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                    [post_date] => 2018-06-19 08:51:52
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                    [post_content] => Our wrap of the latest appointments in and around government and the public service across Australia.

In this wrap:

  • New LGA SA president
  • New acting GM for Lismore City Council
  • Infrastructure Australia CEO resigns
  • Robotics expert appointed NSW Chief Scientist
  • New appointments and expansion at ANZSOG
[caption id="attachment_30794" align="alignright" width="131"] Sue Clearihan[/caption]

New LGA SA president

City of Adelaide Councillor Sue Clearihan has been appointed the new Local Government Association of South Australia president following the resignation of City of Onkaparinga Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg on 7 June. Clr Clearihan will remain in the position until the appointment of a new board and president in October. She said her focus for the next four months would be working with the LGA board, member councils and the State Government on local government reform to restore confidence in the sector. [caption id="attachment_30795" align="alignright" width="132"] Scott Turner[/caption]

Acting GM for Lismore City Council

The current assets manager of Lismore City Council, Scott Turner has been appointed acting general manager by Council. Mr Turner will take on the role after the departure of GM Gary Murphy, who stepped down late last week. Previously, Mr Turner worked as a civil engineer and for Mosman Municipal Council as the manager of assets and engineering services for more than a decade and has been with Lismore City Council for 12 years.

Infrastructure Australia CEO resigns

[caption id="attachment_30796" align="alignright" width="137"] Philip Davies[/caption] After three years as CEO of Infrastructure Australia, Philip Davies has resigned and will be leaving the organisation at the end of August. Mr Davies delivered the Australian Infrastructure Audit and Australian Infrastructure Plan and was a key advocate for infrastructure reform. Infrastructure Australia has started recruiting for a new CEO and is yet to detail interim arrangements. The organisation recently appointed a new executive director of policy and research, Peter Colacino, who is currently executive general manager of corporate affairs at NRMA, and will start in the role in July. [caption id="attachment_30797" align="alignright" width="135"] Hugh Durrant-Whyte[/caption]

New NSW chief scientist

The NSW Government has appointed leading robotics expert Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte as its chief scientist and engineer. Professor Durrant-Whyte, who recently worked as the chief scientific adviser for the UK Ministry of Defence and formerly as the director for translational data science at the University of Sydney, will commence in the role in September. The appointment comes after the resignation of Professor Mary O’Kane who served as the NSW chief scientist and engineer for nine years.

Appointments at ANZSOG

[caption id="attachment_30798" align="alignright" width="140"] Michelle LeBaron[/caption] The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) has appointed new researches as part of a broader organisational expansion. Professor Michelle LeBaron from the University of British Columbia in Canada, who specialises in conflict transformation, dispute resolution, culture and resilience, has joined the faculty. The University of Melbourne’s Professor Janine O’Flynn was also recently appointed the school's Professor of Public Management. The appointments come as the school expands its operations in Perth, Brisbane and Wellington.
Have we missed an appointment? Send the details and an image to: editorial@governmentnews.com.au
Last issue’s Noticeboard:  MAV appoints first female chief executive
[post_title] => Noticeboard: Sue Clearihan appointed LGA SA president [post_excerpt] => Also in this wrap: new acting GM for Lismore City Council; Infrastructure Australia CEO resigns; robotics expert appointed NSW Chief Scientist; and appointments and expansion at ANZSOG. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => noticeboard-sue-clearihan-appointed-lga-sa-president [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-19 08:52:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-18 22:52:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30792 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30804 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2018-06-19 08:48:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-18 22:48:13 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30670" align="aligncenter" width="658"] Health, education and infrastructure are big ticket items in NSW's 2018 budget.[/caption] Assertive outreach services and a new social impact investment are among the elements of a $1 billion homelessness package to be included in NSW’s budget today. Tailored support will be provided to rough sleepers, young people and victims of domestic violence under the package. The program includes $20 million over four years to a social impact investment on homelessness to tap into the expertise of the private and not-for-profit sector. It will provide for more assertive outreach services for rough sleepers, strengthened risk assessment to address individuals’ circumstances and enhanced support to maintain a tenancy. Included in the program is $9.1 million for additional transitional accommodation, $6.9 million on co-located homeless and health services and $6.2 million to expand the Staying Home Leaving Violence program to five new sites. The NSW Government’s budget will also contain $1 billion in new recurrent health funding to employ an extra 1370 workers, including 950 nurses and midwives, 300 doctors and 120 allied health professions. The State Government says that brings the budget’s total health spend to $23 billion. In education, the government will announce “the largest investment into schools by any state government in history” with funding of $6 billion over four years to deliver more than 170 new and upgraded schools. The budget contains funding for an extra 20 new and upgraded schools, the planning for which will begin this year. Work will commence on 40 new and upgraded school projects this year. In transport, the budget will outline a $1.5 billion investment in bus services throughout the state, which will see more than 2,000 extra bus services rolled out in the next 12 months. The number of trains running in the morning and afternoon peaks on the T4 and T8 lines will be increased with an $880 million investment in technology to modernise the Sydney Trains network. The key southern Sydney route Heathcote Road will get a $173 million package to improve safety and traffic flow, while $40 million will be spent sealing the last stretch of the Cobb and Silver City highways, meaning every major highway in the state will now be sealed. In resources, the budget will also contain $23 million for the recently established Natural Resources Access Regulators to increase water compliance and enforcement. The Australia Museum will undergo a $50 million refurbishment before it hosts Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, the largest Tutankhamun exhibition to ever leave Egypt, for a six-month run in early 2021.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  
Sign up to the Government News newsletter.
[post_title] => Boost for health workforce, homeless services in NSW budget [post_excerpt] => Assertive outreach services and a new social impact investment are among the elements of a $1 billion homelessness package to be included in NSW’s budget today. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => boost-for-health-workforce-homeless-services-in-nsw-budget [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-19 08:48:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-18 22:48:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30804 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30678 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2018-06-12 10:54:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-12 00:54:45 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30682" align="aligncenter" width="687"] The Craft Your Park project engaged various community groups in the design.[/caption] A project that engaged various community stakeholders in the design of a new park is among the public works that have been recognised for innovation and leadership. Design studio Spacelab was recognised by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects ACT Chapter on Thursday for its ‘Craft your Park initiative in Finn Street, O’Connor for listening to the community and translating their feedback into the design. “The design process involved an open dialogue, woven with local stories and histories from kindergarten children to landcare groups and the local community, where the design team were the ‘editors’ and the community the ‘authors’ of the new design,” the judges said. The awards recognised 10 projects in landscape architecture in categories ranging from parks and play spaces to infrastructure and cultural heritage. “There are a number of projects from this year’s awards program that demonstrate the community and environmental benefits that come from proper community engagement and consultation, planning for green infrastructure and involve landscape architects leading quality design projects at the early stages,” the institute’s ACT president Gay Williamson said.

