Issue 1013:                                               Week ending 6 February 2015

Commonwealth to consult further on Family Day Care
Meeting with Minister for Local Government
McArthur Local Government Fellowship Award 2015
MAV Insurance Risk Management Award
Creating accessible documents in Word and PDF
MAV strategic plan consultations
Emergency management collaboration forum

Save the date: ALGA National General Assembly
Delivering value in integrated water management: seminar
In social media news...

Commonwealth to consult further on Family Day Care

The MAV is pleased to inform councils that the Commonwealth has announced it will remove the requirement that children of Family Day Care (FDC) educators cannot attend other FDC facilities.

The removal of this rule will allow for further consultation with council-operated FDC services. The other three rules remain in place and improve transparency, strengthen child safety, and apply conditions across the states, which are broadly supported by the FDC sector.

This announcement follows strong advocacy from the MAV to the Prime Minister regarding his announcement in January that there would be changes to recent amendments to the Child Care Benefit (Eligibility of Child Care Services for Approval and Continued Approval) Determination 2000, that imposes new requirements on FDC services.

The MAV will continue to keep councils informed of our advocacy efforts in relation to FDC. Further information about early childhood education and care services is available on our website.

Meeting with Minister for Local Government

This week we attended our regular meeting with the new Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins.

We discussed Labor’s rate capping policy, and reiterated to the Minister that we would work with the government to get the model right. This includes advocating to secure a more appropriate benchmark for measuring council costs, rather than CPI. We also seek criteria to ensure ESC assessment processes do not unreasonably prevent councils from sustainably providing core services and infrastructure in light of recent Federal Budget cuts to core local government grants, cost shifting by other governments for core services like libraries and kindergartens, and extraordinary circumstances such as natural disasters.

We also discussed the Local Government Act review which Labor committed to prior to the election. While it’s still early days, we understand there will be a process for a review put in place soon. Library funding was also raised as it was a major focus of our Call to Parties prior to the election. In their response to our Call to Parties, Labor committed to look critically at the completed Ministerial Advisory Committee Victorian Library concept and the key recommendations that flow from it.

We look forward to another productive meeting with the Minister next month.

McArthur Local Government Fellowship Award 2015

The McArthur Local Government Fellowship Award is now open. 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 of a policy area significant to the sector.

The 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. The details of how to apply are available online. Applications for the Fellowship close at 5pm on 13 March.

MAV Insurance Risk Management Award

This is the final call for nominations for the Liability Mutual Insurance scheme’s new annual award for Excellence in Risk Management, which will recognise one officer from a member organisation from Victoria and Tasmania.

The award will be given to recognise the effort of an officer in the delivery of a reform or project which minimises the insurable risk of their organisation.

Nominations should be submitted by 5pm on 9 February to Owen Harvey-Beavis. As part of the award, the LMI scheme will provide a trip to the Risk Management Society Annual Conference in New Orleans in April. It is anticipated that the winners of the award will be announced in late February.

Creating accessible documents in Word and PDF

Due to popular demand, the MAV will host a second web accessibility workshop for councils on 8 May, covering Word, Acrobat and InDesign software.

This practical workshop teaches attendees how to format documents to meet the legislative requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

The full-day session covers techniques for Word and PDF documents, ideal for council staff who regularly have their documents published online. A half-day workshop (covering basics for Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat) will be made available once we meet numbers to run the full-day session.

Places are limited and registrations can be made online. For more details, contact Alvin Bautista.

MAV strategic plan consultations

Our 2015 strategic plan consultation sessions have been well attended thus far, but there is still time to register for upcoming sessions in Wonthaggi on 13 February from 2pm-4pm, and Bannockburn on 16 February from 10.30am-12.30pm.

Further sessions are also planned for Melbourne (24 and 26 Feb), Horsham (27 Feb), and Wangaratta (5 March).

The consultations are an important way for councils to provide input to the MAV’s strategic work plan for 2015/16.

To RSVP or for more details about our strategic plan consultation sessions contact Gavin Mahoney at the MAV.

Emergency management collaboration forum

Across the state, councils are implementing various emergency management collaboration models to improve consistency and share resources across municipal boundaries.

The MAV will hold a small forum for council officers involved in existing or proposed emergency management collaborations on 17 February. The forum will provide an opportunity to share information between collaborations and identify further opportunities for cooperation.

Forum attendance is restricted to one or two representatives from each group of councils, however the MAV is investigating online streaming of the event if there is enough interest.

For more information, contact Emma Lake. Further Emergency Management information is available on our website.

Save the date: ALGA National General Assembly

The 2015 National General Assembly will be held in Canberra from 14-17 June with the theme, 'Closest to the Community: Local Government in the Federation'.

It is designed to focus the attention of local government on what is expected to be the primary political driver of 2015, the White Paper processes on Federation and Taxation, which will capture issues such as the financial relationship between the Commonwealth and local government.

The National Local Roads and Transport Congress will head to Ballarat from 17-19 November.

Delivering value in integrated water management: seminar

Stormwater Victoria and Clearwater are holding a joint seminar on Delivering Value in Integrated Water Management: How Much are ‘Multiple Benefits’ Really Worth?

This seminar brings together a series of industry experts working in strategic water planning, resource economics and urban design, who will share their perspectives on what key stakeholders and communities value, and how we need to shape the industry to provide a better case for action and investment in the coming year.

Presenters include:

  • Anne Baker, Managing Director, City West Water
  • Joel Byrnes, Principal Economist, E2Designlab
  • Jon Shinkfield, AILA President, Senior Research Fellow of the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Director of REALM Studios

It will be held on 26 February, 8am-10am at Assembly Hall, Boyd Community Hub, 207 City Road, Southbank. Registrations can be made online.

In social media news...

Upcoming MAV events...

18 February

Social enterprise and local government forum

19 February

Social media for rural and regional councils

26 February

Building inclusive communities


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