LG Manager : CHRISTMAS EDITION 2013
JoHn JAPP CEO, EAST ARNHEM SHIRE COUNCIL, NT one lesson i’ve leaRned This YeaR is the danger of relinquishing ‘command and control’. I say this after needing to acquire a tropical shirt, fleecy pyjamas and possibly something involving leather and lace, all to wear to the office. Let me explain. East Arnhem is the eighth most disadvantaged local government area in Australia and work can be tough for our 340-plus staff spread over nine communities. There’s little real joy and not much socialising, and I wanted to address that. One idea was to introduce casual Fridays involving dress-ups and lunch, first at HQ in Nhulunbuy, but with plans to extend the initiative to our other offices. I’m pleased to say these events are becoming increasingly popular, but they’ve taken their toll on my ‘command and control’. Having picked a winner with the tropical shirts, I urged others to chip in their dress-up ideas – and I was fine with the daggy boots. Then pyjamas came up and I thought “Oh no!” but having urged everyone to take ownership, I just had to bite the bullet. Would I be so rash with ‘command and control’ again? Let me think about that while I head out to buy a little pink something – apparently my salmon shirt just won’t cut it. tHe Hon. don PAGe, MP MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT & MINISTER FOR THE NORTH COAST, NSW ManY oF The seedlings We PlanTed when we were elected in 2011 are beginning to bear fruit. In areas as diverse as companion animals and swimming pools, to simplified planning laws and up to $1 billion in improvements for local infrastructure either delivered or in the pipeline, we are committed to improving NSW people’s lives by strengthening local government. We have also worked to end dysfunction in local councils by boosting the Code of Conduct and bringing in early intervention laws that nip problems with councils in the bud. For the first time in 17 years, no council in NSW is under administration – and we want to keep it that way if possible. On a personal note, I try to get my work/life balance right even though being a Minister is quite demanding time-wise. Living in Byron Bay, the opportunity to get away on my BMW 650 bike and go for a spin to have a coffee in the hinterland with my wife is always enjoyable. Although New Year’s resolutions seem destined to be broken – particularly if they relate to exercising more and consuming less – most of us learn something from one year that we’d like to take into the next. We asked seven local government luminaries from around Australia to share a 2013 learning they plan to build on in 2014. John Japp models the tropical shirt that started it all. Don Page takes a well-earned breather from NSW local government reform. this year neXt year 9 LGManagerChristmasEdition2013 HAPPY NEW YEAR!
OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2013