Changing streetscapes

The award of excellence in civic landscape was jointly awarded to Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture, the National Capital Authority, Hill Thalis, SMEC and AECOM for the first stage of the transformation of Constitution Avenue. In this major public space enhancement project, Constitution Avenue has been transformed into a series of pedestrian friendly streetscapes changing in character from ceremonial to civic to urban to bushland, in response to surrounding landscapes.  [caption id="attachment_30679" align="alignnone" width="659"] Constitution Avenue now has a series of pedestrian friendly streetscapes.[/caption]

Parks and open spaces

A successful mix of landscape and utility to encourage community interaction in open space in Moncrieff East, a new suburban estate in north Canberra, was recognised in the award's parks and open space category. Redbox Design Group was recognised for leading the works on the multi-purpose community recreation park. [caption id="attachment_30684" align="alignnone" width="650"] Moncrieff East was recognised in the parks and open space category.[/caption]

Play spaces

Redbox Design Group was also recognised for its work on the Moncrieff Community Recreation Park, a space designed to meet the needs of the community by integrating a range of exercise, play and ball sport areas.  [caption id="attachment_30685" align="alignnone" width="655"] The community recreation park in Moncrieff integrates a range of areas.[/caption]
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  
Sign up to the Government News newsletter.
[post_title] => Cutting-edge parks, open spaces celebrated [post_excerpt] => A project that engaged various community stakeholders in the design of a new park is among the public works that have been recognised for innovation and leadership. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cutting-edge-parks-open-spaces-celebrated [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-12 10:54:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-12 00:54:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30678 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30650 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-06-12 09:42:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-11 23:42:49 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30653" align="aligncenter" width="581"] Investment in regional Victoria's rail is critical, groups say.[/caption] Infrastructure executives say more investment in rail in regional Victoria is needed to help tackle Melbourne’s unprecedented urban growth. Their call comes as the Federal and Victorian governments announced that work has progressed on a four-year $1.75 billion program to upgrade all regional rail lines in Victoria.   Peter Tesdorpf, executive at Rail Futures, said that greater investment in rail infrastructure in regional areas is critical to rebalance population growth in Melbourne CBD, which is causing a “dysfunctional” public transport system. “We can't survive as a city without serious investment in rail in Melbourne and regional Victoria,” he told MAV’s Infrastructure and Asset Management Conference on Friday. There is a “complete disconnect” between land use planning and transport planning which is at the core of the problem, said Mr Tepsdorf.

A European rail network

Australia needs to invest in a more European-style public transport system in which separate rail lines connect central areas of Victoria with regional and rural areas, said Mr Tepsdorf.  “If we can open up regional Victoria through better rail services then that opens up better housing opportunities and it’s good for tourism and business investment.” John Hearsch, president at Rail Futures, said that while there has been “significant investment” in the regional rail system in Victoria over the last decade, more is needed. “Rail infrastructure is a long-term game. It has a life of 100 years or more, so even though it costs several billions to construct, it’s going to be there for a long time,” he said. Mr Hearsch says trains between the CBD and regional areas need to be segregated with new tracks in order to maximise efficiency and effectiveness. “We do have separation between city and Sunshine but that segregation will have to go considerably further in the not too distant future,” he said. However, while investments in rail are welcome, Glenelg Shire Council asset management coordinator Ricky Luke said they would have minimal benefit for regional councils like his which are heavily reliant on roads for transport. “In the long run, any improvement to trains will have some benefit to us but in the short to medium term the priority is to get more funding and improvements of our roads,” he said.

State’s rail plans make progress

Meanwhile, federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack and Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan on Friday announced that work had progresses on plans to improve regional rail networks. The program includes $80 million to duplicate track and other upgrades around Waurn Ponds Station. These works are part of the $160 million Geelong Line Upgrade, as well as a Ballarat Line Upgrade, Warrnambool, Gippsland and Bendigo Echuca line upgrade, all due by 2022. The benefits of these works will begin to flow as early as later this year, said Ms Allan.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  
Sign up to the Government News newsletter.
[post_title] => Regional rail key to decentralised growth [post_excerpt] => Infrastructure executives say more investment in rail in regional Victoria is needed to help tackle Melbourne’s unprecedented urban growth. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => regional-rail-key-to-decentralised-growth [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-12 10:55:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-12 00:55:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30650 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30600 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-06-08 08:38:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-07 22:38:31 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30601" align="aligncenter" width="665"] City of Melbourne is exploring long-term public transport options.[/caption] As Melbourne explores various options to meet unprecedented demand for public transport, leading experts point to road pricing and improved traffic signaling as key solutions. With a rapidly growing population, pressure on the Melbourne public transport network is expected to reach 200 per cent of current capacity by 2031. According to chair of the transport portfolio in Melbourne, Councilor Nicolas Gilley, the tram running through the center of the city is one of the busiest in the world. “At peak times at the moment the trams are at capacity. When you have trams on single lane traffic at peak hour sharing with cars, it’s not working well,” he said.  Overcrowding and vehicle congestion are causing trams to spend 17 per cent of their time stopped at traffic lights, according to a recent public transport discussion paper from the City of Melbourne. [caption id="attachment_30602" align="alignright" width="169"] Graham Currie[/caption] Despite having the largest tram network in the world, Melbourne “compares very poorly internationally” with speeds in the lowest 20 per cent of all tram systems, according to Professor Graham Currie, director of the public transport research group at Monash University. “They are delayed, held back and unreliable as a result and traffic is growing. There is a need to substantially change the right of way for trams on streets,” he told Government News. The City of Melbourne’s discussion paper, released in April, has recommended the introduction of a Metro 2 network linking Newport to Clifton Hill and a Metro 3 connecting Southern Cross to the airport. The paper also proposes the introduction of electric buses, bus charging capabilities at stops, traffic priority for buses and trams, more accessible tram stops and the creation of orbital routes to link suburbs.

