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 working with a council in Melbourne’s South East suburbs on the recruitment of a Planning Compliance Officer. This is a six month contract and your main focus will be on an audit of a local industrial area, to investigate and resolve any planning scheme breaches and ensure compliance. 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. 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: Secure a six month contract. Gain valuable experience in a busy 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. 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.
PSP currently seeking a Landscape Architect / Urban Designer to work for a progressive inner council on a contract basis. This council have an increased volume in projects and there is plenty of opportunity for this role to be extended. Reporting directly into the Coordinator of City Design, you will be responsible for the masterplan development and implementation of landscape and urban design projects, such as playgrounds, parks, gardens, streets, retail activity centres. You will need to have proven consultant management experience, with great communication to be successful in this role. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or other associated profession. AutoCAD, Illustrator, InDesign proficiency Documentation skills are a must. Benefits include: Add to your portfolio with experience in a progressive council. $45 - $60 per hour, with flexible working hours. Start ASAP! 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 are currently working with a Council located in the outer Western suburbs of Melbourne for a Building Site Compliance Officer. You will conduct investigations in both dumped litter and building site compliance, issue infringements, prepare briefs, conduct interviews. Set up and monitor CCTV cameras. Work under Team Leader of Litter and building sites and carry out duties as directed. The successful candidate will have experience working with the interpretation of legislation, carry out site inspections and some enforcement experience. Previous local government experience is highly desirable. This is a contract role for an immediate start. Benefits: Immediate start. Get foot in the door with a large and very busy council. Add to your CV with highly coveted local government experience. To apply, follow the relevant link and apply with an updated copy of your CV. 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 currently recruiting a Health and Amenity Officer for a large council, in South West Victoria about 1 hour from the CBD. Working within the Health and Local Laws department, this position assist with technical support and investigations for the team, emsuring compliance to legislative controls addressing the Public Health and Amenity Protection. You will assist the Local Laws officers to ensure compliance to relevant legislation, Acts, regulations and Codes of Practice. You will provide assistance to Investigate complaints received in relation to the nuisance provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, support the preparation of relevant documentation and institute legal proceedings as directed in relation to breaches within the area of responsibility. You will also provide support to access and process relevant Local Law provisions as they relate to health and amenity matters including camping, animals, noise, refuse, footpath trading and others. Requirements: Tertiary qualification in Environmental Health or statutory compliance, or other regulatory field. Minimum one year experience in an EHO, or Compliance/Local Laws field. Must have experience with investigations and enforcement in a compliance or regulatory role. Previous public sector experience desirable. Benefits: Start ASAP. Contract role very likely to be extended. Secure Local Government experience within a busy council on South West coast of Victoria. Apply for this role using the relevant links, using an updated copy of your CV. 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.
Public Sector People are working with a South East council in metro Melbourne who are seeking a Landscape Draftsperson on a contract basis. This is a busy council with large developments happening, so will bring with it an interesting and varied workload. You will be working from initially and likely continue to work from home for majority of the contract due to Covid capacity restrictions. This is a Band 5 role so suitable for a designer with 6 months – 2 years experience. Role To assist the Landscape Design Team with drafting and documentation of a wide range of projects including streetscape plans, precinct plans, recreational, playgrounds, open space and park planning projects. Ensure all landscape design packages meet acceptable standards of viability, practicality and design, in accordance with Council policy and relevant legislation. Support the delivery of the Landscape projects though high quality drafting support in preparing full Landscape documentation packages for Tender/Construction. documentation, in a professional, time efficient and customer focused manner. Prepare Landscape Documentation Plans for Tender and Construction using AutoCAD software platform Prepare construction details using AutoCAD 3D modelling and massing models using Rhino and Sketch up software Concept development and preparing plans for consultation and presentations. Prepare project visualisations and documents for public display using Adobe Suite software Requirements Demonstrated relevant professional experience as specified. Valid Driver’s Licence Excellent proficiency using design software including AutoCAD, Rhino, Sketch up, Adobe suite and MS office National Criminal History Check and Working with Children Check to be undertaken if successful in role. Apply for this role using the relevant links, using an updated copy of your CV. 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.
Public Sector People are currently recruiting a Sustainability Officer for a contract position within a regional Council approx. 100 km North/North West of Melbourne. Working within the Environment and Waste team, you will promote sustainability best practice across the organisation and the shire through the provision of expert advice on sustainability issues to Council. You will be working on Council’s solar panel program, energy assessments and developing a strategy for reducing road emissions and green house gasses within the local area. You will be working closely with the community, providing education and advice, stakeholder management is key to success in this role. This is a contract through until end of March but likely to be extended. This is a great opportunity to gain further experience within sustainability and build on community engagement skills. Requirements: This position requires formal tertiary qualifications and extensive practical application in environmental sustainability. Demonstrated stakeholder management experience. Demonstrated ability to project manage. Benefits: Start ASAP. Contract through until end of March, likely to be extended. Work in a beautiful part of Victoria known for its gourmet food and wine and natural mineral springs Hourly rate is negotiable dependent on experience. Please apply for this role using the relevant links and an updated copy of your CV. 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.
PSP are currently working with an outer ring Council in the North East suburbs who require a Senior Planner for a contract role to start ASAP. This is a large metro based council but you will see a different caseload to other metro councils, you will be working on ‘rural’ planning issues, such as, sheds, bush fire management, vegetation overlays, etc. You will be mainly report writing and working on VicSmart applications to assist with the volume of work. Given this is a short term contract, the successful candidate will be an experienced Local Government planner who can hit the ground running. 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. Available for an immediate start. Benefits include: Secure work to start ASAP. WFH and Office based work as Covid restrictions ease office capacity numbers. You will be provided with laptop and equipment. 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.
Public Sector People are currently working with a council located in Melbourne’s Inner-Metropolitan area to a recruit a Band 6 planner for a contract role while they undergo recruitment of a permanent position. Your core function will be to manage a caseload of applications and produce the delegate reports. You will be dealing primarily with Clause 54s, Clause 55s, 5-6 storey apartment blocks and liquor licences. Due to a substantial increase in applications our client requires you to assist one of three planning teams, ensuring that applications are being serviced and producing reports in an effective and efficient manner. This is a Senior role and we are seeking an experienced planner, ideally with previous experience in inner urban Melbourne. You will be using Trim, Pathways and Trapeze. Requirements include: Tertiary qualification in Town Planning, Urban Studies, Environmental Planning or related discipline. Experienced Local Government planner. Ability to work autonomously and manage your time efficiently. Benefits include: Gain valuable experience in an Inner-Metro Council as a senior team member. Competitive hourly rate offering Immediate start Will be WFH/office based as Covid restrictions allow. 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.
PSP currently seeking a Project Landscape Architect to work for an inner metro council for a six month contract role. This council have an increased volume in projects and there is plenty of opportunity for this role. This is a Band 5 role and you will be responsible for the concept design and masterplan development and implementation of landscape and urban design projects, such as playgrounds, parks, gardens, streets, open space and related projects. This is suited to an LA with 1 – 2 years’ experience, local government experience is desirable but not a necessity. Requirements include: A tertiary qualification in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or other associated profession. AutoCAD, Illustrator, InDesign proficiency Strong skills and experience in graphic representation to communicate various concept, detailed and masterplan designs. Benefits include: Secure a six month contract. Add to your portfolio with experience in an inner metro council. Start ASAP! 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.
Public Sector People are currently inviting applications for the role of Environmental Health Officer to join a regional council in Alexandra. Given the current Covid-19 situation, you will be working autonomously. You will be provided with training and an onboarding process, while maintaining social distancing. You will ring each site prior to inspection and run through safety questions to your satisfaction before booking in and conducting any site inspections. You will be working two days in the field, with three days working from home. This is a contract role with an immediate start. $42 - $48 p/h + super. Requirements include: Suitable qualifications – Bachelor of Applied Science or Health Science (Environmental Health) – or recognised equivalency Recent Victorian experience as a practicing Environmental Health Officer, or membership with Environmental Health Australia Current Victorian driver licence. Must have local government experience. 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