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.
Public Sector People are currently seeking an Urban Planner to join a progressive metro council with offices based in the CBD. Covering a period of leave, this is a contract role until April 2022. This is a busy team, with a high volume of work with up to 50 applications at a time, working on business signage, liquor licensing, heritage, residential and shop fronts. This role is suited to candidates who can work in fast paced environments, seeking a planner with 1-2 years’ experience in the private or public sector. Great opportunity for a planner who wants to work for a Inner City Council which is highly regarded and will look great on any CV! Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. 1-2 years’ working experience within Urban planning. Available to work 30 – 35 hours per week. Comfortable working in a fast paced environment. Benefits include: Contract until April 2022 $45 p/h + super Work with a progressive council with a great reputation Working a hybrid model with time in office and remotely. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other 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
Public Sector People are seeking a Landscape Architect for a council based in Melbourne’s CBD. Working in the Property, Infrastructure and design branch, you will be joining a team of eleven people. In this role you will be working on a transformative $300 million river walk project. This is a real opportunity to be involved in a project that could shape the future of Melbourne. The Senior Landscape Architect is responsible to provide landscape architectural services including design conception and resolution, detailing, documentation and site attendance to assist in delivering high quality architectural projects on time, to budget and within the scope and quality in project briefs, as a member of the City Design’s team, to achieve the successful delivery of key milestones and high quality design outcomes. The successful candidate will have public sector experience and strong design and documentation experience, with previous experience in urban renewal/ transport and infrastructure projects being desirable. This is an initial three month contract position, likely to be extended. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, or other associated profession. Five to six years’ plus experience in a Landscape Architecture role, ideally within the public sector. Competent in AutoCAD and Adobe suite. Strong stakeholder management skills. Benefits include: $55 - $75 p/h + super depending on experience. Contract through until end of January 2022. Work on a project which will transform Melbourne. Mixture of WFH and office based working. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other 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 currently working with a regional Council located North Melbourne. A Band 5 Statutory planner is required for a period of at least three months while they manage an increase workload. It is likely the role will go for longer due to the volume of work. This is a supportive team and suitable for someone early in their planning career as you will get exposure to a variety of planning issues. You will be working across a range of applications, farming, commercial, residential infill and subdivision, heritage and environmental. This role is suited to candidates who have previous public or private sector experience withing planning. This is a regional council and they have their team back in the office, will be a hybrid model with some days in office, some days from home. Great opportunity for a planner early in their career, keen to develop public sector experience. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Some exposure to Victorian Planning Scheme. Available for a full time contract, five days a week. Benefits include: Three month contract, with potential for extension. $35 - $45 p/h dependent on experience. Regional councils offer a range of applications and candidates benefit from increasing their skills across the board. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other 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 working with a busy, growth area council on the recruitment of a highly motivated and emerging design manager for a newly created role. Drawing on your design, preconstruction project management and well developed client and stakeholder engagement skills, this is an outstanding opportunity to drive the design and development of council’s forward pipeline of growth area Community Centres, and the renewal of Centres in established areas. With a focus on the delivery of high quality, sustainable and user responsive design outcomes you will forge effective partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, manage design timelines, prepare functional briefs and site masterplans, and appoint the architect and technical consultants to design and document these important community facilities. Key Skills The successful candidate will have qualifications in Urban Design or Architecture Project management in a community or capital projects setting Development facilitation Exceptional stakeholder engagement and negotiation skills Benefits Work within a team that can offer ongoing support and development. Can offer a permanent arrangement or an 18 month contract – depending on your preference. Flexible working arrangements. Hybrid office and working from home model. Opportunity to transition into a public sector role. 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 local council in the South Eastern suburbs on the recruitment of two Environmental Health Officers. Environmental Health Officer 1 The Environmental Health Officer will be an intensive program of conducting Risk Based Food Safety assessments at predominately Class 2 and maybe 3 registered food businesses. This position will be for 9 weeks. Environmental Health Officer 2 The Environmental Health Officer will be managing a part-time area and conducting additional assessments to make up Full time capacity at least until the end of the 2021 year. They will be predominately be conducting Food Act activities including Assessments, New business applications ect, but will also need to be able conduct inspections and investigate matters under the PH&W Act. This position will be at least until the end of 2021. 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.