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Sound advice

By Jane Garcia It has been quite a long time since the loudest noise in a city was the piercing “hear ye, hear ye” of the town crier. In modern cities like Melbourne, the mix of shops, restaurants, entertainment and an increasing inner-city population is forcing local councils to address the noise generated by all […]

Victorian public sector’s bully blight

By Jane Garcia Bullying and harassment continue to be a major concern for the Victorian public service, according to a survey of nearly 14,000 public sector workers by the State Services Authority’s. The People Matter Survey 2005 found only 62 per cent of public sector employees agreed that their workplace was free from bullying and […]

Information management is everyone’s business

By Lisa Simmons Last year saw a spate of document security breaches and inadvertent leaks of sensitive information in Australia and globally that have left government departments reeling with thoughts of what the consequences could be if a similar thing happened to them. In August 2005, Victorian Premier Steve Bracks said he was “sick and […]

How to woo an engineer

By Kim Powell Unless councils become more creative with the salary packages they offer, they will continue to have trouble attracting and retaining engineering staff, says Dominic Angerame, surveys and website manager for the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA). He says there are shortages across the board when it comes to […]

Australia’s health spending prognosis

By Jane Garcia in Sydney More than 80 delegates attending the 8th Annual Health Conference held in Sydney in March heard about diverse aspects of health care from funding frameworks and the role of the private health care industry, to workforce challenges and information technology. Health care had essentially become a luxury good, with economic […]

Concealed costs of casual workforce

By Jane Garcia Australia has experienced an increase in the number of workers employed on a casual or temporary basis, but employers should beware of the growing international research linking increased risk of illness and injury to these forms of employment, according to research sponsored by Sydney law firm Bartier Perry. The Hidden Health and […]

The secret to a ‘smart funding cocktail’

By Kim Powell in Hobart Unless regional infrastructure is up to scratch, investors will not look beyond major cities when funding projects, and several federal inquiries have confirmed this is already happening, said an expert in investment attraction at the LGAT conference in Hobart. “The worldwide evidence is that the quality of regional infrastructure is […]

Pursue financial autonomy and political renewal

By Kim Powell in Hobart Local government should put constitutional recognition and the call for more federal money on the backburner and instead focus on community engagement and long term strategic planning, said Graham Sansom in a keynote address at the 94th Conference for Local Government in Hobart in June. Professor Sansom is the director […]

Chance to succeed

By Jane Garcia Both the public and private sectors need to carefully consider their plans for succession, with good tactics, a dedicated budget and senior management buy-in crucial to success, according to a workplace researcher. The University of Sydney’s Workplace Research Centre (WRC) recently released a HR in Practice report on Succession Management, which was […]

Promoting holidays at home

By Jane Garcia Australians are keen to spend their holidays exploring their home country, according to a recent survey of 5000 people conducted by travel agency group Travelscene American Express. About 34 per cent of participants said they were planning their next major trip within Australia, rather than overseas. More people were interested in planning […]

Lesson plan for councils

By Kim Powell In his opening address at the 94th Conference of Local Government in Hobart the new Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) president, Mike Gaffney, told delegates that local government could no longer shirk its responsibilities. His words were not out of place at a conference in which a keynote speaker said the […]

Peak humanity raises security concerns

By Angela Dorizas As the world nears ‘peak humanity’ there will be greater demand for security within Australia, says leading demographer and social commentator Bernard Salt. “The world’s population will peak at around about 9 billion in the year 2070,” Salt said at the recent ASIAL Security 2009 conference in Sydney. “When we reach this […]

Win to Wingecarribee in battle against Lehman Bros

By Angela Dorizas The administrators of Lehman Brothers Australia will be required to hand over details of the bank’s insurance policies, including personal indemnity insurance, to a former council client. Wingecarribee Shire Council in New South Wales has won Federal Court approval to uncover the insurance policies of Lehman’s in its bid to recoup funds lost through […]

MAV slams state for reneging on planning permits

By Rob O’Brien The Municipal Association of Victoria has accused the State Government of breaching an agreement made with local government over planning permit requirements for social housing and school building projects funded by the Rudd Government.   The Victorian Premier’s office did advise the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) in April that it would consult with […]