Financial costs of settlement patterns modelling tool awarded
The Financial costs of settlement patterns modelling tool has this week received a commendation in the Planning Institute Australia (PIA) Awards. The MAV partnered with Rural Councils Victoria to deliver this important project for the sector.
The tool provides a high level understanding of the capital and ongoing costs of different settlement patterns based on essential infrastructure and density. Councils have long called for a better understand of the costs of different settlement patterns to help reduce the widening infrastructure and services gap.
Award judges were impressed by the tool’s user friendly format, ability to be tailored to suit local circumstance and the extent of analysis and results it generates.
Overall councils secured nine commendations and awards. Alpine Shire Council was awarded PIA’s Improving Planning Processes and Practices Award for their BAL Plan iPad application, in partnership with Book & Black. The City of Melbourne received the Public Engagement and Community Planning award for their Community Engagement on Future Living Project.
The MAV is also proud to congratulate Gareth Hately, our own Senior Planning Adviser, recipient of the PIA Outstanding Young Planner award.
See all Awards and Commendation winners on the PIA Victoria website.
State Council business papers
Business papers for MAV State Council on 25 October have now been circulated to all MAV Representatives and council Chief Executive Officers.
State Council will be presented with the 2012/13 MAV Annual Report and financials, and will consider 52 motions submitted by member councils.
Register for State Council online.
MAV Annual Conference app
The MAV Annual Conference and Dinner program is now available online via an interactive conference app featuring the full program, speaker bios, sponsors and exhibitors plus location information.
Download the app now. Places are limited and registrations will close soon so don’t delay and register your attendance online now.
New smoking bans at railway stations and tram stops
The Victorian Government has announced it is extending smoking bans to prohibit smoking anywhere on railway station platforms and raised platforms at tram stops, effective from early 2014. Until now, smoking had been banned only in covered areas of train platforms and within tram and bus shelters.
The MAV welcomes these regulatory changes, which are in line with our recommendations to ban smoking in a number of public outdoor areas, to reduce the incidence of smoking in the community. Currently around 4 000 lives are lost each year in Victoria as a result of smoking and it costs $2.4 billion in direct health costs and lost productivity every year.
While these extended bans for public transport locations will not particularly require local government enforcement activity, the MAV awaits consideration of the legislation currently before Parliament to introduce smoking bans at children’s playgrounds and sporting events, public swimming pools and skate parks.
For further information about the MAV’s response, contact Rosemary Hancock.
Summer Fire Campaign
The Summer Fire campaign 2013/14 aims to improve people’s understanding of fire danger ratings, how best to respond in the event of a grass fire, and prompt people to leave early in the event of a fire on days of Code Red and Extreme fire danger.
Last week, council officers from across the state attended the campaign briefing at the City of Whittlesea. A substantial array of activity is planned with advertisements, a new FireReady app, and the new VicEmergency website. November 17 to 24 will also be Fire Action Week.
The new website will provide emergency information and warnings to all Victorians on fires and floods during emergencies, and in the readiness and relief phases. Emergency information, warnings and incidents will be provided, along with information for the community on how to prepare themselves, appropriate courses of action, and where to get assistance. It will also encourage communication within communities. Its launch will coincide with the State’s summer fire campaign launch.
The CFA website will still be operational throughout this summer as both websites will operate in tandem during this transition period.
MAV joins Healthy Workplace Achievement Program
The MAV has registered to join the Healthy Workplace Achievement Program and is one of nearly 200 early adopting Victorian workplaces representing over 68 000 workers. Twenty councils have also registered to participate in the Achievement Program, which is part of the Healthy Together Victoria initiative.
As a key partner, local government is helping to prevent chronic diseases and encourage people to take control of their health. Significant State investment in 14 municipalities is also being supported by statewide programs such as the Achievement Program for workplaces, schools and early childhood services.
Initially focusing on healthy eating and increased physical activity, the Healthy Workplace Achievement Program helps determine priorities for increasing workers’ access to healthy and balanced eating and exercise for everyday life.
Game Changer - evolving our approach to prevention
The Victorian Department of Health has joined with a number of partners to present Game Changer - a day focusing on prevention as part of the World Diabetes Congress to be held in Melbourne.
This interactive event on 29 November brings together policy makers, researchers and population health practitioners to explore the future of community-based obesity prevention initiatives.
Speakers will include the Hon David Davis MP, Minister for Health; Dr Jean-Michel Borys MD, Co-founder and Co-director of the EPODE programme and the EPODE European Network (France); and Professor Boyd Swinburn, Alfred Deakin Professor and Co-Director at WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention Deakin University, and Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health, University of Auckland (NZ).
Planning and economic development: a critical relationship
As part of the Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Economic Development Skills Project, a one day workshop is being offered for rural economic development and planning practitioners, other interested professionals and councillors at the MAV offices on Tuesday 19 November.
The workshop program will help participants to further develop their understanding of strategic and statutory planning from an economic development perspective, with a particular focus on rural land use and town planning. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to work with planning professionals who have extensive experience in the rural economic development context.
As part of the ‘Local Solutions’ session, presenters will also be examining current issues and case studies relevant to participants.
This event is free for RCV members. Register online.
Check your copyright licensing
Copywatch, representing the interests of publishers, has recently placed advertisements in leading newspapers encouraging employees to 'dob in an employer' for copyright infringement. Local government is identified as a specific target of their campaign, with press clippings, survey plans and environmental reports listed as examples of content that councils may not be using appropriately. Councils are encouraged to check that they have appropriate copyright licensing arrangements in place.
A 2008 High Court decision in CAL v NSW found that copyright subsists in survey plans, used to administer the land title system, and is owned by the surveyors. Where local government reuses these plans or makes them available for sale, it is liable to pay remuneration for that use.
The Australian Government’s Open Access and Licensing Framework, AusGOAL, provides support and guidance to government and related sectors to facilitate open access to publicly funded information. Their free of charge assistance seeks to make government data more open and accessible. There are a range of training materials, guides and other resources online to help councils apply AusGOAL in your organisation.
Tidy Town award winners
Congratulations to Wangaratta, winner of the 2013 Tidy Town of the Year at the recent Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria (KABV) Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards.
Wangaratta won for their efforts to protect and enhance the local environment through the work of the Wangaratta Community Pride Committee and over 90 volunteer community groups. The Rural City of Wangaratta is also retro-fitting council buildings with solar panels and is striving for a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2016. Wangaratta will represent Victoria at the National Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns Awards in 2014.
Congratulations also to Bass Coast Shire Council, who won the Community Action Leadership Award for populations above 3 000, for its Shearwater Festival project to educate and instigate a local reconciliation plan between Indigenous and other Australians. A booklet is available detailing all the 2013 KABV Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Award winners and finalists.
Melbourne Celebrates Mining industry dinner
Councils may be interested in attending the Melbourne Celebrates Mining dinner on Wednesday 30th October. An initiative of the Victorian Government, it will bring together senior decision-makers from the international mining community, and will be hosted by the Minister for Energy and Resources, the Hon. Nicholas Kotsiras MP.
Keynote speakers for the dinner include David Peever, Managing Director, Rio Tinto Australia; and Ian Smith, Orica Chief Executive Officer; and sporting great Simon O’Donnell will MC the evening.
Tickets can be purchased online. For more information contact Alison O’Keefe.
In social media news...