Last week the PSP team sponsored a ‘Tips for Success in Local Government Planning’ hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia. A panel of experts from Local Government represented a breadth of planning experience, statutory, strategic, enforcement, regional and metro. While there, we learnt how to get the most out of your Local Government career and how to appreciate your role in the council.
These are our four key takeaways...
Focus on the big picture
Planning can be challenging, as a planner you face so many different pressures, externally from the community, internally from the organization, not to mention time pressures, etc. It’s important to take a step back and remember why you do what you do. Try not to get lost in the process and remember planners are the key to the community to achieving their dreams!
A really good tip from Amanda Cuxson (Statutory Planning Coordinator, Investigations and Projects at Nillumbik Shire Council) - was to go out and view some of the applications you have approved in the area as it might look different in real life. It may have made sense at the time and on paper but when you see it in reality, it might not. Or on the other hand, it may look awesome and it will remind you of the impact one of your decisions can have.
Understand the organisation
There are so many different elements within planning for you to get involved in, that was reflective in the breadth of experience in the panel alone. There are many avenues you can take your career and you don’t need to feel ‘stuck’ in one area or in one organization.
Get involved in process improvements, take the opportunity to learn and grow your skillset when given the chance. Learn from those around you, don’t be afraid to ask questions and use the senior team members to tap into their knowledge and experience.
A tip from Natasha Swan (Manager of City Planning – City of Monash) - Integrate with other departments in the organization. You’ll find you get a lot more achieved and in a shorter time frame when you take the time to understand the people around you and what their drivers are. When you are waiting for another team to come back on something, walk across and ask in person, instead of sending an email. You also have the opportunity to learn from other disciplines this way, too.
Applicants are people too!
The planning scheme can be tricky to navigate for planners, let alone for people who are not qualified, imagine how they feel trying to understand the legislation and how to interpret it. Planners have a tendency for being too technical at times, perhaps it’s time to bring it back to basics for the customer. Be open and honest with applicants and you will quickly form relationships and build rapport with the community. Breakdown the barriers between applicants and yourself by empathising with them.
A great tip from John Ciavarella (Manager of Statutory Planning – City of Ballarat) - Do not tell the applicant how they CAN’T do something, instead show them how they CAN!
Power of Planning
Planners are the frontline troops, delivering the community's hopes and dreams. Every small decision you make leads to an accumulative change.
The smallest application can make a difference to the community or even one street. Chad Griffiths spoke about ‘death by a thousand cuts’ and how each minor planning decision could lead to the eventual death of an area – so think of that in reverse, each minor decision can change a place for the better. Try not to get disheartened if you find yourself doing 20 sheds and remember the possible impact.
A great tip from Chad Griffiths (Principal Strategic Planner – Brimbank City Council) - “Don’t underestimate the power of your influence.”
(Side note, my director said if Chad was running for a political party he would vote for him, this will give you an idea of how empowering this sentiment was!)
We left the event with a broader understanding and respect for the planning profession and are excited to support more planners on their journey to success within Local Government.
If you are interested in exploring opportunities in Local Government, connect with Emma here for a confidential chat.
PSP are working with an inner metro council on the recruitment of a Senior Placemaking Officer for a contract role. The Senior Placemaking Officer will manage the delivery of Placemaking projects including the preparation of place plans, concept design for key proposals, engaging with key stakeholders and coordinate the implementation of various placemaking initiatives. The position will involve reviewing community and consultant inputs, preparing spatial plans and strategies, developing urban design concepts, and writing placemaking related reports. The role will also involve collaborating with internal & external partners to make great places, including the organization of creative activations, community events, internal working groups and external stakeholder workshops. This is a great opportunity for a Landscape Architect, Urban Designer or Planner who wants to transition into placemaking. There will be a mix of working from home and office based work. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in landscape architecture, urban design or urban planning. Excellent communication skills, including report writing, visual presentation and oral communication skills. Demonstrated experience in community consultation processes. Good project management skills including managing project tasks, resources & timeframes. Benefits include: Entry into a placemaking role Work in a busy council with a variety of projects to get exposure to. Flexible working hours. Attractive hourly rate. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
PSP currently seeking a Senior Landscape Architect to work for a metro council on a contract basis for a three month contract. Covering a secondment, it is likely this role may be extended beyond this period. Joining a busy inner council, you will be working on the design and documentation of a number of open space and public realm projects, including a dog parks, pocket parks and a mixed-use plaza. This is a Band 7 role and we are seeking an LA with local government experience who is competent with design, documentation. You will be working a mixture of remote and office based. The offices are easily accessible from all directions and surrounded by plenty of coffee and lunch options. This role is paying between $60 - $68 p/h + super. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or other associated profession. Design and documentation skills. Previous Local Government experience. Benefits include: Add to your portfolio with experience in a busy metro council. $60- $68 per hour, with flexible working hours. Remote working and office based balance. Will consider part-time hours For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP on (03) 8535 3111.
