) 9217 2399
Email brad.wynter@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Infrastructure Management and Development

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

With local government facing serious difficulties in the ongoing maintenance, improvement and replacement of community infrastructure this Award aims to recognise infrastructure management and development plans and/or projects which will meet the future needs of their communities without adding a significant cost burden to the community. Examples may be:

  • new management techniques that enable existing infrastructure to service greater numbers of clients
  • management processes to extend the life or reduce the maintenance or management cost of infrastructure
  • innovative systems to reduce or better manage the replacement burden.

Projects should have:

  • provided a framework to meet the municipality's social, economic and environment needs for the longer term
  • used partnerships with other local government bodies or the private sector
  • introduced and used new technologies
  • used and promoted ecologically sustainable use of renewable energy sources, such as, water and power
  • improved asset management or impact on asset holdings and demonstrated any attempt made by council to quantify the benefits.

Category winner

KOGARAH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, New South Wales
Streetlight Assessment Project

The Streetlight Assessment Project is a geographically-based computer program used to help manage street lighting infrastructure. The project was developed in response to a broader review of street lighting conducted by the Southern Sydney Region of Councils. The need for this project arose when responsibility for street lighting assets was transferred from EnergyAustralia to local government authorities. Before the system was developed, local councils and EnergyAustralia had largely determined street lighting infrastructure design requirements on a case- by-case basis. This practice was not necessarily an efficient use of energy or an effective distribution of lighting, as required by the Australian Standard.

The project enables the council to model lighting levels of particular light types and mounting heights across an entire street lighting network. This was achieved by combining spatial information from the council's GIS databases, EnergyAustralia's infrastructure data and lighting manufacturers' luminary model specifications. The project is believed to be the first of its kind, and uses variable input data options to optimise network design and portability across councils. The principle functions of the project are to assess current levels of compliance against standards, identify and prioritise the worst areas of non-compliance, identify excessive lighting levels and to determine the potential benefits of switching to new luminaries. Overall it will significantly enhance the operational energy efficiency of lighting networks and consequently provide ongoing financial, social and environmental benefits to councils and the community.

Contact Mr Glen Moody
Telephone (02) 9330 9474
Fax (02) 9330 9561
Email glen.moody@kogarah.nsw.gov.au

Commendation

CITY OF WEST TORRENS, South Australia
The Hamra Centre

The Hamra Centre is a new style community centre in the City of West Torrens, successfully delivering a wide range of services and facilities over an extended range of hours. It comprises a refurbished auditorium, new community meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art public library with flexible display, meeting and performance/exhibition spaces, a large information technology training suite and a new, web-based Library Management System providing virtual library services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact Mr Declan Moore
Telephone (08) 8416 6333
Fax (08) 8443 9099
Email dmoore@wtcc.sa.gov.au

Integrating Biodiversity Conservation into Planning and Management

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage.

This Award recognises high-level council commitment to conserving biodiversity through strategic planning and management processes.

Projects should have:

  • biodiversity conservation considered and incorporated into high-level council planning strategies and management plans
  • biodiversity conservation concerns incorporated into council's on-ground operations and activities
  • mechanisms to monitor and evaluate biodiversity conservation outcomes
  • mechanisms to report on biodiversity outcomes
  • mechanisms to allow for participation in regional planning processes for natural resource management to ensure a strategic and cooperative approach to biodiversity conservation.

Category winner

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, Western Australia
Perth Biodiversity Project

In 2001 the Perth Biodiversity Projectwas launched to help Perth's local governments plan a future for local bushland, wetlands and other natural areas. The project is delivered in partnership with Perth's 30 local governments, the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust and the Swan Catchment Council. The project supports local government biodiversity conservation efforts in the Swan Region through direct financial assistance for on-ground works and capacity building projects as well as providing expert and technical information, advice and assistance for local biodiversity planning. Significantly the project has prepared the Local Government Biodiversity Planning Guidelines for the Perth Metropolitan Region to help local government develop strategic approaches to conserving biodiversity. The project has also provided $450 000 of Natural Heritage Trust funding to help 22 local governments with 42 on-ground and capacity-building projects. The Natural Heritage Trust investment stimulated a further investment of $1.025 million by local government on biodiversity conservation initiatives.

Contact Mr Andrew Del Marco
Telephone (08) 9213 2047
Fax (08) 9322 2611
Email marco@walga.asn.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

SHIRE OF MOUNT MARSHALL, Western Australia
Shire of Mount Marshall Environmental Protection Program

In 2003-04 the Shire of Mount Marshall began a process of natural resource planning to enable better management of the environment. This process involved a two-stage Environmental Protection Plan; assessment, evaluation and prioritisation of water, biodiversity, infrastructure and land resources assets; creation of project monitoring handbooks; a review of environmental information provision to ratepayers; employment of a Landcare Technical Officer; adoption of reserve use licensing; management plans for large shire vested reserves; adoption of a gravel pit rehabilitation program; on-ground Landcare works on a shire basis; and adoption of a vermin control program.

Recognising that environmental care is now a core business of local government, the Shire of Mount Marshall formed a shire-based Landcare Committee (now Natural Resource Management Committee). The committee works on a number of resource management issues, including remnant protection and re-vegetation, salinity management, vermin control and engineering earthworks. Early 2004 saw promotion of Catchment Groups within the shire. Shire staff coordinate Catchment Groups and they work to address catchment issues, primarily water management and biodiversity conservation. Council recognises that environmental repair must be coordinated on a district basis as natural resource management does not conclude at municipal boundaries.

Contact Mr Kevin Trustum
Telephone (08) 9685 1202
Fax (08) 9685 1299
Email trustumk@mtmarshall.wa.gov.au

Commendation

CLARENCE VALLEY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Clarence Valley Floodplain Project

The Clarence Valley Floodplain Project was initiated in 1997 and operates as a series of programs to identify and develop management techniques to improve water quality and land management, yet still provide adequate flood protection to the people of the Clarence Valley Floodplain.

Contact Mr Jeremy Challacombe
Telephone (02) 6642 3277
Fax (02) 6642 3108
Email jchallacombe@crcc.nsw.gov.au

Land Use Planning - 2004 Year of the Built Environment

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

This Award recognises innovative projects that support a coordinated approach to land- use planning, urban design or development assessment. Projects should balance social, economic and environmental values and contribute to well-designed, safe, healthy, and environmentally responsive built environments.

Projects should have:

  • provided a framework for sustainable growth to meet your municipality's/region's social, economic and environment needs
  • embraced intergovernmental and institutional cooperation between all spheres of government, the private sector and the community
  • ensured local communities had a role in determining their own futures through consultation in planning and implementation
  • reflected the community's needs and aspirations for their locality, such as:
    • greater choice and affordability of housing high quality urban design
    • safe, efficient and convenient transport choices
    • urban design solutions which reduce crime and the perception of crime within the community
    • more liveable neighbourhoods
    • revitalisation of town centres and transport interchanges
    • improvements to parks and public open space
    • retaining and reusing historic structures of significance.

Category winner

BLUE MOUNTAINS CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Blue Mountains Draft Local Environmental Plan 2002

The aim of the new Blue Mountains Draft Local Environmental Plan 2002 is to provide a comprehensive development framework for the 'City within a World Heritage National Park', in a manner that is consistent with and promotes the principles and practices of ecologically sustainable development. Its principal objectives reflect the broad challenges faced in ensuring that development within the urbanised parts of the City enhances the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Blue Mountains. The draft Local Environmental Plan encourages a range of land uses and development activities that seek to contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of the Blue Mountains community. Such elements include encouraging a range of accessible and affordable housing types, and providing guidance and requirements for attractive urban design that promotes community safety within core township and village areas.

The draft Local Environmental Plan also implements a series of place-specific zones and land use categories that actively encourage new small business development within the Mountains. Most notably, the draft Local Environmental Plan demonstrates a number of innovative approaches to planning for a sustainable built environment that limits urban expansion and minimises environmental impacts on the surrounding World Heritage National Park. By integrating with the environmental constraint mapping techniques developed through council's geographical information system, the plan identifies the City's urban development capacities through establishment of a 'sustainable development threshold'.

The draft Local Environmental Plan also demonstrates the importance and value of establishing a place-based planning framework. This framework was developed in collaboration with individual communities, and reflects the priorities and values of those communities through highly tailored precinct vision statements and development controls to achieve a desired future character for the 21 villages covered by the draft plan. Through effective web-based information systems, all statutory and supporting mapping is readily available to ensure the development industry and the community are able to effectively implement their aims, objectives and provisions.

Contact Mr Paul Grimson
Telephone (02) 4780 5774
Fax (02) 4780 5721
Email pgrimson@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Local Greenhouse Action

Sponsored by the Australian Greenhouse Office.

Local governments are uniquely placed to raise community and industry awareness of greenhouse issues, and through their planning schemes, building codes, waste reduction and recycling programs, as well as their own corporate activities, they can directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This Award acknowledges that local government action in Australia is making a real difference to Australia's greenhouse emissions.

Projects should have:

  • delivered ongoing, cost effective greenhouse gas abatement
  • involved the community in on-ground action
  • raised community or industry awareness of greenhouse issues
  • successfully integrated greenhouse gas abatement with economic and social goals
  • integrated regional environmental objectives
  • included mechanisms that support the goal of continual improvement
  • demonstrated mechanisms within the council's decision-making procedures that ensure processes, projects and initiatives consider greenhouse gas abatement principles.

Category winner

KOGARAH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, New South Wales
Kogarah Town Square

The Kogarah Town Square is Australia's largest solar powered medium density development. It is the first residential/commercial development to use photovoltaic cells for its entire roof area. The development consists of 194 apartments, commercial/retail space, library and underground car park. The solar power produced by the development will save about 145 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This, in conjunction with the passive design principles of the development, will result in a saving of 375 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, compared to a typical development. The Town Square is a leading example of urban water collection, treatment and reuse - with 85 per cent of rainwater and stormwater collected on site and reused - resulting in a 40 per cent reduction in potable water use.

The Town Square has played an important role in promoting sustainable development through regular tours of the development, visual display and information signs showcasing the solar energy and water reuse principals, training of tradespeople involved in the development, creation of Kogarah Town Square web site, and production of Kogarah Town Square Educational CD-ROM.

The CD-ROM provides a detailed look at the sustainability features of the Kogarah Town Square. This includes a detailed case study of the development revealing aims, context and the partnership process of the development; a description of the sustainable solutions undertaken in this development (such as solar panels, water conservation, passive design and energy conservation); and detailed information on the lessons learned from this development. This CD-ROM is being distributed to all local government offices in Australia as well as selected government departments, major developers, architects, and educational institutes.

Contact Ms Alexandra Vandine
Telephone (02) 9330 9510
Fax (02) 9587 5779
Email alexandra.vandine@kogarah.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 rate base

TOWN OF NORTHAM, Western Australia
Northam Eco-Retro House

The Town of Northam has an estimated population of approximately 6500. With 36 per cent of household income in Northam being $499 a week or less, the town must design projects that are in reach of the entire community. Along with the Town of Northam's recent 'Mitchell on Avon' Project, council and the community have heightened recognition of the significance of the 1950s and 1960s fibro and weatherboard style home to the towns of the wheat belt. The material and style of home is suited to the area, being economical to construct in rural communities.

