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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1061: 29 January 2016
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  • This week, 76 councils in Victoria held citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day, where a total of 3,650 people became Australian citizens. These residents made up a total of 16,000 new Australians who were celebrated at 400 ceremonies across the country. According to a recent OECD report, Australia has among the highest uptake of citizenship with about 80 per cent of eligible migrants choosing to become Australian citizens.
  • Councils only have a few days left to notify the Essential Services Commission (ESC) if they will be seeking a variation to the rate cap. The ESC is seeking responses by 31 January. The MAV will be offering our support to councils through the unchartered waters of seeking a variation, given the Commission’s model is untested. We would appreciate if councils could notify the MAV if they plan on seeking a variation. Please contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.
  • The MAV is hosting an information session on 5 February with the London-based insurance expert responsible for purchasing and managing insurance for more than 500 Australian councils, including the members of our Liability Mutual Insurance Scheme. Invitations have been sent to MAV Insurance members to learn about key issues involved in the scheme’s reinsurance placement. To RSVP, or for further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.
The McArthur Local Government Fellowship Award is now open for applications. The Fellowship, sponsored by McArthur, is worth $12,000. The purpose of the Fellowship is to allow a current Victorian councillor to undertake international research and study of a policy area significant to the local government sector.

The $12,000 study grant is designed to assist with short-term overseas travel, accommodation, and associated on-the-ground expenses.

There are no restrictions on the areas of research chosen, but proposals should focus on a topical issue with sector-wide applicability.

Information on how to apply is available online. Applications should be submitted to Andrew Rowe by 4 March. For further information, contact Andrew on 9667 5549.

Thirteen councils have shared in $950,000 of State Government funding under the Maternal and Child Health Service Innovation Fund.

The MAV helped to develop the funding guidelines and was a member of the selection panel. We would like to congratulate all successful councils.

Funding will go towards work between MCH services, community groups and organisations across local government to better reach out to at-risk families and improve the support they receive.

Initiatives include an outreach coaching program for vulnerable families, and a young parent connection program.

The MAV would like to congratulate the current and former councillors who received Order of Australia medals on Australia Day.

The following current and former councillors were recognised for services to local government and the community:

  • Cr Margaret Richards OAM (Benalla Rural City)
  • Cr Ken Ong OAM (City of Melbourne)
  • Cr Mick Morland OAM (Casey City, former councillor Berwick City)
  • Francis Dullard OAM (former councillor Rochester Shire)
  • Roy Fox OAM (former councillor Alexandra Shire)
  • Neville Goodwin OAM (former councillor Bass Coast Shire and former commissioner Wyndham City)
  • Bob Orr OAM (former councillor Hepburn Shire)
  • David Evans AM (former councillor Oxley Shire, Campaspe Shire, and Wangaratta Rural City)
  • John Tanner AM (administrator at Brimbank City, former commissioner at Delatite Shire)
  • Max Fehring AM (former councillor Gannawarra Shire)

A full list of recipients is available online.

The Rural City of Wangaratta has established a trust fund to help provide support for the children of Karen Chetcuti - a wonderful, generous friend who worked with the council for almost 20 years before her tragic death.

All money contributed will be used for purposes including the education, support and welfare of Karen’s children.

The Trust will be administered by the council.

We send our deepest condolences to Karen's family, friends and council colleagues.

BESS Advanced workshop

The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) is a new-generation building sustainability tool developed by the Victorian Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment.

The workshop on 17 March focuses on residential, non-residential, mixed use and larger residential buildings.

It will include case studies of a non-residential development and a mixed use multi-residential development.


Save the date

Council directors, managers and officers involved in all things planning should keep 23-24 June free for our annual Rural and Regional Planning Conference.

Further details will be announced shortly, but it promises to be another stand-out event for the local government planning sector.

  • The next round of the Melbourne Water Living Rivers Fund will open on 1 February and closes on 29 February. The application form can be viewed and submitted online. The program offers councils funding, expertise and guidance to build understanding, skills and commitment for managing stormwater within an integrated water management approach.
  • Councils can encourage community sports clubs to apply for two separate rounds of State Government funding to assist with sporting travel costs, and to strengthen sport club operations and sustainability.

Infrastructure Victoria survey

Infrastructure Victoria plans to release a 30-year Infrastructure Strategy with short, medium and long-term infrastructure needs. The State Government will respond to the Strategy with a five-year infrastructure plan including priority projects and funding commitments.

Councils are invited to give feedback via a brief survey to help guide development of the strategy, and the design of Infrastructure Victoria’s future consultation.

Consultation for draft waste strategy

Sustainability Victoria (SV) has now opened the consultation on the Draft Victorian Community and Business Waste Education Strategy.

SV is partnering with Victoria’s seven Waste and Resource Recovery Groups, and the EPA Victoria to run six workshops across the state.

The consultation period closes on 4 March.

  • World Bank has published a new report called Digital Dividends. The report finds that traditional development challenges are preventing the digital revolution from fulfilling its transformative potential.
  • The annual Women on Farms Gathering will be held in Yarriambiack on 18-20 March. The event supports rural communities, rural women and their families.  
  • Parks and Leisure Australia is holding a seminar designed for grounds staff responsible for preparing and managing sportsgrounds on 24 Februray.

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