Issue 972:                                                      Week ending 4 April 2014

Victorian State-Local Government Agreement position paper
Conduct and governance Bill before parliament
Register for the Media Skills Workshop
Procurement Leaders Conference 2014
VCOSS and MAV Emergency Management Forum
Establishment of Emergency Management Victoria
Maternal and Child Health Future Directions Consultation Paper
National Reconciliation Week grants available
New Victorian laws ban smoking where children play
IPCC highlights local government’s role in climate adaptation
Nominations open for Towards Zero Road Safety Awards

In social media news...
Events

Victorian State-Local Government Agreement position paper

The MAV have now finalised our position paper on the Victorian State-Local Government Agreement (VSLGA) draft for consultation and provided a copy to the State.

The sector has voiced concern that the revised VSLGA fails to meet the agreement’s stated objectives, including avoiding cost-shifting on to local government and facilitating improved relations between the two tiers of government.

Our position paper makes a number of suggestions intended to strengthen the agreement.

Negotiations with the State will continue, with a final proposed VSLGA to be presented to the sector for endorsement at the May State Council.

For further information, contact Claire Dunn.

Conduct and governance Bill before Parliament

Following a review of councillor conduct and governance arrangements in 2013 by Local Government Victoria, the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Conduct) Bill 2014 has this week been introduced to Parliament.

Some of the proposed reforms have already been announced by the Government in recent months, including a mandatory induction session for councillors; earlier adoption of the code of conduct; new mayoral powers to better manage council meetings; new offences relating to improper direction and confidentiality; additional powers for the Local Government Inspectorate; central management of councillor conduct panels; and increased powers to deal with serious and gross misconduct.

Additional proposed reforms also include a prohibition on councillor discretionary funds; the appointment of a principle conduct officer by the CEO; and CEO employment matters committees. The MAV will review the proposed reforms contained in the Bill and provide advice to councils.

For further information, contact Alison Lyon.

Register for our Media Skills Workshop

Councillors are invited to attend the MAV’s Media Skills Workshop running on 23 April (Melbourne), 2 May (Ballarat) or 29 May (Sale). This program will assist councillors to better understand the media, more effectively prepare messages and develop skills to deal with difficult questions.

The workshop will be important for any councillor in a spokesperson role. It will cover practical interview skills and the chance to practice these skills through realistic, simulated interviews. Participants will also gain insights into how the media operates.

To register, visit the MAV events website.

For further information, contact Andrew Rowe on 9667 5549.

Procurement Leaders Conference 2014

The MAV is partnering with procurement specialists ArcBlue to hold the inaugural Procurement Leaders Conference in May 2014.

The conference will provide a unique opportunity for current and aspiring local government procurement leaders to undertake an intensive two-day program of activities. The conference program is designed to support participants’ ongoing development and the growing strategic and operational needs of modern councils.

The conference will be led by skilled facilitators and include presentations, workshops and discussions with highly respected leaders from a variety of disciplines.

The conference will be held from 15-16 May at Silverwater Resort, Philip Island.

For more details, contact procurement@mav.asn.au.

VCOSS and MAV Emergency Management Forum

The Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) and the MAV are hosting an inaugural Emergency Management Forum in June. The forum will showcase some of the strong collaborations between councils and community service providers.

It will explore some specific aspects of emergency management collaboration, including planning and preparedness, recovery, vulnerable and disadvantaged people, heatwaves, volunteer management and donated goods.

Councils who would like to nominate a speaker for the forum, or have an initiative that could be included in the forum, are encouraged to contact Madelyn Jarvis.

The forum will be held in Seymour on 13 June.

Registration for the forum is now open.

Establishment of Emergency Management Victoria

The Victorian Government has confirmed that it is working towards a 1 July 2014 commencement of the Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) and the Emergency Management Act 2013.

EMV’s high-level organisational structure has been released and an interim leadership team appointed to manage the transition.

