Issue 1014:                                              Week ending 13 February 2015

Continued advocacy for 15-hours kinder funding: update
Family violence clause: Vic councils leading the way
Fifth Federation Issues Paper released
Book now for the 2015 Rural Summit
Government response into Early Childhood Education and Care
Cultural Diversity Week
No kids in hot cars
Coastal Issues Exchange
EPA Industry Open House
Community Development: Harvesting Community Strengths

Out is In - Where to Next: QLBTIQ Forum
Playspace development: design, management and maintenance
In social media news...

Continued advocacy for 15-hours kinder funding: update

We welcome the State Government’s announcement this week of their continued advocacy to the Federal Government seeking further funding certainty for 15-hours kindergarten, beyond 2015.

Premier Daniel Andrews has written to the Prime Minister, requesting continuation of the National Partnership Agreement.

The MAV is meeting with Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos this week to reinforce the local/State Government partnership, and highlight the importance of working together to achieve stability for the sector with recurrent funding for 15-hours kindergarten.

We will report back on our meeting in next week’s bulletin. For more information on 15-hours kindergarten, see our website.

Family violence clause: Vic councils leading the way

Council CEOs will soon receive an email from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) requesting they complete a survey about implementing family violence clauses.

The MAV hopes that members will support the survey as it is vital to monitor the implementation of these innovative workplace protections.

Victorian councils are leading the way in the adoption of family violence clauses with 60 already introducing the clause, providing support and protection to many employees. The Gendered Violence Research Network (GVRN) at UNSW are interested in assessing the financial and productivity costs to workplaces, and any positive and adverse experiences when introducing and implementing these new clauses.

The confidential survey does not ask about individual experiences of family violence, and does not seek any information about an individual employee’s circumstances. A report of the findings will be made available online.

If you have not received an email by 12 February contact Ludo McFerran. For more information about the MAV's gender equity work, see our website.

Fifth Federation Issues Paper released

The fifth and final issues paper from the reform of the federation white paper process was released last week, and provides a direct opportunity for feedback on the financial framework for local government.

While the paper is primarily concerned with the institutional structures that operate around the federal financial framework, it also has a section that specifically raises the financial situation of councils, and this presents the sector with an ideal opportunity to provide feedback to the review process.

The paper raises questions such as the appropriate division and role of councils relative to other levels of government, the reduction of duplication between roles and responsibilities, and the potential for reform to councils’ revenue raising capacity and financial support.

The MAV intends to make a submission to the review and encourages councils to also respond to this issues paper.

Book now for the 2015 Rural Summit

Rural Councils Victoria’s annual Rural Summit will be hosted by the Northern Grampians Shire Council in Halls Gap from 15-17 April.

This year’s program features national and international speakers on the theme: Standing out from the flock: is difference the key to success in rural communities?

Get a group together from your council and join your peers in exploring this theme and networking in a picturesque rural setting.

Bookings can be made online.

Government response into Early Childhood Education and Care

On 22 December, the Australian Government released its response to two Senate Inquiry Reports into Early Childhood Education and Care.

The MAV notes that although the government has responded to these two inquiries, they have said they will consider reports and the recommendations in the context of the current Productivity Commission inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning.

The MAV provided a submission to the PC inquiry, which formed the basis of our response to the Senate.

For further information please contact Wendy Allan. More information about early years is available on our website.

Cultural Diversity Week

Councils are encouraged to get involved in Cultural Diversity Week this year, which provides an opportunity for all Victorians to celebrate our rich cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. The week will run from 14-22 March, and coincides with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March.

Hundreds of events are scheduled to take place across Victoria. These events provide a great opportunity for Victoria’s multicultural and faith-based groups to join together with the broader community to celebrate community harmony, and to promote mutual understanding and respect.

You can register your Cultural Diversity Week event online. More information about our multicultural work is available on our website.

No kids in hot cars

Councils are reminded to utilise KidSafe resources around not leaving kids in hot cars, as part of their No Exceptions, No Excuses campaign. Free fact sheets are available to share with communities, along with a local government community awareness kit that can be purchased.

