In this issue:                                                                    July 2016

MAV Environment Conference presentations
Collaborative Council – Sustainability Fund Partnerships program
Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung) Discussion Paper
Vale Mike Hill

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS)
Melbourne Water Interactive Local Government Forums
Help shape flood management priorities for Port Phillip and Westernport
In brief...

MAV Environment Conference presentations

Thank you to all those who attended and supported the MAV Environment Conference on 12 - 13 July.

Presentations from the conference are now available on the MAV website.

Collaborative Council – Sustainability Fund Partnerships program

Applications are now open for round two of the Collaborative Council – Sustainability Fund Partnerships program. The program will provide grants of up to $75,000 for councils to collaborate with each other on a joint business case, feasibility study or project to achieve positive business and environmental outcomes.

As part of the funding criteria, each application must outline how their project will contribute to either or both of the Sustainability Fund's objectives:

  1. Fostering environmentally sustainable uses of resources and best practices in waste management to advance the social and economic development of Victoria
  2. Fostering community action or innovation in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gas substance emissions or adaptation or adjustment to climate change in Victoria.

Applicant councils must demonstrate an investment in the proposed activity via budgetary or in-kind support of 50 per cent.

Applications must be lodged online by 5pm on 9 September.

Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung) Discussion Paper

Thank you to those councils who provided feedback to the MAV’s draft response to the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee discussion paper. The discussion paper sought input about how the oversight and management of the Yarra River and its catchment can be improved to ensure future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the river’s environmental, cultural, social and economic values to their full potential.

The eleven councils along the Yarra River have been part of a reference group established earlier this year, and there are an additional ten councils in the Yarra catchment area. The MAV response will complement the input already provided by councils, with a focus on the issues we consider have an across-council perspective.

For more information, contact Rosemary Hancock.

Vale Mike Hill

The MAV President, Board and staff are saddened by the passing of Mike Hill, a passionate community leader who was highly respected in local and State government circles and in the community.

Mike was a Mayor of the former City of Brunswick in the early 1990s and, following amalgamations, was the first Mayor of Moreland City Council. He was a strong and influential advocate for local government during the council amalgamation process, and a key founder of the Victorian Local Governance Association, where he was Chief Executive for eight years.

Intelligent and inspiring, Mike’s unwavering commitment to local democracy and the environment helped to achieve significant wins during his councillor years and beyond. He lived his passion for achieving better building standards through development of an urban environmental village in Brunswick. Mike’s ideas were also influential in the subsequent work of our Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment program.

We send our condolences to Mike’s family at this sad time. He will be sadly missed, but the legacy of his work lives on.

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS)

The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS)  is an online sustainability assessment tool purpose-built for the Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) framework used by Victorian councils over the past decade.

BESS replaces two existing tools:

  • STEPS, originally developed by Moreland City Council to assess residential buildings, and
  • Sustainable Design Scorecard (SDS), originally developed by the City of Port Phillip to assess non-residential buildings.

STEPS and SDS will be retired from use at the end of August 2016. After this time, STEPS will be locked to new applications, however will remain online for a period of time so that existing projects can be accessed.

Developers may use any tool of their choice to complete an ESD assessment for a planning permit application, however it is recommended that all new applications use BESS.

BESS training courses are available.

To access BESS go to

For more information, contact the BESS Manager.

Melbourne Water Interactive Local Government Forums

Melbourne Water is hosting local government roadshows in each of its three regions:

  • The North East region:
    Tuesday 16 August, Darebin Arts Centre, 9.30am to 1.00pm
  • The West region:
    Tuesday 23 August, Western Treatment Plant, 9.30am to 1.00pm
  • The South East region:
    Tuesday 30 August, Cardinia Cultural Centre, 9.30am to 1.00pm.

Topics for conversation include major and minor capital projects and works, Yarra River and land management, integrated water management, flood management prioritisation tools, healthy waterway strategy, development planning, waterway renewal works and online data sharing.

RSVP to or contact Christina Nguyen on 9679 6673 or Nicole Sutherland on 9679 7616.

Help shape flood management priorities for Port Phillip and Westernport

Melbourne Water is working with experts across the Port Phillip and Westernport region to develop tools that will help prioritise flood mapping, understand where flood management action is most urgent, and develop the best approaches for each location.

Councils will be able to test-drive and comment on the draft tools in early August. To receive updates and notifications, email with the subject heading ‘subscribe’.

Councils can also join the conversation by attending the Moonee Ponds drop-in session on 10 August or the Doncaster drop-in session on 11 August.

Find out more on the Melbourne Water website.

In brief...

  • Clearwater is holding an `Introduction to Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)  principles & technologies’ one day training course on 22 September at the University of Melbourne’s Burnley Campus. Register online or for more information, contact
  • Have you ever wondered what a water sensitive town or city looks like? View the 3.5 minute web video produced by the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.
  • The Energy Efficiency Council has launched the first edition of the Australian Energy Efficiency Policy Handbook. Developed in consultation with experts from across Australia's energy sector, the Handbook is a guide to the policies that are essential to drive ambitious energy efficiency improvements in Australia.
  • A community consultation report for the $2 billion Goulburn Murray Irrigation District ‘connections irrigation modernisation project’ has been released. The project aims to maximise water savings and secure the future of irrigated agriculture for generations to come. The report shows landowners strongly support a channel-by-channel assessment and a fit-for-purpose approach to irrigation upgrades.
Upcoming MAV events...

10 - 11 August

MAV Technology National Conference

24 August

BESS Advanced training

8 - 9 September

The Future of Local Food Conference


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