Issue 1030:                                                 Week ending 5 June 2015

Fair Go Rates Reference Group: rate capping
MAV rates survey: final call
MAV submission to Family Violence Royal Commission
Restricted breed dog parliamentary inquiry
Disaster recovery toolkit for local government
Children’s Facilities Capital Program grants

VicRoads Review of Roadside Memorials Policy
Victorian Coastal Council Interim Position Paper
Funds for HACC Aboriginal training and professional development
Emergency Management Course
In social media news...

Fair Go Rates Reference Group: rate capping

Our CEO recently attended the first meeting of the Local Government Sector Reference Group, established by the State Government.

The meeting was constructive, and gave representatives from local government organisations the opportunity to express their views around rate capping, and the rollout of the proposed model.

Another meeting will be held after the Essential Services Commission releases its first report in July.

MAV rates survey: final call

The MAV has requested that all rates surveys, emailed to councils in early May, be completed and returned to the MAV by 12 June.

The purpose of this survey is to present rates data in a consistent format across all councils. This survey is a critical component of the MAV’s work to ensure that the media places councils’ rate increases in context, and any comparisons that are made around changes in rates being comparable across municipalities.

All data sought should be based on draft budget information, not final adopted budgets where possible.

To submit a survey, or for further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.

MAV submission to Family Violence Royal Commission

The MAV’s submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence is now available.

Our submission highlights how local government has a significant role to lead cultural change that can influence community attitudes towards violence against women through gender equity and early intervention.

Following roundtable discussions with stakeholders, and hearings in July and August, the Commission is due to hand down its report on 29 February 2016.

Restricted breed dog parliamentary inquiry

The Victorian Parliament’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has commenced an inquiry into the restricted breed dog legislative and regulatory framework.

The inquiry’s terms of reference indicate that the Committee will review the current restricted breed dog regulatory framework in terms of its effectiveness in achieving the purposes of the Domestic Animals Act, in particular, responsible dog ownership, protection of the environment, and protection of the community.

The Committee has invited submissions from individuals, groups or organisations with an interest in the issue. The closing date for submissions is 10 July. The MAV will prepare a response and circulate it to all councils for their feedback and input. For further information, contact Claire Dunn.

Disaster recovery toolkit for local government

The Disaster Recovery Toolkit for Local Government is now available, providing a range of tools, resources and literature to help local government and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

The toolkit is the result of a collaborative project with the 10 councils most affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. The participating councils were Alpine, Baw Baw, Latrobe, Mitchell, Mount Alexander, Murrindindi, Nillumbik, Wellington, Whittlesea and Yarra Ranges.

The project was guided by a Project Reference Group, chaired firstly by the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and then by Regional Development Victoria (RDV). Members included Local Government Victoria, the Department of Human Services and the MAV.

The toolkit consists of eight booklets which look at understanding disaster recovery, recovery readiness, response, post disaster, and engaging the community in recovery efforts. It also provides a number of recovery tools and resources.

Children’s Facilities Capital Program grants

The 2015-16 Children’s Facilities Capital Program grant round is now open, and councils and kindergartens are invited to apply for capital grants.

Funding for major grants will be prioritised in areas with high population growth or social disadvantage, and can be used to either build new kindergartens or significantly upgrade existing facilities.

The MAV’s early years capital survey undertaken by councils in December 2014 indicated that Victorian councils invest in over $2 billion in kindergarten and maternal and child health facilities, and are planning to continue to do so. Councils also project a further $260 million is needed to meet growth, and at least $30 million is needed to meet new ratio change requirements for 2016.

Throughout the process of developing the Children’s Facilities Capital Program Guidelines, the MAV and councils have provided extensive feedback to DET. The MAV welcomes the more strategic approach now being taken with regard to capital funding grants.

Councils are encouraged to submit EOIs by 17 July for all planned new infrastructure projects over the next four years.

VicRoads Review of Roadside Memorials Policy

VicRoads has launched the second stage of community consultation around the Roadside Memorials Policy Review.

The MAV and several councils have contributed to the process, and VicRoads has asked for their appreciation to be passed on to those councils who have shared their views. A working group comprising representatives from key organisations has prepared a discussion paper, which summarises key issues, and proposes a revised policy position for comment.

There is still time to complete the survey online. The revised policy is anticipated to be finalised early in the second half of 2015.

If you have any questions relating to this please contact Kevin Peachey.

Victorian Coastal Council Interim Position Paper

The Victorian Coastal Council (VCC) has released an interim position paper regarding governance of coastal land and infrastructure. The paper’s stated purpose is to provoke discussion on how the system can be improved.

The paper argues that in order to be ‘fit for purpose’ the new Marine and Coastal Management Act needs to establish a coastal management framework that retains a `whole of coast’ strategy; minimises the number of Acts and statutory entities that impact on coastal governance; and balances statewide, local, community and professional representation in decision-making.

The paper also explicitly acknowledges that councils are often assigned responsibilities that they’re not resourced to acquit, and concludes that the new Act needs to align legislative accountability with financial capacity. Feedback on the interim position paper can be provided to the VCC via email.

Funds for HACC Aboriginal training and professional development

Councils can request to receive up to $20,000 to recruit and/or support, one or more Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander employees or trainees in their Home and Community Care team.

These one-off funds provided by the State Government will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Interested councils are encouraged to discuss their ideas with Bianca Nutt on 9667 5580.

Emergency Management Course

The Emergency Management Course for Public Health Professionals, formerly run at AEMI Mt Macedon will run this year in Attwood, Melbourne, on 27-31 July. The course is updated every year to reflect the changing needs of students.

Due to the relocation of the course the price has been heavily reduced by $1,000. The five-day course for Environmental Health Professionals Australia (EHPA) members is now $2,150, and $2,750 for non-members.

For further information about this course, contact Daniela Failla or Bernadet Ferraro.

In social media news...

Upcoming MAV events...

11 June

Economic development – nurturing your local community workshop

15 June

Local government forum: FOI, privacy and protected disclosures

22 June

Understanding local government workshop


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