Public Sector People are working with a local metro council on the recruitment of a Band 5 or a Band 6 statutory planner for a maternity leave contract. The contract is until December 2021. This council are undergoing massive growth and this is a great opportunity for a planner seeking exposure to growth area planning. You will be joining a team with an excellent culture, very friendly and supportive. This council have a strong customer service focus, so would suit a planner who knows the importance of providing a first class service to applicants and residents. You will be managing a caseload of basic applications, residential, industrial and commercial. This role is suitable for someone with at least six months local government experience. You will be continuing to work from home with one or two days in the office for the foreseeable. This is a fantastic council to join from both a cultural perspective and for career development. This council have plenty of opportunity for permanent positions coming up, so a great time to get your foot in the door and potentially secure a permanent role. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Local Government experience, ideally within Victoria. Excellent customer service skills and ensure a great experience for applicants. Benefits include: Long term contract role. Excellent team culture. Working from home and Office balance. A council with diverse planning issues, not just rescode. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
Public Sector People are working with a central Victorian council on the recruitment of an Environmental Health Officer. This is an initial three month contract but likely to extend. You will be able to demonstrate your excellent industry knowledge and previous experience working for a Local Council as an EHO. You will be able to competently complete registered premises inspections whilst communicating with local proprietors in a professional manner. This role will pay $50p/h + super for candidates at a Band 6 level with previous local government experience. You will be working on Customer complaint investigations Public Health and Wellbeing Act inspections Food Act inspections Pandemic Team support Health promotion support and program implementation and development Customer engagement and setting expectations Requirements include: Suitable qualifications – Bachelor of Applied Science or Health Science (Environmental Health) – or recognised equivalency Recent public sector experience as a practicing Environmental Health Officer, or membership with Environmental Health Australia Current Victorian driver licence. Previous Local Government experience as an EHO. For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other Environmental Health roles within public sector, please contact Emma Murphy on (03) 8535 3111 | Emma@publicsectorpeople.com.au.
Public Sector People are currently working with a council in Central Victoria in the recruitment of a Band 5 or Band Planning Compliance Officer. Our client is looking for previous planning enforcement experience within Local Government. Planners who have enforcement experience are also encouraged to apply. An average day will include investigation of planning complaints, conducting on-site inspections to ensure compliance with permit conditions and gathering information / evidence for enforcement purposes. Given the current climate, social distancing precautions will be in place. This is initially a three month contract and would suit a planner with enforcement experience or an enforcement officer who are out of work due to Covid. Requirements include: A full valid Victorian Drivers licence. Ability to gather evidence and conduct investigations to achieve planning compliance, including for prosecutions and enforcement orders where required Ability to listen and to communicate effectively with all relevant stakeholders to handle stressful situation in relation to development disputes Benefits include: Pick up some work in a council which often extend their contractors. Gain valuable experience in a regional Victorian council. No two days the same, this role promises a varied workload and opportunity be a part of a face-paced and dynamic team. $45 - $50 p/h depending on experience. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
Public Sector People are working with a Council, North East of Melbourne who require a Public Notice Officer one day a week for a period of six months. The primary responsibility of this role will be the installation/display, maintenance and removal of public notices displayed on land for which a planning permit application has been lodged. This is a six month contract and a fantastic entry level role for anyone studying Planning at the moment. You will be given the opportunity to learn about the Victorian Planning Scheme and deal with general incoming enquiries. This will give you local government experience to add to your CV, along with professional planning related experience. Ideal for anyone still studying or recently graduated. Requirements include: Full, valid drivers licence Ability to manage your own time effectively. Excellent customer service. Benefits include: 6 month assignment – potential for extension. Entry level role into planning for those still studying. Opportunity to work more days within Planning enquiries unit. Develop your CV with experience in a metro council. The previous candidates in this role have secured permanent roles off the back of their experience in this council. Hourly rate of $33.20 (+ super). For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below
PSP are currently working with a Council located on the cusp of Melbourne who require a Senior Planner, on a part-time basis for some report writing. Joining a growth area council, you will be coming on board during a particularly busy period and assisting the team with excess work. We are looking for a planner who can commit to two days per week, within business hours. You will be provided with laptop and equipment to get set up working from home. You will be able to work fully remotely, you will just need to attend the office on the first day to collect equipment, etc. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Strong written and verbal communication skills. Local Government experience within Victoria. Must be at least a Band 6 statutory planner. Benefits include: Competitive hourly rate on offer - $50p/h - $55p/h + super. Part-time hours Immediate start Secure work through until EOFY Remote working For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.
Public Sector People are working with a regional council who are seeking a Senior Statutory planner for a six month contract role. You will join a large planning team covering a large range of applications, residential, industrial, heritage, native vegetation and bushfire management overlays. The workload has been largely unaffected by Covid and this is a busy council. You will be provided with laptop and equipment to get set up working from home but will be required to do one or two days in the office. Part-time hours will be considered. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Strong written and verbal communication skills. Local Government experience within Victoria, ideally with exposure to heritage and/or growth area planning. Benefits include: Competitive hourly rate on offer. Six month contract. Varied workload with some interesting applications to sink your teeth into. Working from home/working from office balance. Can offer full-time or part-time. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other planning opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at Public Sector People on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the link below.