Follow example on road pricing

Professor Currie said that in formulating its 10-year public transport plan later this year, Melbourne needs to follow other major cities by focusing on building metros, minimising single person vehicle use through a charge or pricing while also improving rail, bike and tram networks. “We should be taking the same approach all world megacities do in central areas when they have eight million people which is restricting car access for anyone who wants to travel on their own in the peak,” he said. The occupancy of the average car in Melbourne during peak hour is 1.06, the lowest rate in the nation, said Professor Currie. He describes single occupancy vehicle trips as the second most inefficient use of space second to parking, saying it is getting “less and less efficient over time.”
“The number one priority is public transport in high volumes, the second priority is walking. Commuting by car shouldn’t be encouraged at all in central areas and if it’s causing a problem we should tax them with a congestion charge."
Professor Currie said that while there are political impediments to road pricing given the density of voters in outer suburbs that use cars to commute, it is a political reality that must be confronted if public transport is to be improved and congestion constrained. [caption id="attachment_30604" align="alignright" width="163"] Ian Woodcock[/caption] “There are short-term difficulties politically in implementing these policies but my view is we have no real choice,” he said. Dr Ian Woodcock, a co-author of the City of Melbourne’s discussion paper and convener of the planning and city transport program at RMIT University, agrees that greater focus on improving both bike and tram networks is critical. “It is other road traffic that causes congestion on trams and the more people who get out of cars and into trams, the fewer vehicles on the road,” he told Government News.

London adopts congestion charge

Dr Woodcock pointed to London as an example of a city facing growing population pressures that was able to transform itself following the introduction of a congestion charge. The charge was introduced more than 15 years ago, and according to Transport for London has reduced traffic by 15 per cent and congestion by 30 per cent. Road pricing “needs a lot more investigation” in Australia given its proven ability to reduce congestion in comparable global cities, said Dr Woodcock.
“The center of London was transformed because of the introduction of a congestion charge."
Dr Woodcock says that the City of Melbourne has commissioned other consultants to look at the issue of road pricing in an upcoming report.

Melbourne Metro 2 is ‘critical’

Both Dr Woodcock and Professor Currie agree that Melbourne Metro 2, which would include a new rail tunnel linking Newport to Clifton Hill via Fishermens Bend with high capacity trains through Wyndham Vale to Mernda, should be commenced as soon as possible. Although Metro 2 was one of the key recommendations of the discussion paper and identified as a priority by Infrastructure Victoria and the Rail Network Development Plan, the project has not yet been greenlit by the government. Dr Woodcock said that the Metro 2 is the most “critical project” and needs to commence immediately if it is to be completed by 2028. Professor Currie similarly said that the Victorian Government needs to prioritise Metro 2 and 3 as they are the most efficient means of managing the volume of commuters in the area. “The idea of more metros in particular is something we need given the substantial growth we’re having in the inner area and the lack of capacity we have for managing that growth,” he said. The use of improved technology in tram signaling to reprioritise trams in traffic and the electrification of buses are also welcome and would be  more in line with international practice, said Professor Currie. According to Clr Gilley, another key priority identified in response to the discussion paper is the need to reclaim more space from parking and reuse for pavements.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  
Sign up to the Government News newsletter.
[post_title] => Mind the gap: Melbourne looks for transport fix as pressure mounts [post_excerpt] => As Melbourne explores various options to meet unprecedented demand for public transport, leading experts point to road pricing and improved traffic signaling as key solutions. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mind-the-gap-melbourne-looks-for-transport-fix-as-pressure-mounts [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-12 10:56:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-12 00:56:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30600 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30594 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-05 10:32:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-05 00:32:10 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30596" align="aligncenter" width="636"] Many large cities face the twin challenges of ageing infrastructure and increased volumes of people.[/caption] Cities are expanding upwards and downwards, as well as outwards. With urban density also increasing, moving people efficiently around the city, often using ageing infrastructure, is quite a challenge, write Andrea Connor and Donald McNeill. Cities worldwide face the problems and possibilities of “volume”: the stacking and moving of people and things within booming central business districts. We see this especially around mass public transport hubs. As cities grow, they also become more vertical. They are expanding underground through rail corridors and above ground into the tall buildings that shape city skylines. Cities are deep as well as wide. The urban geographer Stephen Graham describes cities as both “vertically stacked” and “vertically sprawled”, laced together by vertical and horizontal transport systems. People flow in large cities is not only about how people move horizontally on rail and road networks into and out of city centres. It also includes vertical transport systems. These are the elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks that commuters use every day to get from the underground to the surface street level. Major transport hubs are where many vertical and horizontal transport systems converge. It’s here that people flows are most dense. But many large cities face the twin challenges of ageing infrastructure and increased volumes of people flowing through transport hubs. Problems of congestion, overcrowding, delays and even lockouts are becoming more common. Governments are increasingly looking for ways to squeeze more capacity out of existing infrastructure networks.

Can we increase capacity by changing behaviour?

For the last three years, Transport for London (TfL) has been running standing-only escalator trials. The aim is to see if changing commuter behaviour might increase “throughput” of people and reduce delays. London has some of the deepest underground stations in the world. This means the Tube system is heavily reliant on vertical transport such as escalators. But a long-standing convention means people only stand on the right side and allow others to walk up on the left. In a trial at Holborn Station, one of London’s deepest at 23 metres, commuters were asked to stand on both sides during morning rush hour. The results of the trials showed that changing commuter behaviour could improve throughput by increasing capacity by as much as 30% at peak times. But this works only in Tube stations with very tall escalators. At stations with escalators less than 18 metres high, like Canary Wharf, the trials found the opposite – standing would only increase congestion across the network. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] By standing only, 30% more people could fit on an escalator in the trial at Holborn Station.[/caption] The difference is down to human behaviour. People are simply less willing to walk up very tall escalators. This means a standing-only policy across the network won’t improve people flow uniformly and could even make congestion worse.

Is people movement data a solution?

With the introduction of ticketless transport cards it’s now possible to gather more data about people flow through busy transport hubs as we tap on and off. Tracking commuters’ in-station journeys through their Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as smart phones, can also offer a detailed picture of movement between platforms, congestion and delays. Transport for London has already conducted its first Wi-Fi tracking trial in the London Underground. Issues of privacy loom large in harvesting mobile data from individual devices. Still, there’s enormous potential to use this data to resolve issues of overcrowding and inform commuters about delays and congestion en route. Governments are also increasingly turning to consultancy firms that specialise in simulation modelling of people flow. That’s everything from check-in queues and processing at terminals, to route tracking and passenger flow on escalators. Using data analytics, people movement specialists identify movement patterns, count footfall and analyse commuter behaviour. In existing infrastructure, they look to achieve “efficiencies” through changes to scheduling and routing, and assessing the directional flow of commuters. Construction and engineering companies are also beginning to employ people movement specialists during the design phase of large infrastructure projects. Beijing’s Daxing airport, due for completion in 2020, will be the largest transport hub in China. It’s also the first major infrastructure project to use crowd simulation and analysis software during the design process to test anticipated volume against capacity. The advice of people movement specialists can have significant impacts on physical infrastructure. This involves aspects such as the width of platforms, number and placement of gates, and the layout and positioning of vertical transport, such as escalators.