The Northam Eco-Retro house demonstrates how you can turn an older style house into a comfortable home that is environmentally friendly and sustainable, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This house incorporates basic, cheap to install features to conserve energy and water, resulting in a more sustainable home that is comfortable throughout the year. Workshops for community members are held at the Northam Eco-Retro House with the opportunity to conduct experiments in the house, and therefore, see the direct results of specific change.

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

Commendations

CITY OF GOSNELLS, Western Australia
Renewable energy from a load of old rubbish

With the support and encouragement of the City of Gosnells and the community, AGL has built a landfill gas powered generation plant that is estimated to generate around 15.7 million kilowatts of renewable electricity per annum over the next few years, on part of the city's former landfill site.

Contact Mr Wayne van Lieven
Telephone (08) 9391 3222
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email wvanlieven@gosnells.wa.gov.au

CITY OF DAREBIN, Victoria
Community Power - reducing community greenhouse emissions

Community Power is Australia's first renewable energy buying group for households. The Project was initiated by Darebin City Council in response to introduction of full retail contestability of electricity in Victoria and promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through purchase of Green Power and wise and efficient use of energy.

Contact Ms Michelle Bennett
Telephone (03) 9230 4535
Fax (03) 9470 2259
Email mbennett@darebin.vic.gov.au

CITY OF SUBIACO, Western Australia
Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration Home

The Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration Home is an example of how stylish, comfortable, affordable homes can be designed and constructed to use minimal resources such as energy and water, massively reduce their ongoing costs and minimise their impact on the environment.

Contact Ms Cindy Siano
Telephone (08) 9237 9271
Fax (08) 9237 9200
Email cindys@subiaco.wa.gov.au

Management Improvement

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

This Award recognises innovative or excellent management or business practices aimed at the continuous improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of local government.

Projects should have:

  • improved and sustained organisational performance
  • contributed to the council planning cycle and management structures
  • improved employee morale
  • improved service delivery to the community or increased levels of community satisfaction
  • established patterns of cooperation and communication that provide for a more effective use of resources and more efficient services.

Category winner

TWEED SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Oper
ational Management System

Tweed Shire Council is committed to establishing and maintaining a clean and ecologically sustainable environment for its community now, and for the future. As part of this commitment, council has integrated an Environmental Management System (EMS) into its existing Occupational Health and Safety Management System. Complying with the principles of ISO 14001, the purpose of the EMS is to improve the environmental outcomes associated with council's operational activities and to lead by example through application of good environmental practices. Rather than create two separate management systems, one for staff safety and another for environmental safety, council has chosen to integrate an EMS into the Occupational Health and Safety Management System. An integrated management system allows for practical advantages related to routine processes, workplace efficiency, staff training, record keeping and workplace auditing to be achieved. To reflect the dual focus of staff safety and environmental safety, the Occupational Health and Safety Management System has been renamed the Operational Management System (OMS).

In early 2004 Tweed Council officially launched its OMS web site on the council intranet. Training staff in their new responsibilities coincided with the launch and will continue as an integral component of the OMS. In addition to improving training outcomes on environmental responsibilities, the OMS has also improved incident and accident reporting procedures, document control and monitoring, and corrective outcomes through the workplace auditing process.

Contact Mr Daniel Walton
Telephone (02) 6670 2440
Fax (02) 6670 2590
Email danw@tweed.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

CABONNE SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
WBC St
rategic Alliance

The WBC Strategic Alliance is an historic partnership between three rural councils, providing economies of scale that have produced significant savings and a better range of services for ratepayers and residents. Formalised on 29 August 2003, it is the first Alliance of its kind in New South Wales and is being used as a model for formation of similar council partnerships in other parts of the State.

The Strategic Alliance has created an entity with a combined population of more than 30 000 and a total annual budget of $60 million, giving it the 'clout' of a major regional centre, while preserving jobs and local representation in country towns. Created in response to the New South Wales Government's push for structural reform in local government, it is seen as a highly successful and extremely efficient alternative to council amalgamations. Through cooperative arrangements, joint purchases and staff and resource sharing, it has delivered savings of more than $720 000 to the residents of the three member councils within the first 10 months of its operation and is on target to reach a goal of $1 million in savings in 2004. By participating in the Strategic Alliance, each council has been able to better deliver services and improve the range and quality of those services. Importantly, the initiatives already introduced and the ongoing development of Centres of Excellence within the Alliance has helped ensure the future of small rural communities that rely heavily on their local councils for employment and services.

Contact Mr Dale Jones
Telephone (02) 6845 2099
Fax (02) 6845 3354
Email dale.jones@wellington.nsw.gov.au

Commendations

LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Lean on Me: A day in the life of Total Workforce

Lean on Me: A day in the life of Total Workforce was a project that communicated the human aspects of Launceston City Council's outdoor crew. Lean on Me was an exhibition of images showing the 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year work the 200 plus workers do to keep Launceston liveable, looking good and functioning. It is a living social history of the unsung heroes who keep the city systems running. The project promoted team spirit and built harmony and unity within and between Total Workforce and the council.

Contact Mr Rod Sweetnam
Telephone (03) 9323 3505
Fax (03) 6323 3501
Email rod.sweetnam@launceston.tas.gov.au

NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Newcastle Environment Management Plan 2003 - A systems approach to a sustainable future

Newcastle Council, together with community stakeholders, developed the Newcastle Environment Management Plan 2003. The plan is based on the systems thinking approach, enhancing the capacity to understand and work within natural systems, the social and built systems of our urban environment and the organisational systems within council. The overall aim of the plan is to enhance effectiveness and deliver efficiencies through articulation of a set of principles, a process based on an organisational systems model and supporting tools for action and evaluation that can be applied across all council's environmental services and activities.

Contact Mr Frank Cosgrove
Telephone (02) 4974 2891
Fax (02) 4974 2804
Email fcosgrove@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Planning for Safe, Accessible and Adaptable Built Environments for Ageing Communities - 2004 Year of the Built Environment

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This Award recognises the important role that local councils can play in planning for and raising awareness of the need for safe, accessible and adaptable built environments to meet the changing needs of Australia's ageing population.

Projects should have:

  • promoted and developed accessible and adaptable built environments to meet the needs of older Australians
  • helped the community to work together to respond to changing needs caused by demographic change in the local area
  • demonstrated innovative planning for built environments to support future demographic change
  • demonstrated that the local council is working to ensure that its planning issues are incorporated into the agenda of other organisations involved in the development, design, manufacture or building of adaptable housing environments.

Category winner

HUME CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Better Living in Broadmeadows and Dallas - Urban Renewal Plan

The Better Living in Broadmeadows and Dallas - Urban Renewal Plan is about creating a better life and a more prosperous future for the people of Dallas and Broadmeadows. The Dallas- Broadmeadows area is one of the oldest suburbanareas in Hume City, dating from the 1950s, as one of the former Housing Commission's most ambitious development projects. The community suffers considerable socioeconomic disadvantage, creating a range of problems affecting the area's image. The plan covers an area containing over 5000 homes, most of which were constructed by the Housing Commission, but only a portion of the homes remain in public ownership. Many of the residents have lived in the area for more than 40 years and are facing real issues with home maintenance. There is a strong sense of community amongst the residents and the area is very culturally diverse. This is not a two-dimensional 'town plan'.

The urban renewal plan is multi-faceted and involves local community and economic development, cultural enrichment, strengthening of the social fabric, as well as the more obvious physical aspects of infrastructure renewal, improved community facilities, upgrading of the public realm and property redevelopment. The plan builds on previous research and consultation by council and other organisations. It has cemented a strong partnership between council and the Victorian Department of Human Services and will strengthen the council-community relationship. Dallas- Broadmeadows is geographically located in a key strategic metropolitan location and is on the cusp of change. This plan is about providing some intervention and leadership to ensure the future of Dallas and Broadmeadows.

Contact Mr Dane Truscott
Telephone (03) 9205 2610
Fax (03) 9740 6543
Email danet@hume.vic.gov.au

Social and Community Engagement

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

This Award recognises and acknowledges initiatives that focus on the contribution of local government to:

  • strengthening individuals, families and communities
  • aiding life choices for individuals and families in the community
  • fostering social and economic participation to build resilience and foster a culture of self- reliance and self-help in the community.

Projects should increase community capacity for self-help and sustainability and social and economic engagement by:

  • being designed to increase social and economic participation within the community
  • investing in children and strengthening families
  • fostering local action in response to a local issue(s) and addressing community services needs
  • using innovative government, community and business partnerships for action.

Category winner

BLUE MOUNTAINS CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Blue Mountains Our Future - The Next 25 Years

Through an extensive consultation and innovative engagement process, Blue Mountains residents have worked with the Blue Mountains Council to develop a City Strategy to guide the future of the Blue Mountains over the next 25 years. While council has provided the leadership to initiate the project, the local community has actively shaped, developed and endorsed it. In this sense the project can truly be described as 'Community owned - council led'.

Through a wide range of innovative processes and tools, the project has enabled all age groups, including children and people from all parts of the city, to be involved in shaping a community-owned vision and action plan for a more sustainable future.

The Blue Mountains Our Future Project is an example of local government being at one with community, not only as a result of its innovative and creative engagement processes that have facilitated diverse groups working together, but also because of the way the council has taken on board and responded to the results of the engagement process. In July 2003, council adopted the community-endorsed City Strategy as the 'external policy framework for the City of Blue Mountains to guide decisions and actions of the community, council and external agencies'.

Council also declared 2003-04 a 'transitional year' for 'reviewing council decision making in line with the community-endorsed Outcomes of the City Strategy' to guide development of the 2004-08 Management Plan, Capital Works and the targeting of resources over the next four years. Ongoing engagement with the community is continuing through council's commitment to tracking progress in achieving the City Vision through State of City monitoring and through facilitating action for a more sustainable Blue Mountains.

Contact Dr Rosemary Dillon
Telephone (02) 4780 5679
Fax (02) 4780 5555
Email rdillon@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

GATTON, ESK and LAIDLEY SHIRE COUNCILS, Queensland
Greening Lockyer

Greening Lockyer is a partnership between Esk, Gatton and Laidley Shire Councils, WESROC and Powerlink Queensland. It is a three-year Community Partnership Program funded by a $1 million community grant from Powerlink. It is aiming to enhance the environment of the Lockyer Valley, minimise the impact of electricity infrastructure and create training and employment opportunities for local residents.

The objectives of Greening Lockyer are to improve the environmental quality of the Lockyer Valley; to form partnerships between the Lockyer Valley community and Powerlink, based on good environmental stewardship and by seeking community support and involvement in outdoor environmental activities; and to minimise the impact of proposed transmission infrastructure on the Lockyer Valley in advance of its implementation.

Contact Ms Celeste Lowe
Telephone (07) 5462 0329
Fax (07) 5462 3269
Email greeninglockyer@gatton.qld.gov.au

Commendations

CAMPBELLTOWN CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Strengthening Airds

The Strengthening Airds project is a joint initiative of local, State and Australian government agencies, in partnership with non-government organsiations and residents. The project is managed by Campbelltown City Council and was developed in recognition of the need to develop an integrated response for the residents of this public housing estate, including provision of local employment solutions.

