HR's World of Tomorrow (55/2010)


In an agreement with all the State associations, the next National Local Government Human Resources Conference will be held between 7 and 9 November 2011 at Jupiters Conference Centre in Gold Coast, Queensland.

Themed as “HR’s World of Tomorrow” we are seeking content ideas for the event. Suggestions are requested from HR staff for the following:

Keynote Speakers – are there any people you suggest who can raise the bar in helping us understand HR better, and be more productive and innovative.

MasterClass Workshops – these are always a great learning environment. Please suggest topics or presenters whom we can approach to facilitate learning during our workshops. Local Government case studies are also popular as workshops – are you doing something innovative that you wish to share with your national counterparts.

Showcase – if your Local Government has won or been a finalist in an HR award, or done something really innovative, perhaps you would like to do a 10-15 minute “showcase’ of your initiative.

Networking events – any suggestions for the first night optional conference activity, or for the Conference dinner?

Please mark the conference date in your diary now!

2011 Local Government Remuneration Survey (53/2010)


Workplace Solutions of the WA Local Government Association is inviting Local Governments to participate in the national 2011 Local Government Remuneration Survey. We had a great response in 2010 with many contributors and orders from each state and we are looking forward to an even greater response in 2011.

This is the only Local Government survey in Australia that provides remuneration information for a large number of Local Governments across the country. The Survey monitors 105 generic Local Government job positions and includes details regarding superannuation contributions, salary increases as well as workforce planning information.

Six Local Government jurisdictions across Australia continue to be included in the Survey, as it grows from year to year.

Local Governments participating need to complete the Survey form, and return it by email to by 21 January 2011.

An explanation of position descriptors is also available.

If you require any clarification on the Survey please contact Local Government Workplace Solutions on 1300 366 956.

Human Resources Seminar Success (48/2010)


The HR Seminar held in August this year as part of annual Local Government Convention has been considered a success with feedback from attendees being extremely positive.

The speakers of the day included; Federal Magistrate Toni Lucev, Erica Hartley from Freehills, Helena Bellotti from Roper Gulf Shire Council (NT) and presentations from Workplace Solutions team members.

Presentation notes and slides from most of the presentations are now available on the Workplace Solutions website,

Federal Magistrate Toni Lucev

The Federal Magistrate reviewed the legal decisions, which impact on whether Local Governments are considered constitutional corporations. This included the recent Bankstown Handicapped Children’s Centre Case. The Federal Magistrate in his presentation explained that this decision should be used as it gives guidance on this issue and explained that Local Governments which have activities which could be considered commercial and are “not insignificant” are likely to be classified as a trading and therefore a constitutional corporation.

The Federal Magistrate also explained he believed that the matter would most likely be resolved by a High Court decision, with a formal parliamentary referral of powers less likely. The Federal Magistrate also hinted at a High Court decision likely declaring Local Governments to be constitutional corporations because of the activities test (as first set out in ex parte Western Australian National Football League (Inc) 1979 143 CLR 190 (commonly called the “Adamson” case)) would be used to assess the Local Government and not the function test used by the quasi-judicial WAIRC in the Shire of Ravensthorpe v John Patrick Galeadecision.

It was encouraging to hear that the Federal Magistrate agreed with Workplace Solution’s interpretation of case law and he gave a thorough explanation of the current situation and likely solutions along with outlining the key legal arguments he would use if he was to argue the case.

Erica Hartley, a partner at Freehills, gave an interesting presentation on the changes in the bargaining regime - an explanation of how Majority Support Determinations and Scope Orders work and what good faith bargaining requires. Erica then reviewed recent decisions in Fair Work Australia on what does and does not constitute good faith bargaining and reviewed emerging trends.

Helena Bellotti, the Human Resource Manager at Roper Gulf Shire in the Northern Territory gave a riveting presentation on the challenges she faced when nine smaller shires were amalgamated into what is now Roper Gulf Shire. This gave a good outline of considerations that managers should review if faced with the prospect of amalgamation.

During the day both Alasdair Malloch-Smith and Scott Roffey, Workplace Solutions Employee Relations Advisors, presented on workplace investigations and gave a case study of a recent Fair Work Ombudsman investigation. Simon White, Employee Relations Services Manager, gave a review of the Fair Work Act and Fair Work system from the point of view of an industry representative.

Finally the day was wrapped up with an engaging misconduct scenario which required attendees to think through different scenarios and plan a course of action for instances when employees misbehave, lodge formal complaints with regulators and underperform.

Workplace Solutions would like to thank all attendees for taking part in the HR Seminar and making this years’ event such a success.

Payroll Systems Support Networks (41/2010)


Local Government Workplace Solutions receive inquiries that sometimes relate more to the operation of an organisation’s payroll system than the award or agreements conditions.

We believe it would be a benefit to clients to be able to contact other similar organisations that operate the same payroll system. This will allow discussion on how certain conditions are treated and obstacles overcome. It might even help to have someone to share frustrations with for those unsolvable barriers!

If you would like to know who is using which payroll systems please respond to this email with the name of the package your organisation uses.

We will collate the lists over the next week before distribution.