Movement analytics is becoming big business

People movement analytics is becoming big business, especially where financialisation of public assets is increasing. This means infrastructure is being developed through complex public-private partnership models. As a result, transport hubs are now also commercial spaces for retail, leisure and business activities. Commuters are no longer only in transit when they make their way through these spaces. They are potential consumers as they move through the retail concourse in many of these developments. In an era of “digital disruption”, which is particularly affecting the retail sector, information about commuter mobility has potential commercial value. The application of data analytics to people flow and its use by the people movement industry to achieve “efficiencies” needs careful scrutiny to ensure benefits beyond commercial gain. The ConversationAt the same time, mobility data may well help our increasingly vertical cities to keep flowing up, down and across.
Andrea Connor is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University and Donald McNeill is a professor of urban and cultural geography at Western Sydney University.This article was originally published on The Conversation
[post_title] => Growing cities face challenges of keeping the masses moving  [post_excerpt] => Cities are expanding upwards and downwards, as well as outwards. With urban density also increasing, moving people efficiently around the city, often using ageing infrastructure, is quite a challenge, write Andrea Connor and Donald McNeill. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => growing-cities-face-challenges-of-keeping-the-masses-moving [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-05 11:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-05 01:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30594 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30570 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-06-05 10:20:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-05 00:20:07 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30571" align="aligncenter" width="664"] NSW's trial aims to reduce truck stops at lights, easing delays for all motorists.[/caption] In a bid to tackle growing congestion, the NSW Government is introducing technology that will soon see trucks interact with traffic lights to gain priority on key freight routes. A three-month trial of the technology, which got underway on Sunday, could reduce the number of times trucks stop at traffic lights, potentially easing delays for all motorists.  The pilot, involving 100 trucks and 40 kilometres of freight routes, marks the first time that wireless connected vehicle technology using DSRC, or dedicated short range communication, is being trialled on NSW roads. Oncoming participating heavy vehicles will send signals to traffic lights on freight routes in Pennant Hills, Parramatta and King Georges, which will delay an orange and red light for trucks to allow them through. During the trial, the government will track vehicle travel time, speed, time to stop and start, fuel consumption and emission estimates, with the results evaluated to determine effects on congestion. Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the technology is an efficient means of targeting congestion, given the likelihood of delays caused by trucks. “Heavy vehicles take a long time to stop and start, which can cause delays for all road users,” Ms Pavey said. “This trial will detect a heavy vehicle approaching traffic lights and provide more green time, which will hopefully show us how we can ease delays for all motorists.” WATCH: Click on image to see NSW's freight signal priority trial:   The trial follows an existing connected vehicle system that grants priority to late-running buses in Sydney. Ms Pavey said the government hopes the technology could be ultimately used with emergency vehicles and buses.
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[post_title] => New technology sees trucks 'talk' to traffic lights [post_excerpt] => In a bid to tackle growing congestion, the NSW Government is introducing technology that will soon see trucks interact with traffic lights to gain priority on key freight routes. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-technology-sees-trucks-talk-to-traffic-lights [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-05 10:33:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-05 00:33:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30570 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30525 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-06-01 09:35:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-31 23:35:25 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30527" align="aligncenter" width="653"] Victoria's new fund will boost reuse of recyclables, says government.[/caption] Local government and the waste industry welcome the Victorian Government’s new scheme to develop markets for recyclable waste but say more investment is needed. A new $2.5 million fund to boost research and development in recycling and develop new markets for recyclable waste will help stimulate a “circular economy” locally, according to Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s energy and environment minister. The Andrews Government launched the fund on Tuesday in Craigieburn, in Melbourne’s north, where a major road builder is trialling an asphalt mix containing recyclables like plastic bags and glass. Hume City Council partnered with assets and infrastructure provider Downer and resource recovery and recycling companies Close the Loop and RED Group in what groups called an Australian-first trial. Soft plastics and glass, toner from more than 4,500 used printer cartridges and 50 tonnes of recycled asphalt were repurposed to create 250 tonnes of asphalt that will be used to construct a road in Craigieburn. Minister D’Ambrosio said Downer received $67,000 from the new fund while Close the Loop received $40,000 for equipment to develop the plastic additive used in the asphalt mix. https://twitter.com/LilyDAmbrosioMP/status/1001316335899430912 Dante Cremasco, Downer’s manager of road services, said the “sustainable, cost competitive road” has a 65 per cent improvement in fatigue life and a superior resistance to deformation, making it last longer and better handle heavy vehicle traffic. The company estimates that up to 15 per cent of asphalt could contain soft plastics and up to 10 million tonnes of recyclable waste could be diverted from landfill every year using the new approach.

'Important step'

Responding to the new fund, local experts said that developing markets for recyclables was an important part of advancing a circular economy agenda in Australia. [caption id="attachment_30529" align="alignright" width="144"] Damien Giurco[/caption] Damien Giurco, professor of resource futures at the University of Technology Sydney, said that China’s clampdown on accepting foreign waste had highlighted the need for Australia to develop its capacity in repurposing recyclables. “This is a really helpful step from Victoria,” he told Government News. “Leadership like this, albeit at a modest scale, is all part of enabling and supporting these industries, which are facing pressures, to think a bit more long-term." Research and development is an important part of the technological breakthroughs needed in Australia’s development and adoption of a circular economy, he said. “But so is having a policy setting married with that, to foster investment in infrastructure.”

Support is vital: industry

[caption id="attachment_30532" align="alignright" width="148"] Gayle Sloan[/caption] The waste and resource recovery industry, which has been calling for governments to stimulate on-shore processing of recyclables, welcomed the Victorian Government’s new fund. “It’s vital that our essential industry receives support and funding to develop end markets in Australia, as well as improve technology and capacity to process recyclables,” Gayle Sloan, chief executive of the Australian Waste Management Association, told Government News. “We know that by processing and re-manufacturing recyclables in Australia we create one job for every tonne. This is a great opportunity to restructure the Australian economy and create jobs that we need.”

