Issue 970:                                                      Week ending 21 March 2014

Performance reporting framework submission
Candidature of councillors in State or Federal Elections
McArthur Local Government Fellowship Award 2014
MAV Environment Conference 2014: program release
Submission to Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with a Disability
Taxi Services Commission
New Minister for Local Government announced
The Cranlana Colloquium Scholarship: nominations now open
VicRoads V-Limits update complete
Funding for community sports facilities now open
National Youth Week

National Close the Gap Day
In social media news...

Performance reporting framework submission

The MAV has completed our submission on the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014 Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), which introduces the performance framework for local government.

While supporting the objective of improving the measurement and reporting of councils’ performance, it raises concerns about the accuracy of the costs of implementing the framework and the scale and scope of the indicators, which is likely to result in inconsistent data or poorly specified measures.

We have argued in favour of significantly reducing the number of measures and progressively expanding the indicator set as the framework becomes more mature.

In addition, we have called for ongoing governance structures, which include councils, the MAV and line departments to be introduced to review and advise on the indicators.

We believe this governance structure will iteratively improve the quality of the measures, as well as provide important contextual material to assist in the interpretations and meanings of the indicators.

We further suggested that defining the measures in regulation will increase the difficulty of reviewing and refining the framework as improvements are identified.

For more information contact, Owen Harvey-Beavis.

Candidature of councillors in State or Federal Elections

The MAV has established an updated set of guidelines for councillors who are running for office at a State or Federal Election.

We recommend that councils, at a minimum, adopt the guidelines as part of the Code of Conduct or to supplement the Code.

The rules of conduct require councillors to act honestly and to exercise reasonable care and diligence in performing the role of a councillor.

We encourage councillors to read through the seven guidelines.

For further information, contact Alison Lyon.

McArthur Local Government Fellowship Award 2014

The McArthur Fellowship allows 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. While this does not exclude longer trips, the Fellowship is awarded on the basis that costs exceeding $12,000 are the responsibility of the recipient.

There are no restrictions on the areas of research chosen, however proposals that focus on a topical issue with sector-wide applicability will be well regarded.

Shortlisted candidates will be announced in the MAV Bulletin.

Applications close 5pm, 1 May. For more information, or to apply, contact Andrew Rowe.

MAV Environment Conference 2014: program released

The program for the MAV 2014 Environment Conference on Wednesday 30 April and Thursday 1 May has been released.

Keynote speakers include, Federal Environment Minister the Hon. Greg Hunt; Tim Flannery, Co-Founder and councillor of the Climate Council; and John Thwaites, Chairman of ClimateWorks.

Core themes to be covered at the conference include climate change adaptation, the built environment, water, and waste management.

The conference will be held at Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. Register online, or for further information, contact MAV Events.

Submission to Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with a Disability

The MAV presented a submission to the Victorian Parliament Family and Community Development Committee’s Inquiry into Social Inclusion and Victorians with a Disability

We addressed the committee on the role of local government and communities in improving social inclusion for people with disability.

The submission and presentation emphasised the importance of the Community Building Program (Metro, Rural and Deaf Access) in continuing to progress access and inclusion issues.

This program assists with organisational and community capacity building and provides a focus for embedding inclusion into council agendas.

Taxi Services Commission

The Taxi Services Commission is holding public forums to provide the latest information on the taxi and hire car reforms.

The forums are on 25 March in Geelong and 27 March in Melbourne.

The MAV has been an active participant in the Inquiry since July 2011 making two submissions, participating in various workshops and hosting the Inquiry’s Deputy Chair, David Cousins at the MAV Transport Committee.

Key areas for reform include:

  • Improving taxi services, particularly in regional, rural and outer metropolitan areas
  • Allowing taxis to perform more flexible taxi/bus, fixed route, shared and hop-on hop-off services
  • Removing restrictions on councils’ ability to contract community transport service delivery to taxis
  • Improving accessible services.

For further information contact James Cleaver.

New Minister for Local Government announced

The Premier Denis Napthine has announced changes to the Victorian cabinet in light of recent retirements.

The new Minister for Local Government is Tim Bull, who has taken over from Jeanette Powell. He is also the new Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.

Other changes include Damian Drum as Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs; Russell Northe as Minister for Energy and Resources and Minister for Small Business; and Nick Wakeling as Minister for Higher Education and Skills.

The MAV looks forward to working closely with Mr Bull to progress ongoing reforms like the VSLGA, councillor conduct and the performance reporting framework. .

A full ministry list is available online.

The Cranlana Colloquium Scholarship: nominations now open

The Cranlana Colloquium Scholarship gives one councillor the opportunity to join a leadership program with 20 other leaders from corporate, not-for-profit and government organisations.

We offer scholarships to this program twice a year.

The Cranlana Colloquium is a six-day leadership program that challenges leaders to examine their values, ethics and vision through the prism of classical and contemporary readings. This enables participants to reflect on their leadership style, judgement and decision-making capability.

The next program will run from 15-20 June. Nominations are open now for this program and will close on 24 April.

For further information, contact Andrew Rowe on 9667 5549.

VicRoads V-Limits update complete

VicRoads has completed the final step in updating the Speed Zoning Guidelines with the release of V-Limits.

V-Limits is a web-based tool that supports the implementation of VicRoads Speed Zoning Guidelines.

V-Limits assists councils to assess new speed limits and changes to speed limits. This V-Limits update provides greater flexibility for councils to establish local area 40 km zones, 50 km rural shopping zones, and school speed zones.

For further information, contact James Cleaver on 9667 5519.

Funding for community sports facilities now open

Councils can apply for the 2015-2016 Community Facility Funding Program (CFFP), with funding available for a broad range of sport and recreation projects.

Funding is available under six categories; better pools, major facilities, seasonal pools, minor facilities, soccer facilities, and planning.

Project proposals for the current round of the CFFP close on 16 April.

National Youth Week

National Youth Week (NYW) is the largest celebration of young people in Australia. Thousands of young people aged 12-25 from across Australia get involved in NYW each year.

This year it's on 4-13 April and will feature nearly 100 events for young people across Victoria – including film festivals, fashion shows and art exhibitions.

A range of promotional materials are now available to assist in promoting council NYW events.

For further information please contact Greg Box on 9096 1352 or email the Department of Human Services.

National Close the Gap Day

Around 150,000 Australians are expected to join this year’s National Close the Gap Day today (20 March), with many awareness raising activities being undertaken.

In Victoria, a poster produced by the Department of Health reminds us that while many Aboriginal people in Victoria enjoy good or excellent health, as a group, they are more likely to experience poorer health outcomes than non-Aboriginal people.

Transgenerational trauma continues to be felt, with 47.1 per cent of Aboriginal people currently living in Victoria having a relative who was forcibly removed from their family due to government policies of the past.

The Oxfam website has information and downloadable resources. Further information is also available via the Australian Human Rights Commission.

In social media news...

  • Discover the 18 Victorian Government departments and agencies using Podcasts. Find out more.
  • New Learn Local website launched. Read more here.
  • From the UK: 16 ways councils can better use data. Learn more.
Upcoming MAV events...

27 March

Evaluation & Negotiation in LG

27 March

Maternal and Child Health Nurses Conference

28 March

MAV LGICT Forum - Communications 2014


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