Three new video ads about the dangers of leaving kids in cars on hot days have also recently been launched. Councils are encouraged to share these with communities via online and social media channels.

The temperature inside a car begins to rise as soon as the door closes, and within minutes it can be double the temperature outside. So if it is 30 degrees outside, it can be more than 60 degrees or more inside a car in just a few minutes.

Coastal Issues Exchange

Council input is sought for the Coastal Issues Exchange, which is being introduced at the 2015 Australian Coastal Councils Conference.

The Coastal Issues Exchange session is designed to identify priority coastal issues in Australia, as well as find best practice examples of work being undertaken to address these issues. It is being developed as a forum for an exchange of relevant information between representatives of coastal councils, government agencies, coastal researchers and others.

The conference will be held at the RACV Cape Schanck Resort on the Mornington Peninsula, from 11-13 March.

Feedback is required on:

  • What is the current priority coastal issue or issues in your region?
  • Could you nominate one or more examples of work undertaken to address a priority coastal issue or issues?

If you would like your response considered in the Coastal Issues Exchange session, please email it by 16 February. Registrations for the conference can be made online.

EPA Industry Open House

The EPA is holding an ‘Open House’ on 25 February to inform attendees about their programs. Attendees can also provide input and feedback on issues and EPA work, as well as connect and network across industry sectors.

Exhibits on the day will include information and the chance to speak about:

  • EPA’s top six focus areas (landfills, contaminated environments, encroachment, illegal waste disposal, organics and stormwater)
  • Draft classifications for drilling mud, tallow and used cooking oil: open for consultation
  • Statutory policy reviews and scheduled premises regulations: expressions of interest for consultation
  • Earned autonomy pilot program
  • Periodic licence review
  • 2015 annual performance statement
  • Financial assurances reform
  • Audit reform - outcomes

The Open House will run from 1.30pm-3.30pm at the EPA Victoria, Conference Room, level 4, 200 Victoria Street, Carlon. RSVPs can be emailed to the EPA by 20 February.

Community Development: Harvesting Community Strengths

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is holding a community development workshop, relevant to those working with communities impacted by natural disaster, working with disengaged or disenfranchised communities.

Community development is often undertaken by social work professionals when communities have experienced significant unplanned change, or some crisis that has undermined their usual coping mechanisms.

This workshop will review strengths-based approaches, and identify structure to help bring a sense of control and optimism into communities so they can deal purposefully with future challenges.

It’s on 11 March from 1pm-6pm at the AASW Melbourne Office. Registrations can be made online.

Out is In - Where to Next: QLBTIQ Forum

Hobsons Bay City Council is partnering with western region councils to host a second Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (GLBTIQ) forum on Wednesday 18 February for GOWEST as part of the Midsumma Festival 2015.

The aim of the ‘Out is In – Where to Next’ forum is to review the impact of existing GLBTIQ inclusion initiatives undertaken by local councils, organisations and communities in the west.

Findings from the forum will be presented in a formal report to Hobsons Bay City Council as well as partnering councils.

The forum is being held on Wednesday 18 February at 6.30pm, at The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport.

To RSVP your attendance, please call the council on 9932 1001, or RSVP via email, or online by 13 February.

Playspace development: design, management and maintenance

Play Australia is holding a training program on 25-26 February for people working on the design, management and maintenance of play equipment and playspaces in both government and non-government sectors.

This program will deliver information to meet increasing concerns regarding the safety of children and young people in playgrounds and playspaces, whilst strongly supporting the ongoing development of exciting and challenging experiences for all children.

The Local Government Play Network (LGPN) is a Play Australia member service supported by councils in Victoria. Members meet four to five times a year to discuss issues of significance to the play community.

Registrations for the training program can be made online.

In social media news...

Upcoming MAV events...

19 February

Social media for rural and regional councils

26 February

Building inclusive communities

27 February

Managing contracts in local government


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