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 working with a local metro council on the recruitment of a Band 5 statutory planner for a contract role. 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 working a hybrid model with 2-3 days per week in the office, the rest from home. This is a fantastic council to join from both a cultural perspective and for career development. 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: Excellent team culture and plenty of support provided. 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.
PSP are currently working with a metro Council in the North Eastern suburbs who are seeking an experienced Band 5 or experienced Band 6 planner for a period of six months. This is a busy metro council, you will be responsible for managing a caseload of applications, along with undertaking phone and counter duty. The applications will vary, you will gain exposure to residential, commercial, industrial and heritage. This is a contract role in a busy council and it is very likely to be extended. Open to part-time or flexible work arrangements, will be a hybrid model with two to three days working from home. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Experience working with Victorian Planning Scheme, ideally in a metropolitan context. Benefits include: Secure a six month contract before end of financial year. $50 – 65 p/h depending on experience. Flexible hours / days to suit you. Please apply with your current resume. For a confidential discussion regarding this position and other opportunities within Metropolitan and Regional Victoria, please contact Emma Murphy at PSP (03) 8535 3111. .
PSP are currently working with a peri-urban council on the recruitment of a Band 5 Statutory Planner for a 6 month contract. You will be responsible for managing a caseload of applications and will perform counter/phone duty on a rotational basis. Your level of experience will dictate the complexity of applications you will be responsible for. This council is undergoing a massive growth and redevelopment period and will be a fantastic learning curve for an ambitious and enthusiastic planner. This council operate a hybrid working model so you will be in the office twice a week, or more if you prefer. The office is based approx. one hour 30 mins from CBD, in the South East. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. High level customer service skills, measured on KPIs in accordance with “Same Day Service” methodology. Some previous planning experience within Local Government, State Government or a consultancy. Benefits include: Enhance your planning experience at a growth area Council on the cusp of Metro Victoria. Secure a 6 month contract. No day the same with a variety of application queries from a diverse community. Great experience and team culture, develop your own career and opportunities. 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 large regional council who are seeking a Statutory Planner at a Band 5 level. This is a 12 month contract. You will join a large planning team covering a large range of applications, residential, industrial, heritage, native vegetation and bushfire management overlays. This is a busy council with a strong focus on customer service. You will be managing a caseload of basic applications, along with phone and counter duty. This is a busy regional hub, and would be a great opportunity for a planner with regional experience who would like to move to a bigger council or to a planner who wants a variety of applications and a change from Metro Melbourne. You can avail of a hybrid model with 2-3 days in the office or can consider a fully remote working set up. 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 Regional planning. Benefits include: 12 month contract. Varied workload with some interesting applications to sink your teeth into. Hybrid working arrangements or fully remote, depending on your situation. 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.
Public Sector People are working with a local council 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 $45 - $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 Current Victorian driver licence. A tertiary qualification in environmental health or equivalent is required and experience in the field is highly desirable however, graduates are encouraged to apply. 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 working with a Council, South East of Melbourne who require a Report and Consent Officer with some experience working within the Public Sector. This role reports into the Municipal Building Surveyor but is suited to someone with a planning or building background. Your core role will be to co-ordinate the Report and Consent (dispensation) function of Council under the Building Regulations 2018, advertise applications when required and follow up and communicate with respondents whilst maintaining the relevant computer database. This is suited to someone in planning or building who wants to transition into the public sector or someone who wants to develop their knowledge of the report and consent aspect of planning and building. Open to fully remote working and/or part-time hours. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Strong communication skills. Experience using Trapeze is highly desirable. Benefits include: Short contract until 30th of June Option to work fully remotely Round out your experience at a metropolitan Council. $45 - 55 per hour plus super, depending on experience. 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.