Initiative welcome: councils

[caption id="attachment_29492" align="alignright" width="147"] Rob Spence[/caption] Rob Spence, CEO of the Municipal Association of Victoria, said that while the fund was modest “anything that gets invested in the development of new technology and advancing ideas is a good thing.” “We see this as a first step, and clearly we’d like to see more invested in the space. The right stimulants need to be there to move the market,” he told Government News. “You will get investors backing the technology if they think they can make a return from it. The incentives haven’t been there in the past, which is why all the product has been going overseas – you could make more money sending it overseas than converting it here. “We’ve been trying to advance this sort of work in the road construction space for a number of years without a lot of success so hopefully this project will kick things along,” Mr Spence said.
Related GN coverage: 
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[post_title] => Fund gives a boost to ‘circular economy’ [post_excerpt] => Local government and the waste industry welcome the Victorian Government’s new scheme to develop markets for recyclable waste but say more investment is needed. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fund-gives-a-boost-to-circular-economy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-05 10:33:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-05 00:33:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30525 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30515 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-06-01 09:35:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-31 23:35:00 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30519" align="aligncenter" width="570"] The project drew together government agencies and various community groups.[/caption] A partnership between state and local governments, water utilities, land management and community groups has enabled the most efficient delivery of a large urban waterway project, officials say. Less than a decade ago, Bannister Creek in Perth was a “no-go” area for locals because of significant antisocial behaviour in and around the area. Many houses along the creek screened and fenced it off from view. But today the site is a favourite walk for seniors living in the local aged care facility and among residents walking or excising in the area’s open public space. Houses have been installing see-through screens and back-garden patios to take in the view. Bannister Creek is among the areas that have been rejuvenated in Perth’s Urban Waterways Renewal project - an $8.5 million initiative involving all three levers of government and numerous state agencies and community groups. The project, which successfully engaged 1,600 community volunteers,  retrofitted 11 sections of the urban draining systems within the Canning River catchments in the Perth metropolitan area. Since it began in 2007 the project has restored 3.3 kilometres of traditional urban drainage into living streams, installed more than 424,000 plants, and removed 18 hectares of weeds and 4,600 cubic metres of sediment and rubbish.    But in addition to the water and environmental benefits the project has delivered social, recreational and cultural benefits, including improved public amenity. In a paper presented at a recent international conference on water sensitive urban design, three officials involved in the initiative say it has provided a “blueprint” for future project delivery. “The project has inspired new ways of doing things and is a model that other organisations and governments can follow,” according to Agni Bhandari from the state’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Brett Kuhlmann from South Eastern Regional Centre for Urban Landcare and Scott Davie from the Water Corporation. “A long-term benefit is in the way people are viewing and caring for these sites and seeing what is possible for urban waterways and draining,” they say.

Various stakeholders involved

The project was initiated after the Swan Canning River system was identified as a “hot spot” in 2006 because of its high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. A funding injection of $4 million from the Commonwealth was matched by the state and three local governments (the cities of Gosnells, Armadale and Canning). In addition to local government, the project involved SERCUL, the water and biodiversity departments and the Water Corporation. “The project drew together local landcare groups, state and local government agencies and, importantly, a volunteer army. More than 1,600 volunteers took part in the project during its lifespan, contributing 6,900 hours of work worth around $200,000,” the officials say. The project had four main aims: healthy water, healthy habitats, educated communities and recreation and wellbeing.

Navigating different agendas

The officials note that as water resources and environmental assets cross departmental boundaries there were many stakeholders involved, each with different interests and often conflicting directives, which could delay progress.
“The project team gathered each of the stakeholders together to collectively identify the opportunities, constraints and to overcome the barriers. The project adopted a multidisciplinary approach to involve internal and external stakeholders to enable a common vision.”
The team also organised five workshops and 17 site tours and successfully engaged eight community groups and 10 schools in the project.

Environmental, social benefits    

The project incorporated a monitoring and evaluation program, which shows the measures taken have contributed to improved water quality, reduced nutrient load, prevention of fish kills and reduced flood risk. It also contributed to reduced heat island effects and improved urban amenity. The officials cite a study that found the project also contributed to a boost in house values in the neighbourhoods around the retrofitted systems. At Bannister Creek, the median home within 200 meters of the restoration site increased in value by $17,000 to $26,000. The project also increased stakeholders’ understanding and knowledge of local hydrology and water technologies, they say.  

‘Leading example’ of project delivery

The officials conclude that the project is a “leading example” of involving partnerships between government agencies, landcare, community groups, schools and volunteers “to achieve outstanding on-ground water management and environmental outcomes.” Given that irregular and insufficient funding is often a key issue in the planning and management of major projects, the officials recommend that relevant agencies and community stakeholders “provide shared ongoing commitments and contribution”. “Ongoing contribution of even a small amount of in-kind support or resources from various agencies and stakeholders can become a significant contribution to expand such projects,” they say.
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[post_title] => New 'blueprint' for major project delivery [post_excerpt] => A partnership between state and local governments, water utilities, land management and community groups has enabled the most efficient delivery of a large urban waterway project, officials say. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-blueprint-for-major-project-delivery [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-01 10:10:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-01 00:10:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30515 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30472 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-05-29 09:13:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:13:11 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30475" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Rough sleeping rates increased 20 per cent in five years, a new analysis shows.[/caption] A national strategy tackling the myriad issues contributing to Australia’s worsening homelessness should be included in the next national agreement between the Commonwealth and states, an expert says. As the federal and state governments negotiate a key National Housing and Homelessness Agreement a major new analysis has warned that the downgrading of key policy and initiatives by successive governments has led to a surge in homelessness and rough sleeping in the past five years. While the decade to 2011 saw the situation remain “fairly stable,” the Australian Homelessness Monitor 2018 found that from 2011 to 2016 the rate of homelessness rose by 14 per cent while rough sleeping jumped 20 per cent. Demand for homelessness services increased 22 per cent and the proportion of people living in overcrowded accommodation rose 23 per cent over the five years, according to the landmark analysis by researchers at the universities of NSW and Queensland. The report, which was commissioned by community homelessness organisation Launch Housing, analysed various data sets including Census figures and drew on interviews with policymakers, service providers and advocacy groups. [caption id="attachment_30473" align="alignright" width="173"] Hal Pawson[/caption] Lead author Hal Pawson, a professor of housing at UNSW, told Government News that the new agreement between governments should contain a multi-layered national strategy to tackle the worsening situation. The first element of such a plan would provide “more assertive outreach” for the 8,000 people sleeping rough every night, he said. “You then need to look at prevention measures that address the immediate causes of homelessness - issues like domestic violence, discharge from institutions, low income people living in private rental,” Professor Pawson said. “Then there’s the much wider set of issues around proper indexation of benefits, and the supply of affordable housing.” Professor Pawson said the new agreement presented an opportunity to incorporate cooperation between the federal and state governments, as well as targets for preventing and reducing homelessness. He praised Treasurer Scott Morrison’s work on bond aggregators as an emerging mechanism to enable not-for-profit housing providers to access private finance on better terms. “It enables community housing providers to access debt and to build additional affordable housing at better rates of interest and longer terms of loan than they can currently get from the banks,” he said. In an overview document accompanying the release of the monitor, Launch Housing said the findings showed the Commonwealth must “lead and develop a coordinated policy response” with the state and territory governments. “We urgently need an alignment of efforts to implement dedicated housing, income support and homelessness policies,” the group said.