Contact Mrs Frances Jamieson
Telephone (02) 4620 7400
Fax (02) 4620 7433
Email frances.jamieson@campbelltown.nsw.gov.au

CITY OF GERALDTON, Western Australia
Swim Across Australia

The Swim Across Australia initiative was a unique and innovative opportunity to champion and promote the Western Australian Government's initiatives for physical activity, while promoting Geraldton and the 'Keep Watch, Keep Them Alive' campaign internationally and nationally; and fostering youth leadership opportunities for young people of Geraldton. The project successfully raised the profile of Geraldton, and local pride. It engaged a range of young people in Geraldton and along the way facilitated stronger local youth leadership.

Contact Miss Karina Thomason
Telephone (08) 9956 6643
Fax (08) 9956 6674
Email thomasonk@geraldton.wa.gov.au

Strength in Diversity

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

This Award recognises local initiatives that respond to, promote and/or harness benefits arising from migration, settlement, Australian citizenship, and our cultural diversity.

Projects should have:

  • facilitated access and equity in service provision for all members of the community
  • encouraged inclusiveness in local decision making
  • enhanced community harmony and social participation
  • improved local migrants' settlement outcomes
  • promoted the value of Australian citizenship as a unifying force in our community, including through ceremonies that welcome new citizens into the community and provide an opportunity for all Australian citizens to affirm their loyalty and commitment to Australia
  • promoted the value of cultural diversity and skilled and business migration to the local community
  • attracted skilled and business migrants to the region.

Category winner

WARRNAMBOOL CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Migration to Warrnambool Project

Warrnambool City Council has led a 'Supporting Relocation to the South West' initiative, in partnership with a coalition of partner agencies, to pilot successful migrant settlement into the Warrnambool community. The project has successfully settled 15 families (79 people) from two cultural communities since June 2003.

Adopting a whole-of-community approach to migrant settlement has been critical to the success of the project to ensure a welcoming community, employment opportunities, access to services; and the ability to connect with their own community. The objectives of the project were to support sustainable population growth in regional areas, create and answer demand for goods and services currently only found in urban and overseas markets, promote the benefits of multiculturalism in the Warrnambool community, provide for the anticipated and current labour shortage and facilitate growth in small to medium enterprises, and provide a stable, safe and welcoming community for refugees to rebuild their lives.

Contact Mr Paul O'Brien
Telephone (03) 5564 7800
Fax (03) 5562 8774
Email pobrien@warrnambool.vic.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF DAREBIN, Victoria
Cramer Street Neighbourhood Project

The Cramer Street Neighbourhood Project was a partnership between the Darebin City Council and representatives from the Cramer Street neighbourhood. The central aim was to tackle racial tension amongst people from diverse backgrounds living in the project area.

Contact Mr Dalal Smiley
Telephone (03) 9230 4411
Fax (03) 9471 2104
Email dsmiley@darebin.vic.gov.au

GUNNEDAH SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Gunnedah International Cup and Cultural Exchange Weekend

This project is a partnership between Gunnedah Shire Council, Auburn Migrant Resource Centre, the New South Wales Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors and the Centre for Social Leadership. The project aims to stimulate cross-cultural activity, bridge the rural-city divide through partnership and sharing of cultural resources, and promote harmony and raise public awareness of the diverse cultures.

Contact Mr Brett Stonestreet
Telephone (02) 6740 2130
Fax (02) 6740 2139
Email brettstonestreet@infogunnedah.com.au

Strengthening Indigenous Communities

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

This Award shows the commitment to and excellence in, local government's approach to increase opportunities for the engagement and participation of Indigenous people in the affairs of the local community and, to improving community governance and service delivery arrangements for Indigenous people.

Projects should have:

  • demonstrated that Indigenous culture, social values, customary practices and aspirations are recognised and respected, and the impact of past policies were acknowledged, when developing, implementing evaluating and administering policies and programs
  • worked in active partnerships of shared responsibility and accountability with Indigenous communities (both location and interest), to find local solutions to local problems and built on community assets and strengths
  • provided income-generating and capacity-building opportunities for Indigenous individuals, families and communities to encourage self-reliance and greater economic and social participation
  • improved community governance and service delivery arrangements for Indigenous people.

Category winner

CITY OF ONKAPARINGA, South Australia
Kaurna urban design - a living culture

The City of Onkaparinga and the local Kaurna community have adopted a new approach to Indigenous consultation with the incorporation of cultural heritage in the redesign of coastal foreshore parks. The new approach moves beyond traditional consultation methods to acknowledge the value of traditional knowledge of the land and invest in the cultural heritage, language, artistic and urban design skills currently within the Kaurna community. It also acknowledges the role of the Kaurna community as traditional owners, by contracting specialised skills to advise council on the care and control of land in culturally important areas.

The process was jointly developed by the City of Onkaparinga, the Kaurna community and Hemisphere Design and uses a series of design workshops to translate the skills and knowledge of a Kaurna design team to provide an understanding of the context for the area and create a design for its upgrade. Designs acknowledge traditional land use and practices, movements, significant places and dreaming stories through recommended land use, configuration and design of parks, landscaping, seats, artworks, shelters, recreational areas, and trails. The process, which has focused on investing in the community's skills and in developing council's understanding of cultural heritage, has been a catalyst for adoption of a reconciliation agreement between four local councils, various cultural heritage bodies and the native title committee by facilitating partnerships and mutual trust between council and the Kaurna community.

Contact Ms Stephanie Hensgen
Telephone (08) 8384 0593
Fax (08) 8384 0713
Email stehen@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au

Commendation

BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Arakwal Aboriginal People and Byron Shire Council

Byron Shire Council and the Arakwal Aboriginal People have developed a successful relationship over 10 years. The Heads of Agreement between the parties ensures mechanisms for including provisions in the planning strategy for recognising and protecting Aboriginal interests are central in council decisions. The relationship has greatly improved the ability of the local Aboriginal people to live harmoniously in the community and to provide for a positive future.

Contact Mr Greg Downes
Telephone (02) 6626 7176
Fax (02) 6684 3018
Email greg.downes@byron.nsw.gov.au

Tourism Development

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

This Award looks at the extent to which tourism related responsibilities are integrated within council activities, such as strategic planning, maintaining relationships with external tourism stakeholders, implementing tourism strategies, and maintaining involvement with industry.

Projects should have:

  • stimulated economic growth and helped business generate employment
  • maximised the market exposure of an existing attraction or region
  • included a strategy to improve the competitiveness of the region's tourism product
  • included a study of tourism-dependent businesses to identify benchmark indicators and to measure the economic effects of tourism.

Category winner

CITY OF GREATER GEELONG, Victoria
Sustainable Tourism in the Geelong Otway Tourism region

Geelong Otway Tourism Inc. (GOT) is a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, the tourism industry and neighbouring municipal councils. The Geelong Otway region is located in southwest Victoria and includes a significant section of the Great Ocean Road. Tourism has become a major driver of the local economy.

During 2003, the Bureau of Tourism Research established that tourism in Greater Geelong directly contributes $478 million to the local economy with this expenditure directly responsible for 4200 effective full-time jobs. The overarching sustainable tourism focus arose from the identified need to actually measure performance against indicators. Little work had been done on this and GOT is filling this critical gap through various initiatives. For example, the Sustainable Tourism Directions Paper; Memorandum of Understanding - Sustainable Tourism written commitment obtained across region between local councils and industry; Green Globe Benchmarking - obtained local community benchmarking under 'Green Globe' (pathway to sustainable tourism); social indicator work - partnership with Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism to establish model social and socioeconomic indicators for use by 'Green Globe'; interactive industry web site specifically on sustainable tourism; and monitoring and evaluation criteria identified for environmental protection, industry profitability, visitor satisfaction and community acceptance.

Contact Miss Kate Robertson
Telephone (03) 5244 7104
Fax (03) 5223 2069
Email krobertson@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 rate base

SOUTH BURNETT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, Queensland
Implementing the South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy

The South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy was undertaken and implemented by the South Burnett Local Government Association to grow and diversify the economy of the South Burnett region. The aim of the project was to capitalise on tourism activities and develop specific industry opportunities resulting in sustainable employment and increased industry investment. This project incorporates the Shires of Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai, Murgon, Kilkivan, Rosalie (Yarraman Section) and the Community of Cherbourg.

The objectives of the South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy include strengthening organisational structure and industry leadership; developing new markets; increasing visitation and length of stay; assisting tourism operators with skills development; and generating increased economic growth in the region.

Traditionally the South Burnett region had shown a lack of coordinated approach to tourism development. Implementation of the strategy has helped the region to identify growth markets and capitalise on potential economic benefits for the betterment of the whole region. This recognition has been the catalyst for continual development and improved tourism knowledge and provides acknowledgment of the economic and social benefits the region can receive from the tourism industry.

Contact Ms Debbie Postle
Telephone (07) 4162 3199
Fax (07) 4162 3474
Email dpostle@sblga.asn.au

Commendation

CITY OF MANDURAH, Western Australia
Mandurah Ocean Marina

The Mandurah Ocean Marina is the culmination of a unique partnering approach between the City of Mandurah, the regional Peel Development Commission, the State government and the private sector. The project successfully combined the introduction of major tourism facilities with residential and public infrastructure development and has produced significant tangible outcomes in both economic development and tourism attractiveness.

Contact Mr Jim Scott
Telephone (08) 9550 3707
Fax (08) 9586 2209
Email m-s@mandurah.wa.gov.au

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:

  • illustrated that work-life balance is a strategic planning outcome for the council
  • articulated the council's commitment to assisting employees to achieve a work- life balance
  • provided a range of flexible work options (for example, telecommuting, part-time work and job sharing, flexible hours, parental and carer's leave, study leave and purchased leave)
  • provided practical strategies to promote the adoption of home-based work arrangements
  • demonstrated that it has responded to a needs analysis to identify what types of flexible work practice employees would prefer to have and the main factors hindering a work- life balance.

Category winner

BANYULE CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Work and Family Balance - Challenging the Traditional Audit Paradigm

The project is an innovative internal audit of the Banyule City Council's Work Life Balance Program that concentrated on understanding the management processes in place; documenting and evaluating the methods associated with control and management of work-life issues and programs; and assessing the possibility of additional mechanisms and efficiencies that result in cost-effective work initiatives.

The objectives of the audit were to identify and review current policies and procedures; assess the effectiveness of the communication of work-life balance policies and procedures to employees; review council's methods on maintenance and revision of policies and procedures; and assess the enterprise bargaining agreement for work- life balance components.

Contact Mrs Kath Baylie
Telephone (03) 9490 4235
Fax (03) 9499 1204
Email kath.baylie@banyule.vic.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF GOSNELLS, Western Australia
Managing Employment Trends - City of Gosnells Work Life Balance scheme

The City of Gosnells Work Life Balance Scheme has been structured to respond to the ever-changing needs of employees in a world of increasing demand and diminishing timelines. It relates to initiatives that help employees maintain a balance between their responsibilities at work and in caring for their family. These initiatives include policies covering flexible working arrangements, child and dependent care, and family and parental leave.

