The discussion paper to inform the White Paper process on taxation reform has been released. The paper presents a summary of Australia’s current tax system and poses questions about potential reform options. This discussion paper is the first phase in the process to develop a White Paper on tax and is stated as the process by which the Commonwealth Government will arrive at a tax reform agenda for the next Federal Election.
The paper poses questions about councils’ revenue raising capacity and about the design of rates. It is consistent with recent taxation reviews, which have concluded that rates are among the most efficient taxes available in Australia, due to its broad base and difficulty in avoidance. However, it suggests that the inclusion of improved values provides a disincentive to develop and suggests that differing rating structures can lead to complexity for those holding properties across multiple municipalities.
It requests feedback on the relative priorities for State and local taxes and on the allocation of taxation responsibilities between each level of government. It focuses in some detail on the relative taxation and spending powers of the states, and alongside the federation review, it is likely to consider issues of vertical fiscal imbalance and the appropriate division of spending and taxation powers.
The MAV will be responding to the discussion paper and will consult with members through this process. For further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.
MAV violence prevention booklet: international award winner
The MAV has won an international award for the fourth annual Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women awards for our Prevention of Violence Against Women - Leading Change in the Victorian Local Government Sector booklet.
We were one of 20 organisations from across the globe to be chosen as a finalist for the prestigious awards, which recognise outstanding communications campaigns that are helping change communities, policies, institutions and behaviours to end violence against women.
As per the Avon Foundation’s policy, the $5000 grant must be given to a non-government partner organisation. We have chosen to forward the grant onto Our Watch, and we will work with them to develop a Prevention of Violence Against Women related infographic for local government.
Further information of our gender equity work is available online.
Universal Access to Kindergarten: council advocacy crucial
This week the MAV has again written to the Hon Scott Morrison, Minister for Social Services to urge him for continued Commonwealth investment in 15 hours preschool ahead of the government's May Budget. We also urged the government to support the Productivity Commission recommendations to simplify payments for families - provided the subsidy levels enabled services in high cost locations to remain viable and affordable for families.
The next four weeks are crucial to ensure children can continue to receive 15 hours of kindergarten at a fee that is affordable for families. Earlier this month the MAV circulated a briefing paper to all members seeking councils' support for our kindergarten campaign.
We are now urging all councils to take up action and contact local Federal MPs and Senators, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education and Training, and Senator the Hon Scott Ryan MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training, ahead of the May Federal Budget.
For further information, contact Clare Hargreaves.
MAV Aboriginal Community Development Administration Trainee
The MAV has created an opportunity to increase the number of Aboriginal people in local government and contribute to our reconciliation action plan priorities. The role of the Aboriginal Community Development Administration Trainee is to assist the MAV in delivering professional services and support to members by providing administrative support to staff in the social policy area.
The position will provide an opportunity for the trainee to learn about the different areas of responsibility of the social policy team through work placement, visiting councils, and attending council forums with social policy team members.
The MAV is committed to assisting councils to increase the number of Aboriginal people working in local government and has developed a Draft Local Government Aboriginal Employment Framework for councils.
For further information, or to apply for the trainee position, contact Lidia Thorpe.
VicHealth funding available to get people active
A new VicHealth Community Activation Program aims to create and ‘activate’ places within local communities to increase access to opportunities for physical activity.
VicHealth is looking to partner with a small number of Victorian councils to share in $240,000 to plan and pilot approaches to transform a space within their community, with a view for it to become a permanent site for physical activity.
The following workshops will provide further information:
- Thursday 9 April (1 – 4pm, VicHealth, 15-31 Pelham St, Carlton)
- Friday 10 April (10am – 1pm, VicHealth, 15-31 Pelham St, Carlton)
- Monday 13 April (1 – 4pm, Breastscreen Victoria, Level 1 Training Room)
Registrations for the workshops can be made online. For further information, email VicHealth.
Aboriginal honour roll roadshow kicks off
The touring exhibition of the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll was officially launched this week by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Natalie Hutchins, at Wyndham Vale Library.
The Honour Roll formally recognises Aboriginal people who have made a significant contribution to the community and the state. The Honour Roll, which has a permanent home in the Victorian Parliament, will be on display in Wyndham Vale until 14 April, before moving on to Wangaratta, Geelong, Horsham and Healesville.
To date, 64 outstanding people have been recognised through the Honour Roll for their achievements in a wide range of fields including health, education, justice, sport, the arts, community leadership and military service.
Nominations for the 2015 Honour Roll are now open.
Catchment Management Authority positions now open
Up to 45 board member positions across the CMAs, along with the position of Chair of the Glenelg Hopkins CMA Board, are being advertised. CMA boards are responsible for the strategic planning, policies and management oversight of CMAs.
The Chair and up to eight members of the Victorian Catchment Management Council (VCMC) are also being advertised.
The VCMC is responsible for advising the State Government on the condition of land and water resources and priorities for catchment management.
Expressions of interest close on 20 April.
Traffic noise reduction policy review
VicRoads is currently reviewing its Traffic Noise Reduction Policy. This policy aims to ensure that traffic noise from Victoria’s freeways is kept at a reasonable level, and that priority to reduce traffic noise focuses on locations with the highest noise levels.
As part of this review, VicRoads would like to hear the views about traffic noise management from communities across Victoria. People can contribute to the community consultation online.
Those who would prefer to contribute in writing should call 9854 2984 to request a copy of the discussion questions and survey. Input from the online discussion forum will be used to inform the development of a discussion paper, which will be the basis for a second round of consultation later this year.
The forum is open for contributions until 19 April.
Waste tyre controls: update
The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, has given notice of her intention to proceed with the making of the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions), (Industrial Waste Resource) and (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2015.
Approximately six million waste passenger car tyres were unaccounted for in Victoria in 2012-13, believed to be stockpiled or illegally dumped. Large volumes of tyres can create a serious fire hazard, and once ignited are difficult to extinguish and can cause significant environmental, social and economic costs. The amended regulations aim to deter the movement of NSW waste tyres into Victoria to avoid disposal costs.
The MAV was involved in working groups with the EPA to ensure local government interests were represented.
Funding for Landcare and awards now open
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, has committed $3.2 million to ensure the funding of Victoria’s 68 Landcare facilitator positions for another four years.
Facilitators build community capacity, assist communities to deliver local action, facilitate effective participation in Landcare activities and enable groups to become self-supporting.
Nominations for the 2015 Victorian Landcare Awards are also now open. The Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of volunteers and Landcarers across the state.
Nominations can be made online, and the closing date for entries is 21 June.
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