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Welcome to the 2013/14 Summer edition of the Mead Perry Group newsletter.

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In this Issue

  • What have we been doing?
  • Feature: Implementation of Change
  • Queensland Council Valuations
  • Local Buy Cricket Day - 1st Ashes Test
  • Western Australian Council Amalgamations
  • Queensland Councils De-amalgamations
  • South Australia gets ready for State Election
  • NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel Report
  • Our Specialist Services
  • Mead Perry Group joined Facebook!
  • Our Local Buy registration contract details

What have we been doing?

We have been keeping busy with a variety of specialist projects for Councils throughout Australia, including but not limited to;
  • Organisational Review - 1 Council
  • On-cost Review - 1 Council;
  • Delegations Review - 2 Councils;
  • Instruments of Appointment - 1 Council;
  • CEO Performance Review - 1 Council;
  • Plant Hire Review - 1 Council;
  • Works Order Program - 1 Council;
  • Code of Conduct - 1 Council;
  • Policy Awareness Training - 1 Council
Does your organisation need advice or assistance in any of these areas?

We can help.


MPG feel it is important to ensure good communication and networking continues to be a high priority with both existing and new clients to better serve needs of local governments and the issues that immediately affect you!

Scott conducting Policy Awareness Training at Diamantina Shire Council

Bulloo Shire Council's new Administration Office under construction

Diamantina Shire Council Works Manager Trevor Stewart and CEO Leon Love at the site of the new residential subdivision in Bedourie.

Feature Story
Implementation of Change


We have planned well, but how do we make the change happen?
 

In our last newsletter we looked at the first element of effective change management. This included the identification of issues and development of a comprehensive implementation plan through a structured, multi-disciplined process.

As explained, this is best achieved through the leadership and support of an internal or external change manager who can provide the energy and focus to see the process to fruition. Importantly however the critical success factor is the commitment of the Chief Executive Officer and the executive team in seeing the change through and supporting the change agent as the implementation plan is rolled out.

A good implementation plan should clearly set out agreed time lines, responsibilities and reporting frameworks to support and drive the implementation of the change. Not surprisingly, in some cases even the best implementation plans can still be “left on the shelf” if a loss of focus allows commitment to the change wain. It is therefore almost always necessary to maintain a dedicated resource to monitor the implementation plan progress, maintain accountability of responsible officers and generally keep commitment and energy levels sustained.


Inevitably change will be resisted at some level through the implementation process. This must be acknowledged, monitored and managed as is necessary to ensure negative influences do not bog down the whole process. The continued support and commitment of the executive team to the change process is vital in ensuring that any individual or organisational resistance to change is overcome.

In working through the implementation of change, unexpected issues or circumstances may arise that can potentially disrupt or block the process. It is probable that staff will not pick up on these issues as they focused on their own area of responsibility. Therefore, it is critical that the change manager constantly scan for potential issues and be proactive in addressing them. It is possible that there will need to be some amendment to the plan in order to overcome these challenges while maintaining the direction that will deliver the ultimate change outcome.

It is clear that to be effective in the delivery of well managed change that will improve organisational performance an organisation must:

 

  • plan well,
  • provide adequate resources to maintain focus and energy,
  • maintain executive commitment to the change and
  • maintain a dedicated driver of the change process.

In bringing this topic full circle, we will finish this discussion with the words from the beginning of our previous article.

“All organisations are challenged by the need for change. Whether driven by external or internal imperatives, an organisations’ success is largely based on how well change is managed.”

Queensland Council Valuations

Queensland Council valuations will be issued to landholders and Council in March 2014 to take effect as at the first of July 2014.   Councils being revalued are as follows:
Banana, Brisbane, Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Central Highlands, Cloncurry, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Gympie, Hinchinbrook, Ipswich, Isaac, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Mackay, Maranoa, Moreton Bay, Mount Isa, Redland, Rockhampton, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Western Downs and Whitsunday.
Our experience in recent years has been that for some Councils, revaluations have resulted in fluctuating valuation relativities within and across council differential rate categories. If this occurs and rates are only adjusted to manage “overall’ or average valuation changes, it is highly likely that there will be unintended implications for ratepayers due to fluctuations in individual levies.
 
In recent years we have found that revaluations have required detailed analysis to establish the full impact of changes for individual or groups of ratepayers.  The issue is that Councils are advised of overall valuation changes across broad sectors. Usually this information is not aligned with Councils’ differential rating structure. So for instance Council may be informed of, for example a 10% valuation increase for commercial land, but fluctuations within that sector may have been a 50% increase for some and 40% decrease for others.
Detailed analysis also informs decision making on the means to address issues and to maintain Council rating strategies and desired outcomes.
 
In many cases it is necessary to take advantage of Council differential rating powers to manage the impact of valuation fluctuations within existing rate categories.
In Queensland in 2013, the number of Council differential general rate categories varied from two (2) to two hundred and fifty five (255) with the average being 39 per Council. This variation reflects the needs and desired rating outcomes for Councils across the State as well as demonstrating that there is a wide range of options available to Councils if they wish to manage rating outcomes for their community.
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Since 2005, MPG has been refining a powerful rates modelling system that allows us to analyse your new valuation data to identify and address any issues with fluctuations in valuation relativities. In that time we have assisted Councils on at least twenty-six (26) occasions in reviewing, analysing and restructuring their rating systems.
Feel free to discuss any rating concerns you may have with us as we may be able to assist you to deliver positive outcomes for Council and the community.

