MAV Rates Survey
The MAV is again collecting council budget data and proposed rate movements for all councils in 2013-14 and will this week distribute its survey to councils. The purpose of this survey is to present rates data in a consistent format across all councils and to ensure rates-related media stories are positioned within the context of the financial challenges facing the sector, such as the maintenance and renewal of local infrastructure, superannuation shortfalls and other external cost pressures.
Notable changes to the survey for this year is an estimate of the likely costs of the fire services property levy on ratepayers and whether the Minister’s Guidelines on Differential Rates have influenced councils’ rating systems.
For further information contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.
MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference
Registrations are now open for the MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference. To be held on 4 and 5 July at the Novotel Forest Resort Creswick, this year’s conference theme is Game Changers: Repositioning rural and regional Victoria in fast moving times.
Presentations, workshops, master classes and field trips will share cutting edge practice in rural and regional planning; equip you to plan more effectively for your municipality; workshop challenges in rural and regional Victoria; and feature decision-makers in the industry.
This conference is aimed at planners, senior managers, CEOs, councillors and associated professionals interested in rural and regional land use planning practices.
Resource for health planning
The MAV has developed a presentation resource to support councils in briefing executive groups and councillors of the requirements to develop health and wellbeing plans by October 2013, or seek to incorporate health and wellbeing in Council Plans by June 2013.
The Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires councils to prepare a municipal health and wellbeing plan within 12 months of the election of council. The Act also enables the inclusion of public health and wellbeing matters in the Council Plan, providing the matters required to be covered have been adequately addressed and approved by council.
The MAV is seeking further advice from the Department of Health to streamline the process for approval (through exemption under Section 27 of the Act) for including health and wellbeing planning in Council Plans. The Department of Health encourages early notice through regional offices if the inclusion approach is being considered.
This resource can be populated with local information and data and is provided as a support for executive teams and councillors.
For further information contact Jan Black.
A feature of the Future of Local Government program is an ongoing agenda of activity focused on delivering the change needed for future success.
Championing Change is a new program designed to meet the needs of local government. It is based on the idea that the most effective change takes place in individual councils or project teams when dealing with a specific challenge.
Championing Change comprises three half-day workshops which can be taken individually or together. They cover understanding value and prioritising in a very crowded and busy world (Focusing for Success); the new leadership styles needed to lead change to a successful outcome (Leading for Success); and finding new solutions which will deliver the change needed both with current tasks and new challenges (Solutions for Success).
The workshops can be very helpful in cross-boundary settings such as regional contexts or where council representatives are engaging with communities, other levels of government or stakeholders.
For further information including workshop details and costs please contact John Hennessy at the MAV or Chris Meddows-Taylor.
Safer design training
Crime and the fear of crime in public places are real issues for communities. Well designed and managed public places have a significant role in promoting community safety and attractive urban environments.
Training is available in May and August to assist local government and other professionals to understand and apply safer design principles in their work.
This course, based on the Safer Design Guidelines for Victoria, is for local government officers responsible for the planning, design, management or use of public places.
Presenters will include Senior Urban Designers from the Department of Planning and Community Development, representatives from local government, Victoria Police and the Community Crime Prevention Unit in the Department of Justice.
The training is designed to support safe, accessible and liveable places that encourage community participation and minimise the opportunity for crime.
The workshops will be held on 24 May in Melbourne and 29 August in Shepparton, and cost $100 to attend.
Privacy Awareness Week
This week is Privacy Awareness Week. This year's theme is Privacy and Data Security: Information Reform.
Last year, Victoria’s Attorney General announced reforms to strengthen data security and privacy within the Victorian public sector. This initiative involves:
amalgamating Victoria’s information privacy and law enforcement data security regimes under a Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection
extending security obligations to cover information collected and handled by Victorian government departments and agencies, and
establishing a new Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner to oversee public sector privacy and data security.
The new Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner will be responsible for developing and overseeing a new Victorian Protective Security Policy framework. Development of new Privacy and Data Protection legislation is underway and will be introduced into Parliament this year.
Release of woodheater consultation regulation impact statement
At the fourth meeting of the Standing Council, held in New Zealand last month, Environment Ministers from Australia and New Zealand agreed to the release of a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on reducing emissions from wood heaters.
Submissions close on Monday 15 July. All questions in relation to the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on reducing emissions from wood heaters should be directed to the secretariat for the Standing Council.
Indigenous Honour Roll
The Victorian Government is calling for nominations for the 2013 Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
The Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll acknowledges the lives and achievements of Aboriginal people who have made significant contributions to their community.
For the first time, this year the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll is touring across the state. The exhibition will visit libraries in Fitzroy, Lakes Entrance, Shepparton, Mildura and Warrnambool from April to June.
Nominations close on Friday 28 June.
Keep Australia Beautiful local community grants now available
Applications are now open for a community grant of up to $10 000 for local projects to help increase the recycling of beverage containers.
The Keep Australia Beautiful grants are open to all communities across Australia, with grants for projects that will result in a measurable increase in beverage container recycling in local communities.
Applications are open to community groups, local associations, small to medium enterprises and councils, and will be awarded to:
projects which address the specific issue of beverage container recycling and its by-products
practical local solutions that can be used as examples for others and leave a legacy
projects that do not duplicate existing recycling activities, and
projects that result in measurable volumes of recycled materials.
A total of $409 000 in grant funding is available for this year’s program with applications closing on Friday 14 June. Successful applicants will be advised by early July.
Training for small businesses
The ACCC is encouraging councils to promote a free online education program for small business to make them aware of what you can and can’t say in your ads.
Funded by the ACCC, the education program can teach small businesses in your municipality about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
Vinnies CEO Sleepout
Council CEOs are encouraged to consider registering to take part in the 2013 Vinnies CEO Sleepout to draw attention to homelessness in our community.
Yarra Chief Executive Vijaya Vaidyanath and Whittlesea CEO David Turnbull have already registered and will join 112 CEOs from across Victoria participating this year.
For eight hours on 20 June, CEOs are invited to rough it to raise money for Vinnies homeless services.
Last year, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised over $5 million nationally to directly assist homeless people.
In social media news...
Victoria Police's social media Eyewatch initiative is being rolled out to a further 11 areas. Find out more here.
The Australian Government has launched the Australian JobSearch mobile app for Apple and Android. Read more here.
Did you know there’s a Twitter posting best practice for better engagement? Find out more here.
In the US, underground cranes power library book retrieval. Read more here.