Commonwealth policies 'exacerbating' issue

The analysis found that some recent Commonwealth policy - such as the failure to index social security benefits, which left recipients living in private rental increasingly vulnerable - had exacerbated homelessness. Some 71 per cent of the homelessness service agencies surveyed by the researchers said they believed government changes to welfare and Centrelink had aggravated homelessness. Another key driver of homelessness is the “long-term erosion of social housing,” the analysis found. Despite the ageing of the public housing stock and increasing intensity of unmet housing need, capital investment in social housing fell by 8 per cent in the four years to 2016, the researchers said.
“For agencies looking to assist people out of homelessness, the intensifying shortage of social housing and affordable private rental properties is making this task increasingly difficult.”
However, on the other hand, the report also highlighted recent state government plans to expand social and affordable housing in Queensland, Victoria and NSW. “Although extremely limited, these initiatives demonstrate ongoing government commitment to invest in an affordable housing supply as a response to housing needs,” the report said. It highlighted several rough sleeper programs that have created “sustainable and immediate housing outcomes” but notes these initiatives are “hamstrung by limited social housing stock, a reliance on homelessness accommodation and limited resourcing.”

Variation across the country

The national figure of 14 per cent growth in homelessness conceals complex and variable movements in the rates across the country, Professor Pawson said. Homelessness has worsened the most in capital cities, increasing the fastest in Sydney (up 48 per cent in the five years), Darwin (up 36 per cent) and Brisbane (32 per cent). “Meanwhile homelessness has reduced in some parts of the country, and quite substantially in the more remote regional geography,” he said. “The contrast between different geographies is something the report has tried to bring out because it’s certainly not a steady or simple pattern across the country.”

Seniors, indigenous most at risk

Echoing earlier reports and studies, the analysis found that those aged 55 to 74 were the fastest growing cohort within the homeless population. “In the decade to 2016, this combined group grew in number by 55 per cent, compared with the 30 per cent increase for all age groups,” the analysis found. While indigenous homelessness fell by 9 per cent in the five years to 2016, the rate of indigenous homelessness remains 10 times higher than that of non-indigenous, the researchers said.
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[post_title] => ‘Policy inaction’ leading to homelessness rise [post_excerpt] => A national strategy tackling the myriad issues contributing to Australia’s worsening homelessness should be included in the next national agreement between the Commonwealth and states, an expert says. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => policy-inaction-leading-to-homelessness-rise [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-01 10:10:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-01 00:10:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30472 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30493 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-05-29 09:02:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:02:13 [post_content] => Our wrap of the latest appointments in and around government and the public service across Australia. In this wrap:
  • Leadership overhaul at Lake Macquarie Council
  • City of Melville farewells CEO
  • Latrobe Valley appoints health advocate
  • New appointments to Victoria’s EPA board

Leadership overhaul at Lake Macquarie Council

[caption id="attachment_30496" align="alignright" width="161"] Tony Farrell [/caption] A new leadership team has been appointed at Lake Macquarie City Council as part of an organisational restructure. Tony Farrell, formerly director of city strategy, has been appointed deputy chief executive officer. David Hughes has been appointed director of built and natural assets, Laura Kendall will take up the role of director organisational services and John Ferguson becomes the director of service delivery. Mr Hughes previously worked in senior management positions in the private sector, including most recently with Ampcontrol, while Ms Kendall and Mr Ferguson were promoted from management positions within council. More appointments within the senior management team will be announced over the coming weeks, according to CEO Morven Cameron.

City of Melville farewells CEO

[caption id="attachment_30498" align="alignright" width="149"] Shayne Silcox[/caption] After 10 years of service the City of Melville’s CEO Shayne Silcox has resigned from his position and taken up a new role in local government. Dr Silcox has received numerous awards for public service, including the WA Local Government Association’s Distinguished Officers Award. Under Dr Silcox’s leadership the City of Melville has won numerous awards including Top Local Government in the State in Financial Sustainability. Mayor Russell Aubrey paid tribute to Dr Silcox, who joined as CEO in 2008 after leading the City of Belmont and Nedlands. “Shayne’s contribution to our community has quite literally been transformative. When he came to us we were dealing with many challenges as a local government authority – not the least of which was a global financial crisis,” he said.

Latrobe Valley appoints health advocate

[caption id="attachment_30499" align="alignright" width="149"] Jane Anderson[/caption] The Latrobe Valley has appointed a health and wellbeing advocate, Jane Anderson, as part of a broader strategy to improve the health of the community in the aftermath of the Hazelwood fires. Ms Anderson, who is currently regional director of Anglicare Victoria and has 20 years’ experience in community work, is set to start in the position early next month. The appointment was a key recommendation from the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry, which investigated the health impacts of a recent mine fire on the community. Over the next three years, Ms Anderson will work with the community, government, business and the not-for-profit sector, the Latrobe Health assembly and other stakeholders. Ms Anderson said there is great momentum in Latrobe Valley at the moment.  "In my new role, I'll be working with the community, hearing from people about issues and concerns and advocating and advising government on their behalf.”

Appointments to Victoria’s EPA board

[caption id="attachment_30500" align="alignright" width="151"] Cheryl Batagol[/caption] A series of new appointments has been made to the board of Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority. Minister for the Environment Lily D’Ambrosio last week announced the appointment of a new governing board run by Cheryl Batagol, who has been the chair of the EPA since 2009 and has more than 40 years’ experience in the waste management, water and environment sectors. The eight-person board will consist of Greg Tweedly as deputy chair, Professor Joan Ozanne-Smith, Graeme Ford, Professor Rebekah Brown, Ross Pilling, Monique Conheady and Debra Russell and will come into operation from 1 July. The board members will lead the EPA in responding to the Independent Inquiry into the EPA. Minister D’Ambrosio said the board comes from a variety of backgrounds. “This board has a fantastic cross section of experience and knowledge to help us implement our vital reforms to the EPA.”
Have we missed an appointment? Send the details and an image to: editorial@governmentnews.com.au
Last issue’s Noticeboard:  MAV appoints first female chief executive
[post_title] => Noticeboard: Leadership overhaul at Lake Macquarie Council [post_excerpt] => Also in this issue: City of Melville farewells CEO; Latrobe Valley appoints a health advocate; and new appointments to the board of Victoria's EPA. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => noticeboard-leadership-overhaul-at-lake-macquarie-council [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 09:14:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:14:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30493 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30467 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-05-25 10:34:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-25 00:34:26 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30134" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Queensland Government will consider Ipswich's submission against its sacking.[/caption] Ipswich Council has made a final submission to Queensland’s Minister for Local Government against the entire council being stood down, saying it is poor governance to sack “entirely innocent” persons. The submissions come after Minister Stirling Hinchliffe gave the council a 21-day show cause notice to put forward its case against being sacked. Both individual councillors and the entire council have made submissions to the minister. It caps off a dramatic week in local government in the state that saw the Queensland Government suspend four mayors and a councilor. Logan Mayor Luke Smith, Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli, Doomadgee Mayor Edric Walden, Hope Vale Mayor Greg McLean and Logan councillor Stacey McIntosh were all suspended by Minister Stirling on Monday after passing new legislation last week permitting the automatic suspension of councilors facing serious charges. Ipswich’s response to the minister’s show cause notice, which was filed yesterday by acting Ipswich Mayor Wayne Wendt, questions how councillors who have not been charged can be seen to be “breaching local government principles.” It also argues that it is poor governance to sack “entirely innocent” people and point to the importance of maintaining delivery of council functions, including the Smart City projects and economic negotiations.

