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Local Government News
13 April 2017
Issue 14

In this issue... 

Media Release:

Open Letter to WALGA Members
In recent months, some Members have raised questions regarding the provision of insurance and risk mitigation services by Local Government Insurance Services (LGIS).
LGIS was established in 1995 when the Association launched a self-insurance Scheme for Local Governments and contracted Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty Ltd (JLT) as Scheme managers.

The Scheme was set up as a “Members’ mutual” at a time when the sector was unable to access cost effective cover.

Valid questions from members have arisen as a result of seemingly attractive offers by competing insurance cover providers attempting to enter the Local Government market.

Please click here to view the open letter by WALGA CEO Ricky Burges that provides clarification about pricing and LGIS.
WANDRRA Funding Update
Whilst a formal outcome has not yet been reached, incremental progress is being made on the application by WA Local Governments for formal exemption of the current exclusion of day labour from WANDRRA funding reimbursement.
At the same time, discussions are continuing around the process and assurance requirements for Local Government day labour activities in order to be prepared for Local Governments to act immediately upon approval. 

Further progress will be shared as it occurs.
For more information, email Manager, Emergency Management Melissa Pexton or call 9213 2080.
Financial Assistance Grants Thunderclap Campaign
As part of the national campaign to restore indexation to the Financial Assistance Grants in the May Budget, ALGA is coordinating scheduled thunderclap message via social media.
This short video explains how a thunderclap campaign works.

Councils are encouraged to join the campaign via their Council Twitter accounts  - click here to find out how to join the campaign for Twitter accounts.

Councils are encouraged to also post messages of support for the campaign on their organisational Facebook pages, to occur at the same time as the campaign thunderclap - scheduled to take place at 11:00am on Friday, 21 April.

Facebook posts can use the campaign hashtags of #EndtheFreeze or #RestoreIndexation.

The annual indexation of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) payments to Councils is currently frozen following the Federal Government’s decision in the 2014 budget.

Click here to find out how the freeze to FAGs is affecting your Council and the sector.

The Government indicated in last year’s budget that it would restore indexation to FAGs. However the sector has not received guarantees that the Government will honour this commitment.
For more information, email ALGA Director of Public Affairs Sharon Akinyi.
Local Government NDIS Roundtable Discussion
WALGA is hosting a roundtable for Local Government to consider and discuss the potential impacts and opportunities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme on the sector.
In July 2017, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be formally launched in WA. It is the most significant social service reform since Medicare was introduced in 1975.

WALGA is working towards establishing a base of evidence to better understand the implications of the NDIS system for Local Government and to inform policy and future advocacy.

Date:        Wednesday, 17 May
Time:       9:00am – 1:00pm
Venue:     WALGA Boardroom, ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade, West 
RSVP:      By Friday, 12 May

Click here to register.
For more information, email Community Policy Officer, Nina Hewson or call 9213 2055.
The following courses are available for Local Government Officers:
Conducting Performance Appraisals
Wednesday, 3 May
Accounts Payable for Local Government
Thursday, 11 May
Accounts Receivable for Local Government
Friday, 12 May
Participate in Local Government Emergency Management
Thursday, 11 May
Manage Recovery Activities in Local Government
Friday, 12 May
Dealing with Difficult Customers
Friday, 19 May
To register online or for more information, visit the WALGA Training website or email the Training team.
The new RSL / WALGA ANZAC Day Award has been created to recognise Local Government contribution to the promotion and facilitation of community involvement in ANZAC Day commemorative events and initiatives.
The Award Panel, which will consist of senior WALGA and RSLWA representatives, will consider:
  • collaboration between the RSL and the Local Government in ensuring a successful commemoration
  • innovation by the Local Government in ensuring continued relevance of ANZAC Day commemorations in community life, and
  • involvement of the broader community, including young people, in ANZAC Day commemorations.

Photographs and/or other imagery of the commemoration as well as statements from veterans, community members and third parties are encouraged.

Click here to download the nomination form.

Nominations close on Friday, 2 June.

Following the close of nominations, the Award Panel will determine the winner with reference to the criteria outlined above.

The Award will be presented during the WALGA Annual General Meeting held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday, 2 August

For more information, email Manager, Strategy and Association Governance Tim Lane or call 9213 2029.
Local Government Health and Wellbeing Forum
WALGA will hold a Local Government Health and Wellbeing Professional Development Forum which will provide a range of information on health and wellbeing to Local Government Elected Members and Officers.
The Forum will feature a keynote address by University of Sydney Professor of Planetary Health Dr Anthony Capon on the concept of planetary health, its relevance to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and its application to health and wellbeing for Local Governments.

