Issue 991:                                                      Week ending 15 August 2014

CiVic magazine August edition now available
Joint MAV/LGV costing surveys trial for MCH and HACC
MAV Technology Conference: wrap up

Proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act 1975 withdrawn
Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy
Vale councillor Ann Fraser
Expressions of interest: Native Vegetation Permitted Clearing Regulations
Anti Poverty Week: 12 - 18 October
2014 ALGWA Bursary Award
Environmental Upgrade Agreements – expanded legislation
Black Spot Programme nominations open
Filming Approval Bill passes parliament
In social media news...

CiVic magazine August edition now available

The August edition of CiVic magazine has been mailed to all

councils and is also available online. This edition features a cover story on fortifying the future in the Borough of Queenscliffe.

This issue also delves into water sensitive urban design project, creating rural creative hubs, and celebrating Refugee Week.

If your council has a story you would like considered for our December CiVic magazine, email our editor Kristi High. Advertising queries can be directed to


Joint MAV/LGV costing surveys trial for MCH and HACC

The MAV recently issued surveys for 2013-14 for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and Home and Community Care (HACC) programs in preparation for funding negotiations regarding the unit price for both services with the State and the Commonwealth.

In addition, the MAV has worked with Local Government Victoria to ensure these trial full cost surveys meet the MCH and HACC requirements as part of the new Local Government Performance Reporting Framework (LGPRF). All councils are encouraged to complete and return these surveys by 1 September.

The MAV has administered the surveys for a number of years to develop and evaluate unit costs for MCH and HACC. LGV and the MAV have revised the surveys to generate cost data required for reporting against the new framework next year.

The 2013-14 annual reports being prepared now do not require councils to report LGPRF results. MCH and HACC cost survey data will only be required to be reported in next year’s annual reports (2014-15), along with other LGPRF mandatory requirements.

For further information or to submit survey responses, contact Trevor Koops.

MAV Technology Conference: wrap up

Our annual MAV Technology Conference has been a huge success with 40 exhibitors and more than 300 delegates over two days registered to hear a great line up of international and Australian speakers.

Presenters included Irving Group CEO, Larry Irving, who gave an inspiring presentation on the future of technology, and hosted a private lunch for council CEOs.

The MAV Technology Awards for Excellence were also presented, with Nillumbik, Latrobe, Whittlesea, Corangamite and Casey councils being recognised for their technology innovation projects.

Innovation Fellowship
  • Latrobe City Council - Use of Video Capture of Council Activities: $5,000
  • Nillumbik Shire Council - Providing Road Grading Information To Residents Online: $5,000
Team Achievement
  • Winner: City of Whittlesea - Councillor Portal Development
Individual Achievement:
  • Winner: Richard Barrow, City of Casey for the IT Applications Roadmap
Collaboration of the Year
  • Winner: Corangamite Shire Council - Electronic food sampling app

Another of our conference presenters was Shannon Spanhake, Director of Communications and Community for Planet Labs, an aerospace startup in San Francisco. Shannon is also hosting an open data workshop this Friday 15 August, places are still available, and registrations can be made online.

Proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act 1975 withdrawn

The MAV welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to take proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 off the table.

Consistent with the Victorian Government’s strong and bipartisan opposition to the proposed changes, the MAV lodged a submission to the Attorney General’s Department adding its voice to the case for no change to the current provisions.

The MAV submission cautioned against any amendments to the Act that may be interpreted as giving licence to race-based bullying, particularly by individuals in positions of influence.

Local government’s leadership role in achieving municipal social cohesion will be addressed at the upcoming Opportunities for Partnerships conference. Registrations are now open for the MAV’s inaugural biennial multicultural policy development conference on Friday 12 September.

Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy

Final submissions for the government’s draft Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy (VFMS) have closed.

The MAV prepared a submission and would like to thanks all councils who provided comments and feedback to inform our response.

The VFMS addresses many long-standing issues and the MAV supports several of the proposals contained in the strategy. In particular, the MAV supports a risk-based approach to floodplain management and investment, greater transparency in decision-making and robust community engagement.

However, we are concerned that the focus on local decision-making and implementation, particularly relating to flood mitigation infrastructure and land use planning, will result in unreasonably high levels of political and resourcing pressure for some councils.

Vale councillor Ann Fraser

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Maroondah Councillor Ann Fraser, who passed away on 8 August, aged 74.

