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


All your local government news this week

Issue 1075: 6 May 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • State Council: There is still time for members to register for State Council on 13 May. Motions are also now available on our website. Registered members of the media and the public will also be attending for the first time. We look forward to the productive discussions around the issues that are most important to our members.
  • Federal budget: With the current Federal funding for 15-hours of kindergarten set to end in December 2017, and no continuatin announced in the budget, the MAV will make continued kindergarten funding a priority of our Federal election advocacy. We will liaise with councils shortly with further details. A full wrap-up of the budget’s impacts on local government is published below.
This week we launched our Stand for Council campaign which aims to motivate people to seek information about standing for council.

The launch provided an opportunity for councils to learn more about how they can be active in the campaign. So far councils across Victoria have booked 76 Candidate Information Sessions during May-August. These sessions are a great way to provide election information to prospective candidates, with presentation content supplied by the Victorian Electoral Commission, along with presentations from a neighbouring CEO and current councillors from other municipalities.

All member councils will receive a campaign kit which includes posters, postcards, template media releases and newsletter articles, sample social media posts, and a USB containing the campaign logos and other branding. These will be mailed out next week, and the campaign resources will also be added to the Comms Hub on our members-only section of the MAV website.

To book a Candidate Information Session, contact Zarah Ahmed.

As a key focus of the advocacy efforts of MAV and its national body, the ALGA, we welcome the continuation of Roads to Recovery funding to the 2019/20 financial year, and the additional $50 million for the program for that year (making the total $400 million), along with $60 million for blackspots and $60 million for the Bridges Renewal Program. Due to the indexation of the fuel excise, R2R funding in 2016/17 and 2017/18 will be above planned expenditure levels, totalling $815 million and $700 million respectively. Victoria’s share will be $163 million (2016/17) and $142 million (2017/18)

The budget included provisions for the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants to resume from the 2017/18 financial year as we anticipated. This is welcome news, however the three-year freeze has created a funding backlog for important road and infrastructure projects within councils. The indexation restoration will form part of our Federal election advocacy.

The Budget also includes a one-year delay in delivery of the Jobs for Families package, which includes the Commonwealth’s commitment to fund its share of 15 hours of kindergarten. Whilst MAV has been advised that funding negotiations on 15 hours are still progressing, we will continue our advocacy to ensure there is an ongoing Federal investment beyond December 2017. We will keep councils informed of progress on these intergovernmental negotiations.

The Emergency Management Legislation Amendment (Planning) Bill 2016 Exposure Draft has now been released and is open for comment until 30 June.

The Exposure Draft contains proposed legislative amendments to reform Victoria’s emergency management planning arrangements, which includes proposed changes to the roles and responsibilities of local government in emergency management. The State Government has also prepared an Issues Paper to provide an overview of the reforms.

Emergency Management Victoria is running a range of briefing sessions across Victoria, between 10-31 May.

For further information, please contact Kevin Peachey.

Local Government Victoria (LGV) is undertaking work to ensure that councils are best placed to contribute to the shared vision of supporting safer and more resilient communities. This work plans to deliver on a priority of the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan priorities and build on work already done by the sector as part of broader emergency management reforms.

Workshops will be held in May and early June to assist LGV in gaining insights into the strengths that councils bring to emergency management, why some existing roles work well while others could work better, and broad principles for the future role of local government in emergency management.

For more information, contact Lachlan Kelsall on 9948 8566, or via email.


Future of Local Government National Summit

There is still time to register for our Future of Local Government National Summit on 17-18 May.

The summit will explore solutions to the many challenges councils face including identifying things done best at national, state, regional and local levels; and setting flexible, place-based funding arrangements that deliver on local priorities.

The summit features an array of Australian and international speakers providing thoughtful leadership for those who want to design a better future for local government.

Registrations can be made online.


LG Infrastructure and Asset Management Conference

Our National Local Government Infrastructure and Asset Management Conference on 8-9 June will explore a range of topics including the National Infrastructure Plan, transport principles and livability.

The conference will continue the long tradition of sharing knowledge, tools and templates to maximise council sustainability, and being able to implement many of the advancements presented at your own council.

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

  • The 2016 LG Pro Sally Isaac Memorial Scholarship Fund Award is open to women 35 years and under who are Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. Nominees can be council officers, councillors and community members who are able to demonstrate achievement and commitment to improving community life. Nominations close on 10 June.

National Local Government Awards

The MAV would like to congratulate the City of Greater Dandenong and Yarra City Council for being category winners in the 2016 National Local Government Awards.

Dandenong received the Multicultural Australia – Strength in Diversity award for its Creating Change: Social Cohesion Program; and Yarra won the Youth Economic Participation award for its Yarra Young Entrepreneur Program.

The winner of the 2016 National Award for Excellence in Local Government will be announced at the ALGA’’s National General Assembly Dinner on 21 June.

The full list of category winners and highly commended projects is available online.

Guide for developing budget reports

The Victorian City Council Model Budget Guide for the 2016-17 financial year has been released and is tailored for local government financial professionals.

It clarifies what information is mandatory or is considered best practice to include in budget reports. The guide also reflects rate capping legislation introduced by the Victorian Government, which will apply from 1 July. Also available is a Word format budget template and an Excel format budget template.

The resources have been produced by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, with sponsorship from the MAV.

  • Councils can get involved in National Volunteer Week (9-15 May) with Volunteering Victoria. The week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of the nation’s volunteers. This year’s theme is Give Happy, Live Happy.
  • On 11 May, all Australians are encouraged to wear orange for SES Wow Day in a united show of thanks for the tremendous work done and commitment shown by our SES volunteers.
  • Local government has been recognised as a partner in the Commonwealth’s Smart Cities Plan
  • Contributions for the Coast to Coast Conference close on 13 May. The Program Working Group is inviting contributions of original work for the national coastal management conference. It will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 29 August – 1 September.

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