Issue 1027:                                                      Week ending 15 May 2015

MAV rates survey
Federal Budget
Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Employment Framework

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard launched
MAV Technology public Wi-Fi report
No funding for Healthy Together Victoria
Last seats for web accessibility workshop
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
ALGWA annual Victorian Conference
WSUD Asset Management workshop

NAPCAN Play Your Part Awards: nominations open
SE Masters Conference
In social media news...

MAV rates survey

The MAV has issued our rates survey, now in its 13th year, to all Victorian councils for 2015-16. 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.

The MAV requests survey responses are returned by 29 May. All data sought should be based on draft budget information, not final adopted budgets where possible.

For further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.

Federal Budget

With the Federal Government’s budget announced this week, we welcome the decision to double Roads to Recovery (R2R) funding and increase Black Spot funding.

Through this R2R funding Victoria will receive $142.4 million next year, which will help councils with municipal road maintenance and renewal.

The budget also includes $36.5 million for Black Spot funding, up from $16.8 million last year, and a further $145 million for identified local roads grants. It's hoped an adequate proportion of the $60 million announced for the national Bridges Renewal Program will go towards local government projects in Victoria.

Some aspects of the government’s $3.5 billion childcare package were welcome, however we still have concerns around the benchmark for the single childcare payment, and the workforce aspect of the proposed subsidy system, which could mean our most vulnerable children will have limited access to childcare.

Unfortunately, the freeze on the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants is still in place and we will continue working with councils and the Australian Local Government Association to have the freeze lifted.

Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Employment Framework

The MAV has written to all Victorian councils introducing them to the Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Employment Framework.

The framework was produced to assist councils to increase their employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to encourage them to adopt the suggestions it contains.

The resource was developed as a result of forum discussions with council managers, and many conversations and experiences obtained through the MAV Aboriginal Employment Project. The framework and a number of fact sheets have been prepared to provide further information.

For further information, please contact Lidia Thorpe.

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard launched

The Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) has launched a Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS), with support from the MAV.

The free online tool will help building professionals assess the sustainability of structures at the planning permit stage. It covers the key elements that make up good liveability and design practice, and will help deliver positive outcomes for developers, buyers, and building users alike.

The tool will help support the important role councils have in the transition to a productive, sustainable and resilient community.

For further information, contact Kevin Peachey.

MAV Technology public wi-fi report

MAV Technology has launched a report on Implementing Public Wi-Fi Services for Local Government, which includes a collection of research and case studies relevant for councils looking to implement, or grow an existing public Wi-Fi service.

The report includes:

  • Research material related to the design, implementation, use and ongoing management of public Wi-Fi services
  • Case studies from across Victoria and the globe, focused on Victorian councils
  • Case studies from other sectors - both private and public
  • Details of technologies available that are relevant to local government
  • Business models that support the sustainable use of public Wi-Fi
  • Policy and process for the effective management of public Wi-Fi.

The report was commissioned by MAV Technology and developed by Charlie Mac and Associates over the period December 2014 to January 2015.

As part of the report a wiki has been created by, where members can download all the background and reference materials, post updates and make comments.

No funding for Healthy Together Victoria

Further examination of the detail in the State Budget shows no further funding for the Healthy Together Victoria initiative, which is disappointing.

This initiative was a ‘proof of concept’ trial which 14 mayors and the MAV President signed with the State under the National Partnership Agreement. Last year the Federal Government ceased funding for the initiative leaving a funding hole which was subsequently plugged by the State Government.

However, neither the State nor Federal Health Ministers have committed to the funding continuation to allow the significant trial to proceed to 2018 as originally envisaged. There is world-wide interest in the impact that can be made in helping keep people well by resourcing the role of local government in improving all settings where people live, work and play.

The cancellation of funding for this program is another lost opportunity to change the health profile of Victorians with rates of obesity and chronic disease rising in adults and children, and one third of the working population retiring prematurely due to ill-health.

Last seats for web accessibility workshop

There are only a few seats left for our workshop on 22 May, which teaches council staff how to meet legislative requirements around web accessibility.

This practical course demonstrates how to produce accessible web, e-newsletter and social media content. Participants are required to bring their own laptop with Microsoft Word 2010 and Adobe Acrobat Pro 11 for the half-day course, while full-day participants’ laptops must additionally be able to connect to external Wi-Fi networks.

Further information about why we’re delivering this accessibility training program is available online.

Registrations for the workshop can be made online.

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) will be held on 17-18 May.

IDAHOT is a global day aimed at drawing attention to the discrimination still faced by same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse people, and a massive celebration of sexual diversity and gender diversity.

Many Victorian councils get involved in the day by wearing purple, holding events, and raising awareness and funds for lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex (LGBTI) groups. There is still time to get involved, with details available online.

For more information on the MAV’s role in building council capacity to meet the needs of its LGBTI residents, contact Bianca Nutt.

ALGWA annual Victorian Conference

Spaces are filling quickly for the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) annual Victorian Conference, in Mitchell Shire on 22-23 May.

Speakers include Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, Dr Ron Ben-David of the Essential Service Commission, International Humanitarian Moira Kelly, and Jenny Gray, CEO of Zoos Victoria.

A full program is now available. Registrations can be made online.

WSUD Asset Management workshop

Clearwater and Stormwater Victoria are holding a breakfast workshop on WSUD Asset Management on Thursday 4 June at Richmond Rowing Club.

Designed for council staff, the workshop will focus on problem definition which is a critical first step when approaching a problem. The workshop will explore and unpack the key challenges in WSUD Asset Management.

Registrations can be made online.

NAPCAN Play Your Part Awards: nominations open

NAPCAN’s Play Your Part Awards for Inspiring Prevention Initiatives are now open for nominations.

The awards recognise individuals, communities and organisations that have played their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in Australia, particularly in vulnerable communities.

Nominations can be made online after completing a nomination form. Winners will be announced during National Child Protection Week from 6-12 September.

SE Masters Conference

Presented by Social Traders, the SE Masters Conference 2015 provides a unique opportunity for people interested in operating, or supporting social enterprises to benefit from sessions with Australian social enterprise award winners, and local and international guest speakers.

As the only national conference of its type, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the collective experience and expertise of the sector, gain insights into the successes and challenges facing social enterprises, and help build the capacity of the social enterprise community in Australia.

A full program, with a list of speakers is now available. It will be held on 3 June, 9am-4.30pm at the Melbourne Town Hall. Registrations can be made online.

In social media news...

Upcoming MAV events...

20 May

Sector conversation on housing strategies and residential zones

22 May

Maternal and child health nurses conference

25 May

Annual report writing workshop


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