Contact Mr Peter Laycock
Telephone (08) 9391 3222
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email peter.laycock@gosnells.wa.gov.au

HUME CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Valuing and Supporting Staff

Hume City Council activity promotes work-life assistance and support to staff through provision of opportunities that enable employees to balance their work and life obligations. Council provides a comprehensive range of family- friendly support programs including flexible work and leave arrangements, job sharing, and new initiatives such as telecommuting and work-from-home options.

Contact Mr Dane Truscott
Telephone (03) 9205 2610
Fax (03) 9740 6543
Email danet@hume.vic.gov.au

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:

  • increased the capacity for enterprise in young people
  • provided effective partnerships between council, community support services and young people
  • identified and targeted at risk youths
  • actively encouraged young people to engage in their communities and participate in policy decision making that affects them
  • developed community dialogue and participation and encouraged development of integrated services.

Joint category winner

LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Co-Pilots Community Mentoring Program

Co-Pilots is a community mentoring program developed to support young people who were not connecting with mainstream education. The program was conceived in 1999 through a partnership agreement between State and local government, specifically the Tasmanian Government's Esk Education District and Launceston City Council. In consultation with 15 human service agencies and young people, a framework was developed for a mentoring program. The framework identified elements contributing to the engagement of students in education such as relevance to the real world, addressing different learning styles and interests, experiencing success, the existence of a significant adult and, connecting to the community. The primary aims of the program are to develop skills and confidence, and find new pathways to learning and work.

The program has grown from its pilot in 2001 with seven mentors and seven schools to 27 mentors in 10 schools in 2004. For the first time, the program will be offered to primary schools with the aim of early intervention. The complete program can now be licensed out to other organisations in the form of two manuals with accompanying CD-ROMS. Together they contain all necessary information to implement the program. Train-the-trainer sessions are offered to those wishing to implement the program. Currently there are four high schools and one primary school outside the Launceston area operating fully licensed programs.

Contact Ms Louise McGowan
Telephone (03) 6323 3368
Fax (03) 63233385
Email Louise.McGowan@launceston.tas.gov.au

Joint category winner

CITY OF GREATER GEELONG, Victoria
Young Parents Access Project

The Young Parents Access Project is an innovative community-based initiative developed as a result of a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong and the Corio Bay Senior College. The project began in May 2002 and is targeted to address the needs of teenage parents, to encourage and support their continued participation in school. The objectives of the project are to retain, re-attract and support young parents within the education system, which will in turn improve their educational and employment opportunities.

The Young Parents Access Project has involved the design and manufacture of an appropriate childcare facility on the site of Corio Bay Senior College, development of a play area and outfitting of the facility. Through the City of Greater Geelong Regional Parenting Service, a Project Worker was employed alongside a Parent Support Worker. The City of Greater Geelong also provided on-site childcare support at a second nearby location through its Family Day Care Program for a period of 12 months.

Staff from the City of Greater Geelong Children's and Family Services, and Family Day Care have been members of the working party since the project's inception, providing invaluable information, advice, resources and support to the project. Staff from the City of Greater Geelong's Maternal and Child Health Service also continue to provide regular outreach support to the students and children involved at the centre. The project is currently open as a 15-place childcare centre providing care for the students' children and support for their parents. The City of Greater Geelong is working with the school to expand the childcare centre to 30 places to provide further support to additional students.

Contact Ms Irene McGinnigle
Telephone (03) 5527 0739
Fax (03) 5227 0315
Email imcginnigle@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Sustainable Development - Economic Development

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

This Award recognises local government's role in:

  • providing cultural activities and facilities in their communities
  • developing mechanisms to encourage integration of cultural planning with economic, physical, social and environmental planning streams
  • collecting, documenting and preserving local heritage buildings and materials which contribute to and record Australia's national identity.

Projects should have:

  • celebrated the value of arts, culture and heritage in the local community
  • sought to raise community awareness of buildings and works of cultural significance
  • promoted diversity in arts and culture
  • involved a consultative process that had developed a long-term vision and goals, cooperative marketing, business plan and future development strategies.

Category winner

SHIRE OF CUE, Western Australia
QFest - Cue's Outback Festival

The Shire of Cue is a small local government authority 650 kilometres north east of Perth, with an area of almost 14 000 square kilometres and a population of less than 400 people. Cue is the historic administration centre for the Murchison region and boasts numerous heritage buildings and an historic streetscape. The Municipal Inventory lists over 100 places of significance.

In 2001 the Shire of Cue embarked on an ambitious project to establish 'QFest' - Cue's Outback Festival. QFest sought to achieve a number of objectives, such as putting Cue back on the map by re-establishing a profile for the community, promoting Cue as a tourist destination, building the community's capacity, providing a focus for community development activities, and interpreting Cue's rich heritage assets through arts and performance.

The festival has now run for two years with visitor numbers growing to over 2000 in 2003 and has established a reputation as a quality festival with artists, exhibitions and entertainment. The Shire of Cue has embraced the opportunity presented by the district's heritage assets and its innovative approach complements heritage with arts, entertainment and tourism, and provides a fine example to other struggling communities.

Contact Mr Stanley Scott
Telephone (08) 9963 1041
Fax (08) 9963 1085
Email cueshire.ceo@bigpond.com

Commendations

CAPEL SHIRE COUNCIL, Western Australia
Art in the Community

The Shire of Capel is working with residents to build community spirit and capacity through 'Art in the Community', a project which engages residents in cultural mapping and produces artworks that are installed in the community.

Contact Ms Liz Watkins
Telephone (08) 9727 0235
Fax (08) 9727 0223
Email lwatkins@capel.wa.gov.au

NORTH SYDNEY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Conservation of Aboriginal Heritage

Creation of the Aboriginal Heritage Officer's position is the result of a partnership between North Sydney, Lane Cove, Willoughby City and Warringah Councils. These councils collectively fund the position and employ the Aboriginal Heritage Officer to help identify and conserve local Aboriginal heritage sites.

Contact Mr Martin Bass
Telephone (02) 9936 8181
Fax (02) 9936 8177
Email basmar@northsydney.nsw.gov.au

TOWNSVILLE CITY COUNCIL, Queensland
Townsville Yarns - Celebrating our Community's History

Townsville Yarns, a key project of Townsville's centenary celebrations in 2003, was a series of community gatherings that captured Townsville's social and oral history as a basis for developing a social history centre.

Contact Mr Dolan Hayes
Telephone (07) 4727 9300
Fax (07) 4727 9057
Email dbh@townsville.qld.gov.au

Economic Development

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

This Award recognises:

  • local government's key role in strengthening local and regional development opportunities either by an individual council or by a regional group of councils
  • 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:
    • establishing improved access to services or infrastructure to support local or regional business development or growth
    • developing and participating in strategic approaches to economic development
    • assisting business ventures
    • facilitating transport opportunities
    • improving domestic or export sales opportunities
    • developing regional programs.

Projects should have:

  • had a proactive role in attracting business investment in the area
  • promoted employment in the area
  • streamlined council operations or service delivery to facilitate private business investment
  • involved strategic and financial planning based on an integrated business planning model, linking community sustainability outcomes to business planning processes and outputs.

Category winner

BURNIE CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Saving the 'Burnie Airport'

In 2001, Burnie City Council initiated a course of action to prevent the inevitable closure of the Burnie Airport, a vital interstate and intrastate air services passenger and freight transport link located at Wynyard in far north west Tasmania. In the previous three years, the airport had suffered a 43 per cent decline in passenger movements, down to 65 000 annually.

The airport acquisition initiative encountered many daunting challenges. These challenges included being a major new business for the council and a significant divergence from council's past role and function; not having any previous airport involvement or experience; and being hard on the heels of the shocks then facing the aviation industry. Nevertheless, the council moved forward with the purchase late in 2001.

The council set up a corporate business that took over the ownership, management, and operational responsibilities of the airport from 1 February 2002. In the space of just 2Vi years, the outcomes at the airport have been dramatic in all respects, with the airport now achieving close to 100 000 annual passenger movements, operating strongly and achieving sustainable operating profits.

Contact Mr Lionel Young
Telephone (03) 6430 5723
Fax (03) 6430 5743
Email lyoung@burnie.net

Commendations

LIVERPOOL PLAINS SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
The Resurgence of Quirindi

Through The Resurgence of Quirindi project Liverpool Plains Shire Council evaluated its strengths and weaknesses and designed and implemented a wide range of strategies to achieve higher levels of growth, improved quality of life and new opportunities for sustainable social and economic development. The council undertook extensive community consultation and created partnerships with the public and private sectors, thereby providing numerous economic and social achievements. New industries attracted to the area will generate over 300 direct jobs, community spirit and confidence in the town's future has been enhanced and community facilities have been improved.

Contact Mr Robert Hunt
Telephone (02) 6746 1755
Fax (02) 6746 3255
Email robert@lpsc.nsw.gov.au

HUNTER COUNCILS, New South Wales
Film Hunter

Film Hunter is a multi-faceted project that strives to aid economic development and tourist spending in Newcastle and the Hunter Region of New South Wales by attracting major film and television production into the area. Film Hunter exists under the auspices of Hunter Councils and attracts and manages film activity on behalf of the 11 local government areas in the region. The project has helped generate over $4.5 million in filming expenditure since July 2000, employed over 1000 services and individuals and helped eight new businesses open.

Contact Ms June Hamrick Taylor
Telephone (02) 4974 2889
Fax (02) 4929 5948
Email carmstrong@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Engineering

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

This Award recognises innovation and excellence in the field of engineering, particularly where it demonstrates savings in financial or environmental costs, gains in energy efficiency, improved service delivery, improved asset management or overall ecologically sustainable development.

Projects should have:

  • successfully showcased an innovation or excellence in concept
  • demonstrated best engineering practice
  • used leading edge technology
  • used work practices and/or other techniques that set it apart from 'standard' processes
  • used work practices and/or other techniques that conserve energy or materials
  • demonstrated more effective and efficient use of resources
  • contributed to development of engineering excellence in Australia
  • encouraged development of young engineers.

Category winner

HUON VALLEY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Development of a Bridge Workbox

Huon Valley Council developed the Bridge Workbox in response to safety and cost concerns associated with traditional methods of carrying out work on the sides and undersides of bridges. Council has over 180 bridges throughout its municipal area and allocates considerable resources each year to maintain them. Development of a workbox that can be attached to an excavator for work on the side or underneath bridges is a significant breakthrough in terms of safety, efficiency and effectiveness. The Bridge Workbox, used by council since the beginning of 2004, has demonstrated its ability to dramatically improve productivity and the safety of workers. The invention has a wide range of alternative applications for work in elevated areas and council has patented the design to enable the product to be sold in the open market.

Contact Mr Daniel Smee
Telephone (03) 6264 8435
Fax (03) 6264 8440
Email dsmee@huonvalley.tas.gov.au

Commendation

DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Reservoir Civic Centre - Building Community Sustainability

The Reservoir Civic Centre is a tangible example of sustainable technologies that can be transferred into residential homes. It is a demonstration of Darebin City Council's commitment to sustainability and is growing into a key community educational resource, based around sustainable living.

Contact Ms Libby Hynes
Telephone (03) 9230 4442
Fax (03) 9470 2259
Email lhynes@darebin.vic.gov.au

Health Services

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This Award recognises the role of local government in understanding and addressing local major health and aged care priorities.

