The Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria Sustainable Cities and Clean Beaches Awards have named the City of Boroondara  as Sustainable City of the Year 2012.

The City of Boroondara was singled out for incorporating sustainability in its practices and fostering awareness in the wider community.
Council projects and initiatives recognised by the Awards included:

  • implementing biodiversity protection and awareness initiatives, including the Backyard Biodiversity project, Biodiversity Strategy and corridors plan
  • conducting practical Living for our Future workshops and the Sustainable Living Festival
  • reducing energy use and carbon emissions
  • providing exceptional recycling facilities and promoting waste education
  • acknowledging local residents' "green" achievements in their homes and gardens via the annual Boroondara Sustainability Awards
  • maintaining cultural heritage through the detailed restoration of Kew Court House and Police Station
  • embracing water sensitive urban design principles across Council in both large and small projects (for example, Glen Iris Wetlands and a new raingarden at Balwyn Community Centre).

The City of Boroondara also won the Community Government Partnership Award for the Kew Court House and Police Station refurbishment project. The collaborative nature of the project involving several partners such as the Kew Historical Society, Heritage Victoria and others, was deemed an outstanding effort.

Rabbits, wild dogs, feral goats, pigs, carp and other exotic pests will be the target of a new strategy designed to prevent and manage pest animals in the ACT and reduce the harmful damage to the environment.

The Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has launched the Health eTowns TelehealthNT Network initiative that will give remote communities in the Northern Territory better access to healthcare.

The Western Australian Government has announced new emergency management procedures in implementing a key recommendation of the Keelty report into the Perth Hills bushfire.

The Northern Territory Minister for Natural Resources, Karl Hampton, has released the independent review of BushfiresNT, announcing that all of its 44 recommendations will be implemented.

The Queensland Government has introduced the Heavy Vehicle National Law Bill 2012 into its Parliament. Passage of the Bill will establish the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator in Brisbane and allow for the appointment of the five-member Board and the CEO.

The Queensland Government has proposed a $100 million, four year Floodplain Security Scheme (FSS) and called on the Federal Government to match State spending in the program which would aim to flood-proof large parts of Queensland.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has written to the Federal Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon seeking Federal support for an overall approach to flood risk management and mitigation efforts.

Mr Seeney said Queensland would commit $40 million over the next four years to deliver a comprehensive planned program of flood mitigation, but believed Federal and local government involvement could create a $100 million flood mitigation fund.

“It is the Queensland Government’s view that the FSS, part of the Royalties for Regions program, should be funded on a 2:2:1 basis with the Commonwealth and State Governments providing $2 million for every $1 million provided by local government,” Mr Seeney said.

“A matching $40 million commitment from the Federal Government would provide significant and vital investment in reducing the flood risk for Queensland communities and would reduce the financial exposure of all levels of government to future disaster events.”

Mr Seeney said the recent Charleville flood where levees prevented flooding in the town and saved tens of millions of dollars in disaster and insurance payouts showed the benefits of effective proactive mitigation work.

“Upfront investment can provide long term savings to all levels of government and the community and provide increased confidence to the insurance sector.”

The Queensland Government has announced a restructure of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and TransLink, involving  a targeted staff reduction of 18 per cent or 1,970 FTE corporate and support roles from the Department and TransLink, saving $287 million over the next four years.

The South Australian EPA has issued environmental guidelines for Nyrstar’s Port Pirielead smelter setting out finalised variations to the licence conditions.

The Western Australian Government and Town of Port Hedland  have given the green light for the $152million Spoilbank Marina Precinct development in north-west WA.

The SunWater Board has decided not to proceed with the Connors River Dam and Pipelines (CRDP) project in Central Queensland because it is not financially viable.

Queensland’s public servant numbers have fallen by more than 4400 full-time equivalents since the state election.

WA Attorney General Michael Mischin has announced the appointment of Neil Douglas as an acting commissioner of the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC).

The committee that will guide the preparation of the Central Queensland Regional Plan has met for the first time to begin development of the region’s Statutory Regional Plan to help resolve land use conflicts.

