MAV Councillor Development Weekend: program released
The program for our Councillor Development Weekend has been released, and includes a great list of inspiring speakers, and thought-provoking workshops.
In its 17th year, the program embeds key themes and understandings while providing councillors with insights, and ideas that will inspire and challenge. Speakers include 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, and global strategist Holly Ransom.
The event will be held on 24-26 July at the RACV Torquay Resort. Registrations can be made online.
National General Assembly
The 21st National General Assembly of Local Government was held in Canberra this week, marking the 175th anniversary of the establishment of local government in Australia.
More than 800 delegates from across Australia attended the NGA, which included presentations by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss; former Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson; Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten; Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale; and 2015 Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty.
During the assembly our work with the prevention of family violence was acknowledged and councils nationwide were urged to replicate our model.
The 2015-16 State of the Regions Report, Inequality between and within regions, was launched at the assembly. The report states that reducing the inequality of income distribution within and between Australian regions will be pivotal to strengthening Australia’s economy and bridging the employment fallout from the subsiding mining boom in low income regions.
MAV presents to Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines
The MAV presented to the Federal Government Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines last week. We provided an overview of common issues with the planning permit assessment process, and outlined how the regulation of the industry could be improved to build community confidence.
Given noise monitoring is well beyond the expertise provided by the functions of local government, we advocated for wind farms to be regulated through the establishment of an environmental protection licensing regime similar to other electricity generators and industries. We discussed the arrangement we brokered in partnership with the Environmental Protection Authority, that provides councils with access to EPA accredited auditors on a fee for service basis to undertake noise assessments. We remain hopeful that this will build confidence in the industry.
More information about the arrangement is available online, under section 5.1.2. For further information, contact Gareth Hately.
Inquiry into unconventional gas in Victoria
The Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning Committee is undertaking an inquiry into unconventional gas in Victoria. The Committee will consider matters relating to the exploration, extraction, production and rehabilitation of onshore unconventional gas and must present an interim report by 1 September, and a final report by 1 December.
The environmental, land productivity and public health risks of onshore unconventional gas activities, and the coexistence of onshore unconventional gas activities with existing land and water uses are specified as particular areas of interest for the inquiry.
The Committee has invited submissions from individuals, groups or organisations with an interest in the issue. The closing date for submissions is 10 July. The MAV will prepare a response and circulate it to all councils for their feedback and input. For further information, contact Claire Dunn.
MAV Technology Awards: entries closing 30 June
Entries for the MAV Technology Awards will close on 30 June and will be presented at the MAV Tech Annual Conference Dinner on 19 August.
The awards recognise outstanding team and individual efforts in the use of technology to improve service delivery and efficiency to local government organisations or communities.
Entry instructions and selection criteria for the awards is now available. Entries should be sent to Lisa Bennetto by 30 June.
Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan released
The Victorian Government has released the Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan (SWRRIP).
The SWRRIP’s purpose is to provide Victoria with a longterm vision and roadmap to guide future planning for waste and resource recovery infrastructure. The SWRRIP will be implemented in consultation with the community, councils and the State Government, waste and resource recovery groups and industry.
The waste and resource recovery groups will now lead the development of seven regional waste and resource recovery implementation plans to capture the needs and priorities of each region of Victoria.
Register online to receive updates and information about the development of the plans and other consultation opportunities.
Road Safety Survey
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is seeking feedback about road safety in Victoria and has requested the views of councils via a survey.
The survey is open to the public and will close on Sunday 21 June. If you are able to complete the feedback form before the closing date, the TAC would appreciate your thoughts on Victoria's Road Safety issues.
For further information, contact Jessica Truong.
Australian Energy Regulator Public Lighting Forum
From January 2016, only street lights on electricity distribution poles will automatically be regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), while street lights on dedicated street light poles will require a negotiated process. This means that councils will be required to negotiate with the Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) that operate within your municipality for the services and charges associated with these assets.
It’s the MAV’s understanding that all councils will be affected by this change.
The AER is hosting a forum on public lighting for local government and the DNSPs on 22 June from 2.30pm-4.30pm at AER, Level 35, 360 Elizabeth St, Melbourne. RSVP to Nick Innes by 18 June.
Councils are encouraged to attend the session. For further information, contact Cameron Spence, or Claire Dunn.
State Environment Protection Policies (Waters) review
The Victorian Government has released a discussion paper for its review of the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria) and the State Environment Protection Policy (Groundwaters of Victoria).
The discussion paper aims to facilitate discussion and increase understanding of the role of SEPPs in setting a framework for the protection of water environments. A supplementary information sheet, Improving water quality in Victoria – the role of the SEPP (Waters) review, provides some context and background information on the role of SEPPs in the protection of water quality in Victoria.
The discussion paper seeks feedback on how water environments should be managed and protected, both now and in the future. Feedback received will inform the development of a draft state environment protection policy for water and draft policy impact assessment.
Responses should be lodged via email by 13 July. For further information, contact Martijn Gough.
Invitation to support National Flood Risk Information Project
Geoscience Australia is conducting a survey of local, state and national government bodies to better understand their needs and preferences in relation to flood risk information.
Geoscience Australia, as a member of the Federal Government’s National Flood Risk Information Project (NFRIP), is also asking for help to publicise the survey via email or newsletter to colleagues or contacts who work in building and construction, town planning, emergency management, insurance, risk management and environmental sustainability. NFRIP aims to improve the quality, availability and accessibility of flood information across Australia, and to raise community awareness of flood risks.
The survey takes between 5 and 10 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous, with data treated as confidential. The survey closes on 24 June.
National Urban Forest Master Class
Council officers and managers are invited to attend a free National Urban Forest Master Class, hosted by City of Melbourne, 202020 Vision and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 25 June.
Based on the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy, the day will provide attendees the opportunity to engage with best practice urban forest methodology and expert insight.
Each participant will be provided with a comprehensive urban forest strategic planning workbook. Program sessions will correspond with the workbook content and will cover topics such as tactics for integrating urban forestry into pre-existing council plans, developing the business case for the urban forest, and strategy and policy development.
It will be held at Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston Street from 8.30am-7pm. Registrations can be made online.
2015 Resilient Australia Awards
Applications are now open for the 2015 Resilient Australia Awards, which recognise and promote initiatives that help make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to manage natural disasters. Councils are encouraged to apply.
The awards are open to all Victorians, including individuals, not for profit organisations, small and large businesses, local and state government, schools, education institutions, research bodies and emergency service agencies. A list of awards categories is available online.
Entries close on 9 August. For further information, contact the Resilient Australia Awards team.
Living in poverty: real people, real stories forum
VCOSS is hosting a forum in Melbourne with author Linda Tirado, who talks about her own experience and challenges the stereotypes about people in poverty.
The forum will also have stories from Victorians who have experienced homelessness and poverty, and they will discuss what would make a difference to their lives. It aims to unpack the issues and progress the solutions needed to ensure a Victoria without poverty and will feature a range of speakers and perspectives.
It will be held on 30 June from 9.30am-12.30pm at Queens Vic Women’s Centre. Registrations can be made online.
Service Before Self: Stories That Bind Our Communities
The City of Melbourne is holding a free Melbourne Conversations event on 23 June to celebrate United Nations Public Service Day.
Panelists will include Australian political journalist, Barry Cassidy, and National President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, Terry Moran AC.
Panelists will reflect on how and why their work makes a difference, including what motivates them, and what challenges them. Audience members will also be able to share their stories through an extended Q&A session.
It will be held at Deakin Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne from 6pm-7.15pm. Registrations can be made online.
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