Projects should have:

  • positively and successfully addressed a major health issue in the area
  • demonstrated measurable positive outcomes
  • involved partnerships with community stakeholders (which may include health professionals) to identify and/or address local health issues
  • delivered new or extended primary health care services.

Category winner

CITY OF TEA TREE GULLY, South Australia
Saturdays for Us Program

The Saturdays for Us Program began as a revolutionary six-month pilot project to identify and attempt to meet the needs of men (55 years and over) with Dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It was found that a gap existed in the services available for men diagnosed with such conditions. Home and Community Care funded services were generally geared towards frail, aged or younger disabled people, with aged services primarily catering to men over the age of 65 years who were isolated and required support to prevent premature admission into residential care. In response to this situation, the Saturdaysfor Us Program provides male clients from 55 years of age who suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer's with an opportunity to enhance their quality of life through a program that is collaborative, flexible, client led, encouraging social development with weekend inclusion, and integrative. This type of project, targeting this age group and incorporating weekend activities, has not previously been undertaken in South Australia. The pilot project has proven its success by gaining recurrent Home and Community Care funding to continue the program. Already, other councils and service providers have expressed their interest in developing the program for their areas.

Contact Ms Brigitta Ford
Telephone (08) 8397 7303
Fax (08) 8397 7400
Email fordb@cttg.sa.gov.au

Commendation

CITY OF MELVILLE, Western Australia
The Men's Health Program

The Men's Health Program recognises that men's health care is a critical issue that has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the whole community. The program takes an holistic view of men's health and addresses the issues from a social, physical and emotional perspective. The flexible and proactive initiative relied on a range of community partners to bolster available resources. These alliances were instrumental in facilitating a growing project that evolved in direct response to community demand. Facilitating the exchange of information and ideas between groups with a vested interest in men's health has been an important project outcome, which has also contributed to recognition of men's health by the Western Australian Government.

Contact Ms Janet Armarego
Telephone (08) 9364 0666
Fax (08) 9364 0285
Email jarmarego @melville.wa.gov.au

Information Services

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

This Award recognises that each member of the Australian community has an equal right to information and information services and that this access is essential to the democratic process and to the social wellbeing of the community.

Projects should have:

  • effectively engaged members of the community
  • sought to remove barriers to social participation by providing avenues for all sectors of the community to access council and/or community resources
  • empowered people to use technology.

Category winner

CITY OF BURNSIDE, South Australia
Books in the Sky

In 2001-02 the Burnside Library issued 11 697 cassette books to customers with sight impairments. The City of Burnside Library, in partnership with PLAIN Central Services and the Royal Society for the Blind South Australia, piloted the exciting new Books in the Sky initiative, which bypasses cassettes and CDs and creates a potentially cost-effective, easy-to-use digital solution to providing books, magazines and newspapers to people with sight impairments. In a world first, the system was trialled by clients of the Royal Society for the Blind and customers of the City of Burnside's library.

The Books in the Sky project is the first significant advance for many years in providing books, magazines and newspapers to sight- impaired people in a simple to use and cost- effective way. It has the potential to revolutionise such services and eventually replace talking books on cassette and CD. The technology will also eventually be available as a means of providing council documents, community information etc. to the sight-impaired, making library and council services more equitable.

Contact Ms Margaret Moxon
Telephone (08) 8366 4280
Fax (08) 8366 4274
Email mmoxon@burnside.sa.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

TENTERFIELD SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Tenterfield Public Library - Holistic Management Approach

Tenterfield Public Library is responsible not only for library operations, but also for museum and theatre/cinema management in the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts. An holistic management approach has been implemented to maximise the cultural benefits for the community and to allow all sectors to benefit. To achieve this, the library provides management skills and planning, mentoring, emergency relief and shared use of equipment, such as photocopiers and scanners, to produce cost efficiencies. Functions are organised to flow between the museum and the library. The library's Youth Panel makes recommendations for movies as well as books, periodicals and music. Schools are encouraged to combine Children's Book Week visits with museum study tours. A Special Exhibitions Collection Policy was established to record the collection of artefacts outside the criteria of the museum's National Trust collection for use in any part of the building. Signage in the museum encourages tourists to browse the collection, relax with a newspaper or use the Internet free of charge.

The School of Arts has become a successfully integrated information and cultural centre for Tenterfield.

Contact Mrs Robin Riley
Telephone (02) 6736 1454
Fax (02) 6736 1146
Email r.riley@tenterfield.nsw.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF THURINGOWA, Queensland
digital. literacy @thuringowa. library

Access to electronic resources does not necessarily translate to an ability to locate and use information productively, so <digital. literacy@thuringowa.library> is a three-part project aiming to improve the information- seeking skills of Thuringowa residents.

Contact Mr Warren Cheetham
Telephone (07) 4773 8503
Fax (07) 4773 8608
Email warrenc@thuringowa.qld.gov.au

CANTERBURY CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
It's Safe Again

The It's Safe Again information campaign aims to increase residents' perceptions of safety while addressing specific local area issues as the need arises. The kit is displayed in all libraries and community centres, and is mailed with all correspondence as part of the It's Safe Again program. The kit includes a feedback section encouraging residents to raise community safety concerns and to reassure them that council, in strong partnership with local police, is ready to respond to their concerns.

Contact Ms Lara Kirchner
Telephone (02) 9789 9508
Fax (02) 9787 3064
Email larak@canterbury.nsw.gov.au

Information Technology

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

This Award recognises innovative uses of information technology, particularly through services delivered online, which provide substantial benefits to communities including important community sectors such as local small businesses.

Projects should have:

  • innovatively used information technology to improve the delivery of services to the community
  • promoted/involved partnerships with universities, business, other councils and/or the community to develop information technology solutions
  • improved the flow of information between council and the community and between councils, for the benefit of their communities
  • achieved measurable outcomes and given added value
  • reflected a commitment to sharing or mentoring the uptake of the findings and/or the technology
  • reflected community involvement.

Category winner

URALLA SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
New England Smart Communities Action Project

The New England Smart Communities Action Project aims to develop carrier-grade broadband infrastructure in Uralla and Armidale for the benefit of council, local businesses and the general community. Council has successfully brought together over 20 private and public stakeholders with diverse and sometimes complex objectives to deliver project objectives.

As well as investigating the range of options to attract and reticulate broadband infrastructure for the region, the project's specific objectives are to help 'future proof' the Uralla and Armidale region through telecommunications, to reduce the cost of telecommunications for existing businesses and the community, to encourage availability of high-speed broadband telecommunications infrastructure that will help the region attract new industry, and to ensure equity of access to broadband services (voice and data) for the community.

The New England Smart Communities Action Project has facilitated development of alternative broadband infrastructure in both Uralla and Armidale by working with Australian and State Government stakeholders and by directly engaging with Soul Pattinson Telecommunications to deliver carrier-grade broadband services through a Wireless Local Loop.

Contact Mr Kevin Abey
Telephone (02) 6778 4606
Fax (02) 6778 5073
Email kevin.abey@northnet.com.au

Commendations

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF TASMANIA, Tasmania
CouncilConnect

The CouncilConnect web site is the first specific transactional portal for local government in Australia. All of Tasmania's 29 councils are participating and offer services through the portal. It allows citizens to access high quality online services irrespective of their council size or location.

Contact Mr Brian Oliver
Telephone (03) 6233 5968
Fax (03) 6233 5986
Email brian.oliver@lgat.tas.gov.au

CITY OF WHITTLESEA, Victoria
WIRED Development Project

The City of Whittlesea conceived the project to encourage broadband infrastructure investment in greenfield estates. The project facilitates establishment of a broadband network, capable of providing a range of telecommunications, data and video services, for the benefit of local communities in new estates including businesses, government and educational institutions, private residents and other community groups.

Contact Mr Brad Wynter
Telephone (03) 9217 2127
Fax (03) 9217 2399
Email brad.wynter@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Infrastructure Management and Development

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

With local government facing serious difficulties in the ongoing maintenance, improvement and replacement of community infrastructure this Award aims to recognise infrastructure management and development plans and/or projects which will meet the future needs of their communities without adding a significant cost burden to the community. Examples may be:

  • new management techniques that enable existing infrastructure to service greater numbers of clients
  • management processes to extend the life or reduce the maintenance or management cost of infrastructure
  • innovative systems to reduce or better manage the replacement burden.

Projects should have:

  • provided a framework to meet the municipality's social, economic and environment needs for the longer term
  • used partnerships with other local government bodies or the private sector
  • introduced and used new technologies
  • used and promoted ecologically sustainable use of renewable energy sources, such as, water and power
  • improved asset management or impact on asset holdings and demonstrated any attempt made by council to quantify the benefits.

Category winner

KOGARAH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, New South Wales
Streetlight Assessment Project

The Streetlight Assessment Project is a geographically-based computer program used to help manage street lighting infrastructure. The project was developed in response to a broader review of street lighting conducted by the Southern Sydney Region of Councils. The need for this project arose when responsibility for street lighting assets was transferred from EnergyAustralia to local government authorities. Before the system was developed, local councils and EnergyAustralia had largely determined street lighting infrastructure design requirements on a case- by-case basis. This practice was not necessarily an efficient use of energy or an effective distribution of lighting, as required by the Australian Standard.

The project enables the council to model lighting levels of particular light types and mounting heights across an entire street lighting network. This was achieved by combining spatial information from the council's GIS databases, EnergyAustralia's infrastructure data and lighting manufacturers' luminary model specifications. The project is believed to be the first of its kind, and uses variable input data options to optimise network design and portability across councils. The principle functions of the project are to assess current levels of compliance against standards, identify and prioritise the worst areas of non-compliance, identify excessive lighting levels and to determine the potential benefits of switching to new luminaries. Overall it will significantly enhance the operational energy efficiency of lighting networks and consequently provide ongoing financial, social and environmental benefits to councils and the community.

Contact Mr Glen Moody
Telephone (02) 9330 9474
Fax (02) 9330 9561
Email glen.moody@kogarah.nsw.gov.au

Commendation

CITY OF WEST TORRENS, South Australia
The Hamra Centre

The Hamra Centre is a new style community centre in the City of West Torrens, successfully delivering a wide range of services and facilities over an extended range of hours. It comprises a refurbished auditorium, new community meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art public library with flexible display, meeting and performance/exhibition spaces, a large information technology training suite and a new, web-based Library Management System providing virtual library services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact Mr Declan Moore
Telephone (08) 8416 6333
Fax (08) 8443 9099
Email dmoore@wtcc.sa.gov.au

Integrating Biodiversity Conservation into Planning and Management

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage.

This Award recognises high-level council commitment to conserving biodiversity through strategic planning and management processes.

Projects should have:

  • biodiversity conservation considered and incorporated into high-level council planning strategies and management plans
  • biodiversity conservation concerns incorporated into council's on-ground operations and activities
  • mechanisms to monitor and evaluate biodiversity conservation outcomes
  • mechanisms to report on biodiversity outcomes
  • mechanisms to allow for participation in regional planning processes for natural resource management to ensure a strategic and cooperative approach to biodiversity conservation.

