Economic Development Parliamentary Inquiry
The MAV has responded to the Minister for Local Government on the Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee inquiry into local economic development initiatives. The inquiry report provides an extraordinary list of recommendations that include matters well outside of economic development; such as, directly elected mayors and other electoral matters, senior officer key performance indicators, and councils’ legislative objectives. We also expressed considerable concern about the proposed imposition of sanctions for not achieving undefined ‘economic development objectives’.
We strongly rejected many of the report's recommendations and do not believe it presented a comprehensive framework that would strengthen local economic development. The report seeks to impose a top-down model that does not align with the current activities of local, State and Commonwealth governments.
The MAV’s response emphasises that councils are already strong supporters of local economic development and that a strong policy framework would support existing initiatives through a partnership approach with the sector.
Contact Owen Harvey-Beavis for more information.
Local government's role in whole of water cycle management
Our annual Environment Policy Forum on 27 November will focus on local government’s role in whole of water cycle management. With the recent release of the draft Melbourne’s Water Future by the Office of Living Victoria (OLV), the strategy and its implementation flags an increased role for local government in water cycle management.
These challenges and opportunities will be explored at the forum, which will provide an in-depth understanding of how the strategy will affect councils, and a chance to influence its implementation. Speakers will include Mike Waller, CEO of OLV and John Watson, Chair of the OLV's Local Government Taskforce, as well as a range of council speakers.
The forum will be held from 10am – 4pm at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is open to councillors, council CEOs, directors and officers working in stormwater, infrastructure, environment, finance and business planning. To facilitate an effective workshop, attendance is limited to two participants from each council, and non-council attendance is by invitation only.
Register your attendance by 25 November.
Council briefings on debt procurement solutions
Over the past months, the MAV has been working with the Capital and Debt Advisory team from Ernst & Young to identify the most appropriate long-term solution for local government debt financing requirements.
The findings of this work will be presented to councils at two briefing sessions, together with an overview of the proposed structure and options. The sessions will also allow for member feedback, with the objective for the MAV to establish a long-term borrowing structure by 1 July 2014. Councils with borrowing requirements prior to the proposed start date will also be provided with options at the briefings.
All councils are encouraged to attend a session on either Friday 15 November from 2.30 – 4.30pm or Tuesday 19 November from 3 – 5pm at the MAV offices. RSVP by Monday 11 November to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information contact Cameron Spence on 9667 5554.
Victorian Local Government Forum: Preventing Violence Against Women
The MAV and VicHealth are hosting an exciting forum at the Windsor Hotel on Wednesday 18 December. The program’s keynote speakers include the Hon. Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Mental Health, Community Services and Disability Services and Reform; the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ken Lay APM; and comedic health promoter Nelly Thomas as MC.
The forum is designed for those councils just starting out on their journey to prevent violence against women, as well as those more progressed. It will showcase councils’ innovative work and includes a workshop on ways to successfully argue the case for preventing violence against women and gender equity. The full program will be available shortly on the MAV website.
Book online. If you are from a small council and find the $65 registration fee cost prohibitive please contact Kellie Nagle.
The MAV and the Department of Health are continuing to develop negotiation points in an attempt to retain Victorian strengths in the home and community care system as it moves to the Commonwealth.
Consultation meetings have been held between the Commonwealth’s transition team and the MAV, and other peak bodies representing provider and consumer interests. The Commonwealth is expected to release a consultation paper on the proposed design of the Home Support Program by early 2014, with further opportunity for feedback.
The Commonwealth has offered to hold a meeting specifically with Victorian councils to discuss features the sector would like to see retained in Victoria. The meeting will be convened by the MAV. For further information contact Derryn Wilson.
State of Transport Forum and survey
On Thursday 21 November the Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF) will hold a free State of Transport Forum at Melbourne Town Hall from 5.45 – 7.15pm.
Hosted by Jon Faine, speakers include Steven Vlahos, Sector Director of Performance Audit at the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office; Prof Graham Currie, Chair of Public Transport at the Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University; and Jane Nathan, Administrator at Brimbank City Council.
You can also share your views via the State of Transport Peoples’ Survey before 20 December. It takes only five minutes to complete.
Take the MTF State of Transport Peoples’ Survey and register for the forum by 19 November.
Youth focused grants
Eligible councils in rural and regional Victoria can apply for up to $30 000 in funding through the Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants. Five grants are available this round for use towards establishing or expanding youth advisory services in rural and regional Victoria.
The Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants Program aims to increase the involvement of young people in local government and local community decision making. Eighteen councils have already received grants under the program. Submissions close Friday 22 November.
National Youth Week also takes place next year from 4-13 April 2014. Grants of up to $2 000 will be available to assist groups of young people working with a local organisation, council or school, to organise and run activities of their choice to celebrate the week. Applications for National Youth Week 2014 grants close on Wednesday 20 November.
LGICT “What’s next?” Forum to be held at Phillip Island
On 5-6 December the Local Government Information and Communication Technology (LGICT) Group is heading to Phillip Island for its final forum for 2013.
The event will include presentations from key ICT product and service providers, a facilitated workshop on open data publishing, and an update on sector-wide initiatives currently in development by the LGICT.
There will also be case studies from member councils on transition to activity-based working, IT governance and benchmarking, and a group discussion about upcoming collaborative IT procurement opportunities and priorities.
The forum is free to LGICT member councils and promises to be a memorable event. Register now. For more information contact LGICT Executive Officer, Lisa Bennetto.
Building Maintenance and Management Conference
The 3rd Local Government & Public Sector Building Maintenance & Management Conference will take place in Melbourne on 19-20 November.
Delegates will learn how to improve building systems and services, improve operational efficiency and maintenance practices, make buildings more sustainable, and lower costs. Two speaker streams will allow delegates to tailor sessions to suit their interests.
Councils can also attend just the energy and water stream of the conference, which makes up the Water Efficient Public Sector Buildings & Facilities Forum.
The forum will explore what makes for a more sustainable building by examining all facets of energy and water efficiency with respect to buildings and facilities throughout all phases of their design, construction, operation, maintenance and retrofitting.
New Guide to Measuring Walking released
The new Guide to Measuring Walking has been developed to make measuring walking activity relatively straightforward and affordable for councils.
In Victoria Walks’ work to develop Smart Steps: for Councils, local authorities indicated that they find measuring walking difficult and that they needed particular guidance in this area.
This guide provides a rigorous analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of different techniques for measuring walking, as well as recommending the best methodologies to use for a range of common scenarios.
Growing Resources National Forum
A joint forum between the Community Recycling Network (CRN) Australia and Resource Recovery Australia on Thursday 21 November aims to grow Australia’s Community Recycling Enterprises.
The forum will run from 9am – 4.30pm at the Treacy Centre, 126 The Avenue Parkville, Melbourne. This is an open event, costing $75 for CRN members, $200 non-members and $100 individuals (includes free yearly membership).
Register here. For further details visit the CRN Australia website.
In social media news...
Local Government 2.0 Online Expo – a webinar series from the 18-20 November will discuss transforming local government performance through innovation and digital solutions.
New report: Using Crowdsourcing in Government, by the IBM Centre for the Business of Government.
Simpl by @FutureGov connects public services with innovators to solve social problems. The City of Boroondara is the first Australian council to use the service to help generate solutions to their school crossing supervisor shortage. Find out more.