48 – Emergency management is a hidden talent. Why wait for a disaster?

Posted by Parkinson                                                                                       540 words

emergency flooding

In Victoria, all local governments have a statutory role in responding to municipal emergencies. They must have a committee including local emergency response organisations, and a plan that is maintained and audited. Dozens of staff are inducted and trained in emergency management and, along with their organisational leaders, are a virtual team that can be activated immediately when required. They hold exercises under various scenarios to test their ability. Emergency management is a capability that each council must create and maintain. And they do. Often very well.

It has been said that the public service is at its best in an emergency because tribal conflicts are set aside, the purpose is clear and agreed for once, and the rules become ‘flexible’ in order to be able to react to whatever the emergency brings. Under these circumstances, the public service becomes a responsive, powerful and focussed force. Why do we wait for an emergency to perform at our best? Continue reading

44 – The Executive. What exactly is its role?

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                                         700 words

This seems to be a common question. You frequently hear people saying, ‘that decision will need to go to the Executive’, or ‘don’t do that until you have been to Exec’. If asked, the people saying this often can’t say why they have offered this advice and reviewing the terms of reference for the Executive will usually reveal that it is not a decision making body. It is individual members who have the authority to make decisions. So, what is its role? Continue reading