This week's local government news.
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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1085: 14 July 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • National Twitter Day: The MAV, in partnership with other state local government associations, is coordinating National Twitter Day on 3 August. The aim of the day is to engage councils with Twitter accounts to showcase the divTwittererse range of services they provide that support communities, from the first task of the day to the last task. In 2014 we ran an inaugural Twitter day which resulted in 2,100 tweets from more than 500 councils nationally. We will provide members with further information about getting involved shorty.
  • Federal election: A full week after the 2 July election, the Coalition has managed to form a majority government, with two cliff-hanger seats yet to be confirmed. The AEC is continuing to count votes in the Senate, with first preferences counted in all states. Full senate results won’t be available for a number of weeks as the AEC has until 8 August to finalise the vote.
  • LG Act review: Communities have been invited to have their say about the future direction of the Local Government Act as part of the wide-ranging review. State Government workshops and listening posts will occur in nine locations across the state. See further details below on our Local Government Act review taskforce.
The MAV Local Government Act Review Taskforce met on 11 July and received a presentation from Local Government Victoria on the State’s directions paper, with the opportunity to ask questions.

Taskforce members identified principles relevant to the relationship between the State and local government that need to inform the new Local Government Act. They discussed key concerns regarding the proposed change to the franchise; minimum two-year mayoral terms and increased mayoral powers; the proposed integrated planning system; and the prospect of a slender Act with prescription contained in regulations that are not subject to the level of scrutiny applicable to legislation.

Following the next taskforce meeting in August, the MAV will circulate a draft submission for member feedback. The deadline for submissions is 16 September; a tight consultation period given the breadth and importance of the reforms.

For further information or for any issues you wish to bring to the attention of the taskforce, contact Alison Lyon.

A comprehensive summary of MAV achievements during 2015-16 was recently sent to all members with the 2016-17 subscription renewals.

We’ve received positive feedback on this report and have now also produced a simpler, visual summary of our achievements from the past financial year. Our infographic is available on our website.

In the last 12 months the MAV has achieved significant outcomes for members to protect, strengthen and support the viability of local government.

MAV achievemnts

The topic of planning fees is heating up in the sector, with a series of media reports following the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) process.

We have commended the Minister for Planning for acting on our request to review planning fees and, following sector feedback, we believe that if option three of the RIS is adopted it will be a massive step towards redressing more than a decade of inequitable cost burden imposed on ratepayers.

The current planning fees only recover around 20 to 30 per cent of actual council planning costs, leaving ratepayers to subsidise the rest. Meanwhile users who received a private benefit from planning decisions have contributed less than their fair share.

We are hopeful of securing a positive outcome from the review in the coming months.

We are now a third of the way through our 82 Stand for Council candidate information sessions, which have been well attended by approximately 300 prospective candidates.

Councils are encouraged to continue promoting sessions locally on their websites, through social media channels, and with local media.

Resources to help promotion can be found on our members-only Comms Hub.

Stand for Council logo
The State Government is holding a number of regional consultation sessions (pictured) to help inform their Victorian Gender Equality Strategy, due for release later this year.

Consultations will engage a range of stakeholders from business, government, community and industry sectors. Additional consultations in the metropolitan area are also being scheduled.

A discussion paper to inform these consultations will be distributed shortly by the State to help inform discussion and feedback.

Venue details will be confirmed upon RSVP to For further information call Georgina Padgham on 03 9651 2007.

Victorian Gender Equity Staretgy Regional Consultations

BESS advanced training

The Victorian Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) is running an advanced workshop focusing on its Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) tool.

This workshop is suitable for building designers, ecologically sustainable development consultants, and council officers in the planning and building areas.

It’s on 27 July at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street. Registrations can be made online.

Future of Local Food Conference

Our annual Future of Local Food Conference will be held on 8-9 September.

The conference will cover a range of topics including 'how to' case studies from around Australia; food security – from policy to practice; the bioregional food system; and good practice community gardens.

An event program is now available. It will be held at Treasury Theatre, 1 MacArthur Street Melbourne. Registrations can be made online.

  • Councils and communities are encouraged to nominate a worthy recipient for the 2017 Australian of the Year. Nominations close on 7 August.
  • Nominations are now open for the Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards.  Councils and communities can nominate outstanding volunteers in the categories of leadership, change maker, impact, service and teamwork. Nominations close on 9 August.

MAV Media Centre

Each month we publish a range of policy bulletins covering environment, emergency management, human services, insurance, planning, procurement and workplace, which you can subscribe to online.

Send us an email to subscribe to MAV media releases or our President’s Update.

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  • The latest Alliance for Gambling Reform newsletter is now available. It covers a range of gambling-related topics including local campaigns, strategic litigation and new Victorian poker machine data.
  • The State Government has announced it will establish a Citizens’ Jury to recommend the best future design for the City of Greater Geelong. The independent group newDemocracy Foundation will select the Jury and oversee the process, bringing together a representative but random sample of 100 citizens.
  • Robot Amelia – a glimpse of the future for local government.

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