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


All your local government news this week

Issue 1063: 12 February 2016
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  • The State Government has released its State of Play reports as part of a review of residential zone changes. An independent advisory committee will use the information gathered to provide advice about future zone changes, the need to protect neighbourhood character, and cater for population growth. The MAV will be developing a submission to the reports, and will contact councils shortly for feedback. Submissions are due by 29 February.
  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has released its budget submission to the Federal Government. They have estimated that $27 billion of community facilities are in need of significant renewal and Commonwealth support. The submission also calls for a Local Government Community Infrastructure Program of $300 million per annum for five years to fund the renewal and maintenance of existing community infrastructure with the aim of stimulating local economic opportunities and job creation.
  • The MAV has welcomed the State Government's initiative to open the first day of each sitting week in Parliament with the official ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ to recognise Aboriginal Victorians; a first in the history of Victorian Parliament. This initiative follows on from the government's decision last September to permanently fly the Aboriginal flag over Parliament House.
The Independent Review Committee’s report for the review of the Climate Change Act 2010 has been tabled in Parliament.

The report contains 33 recommendations including that the Act should include:

  • a long-term emissions reduction target, as well as interim targets
  • a Charter of Climate Change Objectives and Principles
  • a requirement for the State to produce a five-yearly Climate Change Strategy that addresses emissions reduction, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction.

It is pleasing to see a number of points raised in the MAV submission addressed in the Committee’s report.

In January we announced the creation of a Local Government Digital Transformation Taskforce and called for nominations from council CEOs. The Taskforce will help establish a strategic direction for the sector and oversee activities in the short to medium term.

The following CEO appointments will ensure a strong council voice and a good balance of metropolitan, regional and rural interests on the Taskforce:

  • Helen Anstis, Baw Baw Shire
  • Paul Younis, Brimbank City
  • Mike Tyler, City of Casey
  • Vijaya Vaidyanath, City of Yarra
  • Gerard José, Mildura Rural City
  • Nerina Di Lorenzo, Moreland City
  • Keith Baillie, Surf Coast Shire
  • Noelene Duff, Whitehorse City
  • Glenn Patterson, Yarra Ranges Shire

Appointments representing other levels of government, the private sector and civic society will be announced shortly. The first Taskforce meeting will be held on 9 March.

The MAV has received strong support to undertake an annual survey of CEO remuneration, with 44 councils indicating their willingness to participate. The purpose of the survey is to collect and collate data to enable meaningful comparisons between remuneration practices of councils of similar size and complexity.

It is important to note that each local government category has a sufficient number of councils to enable a meaningful survey to be undertaken.

The MAV will develop a Discussion Paper which will be sent to participating councils for feedback prior to the commencement of the survey process.

Any council who has not advised us of their position may still participate by contacting Geoff Pawsey.

Councils are reminded that the requirement for government entities to report on any grants they pay to businesses with an ABN, and payments they make wholly or partly for services, commences on 1 July 2017. This means government entities will need to be ready to collect the relevant information in their systems from 1 July 2017, with the first annual report for the year ending 30 June 2018, being due by 28 August 2018.

The ATO has been collecting feedback on this reform and has prepared two draft legislative instruments that are intended to exclude certain government entities from reporting and exclude certain transactions from being reported on.

Councils can provide feedback on these draft legislative instruments by 15 February.

For further information, contact Robert Muscat on 9275 4834, or Scott Anderson on 9285 1882.


MAV Technology March Forum

This forum focuses on essential IT tools and processes for delivering more cost-effective and efficient council services to communities.

Agenda items include council case studies, eServices, open data, cloud services, regional collaboration, and software tracking.

The forum will be held on 4 March from 9am-3.30pm at Nagambie Lakes Entertainment Centre. The forum is free for staff from MAV Technology member councils.

Registrations can be made online.


A New Property Paradigm Conference

This conference on 9 March will explore planning and designing for the delivery of co-housing models; new property development trends; and social drivers to build community resilience.

Participants will hear from leaders in the field who have on the ground experience.

The conference will run from 9.30am-4pm at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Conference Centre, 250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne.

Registrations can be made online.

  • Nominations are now open for the Parks & Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence. The annual awards recognise outstanding initiatives which promote and enhance opportunities for the good use of leisure time for a number of social, environmental and economic benefits to the community. Entries close on 14 March.
  • The State Government has announced $300,000 for innovative projects that will help keep organic waste out of landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The funding will support local government and businesses to install small-scale on-site or precinct-scale anaerobic digestion technology for organics recovery and as an alternative energy source. Applications close on 21 March.
  • Federal Government grants of $25,000 - $80,000 are now available for owners and managers of historic places on Australia's National Heritage List. Applications close on 25 February.

MAV Open Council Data Toolkit 

MAV Technology’s Open Council Data Toolkit is now available for council use. It is designed to help people in all council business areas to understand how they can contribute to and benefit from publishing open data.

The toolkit also allows users to see how many councils are already publishing open data, and how many datasets they have released.

Following the work of MAV Tech, Victorian councils are now the most prolific publisher of open data of all the states in Australia.

MAV strategic plan consultations kick-off

Our first strategic plan meeting was held this week with great attendance from councillors, CEOs and council officers from across the rural north central region.

Discussions held will help inform the MAV’s 2016-17 strategic work plan.

There is still time to register for the remaining seven sessions that will be held throughout February and March.

To RSVP or for more details contact Gavin Mahoney.

  • The Federal Department of Communications and Arts has launched a new podcast discussing the latest issues across the Department’s portfolio– from emerging technologies, key policy issues and program delivery issues.
  • The State Government has announced plans to extend a trial allowing the use of kangaroo meat resulting from authorised wildlife control activities to be processed for pet food.
  • The Close the Gap Campaign has called on all political parties before the next Federal election to renew their commitment to closing the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
  • The Bureau of Communications Research has released analysis of the impact of open government data, revealing its potential to generate up to $25 billion per year.

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