Charges ‘unrelated’ to council, says Mayor

Clr Wendt said the submission, made on behalf of all councillors, pointed out that all charges or allegations against staff or previous mayors were the result of complex investigations by police and many are “totally unrelated to local government, the council or the councillors.” “The removal of innocent and democratically elected officials from their positions is not the right move,” Cr Wendt said. The submission argues:
“No individual has entered a plea to any charge, no statements have been provided, no indictments have been presented, no trials have been conducted and no jury, properly instructed by a judge, has yet to reach a verdict whether the prosecution had proved a case beyond reasonable doubt.”
Cr Wendt pointed to a statement made by Minister Hinchliffe in parliament that the measures “are not about catching out honest councillors, or those who make genuine mistakes. They are about those councillors who do not live up to community expectations; those who intentionally flout the laws of Queensland.” Minister Hinchliffe yesterday acknowledged receipt of “comprehensive” submission from Ipswich, which he said included letters from the acting Mayor and Ipswich councillors, as well as from the acting CEO and appointed CEO. “I would like to thank council for its careful consideration of the matters raised,” he said. “I give my commitment to Ipswich City Council and the people of Ipswich that I will give the submission, and all the materials before me, the close attention they deserve,” he said. Minister Hinchliff said he will respond within seven and 28 days.
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[post_title] => Local government suspensions: fate of Ipswich Council in the balance [post_excerpt] => Ipswich Council has made a final submission to Queensland’s Minister for Local Government against the entire council being stood down, saying it is poor governance to sack “entirely innocent” persons. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => local-government-suspensions-fate-of-ipswich-council-in-the-balance [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 08:12:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-28 22:12:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30467 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30454 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-05-25 10:00:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-25 00:00:50 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30456" align="aligncenter" width="668"] New code in NSW to fast-track[/caption] As new laws fast-tracking duplex developments meet resistance from NSW local governments, Urban Taskforce says councils are being “mischievous” while experts call for focus on evidence. Just weeks after Ryde and Canterbury Bankstown councils were exempted from the code, eight councils this week followed suit and sought to bypass the regulations out of concern they will lead to further population density without appropriate infrastructure. Under the change, which comes into force on 6 July, one and two storey dual occupancy developments can be fast-tracked and developed in narrow 12 metre wide manor houses and terraces. The new Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code provides fast-tracked development of one and two storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces. The NSW Government argues that low-rise medium-density housing is the “missing middle” of the state’s housing stock, between free-standing homes and strata-titled apartments. Urban Taskforce, a peak body representing developers, said the council backlash was escalating into a pre-election “anti-growth, anti-change” position that could prompt a state retreat from what it argues is a warranted response to population growth. [caption id="attachment_30465" align="alignright" width="144"] Chris Johnson[/caption] CEO Chris Johnson pointed to Strathfield Council which is seeking exemption from the code despite its existing prohibition on medium density housing as an example of the political slant of the debate. He said councils were misusing the call from planning minister Anthony Roberts for local governments to raise any concerns about the code with the State Government “as a proxy to protest about overdevelopment.” “The danger is the government looking like it’s backing down on a fairly sensible approach,” he told Government News. Mr Johnson said the code itself will only apply to councils who already permit medium density developments. “Councils have been a bit mischievous to say it’s opening up a giant Pandora’s Box of new developments.”

Medium-density dwellings supported: research

Professor Roberta Ryan, director at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance, said the response to the code had become “political,” pointing to the institute’s evidence that medium-density developments are largely supported by constituents. “This has become a political debate that’s separated itself from the evidence,” she told Government News
“The research we’ve done indicates that people are receptive to add a storey to respond to population growth.”
While the code is to be welcomed as part of an “ongoing strategy” to fast-track medium-density development to support population growth, councils need to focus on both the evidence and consultation with local communities, Professor Ryan said. “We need to invest in understanding what communities want at a strategic planning level and to fully understand what their aspirations are. This has all happened without that investment,” she said.

Need to undertake planning, says Randwick

On Wednesday, Randwick Council announced it was one of seven other councils seeking an exemption from the code, citing the need to undertake local planning and prepare infrastructure for the estimated 8,500 blocks that would be eligible for subdivision under the code, due to rollout in July. Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey said the council needs extra time to undertake local planning measures such as its housing and town centre planning. She said: 
“It would be prudent to allow council more time to properly consider the issue until local planning has been undertaken and appropriate strategies such as our Housing Strategy and the K2K Town Centre Strategy are in place to ensure local infrastructure is sufficient to accommodate any increases in population that may result from additional residential development."
Professor Ryan questioned whether there was evidence showing that the code would lead to increased population density in an LGA, but she noted that Randwick was undertaking a housing study. “We should be looking more closely at large-scale apartment dwellings than one or two storey developments, ordinary people wanting to put another storey in their house, which might not even increase density,” she said.

