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Local Government News
 
19 june 2020
WALGA
Issue 24

In this issue...

 
Sector Rates Campaign - Starts Tomorrow
At the request of State Council, WALGA has created an advertising campaign to support Local Governments in educating the community about rates notices in the context of a rates freeze and pending revaluations across the metropolitan area.
The campaign comprises two 30-second ads and a longer form content piece supported by print advertisements. It features former Australian Hockey Captain and Coach, Ric Charlesworth talking through the basics of a rates freeze and how rates are calculated, focused around two main points:
  • the rates freeze means that Local Governments will not be receiving any additional income, though the revaluation process could mean you pay more, and
  • rates are not directly linked to property rates, and that whilst individual property value changes can impact your rates, whole of property market movements do not.
The video content and collateral comprising the campaign can be viewed here - with the public facing campaign page being www.walga.asn.au/rates

The initial campaign will involve print advertising in Saturday’s West Australian over four weeks, starting tomorrow, together with an eight-week promotion of the video content on online and social media, pointing to additional information on the WALGA website as shown in the link above.
 
Video and print advertisements are available for Councils to use in their own communications vehicles, with an opportunity to co-brand with individual Local Government logos via campaign creators Marketforce. Video content can be co-branded for $50.00, and all print ads co-branded for $50.00.
To access campaign materials, email the WALGA Communications Team, and to discuss opportunities for co-branding, email Marketforce's Brad Haseldine or call  9216 2023.
 
Road Traffic Amendment (Immobilisation, Towing And Detention Of Vehicles) Bill 2020
A Bill to prohibit wheel clamping and other means of vehicle immobilisation, and to regulate towing of vehicles, was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday, 17 June.
While the Bill does not directly impact Local Governments, the State Government’s preferred option for parking enforcement is through agreements between private landowners and Local Governments.

The Bill also includes provisions allowing for the appointment of persons, potentially including Local Government officers, as wardens for the purposes of enforcing the new restrictions. A copy of the Bill and Explanatory Memorandum is available on the Parliament of Western Australia website.
For more information email Governance Advisor, Felicity Morris or call 9213 2048.
 
SEMC Cancels 2020 Emergency Preparedness Survey Due to COVID-19 Impacts
The survey, which is usually distributed to Local Governments, informs the annual Emergency Preparedness reports.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) approved measures to remove additional pressure from the sector. This included a decision to not progress the release of the annual emergency preparedness survey for 2020.

This decision reflects the significant contribution by Local Governments to collect COVID-19 Recovery impacts. It is expected that the 2021 survey will go ahead in April next year.

The 2020 Emergency Preparedness Report will be a shortened version of the report focusing on the two key themes of COVID-19 and the 2019/2020 bushfire season.
Previous reports can be found on the SEMC website.
 
New Roads to Recovery Reporting System
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is replacing the computer system currently used to administer the Roads to Recovery Program with a new Reporting and Program Management System.
The Roads to Recovery Program requires Local Governments to provide details of projects and funding acquittal to the Commonwealth through an online system. It is intended that this system will be replaced in December 2020. 

User Acceptance testing for the new system will occur in August and September and will need to be done by Local Government officers who are familiar with the Roads to Recovery Program requirements. 

The Department has committed to providing training and familiarisation with the new system and on-going communications via email updates and newsletters to Local Governments. 

Given the important role of Roads to Recovery funding and the likelihood that the recently announced Local Government Roads and Community Infrastructure Program will be managed through this system, it will be important that Local Government officers are familiar with its operation.
For more information, email Executive Manager, Infrastructure, Ian Duncan or phone 9213 2031.
 
Inquiry into the Deployment, Adoption and Application of 5G in Australia
The Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has concluded its inquiry into 5G Mobile Telecommunications.
The final report lists 14 recommendations that address installation, approvals, manufacturing and safety concerns. 

WALGA made a submission to the inquiry that focused on the negative impacts of uncontrolled installation of a network of antennas on Local Government infrastructure and recommended that mobile telecommunications carriers must consult and obtain agreement with Local Governments before installation. The WALGA President and CEO appeared before the Committee to represent the submission at a public hearing in February.
 