Also included in the program is current information on antibiotic resistance, Local Government case studies, information on health in rural, remote and Aboriginal communities, and the health benefits of playing in nature.

The forum will include a trade expo featuring providers of health and wellbeing support for Local Governments.

Date:      Wednesday, 10 May
Time:      9:00am – 3:30pm
Venue:   Bendat Community Centre, 36 Dodd St, Wembley
Cost:      $95.00 (Incl GST)
Coffee/tea, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided.

Click here for the program and to register for the forum.
For more information, email Marketing and Event Officer, Ulla Wolter or call 9213 2097.
Local Government Honours Awards 2017
WALGA Honours Awards recognise some of the most valuable and committed members of the community. This year's program opens until Friday, 5 May.
There are six categories of awards in the 2017 Honours program:
  • The Local Government Medal and the Life Membership Award recognise outstanding achievements and significant contributions by Elected Members and Officers to the Association and/or to Local Government.
  • The Eminent Service Award recognises personal commitment, eminent service and contribution to Local Government or the Association by an Elected Member or Serving Officer of the Association.
  • Those who have provided a high degree of service as either a State Councillor for over eight years or an Elected Member for more than 12 years could be eligible for the Long and Loyal Award.
  • The Merit Awards recognise Councillors who have demonstrated distinguished service to the community through their Local Government.
  • The Local Government Distinguished Officer Award recognises the achievements of Local Government Officers.
Nomination forms and policy documents are available on the WALGA website.
Awards will be presented to recipients at a ceremony held during the WA Local Government Convention on Wednesday, 2 August
For more information, email Executive Officer, Governance and Organisational Services Ana Fernandez or call 9213 2013.
Peel-Harvey Catchment Council Community Environment Grants
The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council Community Environment Grants to support local communities and landholders to undertake projects that protect and enhance natural assets is now open.
Applications need to be in accordance with the Peel-Harvey’s natural resource management strategy - the Bindjareb Boodja Landscapes 2025 and National Landcare Program objectives.

Individual grants up to a maximum $50,000 are available for activities undertaken within the Peel-Harvey Catchment.

These grants are open to community groups, schools and individuals (private landholders).

Applications close Monday, 24 April.
For more information, visit the Peel Harvey Catchment Council website.
Recognition for Coastal Care Excellence
The nominations for the 2017 Western Australian Coastal Awards for Excellence are now open.
The 2017 award categories are:
  • Coastal Champion
  • Community Group
  • Local Government
  • On-ground Coastal Management
  • Coastal Planning Initiative
  • Coastal Development/Design/Tourism Initiative
Applicants may self-nominate or nominate any eligible community group, organisation or individual. This presents an excellent opportunity for coastal Local Governments to highlight the excellent work being undertaken by themselves, or in partnership with their community.   

Nominations close on Thursday, 1 June with winners to be announced in August.
For more information, visit the the Department of Planning website.
Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program
Up to $1.05 million is available for the 2017-18 Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program funding, which is now open for applications from visitor centres in regional areas of the State.
The grant program provides regional visitor centres an opportunity to transition towards financial sustainability either by reducing costs or increasing revenues.

Applications are required to be submitted to Tourism WA by 5:00pm, Friday, 16 June.
For more information, or to submit application, visit the Tourism WA website.
Bushfire Awareness Course Subsidy Scheme
The Department of Planning’s subsidy scheme for Local Government employees to complete the five-day Bushfire Attack Level Assessor short course or the two-day Bushfire Attack Level Awareness course closes on Friday, 30 June.
The five-day short course on Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment will provide participants with the required skills, knowledge and ability to determine a BAL and provide advice on the required construction provisions.

Each Local Government can have up to three employees claim the $870 subsidy for the five-day BAL Assessor course. 

The two-day BAL awareness course will provide participants with a broad understanding of the new building and planning requirements for development in bushfire prone areas in Western Australia.

Each Local Government can have one employee claim the $600 subsidy for the two-day BAL Awareness course.

To enrol or for more information about the course, visit the Fire Protection Association Australia website.
For more information on the subsidy, email the Department of Planning or call 6551 9000.
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, 170 Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia