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Year Book : Year Book 2010
EDITORS’ CHOICE Canberra TimeS Price $2.40 “The mercury hit 38.9 degrees in Canberra on November 20, 2009, equal to the city’s hottest November day on record. Around 2pm a fire broke out in Fyshwick and businesses, including the Canberra Times, were evacuated. The fire caused traffic chaos on a busy Friday afternoon and the smoke was visible throughout the city. After almost three hours outside in the EditOR ROD QUINN heat, Times staff were allowed back into the office to finish off one of the biggest (and as it turned out, most dramatic) editions of the year. Readers rewarded us with a significant spike in sales.” Hundreds of workers were evacuated and thousands of motorists inconvenienced yesterday when a fire in an industrial rubbish yard blanketed Fyshwick in thick black smoke. Two helicopters water-bombed the intense blaze as firefighters on the ground battled strong wind and temperatures at record levels. Businesses in Gladstone, Newcastle and Pirie streets were evacuated around 2pm and police set up an exclusion zone around the suburb. Workers and traffic were not permitted back into the area for about three hours. Traffic on the Monaro Highway and Canberra Avenue was severely affected. The fire was one of three to hit Canberra yesterday as the mercury reached 38.9 degrees, equal to the city’s hottest November day on record. Main photo: GRAHAM TIDY. Inset: GARY SCHAFER Public service could try harder,Rudd says By David McLennan The public service is doing well but not well enough, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says. A KPMG analysis, issued yesterday, comparing the Australian Public Service with overseas bureaucracies, found it ‘‘performs soundly’’, but ‘‘has some way to go if it is to realise the ambition to be the best in the world’’. ‘‘A high-performing public service of the future is likely to require a broader range of skills, ideas and tools,’’ the report said. Mr Rudd, a former bureaucrat, said the public service met the highest standards for independence, professionalism, ethics and efficiency. ‘‘But at the same time, its chal- lenge now is to become more strategic and forward-looking, more outward-looking, and more citizencentred,’’ he said at the Robert HOW WE’RE SERVED AUSTRALIA’S PUBLIC SERVICE COMPARED TO THE WORLD Mid-range on: Top third in: Independent public service with a robust values-based culture Responsive to changes in the economy Higher proportion of women Poor at: Developing the skills and leadership capabilities Performance-based budgeting of government programs Online access to government information and services Mechanisms for collaborating across government Coordinated, informed and strategic policy Tools, methods and institutions for integrating external expertise and the views of citizens into policy development and services Understanding government priorities through the development of an overarching framework Garran oration in Brisbane. ‘‘The APS needs to improve in three key areas: service delivery; the development of excellent policy advice, and planning to ensure it has the highest-quality workforce to meet the challenges ahead.’’ The community still saw government agencies as bureaucratic and unresponsive to individual needs, he said. He cites Centrelink’s response to the Victorian bushfires as the ‘‘sort of integrated approach to service delivery that we need to spread across all government agencies’’. The agency ran 10 community service hubs that offered victims rapid access to government services, instead of forcing them to visit several different offices for help. ‘‘Improved service delivery is just the start of our ambition for APS reform,’’ Mr Rudd said. ‘‘The second great challenge is to ensure that the APS produces the innovative and strategic policy advice for the longterm good of the nation.’’ The KPMG report found the public service was ‘‘less adept than other nations at incorporating nongovernment expertise and the views of citizens into its policy development and service design process’’. Mr Rudd asked the head of his department, Terry Moran, in September to develop a blueprint for a future public service. It will report early next year. Mr Moran’s advisory group, which has identified investing in staff development and education as a key recommendation, is also considering suggesting ‘‘strategic policy centres’’. ‘‘These centres would free public servants from their daily duties so they could collaborate on ideas with a range of outsiders, including academics, business people and overseas researchers,’’ Mr Rudd said. The report suggested creating online citizen portals, similar to those in Denmark, where people could access services and take part in policy debate. Mr Rudd said Australians were generally well served by ‘‘honest, capable and highly committed public servants’’. But ‘‘the APS also has some gaps that will constrain its capacity to help the Government meet some of the nation’s most difficult challenges in the years ahead’’. Mr Rudd conceded he was asking the public service to ‘‘change dramatically, and to stay the same’’. ‘‘The task of the contemporary public service is to protect those enduring values, while transforming itself to meet the great challenges of our time,’’ he said. Community and Public Sector Union deputy secretary Nadine Flood said the union supported the goal of making the APS the best in the world, but there were barriers, such as the more than 100 separate pay agreements that stopped the best staff moving easily between agencies. The advisory group should also consult more widely with public servants, especially front-line staff who delivered services. Reports, pictures Pages 2, 3 FREE NEW MOON POSTER INSIDE OUR REVIEW: PANORAMA | WHAT YOU SAID: PAGE 18 YOUR WORLD | YOUR CITY | YOUR NEWSPAPER SAME-SEX UNIONS CAPITAL SHOWDOWN: FORUM Saturday, November 21, 2009 Hundreds evacuated Traffic chaos Temperature hits record