The latest round of South Australia’s Local Government Research and Development Scheme is underway, with $520,000 in funding set to support eight initiatives around the state that address issues like climate change, the housing crisis and cost-of-living pressures.

Exclusive to South Australia, each year the scheme allocates up to $2 million through a competitive funding round to tackle common challenges, fast-track solutions and unlock innovation to meet citizen demands and build stronger communities.

Successful projects in this latest round will build emergency resilience, strengthen cyber security and data protection, create workforce wellbeing and retention strategies and look at ways to address gender equity.

This includes a collaborative project between seven metropolitan councils to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when constructing local roads and footpaths.

The joint initiative, led by the City of Charles Sturt, aims to build sector knowledge of greenhouse gas emissions associated with standard road and footpath design, materials and construction and highlight ways to lower emissions through procurement, design approaches and construction specifications.  

LGA President and Mayor of Kimba District Council, Dean Johnson, said that the latest round of projects focused on key sector priorities like homelessness and housing, climate and environment, financial sustainability, community wellbeing and inclusion and skills shortages.

“These latest projects are creating lasting, positive change for our communities,” Mayor Johnson said.

“While each of these initiatives vary in size and scope, they all tackle important issues and will provide excellent outputs and case studies to benefit and strengthen the entire local government sector.”

The City of Charles Sturt Mayor, Angela Evans, welcomed the support of the LGA for the project and remarked on the partnership with Port Adelaide Enfield, West Torrens, Adelaide, Salisbury, Campbelltown and Unley Councils to deliver their project.

“Councils play an important role in addressing key issues in our communities and this assistance from the Local Government Research and Development Scheme will only help us continue to serve, innovate and deliver for our residents,” Mayor Evans said.

“The City of Charles Sturt has a commitment to achieve net zero corporate greenhouse emissions and this encompasses everything we do, including how we design and construct infrastructure such as roads and footpaths.

“It’s a long-term strategy that requires new ideas, perspectives and investment with a focus on our city’s climate resilience heading into the future. We are thankful for the partnership with other councils and the LGA’s support with this project.”

The Research and Development Scheme is open to local councils, regional local government associations, education institutions and universities, local government professional bodies, local government unions, state and federal government agencies that want to collaborate with local government in South Australia.

The recipients of this latest round of funding are: 

  • Mid Murray Council – Collaboration Towards Emergency Resilience ($120,000)
  • Local Government Professionals Australia (SA) – Workforce and gender equity in South Australian Local Government ($75,000)
  • Flinders University – South Australian Local Government Aboriginal Cultural Capability Toolkit ($71,686)
  • Environmental Health Australia (SA) Inc – Building regulatory efficiencies for sustainable onsite wastewater system management ($70,897)
  • City of Charles Sturt – Decision support for lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in local roads and footpaths ($50,000)
  • Local Government Information Technology Association of SA Inc. – Local Government Data Governance Framework ($49,500)
  • University of South Australia – Recognising and rewarding staff of Local Government: A step toward greater wellbeing and retention in the workforce ($47,000)
  • Flinders University – A clandestine laboratory and methamphetamine contamination toolkit for Environmental Health Officers ($34,700)

Featured image: LGA President, Mayor Dean Johnson, and City of Charles Sturt Mayor, Angela Evans. Image credit: Local Government Association of South Australia. 


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