Insurance news from the MAV. 
MAV Insurance Bulletin

Issue 23: March-April 2015
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In this issue:

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Inaugural Award for Excellence in Risk Management
Limits review
Guide: Dealing with Recommending Referral Authorities
Recent court awards for pain and suffering damages
LMI help desk Q&As
New Victorian outdoor smoking bans
Tips for maximising social media usage during disaster management
Events

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Inaugural Award for Excellence in Risk Management

MAV Insurance is pleased to announce that Diana McDonald from Horsham Rural City Council has been awarded the inaugural Award for Excellence in Risk Management. The award has been established by MAV Insurance to recognise outstanding practice in risk management across the local government sector, and support the professional development of risk managers.

As part of the award, Diana will be attending the Risk Management Society’s annual conference in New Orleans, and she will be presenting at the second round of Best Practice Forums on both the risk management projects she implemented to win the award, and the major implications of the conference on local government.

Limits review

MAV Insurance has engaged KPMG to undertake a review of the LMI scheme’s limits to ensure that members are appropriately insured against potential catastrophic losses. As part of the project, KPMG met with a group of representative councils to identify potential catastrophic loss scenarios.

With the project nearing completion, LMI members will shortly be sent the final report and MAV Insurance’s planned response to the review.

Guide: Dealing with Recommending Referral Authorities

The MAV has engaged Maddocks Lawyers to prepare a guide for councils dealing with recommending referral authorities under the Planning and Environment Act. The aim of the guide is to outline a best practice approach for councils, as the responsible authority, to discharge their functions where a planning permit is required to be referred to a recommending referral authority. The need for such a guide was requested based on recent amendments to the Planning and Environment Act and planning schemes that specify two types of referral authorities – a recommending referral authority and determining referral authority.

The guide will also provide advice on the liability issues associated with making a decision contrary to a recommending referral authority, and highlight the importance of developing risk based policies with respect to the enforcement of planning permit conditions.

A briefing was delivered by Maddocks Lawyers and the MAV on 31 March, to explain the content of the guide, and to provide council planning officers, risk managers and CEOs with the opportunity to ask questions and raise any additional matters that should be addressed in the guide. Taking into consideration the feedback received from councils, the guide will be finalised shortly and distributed to councils.

Following on from the above work, MAV Insurance will be developing a risk assessment tool to assist councils in the enforcement of planning permit conditions which have ongoing enforcement obligations. We will be liaising with councils in the development of this tool.

For further information, contact Kristine Purcell, MAV Insurance Counsel.

Recent court awards for pain and suffering damages

Thanks to two of our external legal panel firms, Moray & Agnew (Victoria) and Hunt & Hunt (Tasmania), who have put together reports of recent awards for pain and suffering damages by the courts.

While these examples are not binding and each case is assessed on its own merits, it is important that we keep abreast of what the courts are awarding for pain and suffering when matters run to verdict. Historically, figures have shown that less than five per cent of proceedings run to verdict, nevertheless we often have these examples quoted at us by plaintiff lawyers.

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LMI Help Desk Q&A

MAV Insurance receives many queries from members, including many novel topics.

This issue, we look at ‘Use of Chairs by School Crossing Employees Whilst on Shift’.  We encourage you to visit the website for further information.

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If you have a query for MAV Insurance, please contact:

New Victorian outdoor smoking bans

New laws to ban smoking at entrances to all Victorian childcare centres, kindergartens, schools, children’s indoor play centres, hospitals and certain Victorian Government buildings will come into effect on 13 April. Councils will be involved in the implementation of these reforms, with grants available from the Department of Health to assist.

Tips for maximising social media usage during disaster management

A staff member at QLD’s Redland City Council has written about his experience in crisis communications during Cyclone Oswald & the North Stradbroke Island bushfires.

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Events

Best Practice Forums 2015

The dates for Round 1 of our 2015 Best Practice Forums are listed below.

  • Tuesday 14 April: North Central Rural – Rural City of Benalla
  • Thursday 16 April: Eastern Rural – Latrobe City Council
  • Monday 20 April: Joint Metro – MAV offices
  • Tuesday 28 April: South West Rural – Warrnambool City Council
  • Wednesday 29 April: North West Rural – Buloke Shire Council

Further details and registration information is available online.

2015 MAV Insurance Conference Tasmania

The 2015 MAV Insurance Conference is being held on 23-24 April at the Hotel Grand Chancellor. We have a great line up of guest speakers and we look forward to you joining us.

An agenda is now available, and registrations can be made online.

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