Fyshwick under fi re WEATHER CANBERRA: Chance afternoon thunderstorm, 33 Chance of rain: 40 per cent Wind: NW, 20-30km/h UV index: 12 (extreme) Outlook: Morning shower/ thunderstorm SYDNEY: Chance afternoon shower/thunderstorm, 27 MELBOURNE: Shower or two then rain, 24 Details: Page 16 Vol 82 220 Pages No 27,231 An investment property is closer than you think Apartments in Bruce from $264,900 Download your free investor kit at: villagebuilding.com.au VOL XCVI No.41 SERVING NARRABRI SHIRE AND THE NORTH WEST Axemen seek new blood page 3 Council ‘no’ to regional planning The erosion of local government authority, of which Cr. O’Regan has been warning for many years, is rapidly taking place, Cr. O’Regan said at last meeting of Narrabri Shire Council. In the case before them, Councillors agreed. On the table at the meeting was an outline of a NSW Government announcement that from July 1, new regional panels would oversight building developments worth more than $10 million in Narrabri and other NSW Shires. The Council objected strongly to the move and agreed with Cr. O’Regan that the issue be raised as a matter of urgency at the NSW Shires Association Annual Conference in Sydney from June 1 to 3. A bigger than usual team of Shire staff and councillors will attend this year’s Conference Council was told the State Government will establish Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPP) in NSW. The JRPPs will com- prise people ‘with appropriate expertise’, to determine development projects of regional significance and provide planning advice which will result in ‘stronger decision making through greater expertise and independence taking into account local and regional knowledge.’ There will be six re- gional panels, each of five members, covering city and country NSW. Narrabri Shire Coun- cil will be one of 20 councils included in the ‘Northern Region’ panel. Each five member panel will comprise three people appointed by the Minister and two nominees from the Council where the development is proposed. In future, a developer will lodge a Development Application (DA) with Council, which will assess the DA and send its assessment and recommendation to the JRPP. The JRPP will consider the report and recommendation and make a determination. The JRPPs will be the ‘consent authority’ for regional development. “This is the most undemocratic move I have encountered in my many years in local government” Cr. O’Regan told the Council. “It is regionalisation of planning. To page 2 Rubbish to move? Do it the easy, convenient way Call Namoi WasteCorp Skip Bins Ph: 6792 4766 Servicing our shire 10 PANPA 2010 Year Book In an exhibition race at Wee Waa Show on Saturday, veteran lawn mower racer Tom Campbell roars into the corner, in control until his machine let him down and threw a wheel. Tom disembarked unscathed. High speed mowers burn up the turf Lawnmower racing is emerging as a popular new sport in the North West . And Wee Waa is right up there in the fast-paced mower racing world. Ride-on mower races were a highlight of the Wee Waa Show’s novelty events program, among the all the traditional features on the weekend. . As soon as the mower engines revved, the grandstand filled up. A celebrity mower race attracted some of Wee Waa’s top mowers, but not a lot of grass was cut as they ripped around the circuit. At Wee Waa the mower races were popular spectator entertainment and could become a permanent attraction at shows in the future. Prior to the Wee Waa Show races, mower racers contested the mower events at Moree Show. Wee Waa’s Max Davis was one enthusiast who competed at Moree Show, against racers from Brisbane and the north west. “Prior to that the Aus- tralian Championships were held at Dubbo Show where interstate drivers competed” said Max. “I didn’t go to the Championships” he admitted. “I can get 50-odd kmh out of my mower, but at Moree when the others went past me and did full power slides I decided I wasn’t quite in their league.” However, the gauntlet has been thrown down and Max and other district mower racers will rise to meet the challenge. At Wee Waa, Tom Campbell, formerly of Wee Waa and now of Brisbane, was mowing along at 60kmh. “Tom tells me some of the bigger ones in Brisbane with lawnmower engines, specially geared, get up to 90kmh” said Max. “Some use motorcycle engines, but lawnmower engines are a class of their own.” Standard rules and regulations for mower racing are being drafted so there is a class for everybody, he adds. In Wee Waa, the mower racing grew out of church group gatherings. “Tom Davis speeded his up and brought it along” said Max. One modification led to another and naturally the competitive urge came to the fore and some useful modifications began to be made. The mowers are getting faster. “One area we need to look at is suitable brakes” says Max. “We agreed we need to work on better brakes and steering systems.” But the sport is safe and fun, and has potential to grow. There is already an el- ement of inter-town competition with Moree. “And I understand there are a few hotted up mowers in Narrabri” said Max. • Value for money • Local, reliable, professional service • 6, 4, 2 cubic metres available • Prompt delivery & pick up • 24/7 EditOR IAN DUNNET “Lawn mower racing is a novelty event at the local show in Wee Waa, a neighbouring town to Narrabri. The sport has grown from an after church activity when the menfolk would mow the church grounds and is now a popular feature of the annual show where the mowers are modified to race. Our photographer positioned himself at the corner of the track as the mowers came rocketing around at 40kph and captured the moment the wheel flew off the lead mower as it took the corner.” THe Courier Vintage weekend for Narrabri shire page 3 TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2009 $1.20Inc. GST Dressing up for Sesqui Dinner page 5 21 2009 NOvEMBER PLUS 26 MAy 2009 inside VBC_HUB_Front Page_380x70_19.11.09
Year Book 2009
Year Book 2011