Cr Fraser served six years with the former City of Ringwood from 1987-1994.

She was elected to Maroondah City Council in November 2008, as one of three councillors representing the newly formed Mullum Ward, and she was re-elected in October 2012 as one of five female councillors.

Expressions of interest: Native Vegetation Permitted Clearing Regulations

In December 2013, reforms to the Native Vegetation Permitted Clearing Regulations were introduced. A key part of these reforms is to develop a cost-benefit compliance and enforcement strategy that ensures the obligations of the regulations are met.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is seeking a total of eight to 10 experienced council staff in the fields of compliance, environmental planning or statutory planning, nominated by their council and selected by the MAV, to participate as a member of the Native Vegetation Regulations – Compliance and Enforcement Reference Group.

The group will be chaired by Jacqui Smith from the DEPI Native Vegetation Regulations Team in Melbourne, and will contain members with professional experience in compliance and planning activities relating to native vegetation management and removal in local government.

The group will be formed in August 2014 and continue until the release of the Strategy in March 2015. The expected time commitment for those participating is approximately one day per month.

Nominations close on 22 August. For more information, contact Jacqui Smith on 9637 8675.

Anti Poverty Week: 12 - 18 October

During Anti-Poverty Week all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity aiming to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas.

Established in Australia as an expansion of the UN's annual International Anti-Poverty Day on October 17, last year at least 600 organisations nationally participated in more than 400 activities during the Week.

Councils are invited to organise an event for this year, with a range of online resources and ideas available.

2014 ALGWA Bursary Award

Applications are now open for the 2014 Australian Local Government Women’s Association Bursary Award.

Applicants must be currently studying at a Diploma level or higher, at a recognised tertiary institution, on a part time or external basis, and must demonstrate an ability to make a positive contribution to their area of employment and to their employer through further tertiary study. Studies undertaken must be directly related to the applicant’s field of employment.

Applications close on 2 September and the winnner will be announced at a function on 25 September.

Environmental Upgrade Agreements – expanded legislation

The Local Government Legislation Amendment (Environmental Upgrade Agreements) Bill 2014 is currently making its way through Victorian Parliament.

If passed, the Bill will enable all councils across the state to enter into environmental upgrade agreements (EUA).

An EUA is an agreement between a council, the owner of a non-residential building and a lending body. Under such an agreement, the lending body advances funds to the building owner to finance approved environmental upgrades and the council levies an environmental upgrade charge, via rates, to recover the funds and repay the lending body.

EUAs have been possible in Melbourne City Council since 2010. The current legislation before parliament broadly replicates the legislation that allowed the City of Melbourne to enter into EUAs.

Black Spot Programme nominations open

The Department of Infrastructure and Investment is currently seeking nominations for Black Spot locations from state and territory governments, local councils, community groups and associations, road user groups, industry and individuals.

Changes have been made to the programme's eligibility criteria for 2015-16 and 2016-17 aimed at assisting local communities to compete for the additional funding available over the next two years.

Under the new criteria, the minimum Benefit Cost Ratio for proposals has been reduced from 2:1 to 1:1. In addition, the minimum crash history of sites has been reduced from 3 to 2 casualty crashes over five years or 0.13 casualty crashes per kilometre per year over five years.

Lifting this restriction for the next two years will give councils more opportunity to access funding to eliminate dangerous road locations and improve the safety and productivity performance of their road networks.

Filming Approval Bill passes parliament

On 2 July, Film Victoria wrote to public agency and council executives about the Filming Approval Bill 2014 and the development of the Victorian Film Friendly Guidelines.

This legislation has now been passed by the Victorian Parliament.

The Filming Approval Act 2014 implements a new framework of eight ‘film friendly principles’ which will streamline approval processes for filming on public land managed by local councils and government agencies.

All local councils and public land managers in Victoria will be required to abide by these principles from 1 March 2015.

Working in consultation with several local councils and state government agencies, Film Victoria has drafted the Victorian Film Friendly Guidelines, which are designed to provide clear guidance on the intent of each of the eight film friendly principles, and how to put them into practice.

Feedback on the guidelines must be sent via email by 29 August.

In social media news...

Upcoming MAV events...

27 August

The company directors course

11 September

Managing contracts in local government

17 September

Tackling food waste through effective local action


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