Category winner

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, Western Australia
Perth Biodiversity Project

In 2001 the Perth Biodiversity Projectwas launched to help Perth's local governments plan a future for local bushland, wetlands and other natural areas. The project is delivered in partnership with Perth's 30 local governments, the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust and the Swan Catchment Council. The project supports local government biodiversity conservation efforts in the Swan Region through direct financial assistance for on-ground works and capacity building projects as well as providing expert and technical information, advice and assistance for local biodiversity planning. Significantly the project has prepared the Local Government Biodiversity Planning Guidelines for the Perth Metropolitan Region to help local government develop strategic approaches to conserving biodiversity. The project has also provided $450 000 of Natural Heritage Trust funding to help 22 local governments with 42 on-ground and capacity-building projects. The Natural Heritage Trust investment stimulated a further investment of $1.025 million by local government on biodiversity conservation initiatives.

Contact Mr Andrew Del Marco
Telephone (08) 9213 2047
Fax (08) 9322 2611
Email marco@walga.asn.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

SHIRE OF MOUNT MARSHALL, Western Australia
Shire of Mount Marshall Environmental Protection Program

In 2003-04 the Shire of Mount Marshall began a process of natural resource planning to enable better management of the environment. This process involved a two-stage Environmental Protection Plan; assessment, evaluation and prioritisation of water, biodiversity, infrastructure and land resources assets; creation of project monitoring handbooks; a review of environmental information provision to ratepayers; employment of a Landcare Technical Officer; adoption of reserve use licensing; management plans for large shire vested reserves; adoption of a gravel pit rehabilitation program; on-ground Landcare works on a shire basis; and adoption of a vermin control program.

Recognising that environmental care is now a core business of local government, the Shire of Mount Marshall formed a shire-based Landcare Committee (now Natural Resource Management Committee). The committee works on a number of resource management issues, including remnant protection and re-vegetation, salinity management, vermin control and engineering earthworks. Early 2004 saw promotion of Catchment Groups within the shire. Shire staff coordinate Catchment Groups and they work to address catchment issues, primarily water management and biodiversity conservation. Council recognises that environmental repair must be coordinated on a district basis as natural resource management does not conclude at municipal boundaries.

Contact Mr Kevin Trustum
Telephone (08) 9685 1202
Fax (08) 9685 1299
Email trustumk@mtmarshall.wa.gov.au

Commendation

CLARENCE VALLEY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Clarence Valley Floodplain Project

The Clarence Valley Floodplain Project was initiated in 1997 and operates as a series of programs to identify and develop management techniques to improve water quality and land management, yet still provide adequate flood protection to the people of the Clarence Valley Floodplain.

Contact Mr Jeremy Challacombe
Telephone (02) 6642 3277
Fax (02) 6642 3108
Email jchallacombe@crcc.nsw.gov.au

Land Use Planning - 2004 Year of the Built Environment

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

This Award recognises innovative projects that support a coordinated approach to land- use planning, urban design or development assessment. Projects should balance social, economic and environmental values and contribute to well-designed, safe, healthy, and environmentally responsive built environments.

Projects should have:

  • provided a framework for sustainable growth to meet your municipality's/region's social, economic and environment needs
  • embraced intergovernmental and institutional cooperation between all spheres of government, the private sector and the community
  • ensured local communities had a role in determining their own futures through consultation in planning and implementation
  • reflected the community's needs and aspirations for their locality, such as:
    • greater choice and affordability of housing high quality urban design
    • safe, efficient and convenient transport choices
    • urban design solutions which reduce crime and the perception of crime within the community
    • more liveable neighbourhoods
    • revitalisation of town centres and transport interchanges
    • improvements to parks and public open space
    • retaining and reusing historic structures of significance.

Category winner

BLUE MOUNTAINS CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Blue Mountains Draft Local Environmental Plan 2002

The aim of the new Blue Mountains Draft Local Environmental Plan 2002 is to provide a comprehensive development framework for the 'City within a World Heritage National Park', in a manner that is consistent with and promotes the principles and practices of ecologically sustainable development. Its principal objectives reflect the broad challenges faced in ensuring that development within the urbanised parts of the City enhances the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Blue Mountains. The draft Local Environmental Plan encourages a range of land uses and development activities that seek to contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of the Blue Mountains community. Such elements include encouraging a range of accessible and affordable housing types, and providing guidance and requirements for attractive urban design that promotes community safety within core township and village areas.

The draft Local Environmental Plan also implements a series of place-specific zones and land use categories that actively encourage new small business development within the Mountains. Most notably, the draft Local Environmental Plan demonstrates a number of innovative approaches to planning for a sustainable built environment that limits urban expansion and minimises environmental impacts on the surrounding World Heritage National Park. By integrating with the environmental constraint mapping techniques developed through council's geographical information system, the plan identifies the City's urban development capacities through establishment of a 'sustainable development threshold'.

The draft Local Environmental Plan also demonstrates the importance and value of establishing a place-based planning framework. This framework was developed in collaboration with individual communities, and reflects the priorities and values of those communities through highly tailored precinct vision statements and development controls to achieve a desired future character for the 21 villages covered by the draft plan. Through effective web-based information systems, all statutory and supporting mapping is readily available to ensure the development industry and the community are able to effectively implement their aims, objectives and provisions.

Contact Mr Paul Grimson
Telephone (02) 4780 5774
Fax (02) 4780 5721
Email pgrimson@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Local Greenhouse Action

Sponsored by the Australian Greenhouse Office.

Local governments are uniquely placed to raise community and industry awareness of greenhouse issues, and through their planning schemes, building codes, waste reduction and recycling programs, as well as their own corporate activities, they can directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This Award acknowledges that local government action in Australia is making a real difference to Australia's greenhouse emissions.

Projects should have:

  • delivered ongoing, cost effective greenhouse gas abatement
  • involved the community in on-ground action
  • raised community or industry awareness of greenhouse issues
  • successfully integrated greenhouse gas abatement with economic and social goals
  • integrated regional environmental objectives
  • included mechanisms that support the goal of continual improvement
  • demonstrated mechanisms within the council's decision-making procedures that ensure processes, projects and initiatives consider greenhouse gas abatement principles.

Category winner

KOGARAH MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, New South Wales
Kogarah Town Square

The Kogarah Town Square is Australia's largest solar powered medium density development. It is the first residential/commercial development to use photovoltaic cells for its entire roof area. The development consists of 194 apartments, commercial/retail space, library and underground car park. The solar power produced by the development will save about 145 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This, in conjunction with the passive design principles of the development, will result in a saving of 375 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, compared to a typical development. The Town Square is a leading example of urban water collection, treatment and reuse - with 85 per cent of rainwater and stormwater collected on site and reused - resulting in a 40 per cent reduction in potable water use.

The Town Square has played an important role in promoting sustainable development through regular tours of the development, visual display and information signs showcasing the solar energy and water reuse principals, training of tradespeople involved in the development, creation of Kogarah Town Square web site, and production of Kogarah Town Square Educational CD-ROM.

The CD-ROM provides a detailed look at the sustainability features of the Kogarah Town Square. This includes a detailed case study of the development revealing aims, context and the partnership process of the development; a description of the sustainable solutions undertaken in this development (such as solar panels, water conservation, passive design and energy conservation); and detailed information on the lessons learned from this development. This CD-ROM is being distributed to all local government offices in Australia as well as selected government departments, major developers, architects, and educational institutes.

Contact Ms Alexandra Vandine
Telephone (02) 9330 9510
Fax (02) 9587 5779
Email alexandra.vandine@kogarah.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 rate base

TOWN OF NORTHAM, Western Australia
Northam Eco-Retro House

The Town of Northam has an estimated population of approximately 6500. With 36 per cent of household income in Northam being $499 a week or less, the town must design projects that are in reach of the entire community. Along with the Town of Northam's recent 'Mitchell on Avon' Project, council and the community have heightened recognition of the significance of the 1950s and 1960s fibro and weatherboard style home to the towns of the wheat belt. The material and style of home is suited to the area, being economical to construct in rural communities.

The Northam Eco-Retro house demonstrates how you can turn an older style house into a comfortable home that is environmentally friendly and sustainable, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This house incorporates basic, cheap to install features to conserve energy and water, resulting in a more sustainable home that is comfortable throughout the year. Workshops for community members are held at the Northam Eco-Retro House with the opportunity to conduct experiments in the house, and therefore, see the direct results of specific change.

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

Commendations

CITY OF GOSNELLS, Western Australia
Renewable energy from a load of old rubbish

With the support and encouragement of the City of Gosnells and the community, AGL has built a landfill gas powered generation plant that is estimated to generate around 15.7 million kilowatts of renewable electricity per annum over the next few years, on part of the city's former landfill site.

Contact Mr Wayne van Lieven
Telephone (08) 9391 3222
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email wvanlieven@gosnells.wa.gov.au

CITY OF DAREBIN, Victoria
Community Power - reducing community greenhouse emissions

Community Power is Australia's first renewable energy buying group for households. The Project was initiated by Darebin City Council in response to introduction of full retail contestability of electricity in Victoria and promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through purchase of Green Power and wise and efficient use of energy.

Contact Ms Michelle Bennett
Telephone (03) 9230 4535
Fax (03) 9470 2259
Email mbennett@darebin.vic.gov.au

CITY OF SUBIACO, Western Australia
Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration Home

The Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration Home is an example of how stylish, comfortable, affordable homes can be designed and constructed to use minimal resources such as energy and water, massively reduce their ongoing costs and minimise their impact on the environment.

Contact Ms Cindy Siano
Telephone (08) 9237 9271
Fax (08) 9237 9200
Email cindys@subiaco.wa.gov.au

Management Improvement

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

This Award recognises innovative or excellent management or business practices aimed at the continuous improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of local government.

Projects should have:

  • improved and sustained organisational performance
  • contributed to the council planning cycle and management structures
  • improved employee morale
  • improved service delivery to the community or increased levels of community satisfaction
  • established patterns of cooperation and communication that provide for a more effective use of resources and more efficient services.

Category winner

TWEED SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Oper
ational Management System

Tweed Shire Council is committed to establishing and maintaining a clean and ecologically sustainable environment for its community now, and for the future. As part of this commitment, council has integrated an Environmental Management System (EMS) into its existing Occupational Health and Safety Management System. Complying with the principles of ISO 14001, the purpose of the EMS is to improve the environmental outcomes associated with council's operational activities and to lead by example through application of good environmental practices. Rather than create two separate management systems, one for staff safety and another for environmental safety, council has chosen to integrate an EMS into the Occupational Health and Safety Management System. An integrated management system allows for practical advantages related to routine processes, workplace efficiency, staff training, record keeping and workplace auditing to be achieved. To reflect the dual focus of staff safety and environmental safety, the Occupational Health and Safety Management System has been renamed the Operational Management System (OMS).

In early 2004 Tweed Council officially launched its OMS web site on the council intranet. Training staff in their new responsibilities coincided with the launch and will continue as an integral component of the OMS. In addition to improving training outcomes on environmental responsibilities, the OMS has also improved incident and accident reporting procedures, document control and monitoring, and corrective outcomes through the workplace auditing process.

Contact Mr Daniel Walton
Telephone (02) 6670 2440
Fax (02) 6670 2590
Email danw@tweed.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

CABONNE SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
WBC St
rategic Alliance

The WBC Strategic Alliance is an historic partnership between three rural councils, providing economies of scale that have produced significant savings and a better range of services for ratepayers and residents. Formalised on 29 August 2003, it is the first Alliance of its kind in New South Wales and is being used as a model for formation of similar council partnerships in other parts of the State.