Local Buy - Cricket Day
1st Ashes Test

On November 24th Scott and John were lucky enough to be special guests of Local Buy at 'Day Four' of the 1st Ashes Test held in Brisbane. 
Australia dominated England in a crushing first test victory at the Gabba. A mid afternoon down pour showered the pitch with hail but didn't dampen spirits and Australia finished on top, beating the visitors by 381 runs. 

Australia finished the Ashes series with a 5 - 0 whitewash over England.

Special thanks to Local Buy Chairman Ian Leckanby for hosting MPG for the day.

LGMA CEO Peta Irvine and John Perry of MPG.

Local Buy Chairman Ian Leckenby, John Perry & LGMA CEO Peta Irvine at the Gabba.
Storm clouds produced a 90 minute rain break and peppered the field with hail stones. Photo: Reuters

Western Australian Council Amalgamations


The Western Australian State Government has initiated reform of the local government (LG) sector to 'create fewer councils, reduce the number of councillors to no more than six to nine per council with a view to encourage a greater focus on regional long–term planning and to strengthen service delivery'.

The original proposal released by the Western Australian State Government saw 30 councils cut to 14. After multiple campaigns by Western Australian Councils the Government revised the amalgamation proposal. The final proposal released on November 12th sees council numbers halve from 30 to 15, leaving Fremantle and Melville as separate entities.  

For a detailed map of proposed Council areas see the below website:
http://metroreform.dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/Maps/State_Government_Model2013.pdf


 

Queensland Councils De-amalgamations

Four local councils in Queensland have separated from the Regional Councils they were amalgamated with in 2008 following a March referendum in which their communities overwhelmingly voted for de-amalgamation:

  • Noosa Shire Council from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council;
  • Livingstone Shire Council from the Rockhampton Regional Council;
  • Mareeba Shire Council from the Tablelands Regional Council; and
  • Douglas Shire Council from the Cairns Regional Council.
In all cases the de-amalgamations are to the boundaries that existed in 2008.

The Local Government (De-amalgamation Implementation) Regulation 2013, which formalised the process, was enacted on 11 April 2013. Transfer Managers were appointed from April 2013 to oversee the transition process and establishment of the new local governments. Elections were held on 9 November 2013 and Council's official commencement date was 1 January 2014. Under the Local Government Act 2009 (LGA), the new councillors were required to hold the first council meeting within 14 days of their election.

Mayoral Appointment's are as follows:
Douglas Shire Council: Cr Julia Leu
Livingstone Shire Council: Cr Bill Ludwig
Mareeba Shire Council: Cr Tom Gilmore
Noosa Shire Council: Cr Noel Playford

CEO Appointments are as follows:
Douglas Shire Council: Mr Jeff Tate (Acting)
Livingstone Shire Council: Mr Andrew Ireland
Mareeba Shire Council: Mr Peter Franks (Commences 3rd February)
Noosa Shire Council:
Mr Brett de Chastel (Commences 3rd February)
 

South Australia gets ready for State Election

The 2014 South Australian state election will elect members to the 53rd Parliament of South Australia on 15 March 2014. At this election all seats in the House of Assembly, whose current members were elected at the 2010 election, and half the seats in the Legislative Council, last filled at the 2006 election, will become vacant.

The Local Government Association of South Australia released a 47 page election campaign titled Working Together on December 10th on the steps of Parliament House. 


Issues discussed in the campaign include:
 

  • Planning;
  • Waste Management;
  • Stormwater;
  • Community Wastewater Management Scheme (CWMS);
  • Regional Development;
  • State / Local Government Relations;
  • Local Government Revenue;
  • Climate Change;
  • Sport and Recreation;
  • Infrastructure Funding;
  • Roads Infrastructure;
  • Disaster Resilience / Emergency Management; and
  • Natural Resource Management

In addition to leadership to Councils the LGA also provides representation outwards to State and Federal Governments and other key stakeholders.

A copy of the Working Together campaign can be found  on the LGA SA website below:

http://www.lga.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/State%20Election%20Document%202014%20-%20Web%20Version.pdf
 

New South Wales Independent Local Government Review Panel Report

The Independent Local Government Review Panel was appointed by the NSW Government in 2012. Its directive was to deliver options for governance models, structures and boundary changes that would improve the strength and effectiveness of local government, support the key strategic directions set out in the Destination 2036 Action Plan, and further the objectives of NSW 2021: A Plan to Make NSW Number One (the State Plan).
There were four stages of the review process:
 

  • Setting the Scene
  • Key Issues and Sign Posts
  • Models and Options
  • Final Report
     
The Final Report comprises 65 recommendations under 12 crucial themes that focus on long term sustainability, strategic capacity, fiscal reforms, revenue and funding, structural and governance reforms, and improved relations between Local and State Governments. Local councils have until 7th March 2014 to respond to the Final Report.

The Final Report can be viewed at: http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au
 

Conferences


Sponsoring and Attending

LGMA Central Queensland Branch Compass Series, Monto (13-14 March 2014)
78th Annual Western Queensland Local Government Association Conference (WQLGA), Tambo (April / May 2014).

 
Sponsorship Only

Further Conferences scheduled for your information

Queensland
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
South Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia

New South Wales
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Victoria
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Tasmania
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Western Australia
Local Government Association
Local Government Managers Australia
Northern Territory
Local Government Association


 

Our Specialist Services

Mead Perry Group have officially joined Facebook! Click the link below or find us at www.facebook.com/meadperrygroup.

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PO Box 142, Highfields   Qld   4352

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