MAV State Council and Councillor Service Awards
Last week we held our second State Council meeting for 2014, where 44 motions were adopted. A report will be presented to our Board in December to decide on the best course of action for each motion. Our next State Council is scheduled for May 2015.
Prior to State Council we held our annual dinner where we presented Councillor Service Awards to honour the commitment of long-serving councillors to their communities.
Awards were presented to Victorian councillors for 10, 15, 20, and 30 years of service. The Mayor Emeritus was awarded to 11 councillors who have served three or more full terms as mayor.
The Heart Foundation also presented Cardinia Shire Council with the 2014 Local Government Award (Victoria) for its ‘stop & drop’ zones and Let’s Get Moving program. Ararat Rural City Council and Wyndham City Council were both highly commended for their programs in the health space.
The MAV would like to congratulate all of the award recipients. A full list of winners is available on our website. Photos of awards recipients are also available on the MAV extranet. You will need to sign up to access this members-only area of our website if you don’t already have a user name and password.
From left: Wyndham City Council, Cardinia Shire Council and Ararat Rural City Council.
Meeting with Minister Bull
The MAV President and CEO met with Local Government Minister, Tim Bull this week for their regular monthly meeting.
Matters discussed with the Minister included funding announcements made at our Annual Conference last week if the Coalition is re-elected: for the Country Roads and Bridges Program, the Growing Melbourne Project for interface councils, and Networked Rural Councils.
We also discussed the Electoral Review report, and the submission process, and our Call to Parties document. The Minister indicated a response to our Call to Parties was being established by the Liberal-Nationals Coalition and would be forthcoming prior to the election.
Family Day Care
Recently the Federal Assistant Minister for Education announced that a new taskforce was looking into Family Day Care services in Australia, and had to take action against 24 services to clamp down on under-performers.
Further to this, the MAV is confident that no Victorian local government Family Day Care service is the subject of compliance action referred to in the Assistant Minister's release.
The MAV has previously expressed concerns to the Commonwealth Government about the proliferation of Family Day Care services in Victoria, which in some cases did not appear to be operating according to appropriate standards. The actions of the government are encouraging as the safety and care of children is paramount.
Council Family Day Care services continue to provide a high quality, affordable and accessible education and care option to families.
CEDA Federation Report
CEDA has released a report on the reform of Australia’s Federation. The report argues in favour of federalism, with the benefit of the current system estimated at $4507 per person.
The report discusses issues relevant to local government, including metropolitan governance and obtaining greater efficiencies for councils. It is generally optimistic about the role that councils can play in delivering improved services to their communities, and remaining a vibrant and important tier of government.
It finds that reforms to the federation should strengthen the financial powers of the states, with the substantial degree of vertical fiscal imbalance – where the Commonwealth collects a majority of taxation revenue while the states have a majority of the spending responsibilities – limiting the benefits derived from our federal structure.
The solutions to this problem presented by CEDA is a range of reforms aimed at increasing states’ revenue raising powers, combined with mechanisms to better engage the public in the debate around federation reform.
Maternal and Child Health five-year plan
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, along with the MAV, have released Starting out Strong: Giving Victoria’s children a great start through better maternal and child health on 23 October.
The five-year plan aims to modernise MCH services, build the capacity of the workforce, better target resources and increase the focus on early intervention. It has been developed through extensive research and consultation with the sector and key stakeholders.
To facilitate the implementation of Starting out Strong, additional funding of $2.1 million was committed in the 2014-2015 State Budget. This funding will support new initiatives outlined in the plan, including a new MCH principal nurse position to strengthen leadership in the MCH service, more professional development opportunities for nurses, and an innovation fund to encourage services to come up with new ideas and ways to work together.
MAV Mayoral Program
The MAV Mayoral Program will run on 4 December, designed to draw out the real world challenges and experiences of mayors and provide a rich opportunity to learn, debate, challenge and understand the complexities of being mayor. Learning will be enhanced by sharing of experience and by the program design.
The program will draw on the shared wisdom of current and past mayors. It will draw on relevant mayor/CEO dynamics and will examine the requirements under the Act, community expectations and the many roles and practical challenges of the position.
It runs from 9.30am-5.30pm at the MAV office, level 11, 60 Collins Street. Registrations can be made online.
Climate Change Adaption MOU
The Minister for Environment and Climate Change, the MAV President, and the Chair of the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership Ministerial Advisory Committee, have signed Victoria's first Climate Change Adaptation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU aims to establish a strong, shared foundation for state and local government to continue to work together to clarify responsibilities relating to climate change adaptation, and sets out principles to guide work in adaptation.
A draft of the MoU was circulated to councils for comment in August. DEPI has prepared a summary of the key concerns raised in the 40 submissions received, and how the MoU was amended to address these concerns.
For more information contact Martijn Gough.
MAV Technology forum
MAV Technology is heading to the Yarra Ranges for our technology forum, to discuss public wifi, open data, major ICT projects and their role in improving service delivery for Victorian councils.
The free forum will be held on 4-5 December at the Healesville Country Club. Delegates will hear the good, the bad and the ugly from councils and consultants that are now rolling out public wifi, publishing open data, delivering major ICT projects, and establishing best practice policies. These are rapidly evolving areas that demand ongoing attention and support from council IT departments.
The forum is open to anyone from MAV Technology member councils. A full program will available next week. Registrations can be made online.
Save the date: Leading and embracing diversity
VicHealth and the MAV are holding a forum ‘Leading and embracing diversity: strategies to reduce race-based discrimination’ on Monday 8 December. Registrations will open in a couple of weeks but in the meantime please save the date.
The forum will profile new information and practical strategies from VicHealth and other organisations, which are focused on supporting cultural diversity and reducing race-based discrimination in arts, sports, workplace and local government settings.
This will be an excellent networking opportunity to progress this work and build an understanding of how a range of approaches to reduce race-based discrimination can be put into practice.
For further information, contact Tara Szafraniec.
Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
The Federal Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, has released a progress report with recommendations on the steps to be taken to progress a successful referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition.
The report contains three options for recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution, and for dealing with issues of discrimination. In all three options, the committee recommends removing references to race.
The committee is calling for submissions, including on the wording of a proposal, and on mechanisms to build community engagement.
The committee will hold more public hearings around Australia in the months ahead. Submissions close on 31 January. The final report is due before 30 June 2015.
Nominations for 2015 National Youth Awards now open
Applications for the 2015 National Youth Awards (NYA) are now open. The NYA is an Australian Government initiative managed through the Department of Education.
The Awards are the national event of National Youth Week which will run from 10-19 April 2015. The NYA celebrate and recognise exceptional young Australians with six individual Awards. The seventh Award recognises a media outlet/journalist whose news story has positively portrayed youth in the media.
The seven Award categories are:
- Youth Leadership Award
- Youth Culture and Diversity Award
- Youth Employment Award
- Youth Courage Award
- Youth Health Award
- Youth Safety Award
- Youth Media Award.
If you know a young Australian who should be recognised for their achievements please nominate. Applications are open until 27 November.
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