The Strategic Alliance has created an entity with a combined population of more than 30 000 and a total annual budget of $60 million, giving it the 'clout' of a major regional centre, while preserving jobs and local representation in country towns. Created in response to the New South Wales Government's push for structural reform in local government, it is seen as a highly successful and extremely efficient alternative to council amalgamations. Through cooperative arrangements, joint purchases and staff and resource sharing, it has delivered savings of more than $720 000 to the residents of the three member councils within the first 10 months of its operation and is on target to reach a goal of $1 million in savings in 2004. By participating in the Strategic Alliance, each council has been able to better deliver services and improve the range and quality of those services. Importantly, the initiatives already introduced and the ongoing development of Centres of Excellence within the Alliance has helped ensure the future of small rural communities that rely heavily on their local councils for employment and services.

Contact Mr Dale Jones
Telephone (02) 6845 2099
Fax (02) 6845 3354
Email dale.jones@wellington.nsw.gov.au

Commendations

LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Lean on Me: A day in the life of Total Workforce

Lean on Me: A day in the life of Total Workforce was a project that communicated the human aspects of Launceston City Council's outdoor crew. Lean on Me was an exhibition of images showing the 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year work the 200 plus workers do to keep Launceston liveable, looking good and functioning. It is a living social history of the unsung heroes who keep the city systems running. The project promoted team spirit and built harmony and unity within and between Total Workforce and the council.

Contact Mr Rod Sweetnam
Telephone (03) 9323 3505
Fax (03) 6323 3501
Email rod.sweetnam@launceston.tas.gov.au

NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Newcastle Environment Management Plan 2003 - A systems approach to a sustainable future

Newcastle Council, together with community stakeholders, developed the Newcastle Environment Management Plan 2003. The plan is based on the systems thinking approach, enhancing the capacity to understand and work within natural systems, the social and built systems of our urban environment and the organisational systems within council. The overall aim of the plan is to enhance effectiveness and deliver efficiencies through articulation of a set of principles, a process based on an organisational systems model and supporting tools for action and evaluation that can be applied across all council's environmental services and activities.

Contact Mr Frank Cosgrove
Telephone (02) 4974 2891
Fax (02) 4974 2804
Email fcosgrove@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Planning for Safe, Accessible and Adaptable Built Environments for Ageing Communities - 2004 Year of the Built Environment

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

This Award recognises the important role that local councils can play in planning for and raising awareness of the need for safe, accessible and adaptable built environments to meet the changing needs of Australia's ageing population.

Projects should have:

  • promoted and developed accessible and adaptable built environments to meet the needs of older Australians
  • helped the community to work together to respond to changing needs caused by demographic change in the local area
  • demonstrated innovative planning for built environments to support future demographic change
  • demonstrated that the local council is working to ensure that its planning issues are incorporated into the agenda of other organisations involved in the development, design, manufacture or building of adaptable housing environments.

Category winner

HUME CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Better Living in Broadmeadows and Dallas - Urban Renewal Plan

The Better Living in Broadmeadows and Dallas - Urban Renewal Plan is about creating a better life and a more prosperous future for the people of Dallas and Broadmeadows. The Dallas- Broadmeadows area is one of the oldest suburbanareas in Hume City, dating from the 1950s, as one of the former Housing Commission's most ambitious development projects. The community suffers considerable socioeconomic disadvantage, creating a range of problems affecting the area's image. The plan covers an area containing over 5000 homes, most of which were constructed by the Housing Commission, but only a portion of the homes remain in public ownership. Many of the residents have lived in the area for more than 40 years and are facing real issues with home maintenance. There is a strong sense of community amongst the residents and the area is very culturally diverse. This is not a two-dimensional 'town plan'.

The urban renewal plan is multi-faceted and involves local community and economic development, cultural enrichment, strengthening of the social fabric, as well as the more obvious physical aspects of infrastructure renewal, improved community facilities, upgrading of the public realm and property redevelopment. The plan builds on previous research and consultation by council and other organisations. It has cemented a strong partnership between council and the Victorian Department of Human Services and will strengthen the council-community relationship. Dallas- Broadmeadows is geographically located in a key strategic metropolitan location and is on the cusp of change. This plan is about providing some intervention and leadership to ensure the future of Dallas and Broadmeadows.

Contact Mr Dane Truscott
Telephone (03) 9205 2610
Fax (03) 9740 6543
Email danet@hume.vic.gov.au

Social and Community Engagement

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

This Award recognises and acknowledges initiatives that focus on the contribution of local government to:

  • strengthening individuals, families and communities
  • aiding life choices for individuals and families in the community
  • fostering social and economic participation to build resilience and foster a culture of self- reliance and self-help in the community.

Projects should increase community capacity for self-help and sustainability and social and economic engagement by:

  • being designed to increase social and economic participation within the community
  • investing in children and strengthening families
  • fostering local action in response to a local issue(s) and addressing community services needs
  • using innovative government, community and business partnerships for action.

Category winner

BLUE MOUNTAINS CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Blue Mountains Our Future - The Next 25 Years

Through an extensive consultation and innovative engagement process, Blue Mountains residents have worked with the Blue Mountains Council to develop a City Strategy to guide the future of the Blue Mountains over the next 25 years. While council has provided the leadership to initiate the project, the local community has actively shaped, developed and endorsed it. In this sense the project can truly be described as 'Community owned - council led'.

Through a wide range of innovative processes and tools, the project has enabled all age groups, including children and people from all parts of the city, to be involved in shaping a community-owned vision and action plan for a more sustainable future.

The Blue Mountains Our Future Project is an example of local government being at one with community, not only as a result of its innovative and creative engagement processes that have facilitated diverse groups working together, but also because of the way the council has taken on board and responded to the results of the engagement process. In July 2003, council adopted the community-endorsed City Strategy as the 'external policy framework for the City of Blue Mountains to guide decisions and actions of the community, council and external agencies'.

Council also declared 2003-04 a 'transitional year' for 'reviewing council decision making in line with the community-endorsed Outcomes of the City Strategy' to guide development of the 2004-08 Management Plan, Capital Works and the targeting of resources over the next four years. Ongoing engagement with the community is continuing through council's commitment to tracking progress in achieving the City Vision through State of City monitoring and through facilitating action for a more sustainable Blue Mountains.

Contact Dr Rosemary Dillon
Telephone (02) 4780 5679
Fax (02) 4780 5555
Email rdillon@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 ratepayer base

GATTON, ESK and LAIDLEY SHIRE COUNCILS, Queensland
Greening Lockyer

Greening Lockyer is a partnership between Esk, Gatton and Laidley Shire Councils, WESROC and Powerlink Queensland. It is a three-year Community Partnership Program funded by a $1 million community grant from Powerlink. It is aiming to enhance the environment of the Lockyer Valley, minimise the impact of electricity infrastructure and create training and employment opportunities for local residents.

The objectives of Greening Lockyer are to improve the environmental quality of the Lockyer Valley; to form partnerships between the Lockyer Valley community and Powerlink, based on good environmental stewardship and by seeking community support and involvement in outdoor environmental activities; and to minimise the impact of proposed transmission infrastructure on the Lockyer Valley in advance of its implementation.

Contact Ms Celeste Lowe
Telephone (07) 5462 0329
Fax (07) 5462 3269
Email greeninglockyer@gatton.qld.gov.au

Commendations

CAMPBELLTOWN CITY COUNCIL, New South Wales
Strengthening Airds

The Strengthening Airds project is a joint initiative of local, State and Australian government agencies, in partnership with non-government organsiations and residents. The project is managed by Campbelltown City Council and was developed in recognition of the need to develop an integrated response for the residents of this public housing estate, including provision of local employment solutions.

Contact Mrs Frances Jamieson
Telephone (02) 4620 7400
Fax (02) 4620 7433
Email frances.jamieson@campbelltown.nsw.gov.au

CITY OF GERALDTON, Western Australia
Swim Across Australia

The Swim Across Australia initiative was a unique and innovative opportunity to champion and promote the Western Australian Government's initiatives for physical activity, while promoting Geraldton and the 'Keep Watch, Keep Them Alive' campaign internationally and nationally; and fostering youth leadership opportunities for young people of Geraldton. The project successfully raised the profile of Geraldton, and local pride. It engaged a range of young people in Geraldton and along the way facilitated stronger local youth leadership.

Contact Miss Karina Thomason
Telephone (08) 9956 6643
Fax (08) 9956 6674
Email thomasonk@geraldton.wa.gov.au

Strength in Diversity

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

This Award recognises local initiatives that respond to, promote and/or harness benefits arising from migration, settlement, Australian citizenship, and our cultural diversity.

Projects should have:

  • facilitated access and equity in service provision for all members of the community
  • encouraged inclusiveness in local decision making
  • enhanced community harmony and social participation
  • improved local migrants' settlement outcomes
  • promoted the value of Australian citizenship as a unifying force in our community, including through ceremonies that welcome new citizens into the community and provide an opportunity for all Australian citizens to affirm their loyalty and commitment to Australia
  • promoted the value of cultural diversity and skilled and business migration to the local community
  • attracted skilled and business migrants to the region.

Category winner

WARRNAMBOOL CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Migration to Warrnambool Project

Warrnambool City Council has led a 'Supporting Relocation to the South West' initiative, in partnership with a coalition of partner agencies, to pilot successful migrant settlement into the Warrnambool community. The project has successfully settled 15 families (79 people) from two cultural communities since June 2003.

Adopting a whole-of-community approach to migrant settlement has been critical to the success of the project to ensure a welcoming community, employment opportunities, access to services; and the ability to connect with their own community. The objectives of the project were to support sustainable population growth in regional areas, create and answer demand for goods and services currently only found in urban and overseas markets, promote the benefits of multiculturalism in the Warrnambool community, provide for the anticipated and current labour shortage and facilitate growth in small to medium enterprises, and provide a stable, safe and welcoming community for refugees to rebuild their lives.

Contact Mr Paul O'Brien
Telephone (03) 5564 7800
Fax (03) 5562 8774
Email pobrien@warrnambool.vic.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF DAREBIN, Victoria
Cramer Street Neighbourhood Project

The Cramer Street Neighbourhood Project was a partnership between the Darebin City Council and representatives from the Cramer Street neighbourhood. The central aim was to tackle racial tension amongst people from diverse backgrounds living in the project area.

Contact Mr Dalal Smiley
Telephone (03) 9230 4411
Fax (03) 9471 2104
Email dsmiley@darebin.vic.gov.au

GUNNEDAH SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Gunnedah International Cup and Cultural Exchange Weekend

This project is a partnership between Gunnedah Shire Council, Auburn Migrant Resource Centre, the New South Wales Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors and the Centre for Social Leadership. The project aims to stimulate cross-cultural activity, bridge the rural-city divide through partnership and sharing of cultural resources, and promote harmony and raise public awareness of the diverse cultures.

Contact Mr Brett Stonestreet
Telephone (02) 6740 2130
Fax (02) 6740 2139
Email brettstonestreet@infogunnedah.com.au

Strengthening Indigenous Communities

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

This Award shows the commitment to and excellence in, local government's approach to increase opportunities for the engagement and participation of Indigenous people in the affairs of the local community and, to improving community governance and service delivery arrangements for Indigenous people.

