Rate Capping Taskforce: update
The MAV’s Rate Capping Taskforce met last week to discuss the draft Rates Capping and Variation Framework from the Essential Services Commission (ESC), and inform the MAV’s submission to the ESC process. The meeting confirmed that councils continue to have considerable concerns about the proposed framework. Issues raised by Taskforce members included:
- The appropriateness of timelines proposed by the ESC and their capacity to align with existing statutory budget processes
- Whether rates per assessment is the best base for measuring rates, with population better reflecting service cost demands
- The index used for the rate cap, which does not reflect significant variations between councils, and includes CPI as an indicator, despite consumer prices not being relevant to councils’ input costs
- The potential risks the framework will have on councils’ long-term financial position, particularly as it relates to infrastructure renewal and replacement.
The MAV has also commissioned ACIL Allens to undertake an independent assessment of the draft framework, and this work will inform both our final submission to the ESC and any further advocacy efforts the MAV will undertake.
For further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.
MAV October State Council
The next State Council will be held on 23 October at the Auditorium at the Sofitel Melbourne, 25 Collins Street from 9.30am.
A formal notice of the meeting will be sent to councils in due course. The deadline for receipt of motions is 25 September.
A template for State Council motions is now available. Registrations can be made online.
Library review announced
The MAV welcomes Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins complimentary statement made on 20 August regarding public libraries, and their importance to the community.
The Minister announced a critical review to establish optimum future funding arrangements and examine options for shared service delivery. Given library services are owned and primarily funded by councils the MAV is seeking a meeting at the earliest opportunity to discuss the Minister’s proposals for the review and the process planned.
The MAV has for many years proposed that a formal partnership agreement be developed with the State in regard to public libraries, and will seek an appropriate decision-making process to be established with councils as the ‘owners’ of the service through the MAV to determine the way forward.
MAV Submission for Proposed Lease of the Port of Melbourne Inquiry
A Victorian parliamentary committee is seeking input for an inquiry into the proposed lease of the Port of Melbourne. The MAV will be making a submission to the Port of Melbourne Select Committee and we are seeking the views of the membership to inform this work.
The Terms of Reference for the enquiry are now available. Please provide a response addressing the Terms of Reference relevant to your council to Kevin Peachey on 9667 5529 or via email by 1 September.
We apologise for the relatively short time to respond to this request. This is due to the timeframes set out by the Select Committee.
MAV Technology Conference award winners
Last week we held a successful MAV Technology Conference, with a range of captivating presenters.
During the conference we presented the MAV Technology Awards for Excellence. We would like to congratulate the below winners:
- Collaboration of the year and exemplar award: City of Greater Geelong, City of Ballarat & City of Melbourne - Local Government Open Data & Fellowship
- Team achievement: City of Boroondara - Mobility Plus
- Innovation fellowship: Corangamite Shire Council - Roadside weed mapping & works tracking app
- Service achievement: Denis Wilson, Moreland City Council - Immediate Past Chair of MAV Technology
We would also like to thank all councils who submitted an entry to the awards.
Boroondara Council staff with their Team Achievement award.
National Meals on Wheels Day
Councils across the state will celebrate National Meals on Wheels Day on 26 August, as a major provider of the 2.5 million meals the service delivers annually throughout Victoria.
In Victoria 69 councils deliver Meals on Wheels with the help of local volunteers, and many will acknowledge the very important role the service plays in their communities on National Meals on Wheels Day.
Meals on Wheels is an important service that councils deliver as part of the Home and Community Care (HACC) program, designed to support the elderly, and those with ill health or disabilities. HACC is delivered jointly with the state and federal governments.
In the last financial year councils contributed approximately $160 million towards all HACC and related services, over and above the government grants and fees, including delivered meals, personal and respite care, assessment, social support, transport, property maintenance and basic cleaning.
Climate change scholarships for council staff
The State Government has announced up to 40 scholarships to fund climate change training for council staff across Victoria.
The government will fund up to 55 per cent of the cost of the university accredited course, which aims to help staff improve efficiencies and provide a whole-of-council approach to incorporating an understanding of climate change in their service delivery.
The Centre of Local Government, University of Technology Sydney will deliver the course and training to local government on 17-19 November in Warragul, and 25-27 November in Wedderburn.
Scholarships are open to executive and senior management, and council staff. More information is available online. Applications close 20 October.
Bushfire mitigation funding boost
The Victorian Government has stated they will match the $2.7 million, three year funding that the Federal Government has distributed as part of their National Bushfire Mitigation Programme.
Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett said the funding is being provided to support activities such as Victoria’s first state bushfire management strategy, an enhanced fire protection programme using fuel reduction burns, upgrading fire trails and facilitating a targeted grants programme to support local bushfire mitigation initiatives.
Meeting the needs of LGBTI HACC clients: a year on
In the last year, significant progress has been made in councils’ capacity to be inclusive of Home and Community Care (HACC) clients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI).
We are holding a forum to give council HACC staff an opportunity to reflect on their achievements, hear about other councils’ successes and challenges, share ideas and concerns, and identify priorities for the future.
After a quick morning of presentations, attendees will participate in rotating table-conversations facilitated by the speakers, including a ‘participants choice’ table. These will offer an informal space to ask questions, gain a deeper understanding, and contribute to identifying the sector’s top five challenges and successes.
It will be held on 1 October from 10am-1.30pm, at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins St, Melbourne. Registrations can be made online. For further information, please contact Bianca Nutt on 9667 5580.
Input sought for Citizenship Ceremonies Information Session
The MAV is planning a bi-annual council information session on citizenship ceremonies with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). To ensure the session meets council needs, we are seeking council input.
This space is interesting at the moment, with the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 introduced in parliament on 24 June, and DIBP’s recent citizenship consultations. Other than an update on these matters and focus on Australia’s Citizenship Ceremonies Code, please advise any parts of the Code, managing ceremonies, or related matters that you want to know more about or have clarified.
The session will be held on 3 December (registrations open late-Sept). Please send input to Bianca Nutt on 9667 5580 by 31 August.
Waterways Local Updates
Recently Melbourne Water released its 2014-2015 Waterways Local Updates.
The Waterways Local Updates provide information on services and works that Melbourne Water has delivered in local council areas to improve waterway health and protect people and properties against flooding.
Updates are provided for each council at the end of each financial year. Previous years' updates are also available.
For further information, contact Lee Quach.
Volunteer Champion Awards: nominations open
Nominations are now open for the Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards.
This year the awards have grown to acknowledge the increasing number of Victorians giving their time and skills to make this state an even better place to live. The new awards program will include the Premier’s highest accolade for volunteering contributions – the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award.
Up to 50 volunteers will be recognised across five categories: Outstanding Youth Volunteers; Outstanding Adult Volunteers; Outstanding Volunteer Managers, and; Outstanding Volunteer Teams in both Rural and Regional, and Metropolitan areas.
Nominations are open until 15 September.
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