The committee includes the mayors of five councils, six Members of State Parliament and 11 members representing business, industry and community groups.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the Central Queensland Regional Planning Committee would be a forum to address community issues and interests.

“This committee will oversee the regional planning process and increase understanding within the community of the Central Queensland Regional Plan,” Mr Seeney said.

“Communities will be represented by their mayors who will put forward the views of their local regions during the process. Industry representatives will also have a voice at the table.

“The committee will make sure the views of both local and wider groups are considered in its work.”

There will be widespread community consultation throughout the development of the regional plan and a number of opportunities for community members to have input.

Mr Seeney said including land use mapping in the statutory regional plan would help resolve conflict between landholders and the agricultural and resources sectors.

“Central Queensland has diverse agricultural assets and an abundance of resource deposits,” he said.

“This plan will ensure the region grows in a managed and sustainable way and will let us deal with urban expansion, the timing and sequencing of infrastructure and enhancing agricultural, resource and tourism opportunities while ensuring management of environmental impacts.”

Mr Seeney said the committee would increase transparency of the regional plan development process, following an expression-of-interest process for community and industry representatives.

He said the committee would represent a range of regional viewpoints and interests during the preparation of the Central Queensland Statutory Regional Plan which is expected to be finalised in August 2013.

There will be opportunities for community input during the drafting of the plans over the next six months and a formal consultation period for submissions on draft plans early next year.

Members of the Central Queensland Regional Planning Committee are:

Councillor Ron Carige – Mayor of Banana Shire Council
Councillor Peter Maguire – Mayor of Central Highlands Regional Council
Councillor Terry Munns – Mayor of Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council
Councillor Gail Sellers – Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council
Councillor Margaret Strelow – Mayor of Rockhampton Regional Council

Mr Stephen Bennett MP – Member for Burnett
Mr Bill Byrne MP – Member for Rockhampton
Mrs Liz Cunningham MP – Member for Gladstone
Mr Vaughan Johnson MP – Member for Gregory
Mr Ted Malone MP – Member for Mirani
Mr Bruce Young MP – Member for Keppel

Ms Mary Carroll – Chief Executive Officer, Capricorn Enterprise, Rockhampton
Ms Elyse Riethmuller – Senior Executive, Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. Rockhampton
Ms Sandra Hobbs – General Manager, Central Highlands Development Corporation, Emerald
Ms Diane Morris – Treasurer, Enterprise Biloela Association Inc
Mr Andrew Barger – Director, Resource and Environment Policy, Queensland Resources Council, Brisbane
Mr Paul Bell – Acting Chair, Regional Development Australia - Fitzroy and Central West, Parkhurst
Ms Mabel Quakawoot – Director, Port Curtis-Coral Coast Aboriginal Corporation, Erakala
Mr Ian Burnett – Vice President, AgForce Queensland, Emerald
Mr Sam Bradford – Member, Golden Triangle Community, Springsure
Ms Saleena Ham – Project Officer, Moura Chamber of Commerce
Ms Elizabeth Alexander – Dawson Valley Cotton Growers Assn. & Central Highlands Cotton Growers & Irrigators Assn.

The Queensland Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek has announced a series of measures to reduce expenditure in his portfolio.

The Queensland Government is planning to freeze all Queensland Rail bonuses.

Three external reports on potential savings and efficiencies in Health have been released for public consultation by the South Australian Government.

The South Australian Government has announced the seven-member board of the Urban Renewal Authority  which will be charged with delivering and increasing the supply and diversity of affordable housing and accelerating the renewal of social housing stock.

The Victorian Government’s State Services Authority is seeking a new CEO.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG)  meeting this week received a report from its Future Competition and Regulatory Reform Taskforce which has been consulting with peak business bodies and organisations including conservation groups which have an interest in environmental regulation reforms.

COAG has agreed to establish an independent review panel to conduct a broad ranging investigation into cost, competitiveness and productivity challenges in the commercial, civil and large scale residential construction industry. 

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