Projects should have:

  • demonstrated that Indigenous culture, social values, customary practices and aspirations are recognised and respected, and the impact of past policies were acknowledged, when developing, implementing evaluating and administering policies and programs
  • worked in active partnerships of shared responsibility and accountability with Indigenous communities (both location and interest), to find local solutions to local problems and built on community assets and strengths
  • provided income-generating and capacity-building opportunities for Indigenous individuals, families and communities to encourage self-reliance and greater economic and social participation
  • improved community governance and service delivery arrangements for Indigenous people.

Category winner

CITY OF ONKAPARINGA, South Australia
Kaurna urban design - a living culture

The City of Onkaparinga and the local Kaurna community have adopted a new approach to Indigenous consultation with the incorporation of cultural heritage in the redesign of coastal foreshore parks. The new approach moves beyond traditional consultation methods to acknowledge the value of traditional knowledge of the land and invest in the cultural heritage, language, artistic and urban design skills currently within the Kaurna community. It also acknowledges the role of the Kaurna community as traditional owners, by contracting specialised skills to advise council on the care and control of land in culturally important areas.

The process was jointly developed by the City of Onkaparinga, the Kaurna community and Hemisphere Design and uses a series of design workshops to translate the skills and knowledge of a Kaurna design team to provide an understanding of the context for the area and create a design for its upgrade. Designs acknowledge traditional land use and practices, movements, significant places and dreaming stories through recommended land use, configuration and design of parks, landscaping, seats, artworks, shelters, recreational areas, and trails. The process, which has focused on investing in the community's skills and in developing council's understanding of cultural heritage, has been a catalyst for adoption of a reconciliation agreement between four local councils, various cultural heritage bodies and the native title committee by facilitating partnerships and mutual trust between council and the Kaurna community.

Contact Ms Stephanie Hensgen
Telephone (08) 8384 0593
Fax (08) 8384 0713
Email stehen@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au

Commendation

BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL, New South Wales
Arakwal Aboriginal People and Byron Shire Council

Byron Shire Council and the Arakwal Aboriginal People have developed a successful relationship over 10 years. The Heads of Agreement between the parties ensures mechanisms for including provisions in the planning strategy for recognising and protecting Aboriginal interests are central in council decisions. The relationship has greatly improved the ability of the local Aboriginal people to live harmoniously in the community and to provide for a positive future.

Contact Mr Greg Downes
Telephone (02) 6626 7176
Fax (02) 6684 3018
Email greg.downes@byron.nsw.gov.au

Tourism Development

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

This Award looks at the extent to which tourism related responsibilities are integrated within council activities, such as strategic planning, maintaining relationships with external tourism stakeholders, implementing tourism strategies, and maintaining involvement with industry.

Projects should have:

  • stimulated economic growth and helped business generate employment
  • maximised the market exposure of an existing attraction or region
  • included a strategy to improve the competitiveness of the region's tourism product
  • included a study of tourism-dependent businesses to identify benchmark indicators and to measure the economic effects of tourism.

Category winner

CITY OF GREATER GEELONG, Victoria
Sustainable Tourism in the Geelong Otway Tourism region

Geelong Otway Tourism Inc. (GOT) is a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, the tourism industry and neighbouring municipal councils. The Geelong Otway region is located in southwest Victoria and includes a significant section of the Great Ocean Road. Tourism has become a major driver of the local economy.

During 2003, the Bureau of Tourism Research established that tourism in Greater Geelong directly contributes $478 million to the local economy with this expenditure directly responsible for 4200 effective full-time jobs. The overarching sustainable tourism focus arose from the identified need to actually measure performance against indicators. Little work had been done on this and GOT is filling this critical gap through various initiatives. For example, the Sustainable Tourism Directions Paper; Memorandum of Understanding - Sustainable Tourism written commitment obtained across region between local councils and industry; Green Globe Benchmarking - obtained local community benchmarking under 'Green Globe' (pathway to sustainable tourism); social indicator work - partnership with Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism to establish model social and socioeconomic indicators for use by 'Green Globe'; interactive industry web site specifically on sustainable tourism; and monitoring and evaluation criteria identified for environmental protection, industry profitability, visitor satisfaction and community acceptance.

Contact Miss Kate Robertson
Telephone (03) 5244 7104
Fax (03) 5223 2069
Email krobertson@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Winner rural council or council under 15 000 rate base

SOUTH BURNETT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, Queensland
Implementing the South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy

The South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy was undertaken and implemented by the South Burnett Local Government Association to grow and diversify the economy of the South Burnett region. The aim of the project was to capitalise on tourism activities and develop specific industry opportunities resulting in sustainable employment and increased industry investment. This project incorporates the Shires of Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai, Murgon, Kilkivan, Rosalie (Yarraman Section) and the Community of Cherbourg.

The objectives of the South Burnett Regional Tourism Development Strategy include strengthening organisational structure and industry leadership; developing new markets; increasing visitation and length of stay; assisting tourism operators with skills development; and generating increased economic growth in the region.

Traditionally the South Burnett region had shown a lack of coordinated approach to tourism development. Implementation of the strategy has helped the region to identify growth markets and capitalise on potential economic benefits for the betterment of the whole region. This recognition has been the catalyst for continual development and improved tourism knowledge and provides acknowledgment of the economic and social benefits the region can receive from the tourism industry.

Contact Ms Debbie Postle
Telephone (07) 4162 3199
Fax (07) 4162 3474
Email dpostle@sblga.asn.au

Commendation

CITY OF MANDURAH, Western Australia
Mandurah Ocean Marina

The Mandurah Ocean Marina is the culmination of a unique partnering approach between the City of Mandurah, the regional Peel Development Commission, the State government and the private sector. The project successfully combined the introduction of major tourism facilities with residential and public infrastructure development and has produced significant tangible outcomes in both economic development and tourism attractiveness.

Contact Mr Jim Scott
Telephone (08) 9550 3707
Fax (08) 9586 2209
Email m-s@mandurah.wa.gov.au

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:

  • illustrated that work-life balance is a strategic planning outcome for the council
  • articulated the council's commitment to assisting employees to achieve a work- life balance
  • provided a range of flexible work options (for example, telecommuting, part-time work and job sharing, flexible hours, parental and carer's leave, study leave and purchased leave)
  • provided practical strategies to promote the adoption of home-based work arrangements
  • demonstrated that it has responded to a needs analysis to identify what types of flexible work practice employees would prefer to have and the main factors hindering a work- life balance.

Category winner

BANYULE CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Work and Family Balance - Challenging the Traditional Audit Paradigm

The project is an innovative internal audit of the Banyule City Council's Work Life Balance Program that concentrated on understanding the management processes in place; documenting and evaluating the methods associated with control and management of work-life issues and programs; and assessing the possibility of additional mechanisms and efficiencies that result in cost-effective work initiatives.

The objectives of the audit were to identify and review current policies and procedures; assess the effectiveness of the communication of work-life balance policies and procedures to employees; review council's methods on maintenance and revision of policies and procedures; and assess the enterprise bargaining agreement for work- life balance components.

Contact Mrs Kath Baylie
Telephone (03) 9490 4235
Fax (03) 9499 1204
Email kath.baylie@banyule.vic.gov.au

Commendations

CITY OF GOSNELLS, Western Australia
Managing Employment Trends - City of Gosnells Work Life Balance scheme

The City of Gosnells Work Life Balance Scheme has been structured to respond to the ever-changing needs of employees in a world of increasing demand and diminishing timelines. It relates to initiatives that help employees maintain a balance between their responsibilities at work and in caring for their family. These initiatives include policies covering flexible working arrangements, child and dependent care, and family and parental leave.

Contact Mr Peter Laycock
Telephone (08) 9391 3222
Fax (08) 9398 2922
Email peter.laycock@gosnells.wa.gov.au

HUME CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
Valuing and Supporting Staff

Hume City Council activity promotes work-life assistance and support to staff through provision of opportunities that enable employees to balance their work and life obligations. Council provides a comprehensive range of family- friendly support programs including flexible work and leave arrangements, job sharing, and new initiatives such as telecommuting and work-from-home options.

Contact Mr Dane Truscott
Telephone (03) 9205 2610
Fax (03) 9740 6543
Email danet@hume.vic.gov.au

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:

  • increased the capacity for enterprise in young people
  • provided effective partnerships between council, community support services and young people
  • identified and targeted at risk youths
  • actively encouraged young people to engage in their communities and participate in policy decision making that affects them
  • developed community dialogue and participation and encouraged development of integrated services.

Joint category winner

LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCIL, Tasmania
Co-Pilots Community Mentoring Program

Co-Pilots is a community mentoring program developed to support young people who were not connecting with mainstream education. The program was conceived in 1999 through a partnership agreement between State and local government, specifically the Tasmanian Government's Esk Education District and Launceston City Council. In consultation with 15 human service agencies and young people, a framework was developed for a mentoring program. The framework identified elements contributing to the engagement of students in education such as relevance to the real world, addressing different learning styles and interests, experiencing success, the existence of a significant adult and, connecting to the community. The primary aims of the program are to develop skills and confidence, and find new pathways to learning and work.

The program has grown from its pilot in 2001 with seven mentors and seven schools to 27 mentors in 10 schools in 2004. For the first time, the program will be offered to primary schools with the aim of early intervention. The complete program can now be licensed out to other organisations in the form of two manuals with accompanying CD-ROMS. Together they contain all necessary information to implement the program. Train-the-trainer sessions are offered to those wishing to implement the program. Currently there are four high schools and one primary school outside the Launceston area operating fully licensed programs.

Contact Ms Louise McGowan
Telephone (03) 6323 3368
Fax (03) 63233385
Email Louise.McGowan@launceston.tas.gov.au

Joint category winner

CITY OF GREATER GEELONG, Victoria
Young Parents Access Project

The Young Parents Access Project is an innovative community-based initiative developed as a result of a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong and the Corio Bay Senior College. The project began in May 2002 and is targeted to address the needs of teenage parents, to encourage and support their continued participation in school. The objectives of the project are to retain, re-attract and support young parents within the education system, which will in turn improve their educational and employment opportunities.

The Young Parents Access Project has involved the design and manufacture of an appropriate childcare facility on the site of Corio Bay Senior College, development of a play area and outfitting of the facility. Through the City of Greater Geelong Regional Parenting Service, a Project Worker was employed alongside a Parent Support Worker. The City of Greater Geelong also provided on-site childcare support at a second nearby location through its Family Day Care Program for a period of 12 months.

Staff from the City of Greater Geelong Children's and Family Services, and Family Day Care have been members of the working party since the project's inception, providing invaluable information, advice, resources and support to the project. Staff from the City of Greater Geelong's Maternal and Child Health Service also continue to provide regular outreach support to the students and children involved at the centre. The project is currently open as a 15-place childcare centre providing care for the students' children and support for their parents. The City of Greater Geelong is working with the school to expand the childcare centre to 30 places to provide further support to additional students.

Contact Ms Irene McGinnigle
Telephone (03) 5527 0739
Fax (03) 5227 0315
Email imcginnigle@geelongcity.vic.gov.au