It is encouraging that three of the recommendations reflect the views of WALGA's submission. In particular, they recommend a review of the Low-impact Facilities framework that mandates the consultation and approvals process.

The Committee further recommends that carriers work with State and Territory road and transport infrastructure managers to ensure that safety standards are maintained.
 
The inquiry report is available here.
For more information, email Policy Manager Transport and Roads, Mark Bondietti or call 9213 2040.
 
Landgate Draft Aboriginal and Dual Naming Guidelines
Landgate’s draft Aboriginal and Dual Naming Guidelines are open for comment until Friday, 31 July. 
The Guidelines provide a framework for the naming of Western Australian geographic features and places with Aboriginal names, and are designed to assist proponents, including Local Government, to deliver Aboriginal place naming projects.

The draft Guidelines are available here.

All feedback received will inform the final review of the draft Guidelines in the second half of 2020.

Submissions can be emailed to WALGA Policy Officer, Community, Susie Moir by Tuesday, 30 June for an informal sector submission or directly to Landgate Names and Addressing Team by Friday, 31 July.
For more information, email Landgate Geospatial Officer, Micheal Simpson.
 
Officer Training
The following WALGA training courses are being delivered at WALGA’s West Leederville offices:
Accounts Payable for Local Government
Monday, 6 July
 
Preparing Agendas and Minutes
Tuesday, 7 July
 
Effective Letter and Report Writing
Wednesday, 8 July
 
Accounts Receivable for Local Government
Monday, 13 July
For more information or to register online, visit WALGA Training or email training@walga.asn.au to secure a place.
 
Elected Member Training
The following WALGA training courses for Elected Members are scheduled for the month of July/August:
Understanding Financial Reports and Budgets
Friday, 10 July
 
Dealing with Conflict
Tuesday, 14 July
 
Professionally Speaking
Monday, 20 July
 
CEO Performance Appraisals
Tuesday, 21 July
 
Infrastructure Asset Management
Wednesday, 22 July
For more information, or to register online visit WALGA Training or email training@walga.asn.au to secure a place.
 
WA Regional Achievement & Community Awards
The WA Regional Achievement & Community Awards are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions individuals, communities and businesses are making throughout regional and rural Western Australia.
The categories that will be available this year are:
  • Insurance Commission of Western Australia – Regional Safety Award
  • RAC – Volunteering Award
  • Ricoh Australia – Customer Service Award
  • Rinehart - Development of Northern Regional WA Award
  • Curtin University, School of Education – Teaching Excellence Award 
  • Prime Super – Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
  • Woolworths – Community Group of the Year Award
  • Prime Super – Agricultural Innovation Award
  • Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries – Making a Difference Award
Nominations for the 2020 Western Australian Regional Achievement and Community Awards close on Friday, 7 August.
For more information or to nominate, visit the website.
 
Translated COVID-19 Resource Online
Various translated resources relating to COVID-19 are available online:
As WA has moved into Phase 3, the Department of Home Affairs is shifting its focus and welcomes the opportunity to re-engage stakeholders and have more in-depth discussions about issues of interest or concern to communities (including issues other than COVID-19), and possible areas of collaboration.
For more information, email Department of Home Affairs, WA Community Engagement, Citizenship and Multicultural Programs Division or call 9415 9210.
 
Thank a Volunteer Day Grants Program
Grants of up to $1000 are available for community organisations to host events or activities on Thank a Volunteer Day - Saturday, 5 December.
The grants support communities to celebrate Thank a Volunteer Day as a whole of community event to acknowledge and celebrate the role of volunteers in the community.

To ensure a balance of events/activities across Western Australia, only one Thank a Volunteer Day Celebration Grant will be awarded per community (defined as a Local Government Authority area). 

Consideration will be given to supporting more than one event in a Local Government area in those regional areas where distances between communities are deemed large. 

Applications close at 4:00pm on Thursday, 30 July.
For more information or to apply, visit the Department of Communities webpage.
WALGA
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
Email: info@walga.asn.au
www.walga.asn.au
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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, 170 Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia