This week's local government news.
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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1088: 4 August 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • New MAV rate capping video: This week we released a new video to help explain the State Government’s rate cap to ratepayers who have begun receiving their rates notices. The video covers what’s included and excluded from the rate cap, how rates are calculated and the impact that property revaluations will have on the amount each property contributes in rates. The video builds on the fact sheet resources provided by the MAV to member councils last month, and we encourage councils to share the video with your communities.
    How does rate capping work video
  • August 9 is Census night: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has produced a range of resources, including a social media pack and video series, to help explain how to complete the Census online, how to request an optional paper form, and what happens to personal information after the Census. Information is also available about accessibility support options. In 2016, the Census is expected to count close to 10 million dwellings and 24 million people.
    August 9 is Census night
  • Federal election outcomes finalised: Four weeks after the federal election, 147 of 150 House of Representatives seats have been declared. This week Senators have also been confirmed for Victoria and all other states, with the Senate to include 11 crossbenchers, up from eight in the previous Parliament. The new-look Senate includes: 30 Coalition, 26 Labor, nine Greens, four One Nation, three Nick Xenophon Team, one Family First, one Liberal Democrat and two independents. In the lower house, a recount in the Queensland seat of Herbert has awarded it to Labor with a winning margin of 37 votes. It is unclear if this result will be challenged in the Court of Disputed Returns, but this result currently leaves the Coalition Government with a narrow one-seat majority.

This week the MAV met with Peter Brown who has been commissioned by the Essential Services Commission to undertake an independent review of its rate capping variation process. The MAV highlighted concerns about the variation process in its first year, particularly the lack of clarity around the standards required to achieve a positive variation. We emphasised that the variation process should be more focused on confirming internal efficiencies of applications, rather than assessing community support for council proposals.

In addition, the MAV has provided a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry’s third report examining the impacts of rate capping. Our submission made observations about the first variation process, including the significant cost borne by some applicants and the apparent changing of the rules part way through the assessment process. We also identified some of the emerging consequences of rate capping, including reduced funding for a range of council services and delays in infrastructure projects. The MAV has also called for the State to continue to financially support the ESC to assess variation applications.

For further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.

The MAV has made a brief submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Introducing Competition and Informed Consumer Choice in Human Services.

Our submission reiterates the concerns of Victorian councils regarding the potential unintended consequences of poorly executed and siloed contestability processes, and also the complexity of implementing informed consumer choice.

The MAV recommends that the outcomes of existing major public sector reforms, such as the NDIS, be closely examined before further significant changes to human services provision are contemplated by the Australian Government.

For further information, contact Clare Hargreaves.

The 25 councils participating in our MAV Procurement LEAP program collectively spent over $1.79 billion in 2014/15.

Councils processed 479,173 invoices (not including card transactions) across 30,278 suppliers during this period, with 339,060 (70 per cent) of these invoices valued at below $1,000.

A recent study undertaken by Deloitte identified a processing cost of $73 per transaction through a traditional purchase order process, equating to almost $35 million in process costs across these 25 councils in a single year. The LEAP Program explores opportunities for councils to increase process efficiencies and reduce processing costs through the development of specific category strategies and review of the payment process for suppliers.

The MAV LEAP Program is a low-cost, ongoing continuous improvement program available to all Victorian councils that uses real data and evidence to improve council procurement capability and performance, and enables structured collaboration across the sector.

For more information on joining our Procurement LEAP program, contact Rachel Ferretto.

Resilient Melbourne has published the results of new research to better understand the drivers of community resilience so that more targeted programs can be developed to encourage community building.

Colmar Brunton was commissioned to examine the ways that different communities across metropolitan Melbourne see their own connectedness and resilience, and how it relates to their suburb.

The findings from more than 1,500 participants covering all metropolitan council areas, shows that 81 per cent of Melburnians are satisfied living in their local area, while 41 per cent are confident their neighbourhood would pull together in an emergency.

This research delivers on a key action identified in the Resilient Melbourne strategy.

Writing for the web
Writing for the web

Attend our Writing for the web workshop on Friday 9 September and learn techniques to develop content that specifically caters to online reading habits.

Participants will learn how to:

  • write, edit and present better web content
  • make it easier for people to find your information
  • lay out scannable content.

Council staff will also gain an understanding of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and design considerations for people with disabilities.

The full-day workshop costs $322 (including GST). Register online by 2 September.


MAV Technology Conference 2016
MAV Technology National Conference

This year’s MAV Technology National Conference – 2020 Vision is only a few weeks away. This year we’re focusing on the digital transformation of councils, with the program including council case studies, and discussing the challenges and opportunities for metro, regional and rural councils. It is not technical – it’s about how our work and world is changing through technology.

The conference is on at the Sofitel Melbourne on 10-12 August and we are delighted to offer 2-for-1 ticketing for rural and regional councils. The two day conference is followed by a free workshop on Friday 12 August, which is a collaborative planning session to identify high value activities to assist the digital transformation of local government in Victoria.

View the full program and register online now.
  • Applications are open for a new round of funding from the Country Football and Netball Program. Eligible clubs can apply for grants through their council of up to $100,000 for projects that improve facilities, including change room redevelopments, court and oval resurfacing and lighting.

Flood management strategy for Port Phillip and Westernport

Melbourne Water is working with experts across the Port Phillip and Westernport region to develop tools to help prioritise flood mapping, understand where action is most urgent, and develop the best approaches for each location.

During August, Melbourne Water will be seeking feedback. To receive an invite to test the draft tools, email with the subject heading ‘subscribe’. Councils can also join the conversation at an informal drop-in session (Moonee Ponds on 10 August or Doncaster on 11 August); or join a 45 minute webinar at 9.30 am on Tuesday 9 August. Register for the webinar by emailing Melbourne Water.


  • Keep Australia Beautiful Week is on 22-28 August, with a theme ‘Do the right thing’ and a focus on cleaning up cigarette butt litter. Once the campaign is launched, councils around Australia will be invited to roll out the program in their area. Councils can sign up to the newsletter on the KAB website, or email Keep Australia Beautiful to learn more about how to get involved.
  • The Victorian Government this week announced additional support for dairy farmers, including development grants; rural financial counselling services; free 15 hours kindergarten for dairy farming families; and funding for school camps, excursions and sports; as well as technical, retraining and employment programs.
  • Infrastructure Victoria has published reports of its two recent citizen juries, along with a report of the consultation program for the All things considered options paper. Infrastructure Victoria will now consider the recommendations of the juries, along with all other feedback provided through the consultation program in the development of a draft infrastructure strategy for Victoria, which is due to be released in early October.
  • A new State Multicultural and Social Cohesion Division brings together three key agencies to form a dedicated office to ensure a more streamlined approach to multicultural and social cohesion issues. The new division brings together the Community Resilience Unit, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, and the Office of Victorian Multicultural Commission.
  • The Victorian Government this week confirmed its six month trial of all night public transport on weekends has been extended for a further six months, until June 2017.

In social media news...

In social media
  • Emergency+ is a free app developed by Australia's emergency services with government and industry partners. Available on iOS, Android and Windows, it includes a GPS locator to assist triple 000 to locate a caller during an emergency.
  • The ABS is curating #MyCensus, a visual collection of all the things we value as Australians. To participate just use #MyCensus to tag the things you love on Twitter or Instagram, or add your moment on the ABS #MyCensus Facebook page.

Book now

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