EMV will be the overarching body responsible for emergency management in Victoria, but will share responsibility with a range of agencies, organisations and departments to ensure Victoria’s emergency management system is ‘future ready’, sustainable and effective.

A broad, ten-year roadmap for change was set out in the White Paper for Emergency Management Reform (2012). The new governance arrangements also include the new roles of Emergency Management Commissioner and Inspector-General Emergency Management.

For more information, contact Emma Lake.

Maternal and Child Health Future Directions Consultation Paper

Minister Wendy Lovell announced the release of the Proposed Future Directions Consultation Paper at the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Conference last week. All councils have been sent copies of the paper.

The reforms proposed build on existing good practice in the service and signal some directions for incremental reform.

Councils may send their consolidated feedback to the MAV’s Manager Social Policy Clare Hargreaves or MCH Adviser Joanne Fittock by Friday 2 May, 2014.

Thank you to all councils for your input to the review process.

National Reconciliation Week grants available

Reconciliation Victoria is again offering small grants (up to $500) to councils and community groups to support events that celebrate National Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June).

Reconciliation Victoria encourages councils to get involved and contribute financially or in-kind towards an event, in partnership with their local Aboriginal or reconciliation groups. Events are intended to bring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together and engage the whole community.

This year's theme for National Reconciliation Week is ‘Reconciliation: Let's Walk the Talk’.

Closing date for applications is Monday 7 April. Download the application form as a Word document, or a PDF.

If you have any questions about the application process, contact Damian from Reconciliation Victoria on 0427 030 545 or info@reconciliationvic.org.au.

New Victorian laws ban smoking where children play

From 1 April 2014, smoking was banned at public outdoor areas where children play. People will not be allowed to smoke within ten metres (about two car lengths) of playgrounds, skate parks and sporting venues during under 18s events. There is also a ban on smoking at all public swimming pools.

The outdoor smoking bans protect children and young people from second-hand smoke. They also aim to make smoking less visible and less socially acceptable to children and young people.

Please respect everyone’s right to enjoy fresh air by not smoking at playgrounds, skate parks, children’s sporting events and at public swimming pools.

For more information on the statewide smoking bans where children play, visit the Department of Health website.

IPCC report highlights local government’s role in climate adaptation

Global authority on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a report titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. The report makes a number of important observations and outlines principles for effective adaptation.

The IPCC clearly states that human interference with the climate system is occurring and has already caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents.

The report recommends a number of principles that can enhance adaptation and specifically identifies local government as a critical player, given its roles in scaling up adaptation of communities, households, and civil society.

Chapter 25 of the report focuses on the regional impacts on Australia and New Zealand and predicts more extreme rainfall, rising sea levels, water resource constraints, an increase in extreme heat and the intensity of bushfires and uncertain weather patterns. Each of these conditions will have wide-ranging effects on livelihoods, health and the environment.

The report notes that Australia's local government has significant responsibilities for the development and implementation of adaptation policy. It further notes that local government faces a number of capacity and capability constraints that affect their ability to facilitate adaptation.

Nearly 250 authors and over 400 additional experts contributed to the report.

The MAV environment contacts are Claire Dunn and Martijn Gough.

Nominations open for Towards Zero Road Safety Awards

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC), VicRoads, Victoria Police and the Department of Justice are recognising leadership excellence in road safety with the inaugural Towards Zero Road Safety Awards.

There will be four awards, one for each pillar of the Safe System: Safe Roads, Safe Speeds, Safe Vehicles and Safe People.

The winners will be announced at the Towards Zero Road Safety Leadership Symposium Gala Awards Dinner on 1 May and each winner will receive a trophy and $500 prize money.

For application guidelines or to make a submission visit the award website.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 8 April, 2014.

In social media news...

Upcoming MAV events...

25 April

MAV 2014 Environment Conference

28 April

Patchwork: introductory and networking session

7 May

National LG Infrastructure & Asset Management Conference

 

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