Councils aim cost shift broadside at National Commission of Audit

By Paul Hemsley and Julian Bajkowski The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has made a reinvigorated push stop the states and Canberra from dumping more service delivery functions on the doorsteps of councils without sufficient and ongoing funding. The peak body’s submission to the Abbott government’s National Commission of Audit, which is tasked with reviewing […]

Bureaucrats offer the public money for new ideas

By Julian Bajkowski Despite being hit by or threatened with big number staff cuts across Australia, the nation’s public sector workforce is standing up for the value it delivers to the community by seeking frank and fearless advice from the general public on how it can do its job better. In a bold and perhaps […]

New bids to lock-up the Taxman

By Julian Bajkowski The Australian Taxation Office is best known for banging up tax cheats, but the Commonwealth’s chief revenue raiser has just announced it’s now officially on the hunt for a national locksmith to secure its sprawling estate of 51 offices across all states and territories. The call for national locksmith services is likely […]

Leak lays bare Newman referendum support

By Julian Bajkowski A leaked letter from Queensland Premier Campbell Newman to Prime Minister Julia Gillard reveals that the state government is behind the proposed wording of a Constitutional amendment pivotal to a referendum and does not believe the change will erode state powers over local government. A copy of the letter obtained by Government […]

Bids called to refuel Christmas Island

By Julian Bajkowski A sharp increase in government activity related to unauthorised boat arrivals near Christmas Island has prompted an urgent upgrade of fuel storage facilities for the far flung port so that planes that fly there won’t get stranded. Tender documents released by the Commonwealth show authorities are shopping for an extra aviation fuel […]

Muzzle bites Financial Assistance Grants review

By Julian Bajkowski The announcement of a long-awaited review of the $2.1 billion Financial Assistance Grants (FAG) mechanism by the Commonwealth has been overshadowed by an attempt to gag local government criticism of a big funding shortfall caused by botched federal estimates. On Friday federal local government minister, Simon Crean, revealed the terms of reference […]

Townsville energy project attracts federal interest

An energy efficiency project targeting large reductions in Townsville City Council’s power use has received an Australian Government grant. The Commonwealth provided $813000 in funding for the council’s $1.62 million Energy Transformation Townsville project. Provided on a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ basis with the council, the funding is from the Commonwealth’s round of Community Energy Efficiency Program grants. […]

Holden facilities driven to government assistance

Automotive facilities for GM Holden have received government funds to support a long term Australian presence. Supporting Holden until 2022, the government co-investment package from the Commonwealth, Victorian and South Australian Governments will total at $275 million, with an additional $1 billion from Holden for further design and manufacturing programs. The Holden investment will contribute […]

Premier backs disaster affected councils

By Angela Dorizas Councils affected by recent disasters in Queensland have called on the Commonwealth to allow reconstruction of public infrastructure, such as water and sewerage facilities, to be paid for under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). NDRRA funding is provided to States and Territories to help cover the costs of natural disaster […]


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