Code could address infrastructure: developers

Professor Ryan said that while she supports the code, it has been compromised by the NSW Government’s infrastructure backlog. She told Government News earlier this month that successive governments have failed to adequately plan for an estimated two-fold population growth. Mr Johnson argues increased urban density that might result from the loosening of duplex regulations could help to address an infrastructure backlog, by funneling money into public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and transport. “It’s much more likely as development occurs the planning starts to occur for increasing hospitals, schools, pub transport, so I think it’s a process that in my opinion is better as it’s a kind of integrated approach with development,” he said.
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[post_title] => Building code: developers say council backlash is a ‘proxy to protest’ [post_excerpt] => As new laws fast-tracking duplex developments meet resistance from NSW local governments, Urban Taskforce says councils are being “mischievous” while experts call for focus on evidence. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => building-code-developers-say-council-backlash-is-a-proxy-to-protest [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 09:14:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:14:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30454 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30425 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2018-05-25 08:12:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-24 22:12:45 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30429" align="aligncenter" width="593"] A new resource helps government agencies defuse and de-escalate situations. [/caption] Local governments should adopt a four-staged “graduated response” to dealing with abusive behaviour from members of the public, Victoria’s Ombudsman has recommended. Deborah Glass says her office is constantly asked for advice from government departments, agencies and local councils on what to do with overly persistent or abusive people. The Victorian Ombudsman says she recognises this is a “difficult balancing act” for government bodies. [caption id="attachment_30432" align="alignright" width="177"] Deborah Glass[/caption] “The public sector exists to serve the public including those who may be demanding. But public sector resources are limited, and agencies need to protect the health and safety of their workforce," she says. On Wednesday Ms Glass released a new resource, Good Practice Guide to Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, to help create better understanding between government bodies and the public. “I hope the guide helps to defuse, de-escalate and demystify the behaviours that public servants encounter daily, and that greater understanding leads to fewer complaints,” Ms Glass said. The guide recommends a graduated four-stage response:
  • preventing challenging behaviour where possible through good complaint handling
  • de-escalating challenging behaviour in the first instance
  • managing behaviour where it raises health, safety, resource or equity issues
  • limiting access as a last resort, in a "lawful, fair and transparent" way. 
The resource contains practical tips and examples to help complaint handlers at each stage, and a model policy to guide leaders and managers. There is specific advice about dealing with challenging behaviour that may be associated with a disability or mental illness, and responding to people who raise concerns about suicide. “The guide stresses that people who handle complaints in the public sector are human too. It provides practical advice for complaint handlers about looking after themselves, and for managers about taking care of their staff,” according to the resource.

Tapping into agencies’ experience

The guide builds on the Managing Unreasonable Conduct by Complainants Practice Manual that was first developed by parliamentary ombudsmen in Australia and New Zealand in 2007 and also takes account of international literature on deescalating conflict. [caption id="attachment_30427" align="alignright" width="190"] The guide contains practical tips for complaints handling[/caption] The information in the guide was reviewed by a psychologist with experience in government complaint handling and investigations. Victoria's Ombudsman said the experience of her own office has also contributed to the guide. “We know that challenging behaviour is difficult because we deal with it too. People contact the Ombudsman because they are frustrated with something an agency has or has not done. Sometimes that frustration spills over into the way they communicate with us.” The guide also drew on the expertise of bodies including the Disability Services Commissioner, the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Public Advocate. Ms Glass says her office will also be offering education workshops for public sector organisations on dealing with challenging behaviour. “The workshops will help complaint handlers put the guide’s advice into practice.” The guide will be launched at a masterclass on 5 June. Click here to access the guide
Comment below to have your say on this story.
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[post_title] => New guide supports councils on 'challenging behaviours' [post_excerpt] => Local governments should adopt a four-staged “graduated response” to dealing with abusive behaviour from members of the public, Victoria’s Ombudsman has recommended. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-guide-supports-councils-on-challenging-behaviours [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 09:15:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:15:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30425 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30792 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-06-19 08:51:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-18 22:51:52 [post_content] => Our wrap of the latest appointments in and around government and the public service across Australia.

In this wrap:

  • New LGA SA president
  • New acting GM for Lismore City Council
  • Infrastructure Australia CEO resigns
  • Robotics expert appointed NSW Chief Scientist
  • New appointments and expansion at ANZSOG
[caption id="attachment_30794" align="alignright" width="131"] Sue Clearihan[/caption]

New LGA SA president

City of Adelaide Councillor Sue Clearihan has been appointed the new Local Government Association of South Australia president following the resignation of City of Onkaparinga Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg on 7 June. Clr Clearihan will remain in the position until the appointment of a new board and president in October. She said her focus for the next four months would be working with the LGA board, member councils and the State Government on local government reform to restore confidence in the sector. [caption id="attachment_30795" align="alignright" width="132"] Scott Turner[/caption]

Acting GM for Lismore City Council

The current assets manager of Lismore City Council, Scott Turner has been appointed acting general manager by Council. Mr Turner will take on the role after the departure of GM Gary Murphy, who stepped down late last week. Previously, Mr Turner worked as a civil engineer and for Mosman Municipal Council as the manager of assets and engineering services for more than a decade and has been with Lismore City Council for 12 years.

Infrastructure Australia CEO resigns

[caption id="attachment_30796" align="alignright" width="137"] Philip Davies[/caption] After three years as CEO of Infrastructure Australia, Philip Davies has resigned and will be leaving the organisation at the end of August. Mr Davies delivered the Australian Infrastructure Audit and Australian Infrastructure Plan and was a key advocate for infrastructure reform. Infrastructure Australia has started recruiting for a new CEO and is yet to detail interim arrangements. The organisation recently appointed a new executive director of policy and research, Peter Colacino, who is currently executive general manager of corporate affairs at NRMA, and will start in the role in July. [caption id="attachment_30797" align="alignright" width="135"] Hugh Durrant-Whyte[/caption]

New NSW chief scientist

The NSW Government has appointed leading robotics expert Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte as its chief scientist and engineer. Professor Durrant-Whyte, who recently worked as the chief scientific adviser for the UK Ministry of Defence and formerly as the director for translational data science at the University of Sydney, will commence in the role in September. The appointment comes after the resignation of Professor Mary O’Kane who served as the NSW chief scientist and engineer for nine years.

Appointments at ANZSOG

[caption id="attachment_30798" align="alignright" width="140"] Michelle LeBaron[/caption] The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) has appointed new researches as part of a broader organisational expansion. Professor Michelle LeBaron from the University of British Columbia in Canada, who specialises in conflict transformation, dispute resolution, culture and resilience, has joined the faculty. The University of Melbourne’s Professor Janine O’Flynn was also recently appointed the school's Professor of Public Management. The appointments come as the school expands its operations in Perth, Brisbane and Wellington.
Have we missed an appointment? Send the details and an image to: editorial@governmentnews.com.au
Last issue’s Noticeboard:  MAV appoints first female chief executive
[post_title] => Noticeboard: Sue Clearihan appointed LGA SA president [post_excerpt] => Also in this wrap: new acting GM for Lismore City Council; Infrastructure Australia CEO resigns; robotics expert appointed NSW Chief Scientist; and appointments and expansion at ANZSOG. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => noticeboard-sue-clearihan-appointed-lga-sa-president [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-19 08:52:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-18 22:52:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30792 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1696 [max_num_pages] => 122 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => f85804a5c68f923c035b2eabd34fe0aa [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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