In this issue:                                                                  November, 2014

Electoral Review response
Age-friendly Communities Conference
MAV submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry
Emissions Reduction Fund
MAV Aboriginal Forum and Employment Project
Sector conversation on planning and building enforcement
Election Question 2014
Whole-of-water-cycle management plan funding

Expressions of interest open - Ice Prevention Grants
Importance of Road Maintenance
Annual Plastics and Waste Conference

In social media news...

Electoral Review response

The MAV presented at a public hearing held by the Local Government Electoral Review Panel, following release of its reports proposing 55 recommendations.

In our response, submitted last week, we outline support for the broadening of the voting franchise in principle, but seek voluntary rather than compulsory enrolment; as well as caps of two permanent residents, two owners, two lessees and non-residents enrolled per property. The MAV did not support compulsory voting other than for those on the State roll, nor do we support the entitlement for permanent residents (non-Australian citizens) to be eligible to nominate as a candidate.

We offered in principle support for additional candidate information to assist voters’ decision-making, however further consultation is needed to work through practicalities of the standard questions. We also support councils being able to choose between attendance or postal voting, but do not support a cap on campaign donations given the current disclosure thresholds and conflict of interest rules already provide transparent processes.

For further information, contact Steve Goldsworthy.

Age-friendly Communities Conference

The MAV held a National Conference on Age-friendly Communities and Local Government last week at the Art Centre, Melbourne.

The conference concluded with the signing of the Age-Friendly Victoria Partnership and Leadership Declaration by the MAV President and the Minister for Ageing, David Davis (pictured). This declaration strengthens the partnership between the MAV and the State Government to work together towards common goals including better State and local planning for the creation of age-friendly communities.

The conference also focused on exploring innovative approaches in affordable, sustainable and liveable neighbourhoods and homes, and how councils can integrate age-friendly principles in their policies and practice across all council services.

MAV submission to Productivity Commission Inquiry

The MAV has finalised our submission in response to the Productivity Commission's draft report on natural disaster funding. We would like to thank councils for their feedback.

We are pleased the draft report has incorporated a number of concerns councils have with the current funding arrangements. Specifically, the Commission has acknowledged that the prescriptive nature of the current funding arrangements have restricted councils’ ability to spend funding effectively. The MAV supports more autonomy being given to councils to distribute funding efficiently and in line with community priorities.

However, we are concerned that a number of the draft recommendations and the reform options proposed by the Commission will lead to a significant financial burden on councils that have limited financial capacity to further contribute to natural disaster funding.

For further information, contact Martijn Gough.

Emissions Reduction Fund

The Federal Government's $2.5 billion climate change policy, including the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), was last week passed by the Senate.

Central to the Government’s Direct Action Plan, the ERF is a Federal Government fund allocated to the purchase of carbon emissions reductions from a wide range of sources including businesses, households and land owners. The overriding objective of the ERF is to reduce emissions at lowest cost.

The MAV and ICLEI Oceania are working with Ironbark Sustainability to investigate whether there is scope for councils to work together to participate in the ERF, however, initial results indicate the scope for involvement is likely to be limited.

For further information, contact Claire Dunn.

MAV Aboriginal Forum and Employment Project

The MAV will host an Aboriginal Employment Forum on 18 November from 10.30am-1pm at our office.

The forum will include council examples of their experiences with the recruitment process and journey of employing Aboriginal people.

Our forum follows confirmation of the funding contribution from the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) to enable continuation of the MAV’s project to increase the number of Aboriginal people working in local government to June 2015.

The MAV is liaising with Hays recruitment to identify positions that they are currently filling for councils that would be suitable for potential Aboriginal candidates.

For further information, please contact Lidia Thorpe at the MAV, or Matt Gowan at Hays. Registrations for the forum can be made online.

Sector conversation on planning and building enforcement

We are holding a world café style forum about planning and building enforcement on Wednesday 10 December from 10am-12.30pm at the MAV.

The purpose of the event is to give councils the opportunity to understand different approaches being taken, including multi-disciplinary responses and specific issue campaigns.

Seven councils have been invited to host and facilitate discussions on their particular theme. The host will give a 10 minute presentation, and then each group will have 20 minutes to talk, ask questions of the host, and each other.

Registrations can be made online.

Election Question 2014

An initiative of OurSay and the VEC, this pilot project is supported by the MAV and other partners to help define the State Election debate by inviting people to submit and vote on questions they want to ask candidates. Questions and votes can be posed by electorate.

Find out more or participate in Election Question 2014: Define the Debate.

Read all of the latest State Election news in our weekly elections newsletter.

Whole-of-water-cycle management plan funding

Last week the Minister for Water, Peter Walsh announced a $1.5 million initiative to encourage local whole-of-water-cycle management plans for communities in regional Victoria.

The funding is part of the Victorian Coalition Government's urban water reform program, Living Victoria. Councils can apply for funding of up to $250,000 from Living Regions to help develop whole-of-water-cycle management plans for localised areas.

The plan will investigate options on how to make better use of local water resources and look at how whole-of-water-cycle management can address current and future challenges.

Expressions of interest close at 5pm on 1 December. Further information is available online.

Expressions of interest open - Ice Prevention Grants

Community organisations and local councils are invited to apply for Ice Prevention Grants of up to $100,000 for a maximum of three years to support local community partnership activities that take a preventative approach to the use of ice and other illicit drugs in local communities.

Prevention activities may involve community-level or more targeted approaches that include but are not limited to:

  • Education and awareness initiatives targeting groups within the population at higher risk of using ice or illicit drugs and linking these groups to broader campaigns and resources
  • Activities that build individual, family and community resilience to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors that influence lower rates of drug use.

Expressions of interest close at 5pm, 13 February 2015.

Importance of Road Maintenance

A new report from the World Road Association shows the value of investment in road maintenance in financially constrained economies.

The Importance of Road Maintenance makes the case for adequate maintenance of road networks when maintenance budgets are limited.

The report explains why investing in maintenance at the right time can lead to significant reductions in future costs and supports the efficient management of maintenance.

Annual Plastics and Waste Conference

The annual SPE Plastics and Waste Conference will include presentations about policy, strategy and technology developments. These themes will be supported with data, potential solutions, technical progress in resource recovery, and advancements in science in the area of materials from renewable resources and success stories in recycling.

There will be a keynote presentation from Stan Moore, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant on Plastic Packaging and the Aquatic Environment.

The conference is on 13 November from 8am at Punthill Dandenong. Registrations can be made online and the full program is now available.

In social media news…

Upcoming MAV events...

13 November

Freight and the port: Dr Hermione Parsons and the supply chain advisory network

14 November

Planning & Building 101

2 December

Media Skills Workshop


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