All eyes on NSW over CCTV legal glitch

By Julian Bajkowski New South Wales Attorney General Greg Smith is under intense pressure to clarify to what degree local governments can now legally operate surveillance cameras in public spaces following a landmark decision on Friday in the state’s Administrative Decisions Tribunal that has left councils across the state demanding answers. After a weekend that […]

Queensland councils seek $1b for flood-proofing

By Paul Hemsley Queensland’s Community Recovery and Resilience Minister, David Crisafulli, has announced that councils hit by recent flooding disasters have put their hands up for nearly $1 billion in applications for “Betterment Fund” projects to help replace damaged council assets and make them more flood resistant. The big figure requests have dwarfed the more […]

Queensland clashes with Gillard over Bruce Highway funds

By Paul Hemsley The Queensland government has slammed the Gillard government’s plan to fund the flood-proofing of the state’s Bruce Highway, labelling it an “election year stunt” that has no additional funding beyond the amount that the government was already expected to spend. The Bruce Highway is a major road that extends 1,700km from Cairns […]

Councils cautious on Coalition’s copper NBN plan

By Julian Bajkowski and Paul Hemsley Australia’s local government sector has been left facing tough choices over how to deal with the release of Coalition’s policy on the National Broadband Network that would forgo fibre-to-the-premises in favour of recycling Telstra’s ageing copper lines in many regional areas. After decades of campaigning to get better internet […]

Albo returns to Local Government

By Julian Bajkowski Prime Minister Julia Gillard has rewarded Anthony Albanese, one of the key protagonists in the attempt to unseat her, with the Local Government and Regional Development portfolio as fresh uncertainty over the prospect of a referendum to guarantee federal funding for councils grows. In an announcement on Monday, Ms Gillard said that […]

NBN rolling out in NSW Far North Coast

Staff writers Prime Minister Julia Gillard has declared that the National Broadband Network (NBN) will be rolled out in the Far North Coast of New South Wales in a three year plan with the regional area of Murwillumbah to be the first of many locations to receive the fibre network. The PM visited the Murwillumbah […]

Queensland councils increase Budget pressure

By Julian Bajkowski The Local Government Association of Queensland has issued its 10-point pre-Budget federal election wish list, putting roads and disaster funding reform at the forefront of its agenda. The catalogue of demands comes as the federal government attempts to lock in the final preparations for the federal budget in May. The document will […]

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 […]

Committee green light for local government referendum

By Julian Bajkowski The final report of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government has recommended that a referendum be put to electors at the 14th September 2013 federal election despite the relatively short lead-time, but support within the Coalition could be fracturing along Liberal and National party lines. After previously reserving […]

Conroy pushes NBN in Western Sydney and Newcastle

By Paul Hemsley Federal Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy has continued the electoral push for the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Western Sydney amid Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s controversial election campaign operation stationed in the western suburb of Rooty Hill. Senator Conroy drew attention to the fact that NBN fibre construction has been ramping up […]

Workplace bullying scourge under Fair Work Act spotlight

By Paul Hemsley with Julian Bajkowski Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten has given notice to workplace bullies that he will legislate to have certain kinds of bad behaviour defined in the Fair Work Act in the after tough recommendations from Parliamentary Inquiry about how to control on-the-job aggressors. The proposed crackdown […]

Archives orders records freeze for Royal Commission

By Paul Hemsley The head of the National Archives of Australia, David Fricker has imposed a disposal freeze on records relating to child sexual abuse in possession by Commonwealth agencies that could be required for future reference by a Royal Commission that will investigate cases of child abuse in Australian government institutions. To assist the […]

Referendum committee goes another round

By Julian Bajkowski The parliamentary committee tasked with deciding whether a referendum on financial recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution should go ahead will hold a rapid second public hearing on February 20th as opposing sides of politics battle to a September plebiscite alive. A notice from the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional […]

Paywall to surround official government Style guide

By Julian Bajkowski The federal government’s official style guide is set to become a pay-per-view exercise after the Department of Finance and Deregulation revealed that it will imminently gavel-off the public sector reference manual to private operators to cut costs. A tender notification issued by Finance reveals that the agency intends to pursue a “seeking […]

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