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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1069: 25 March 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • Federal election: This week Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Parliament would be recalled. If a double dissolution is triggered, an election will take place on 2 July. The Australian Local Government Association is meeting next week to finalise its election campaign strategy. State Treasurer, Tim Pallas also announced the State Budget release will be brought forward to 27 April due to the early release of the Federal Budget on 3 May.
  • Essential Services Commission: The ESC will now publish its rate cap recommendations on an annual basis in the interests of transparency following its presentation to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Rate Capping this week. The State Government announced its request to the ESC for recommendations to be made public, while the opposition has raised concerns about the weighting given to the ESC advice by the Minister when deciding on the cap. Councils that have indicated their interest in applying to the ESC for a variation to the rate cap have until 31 March to submit applications.

  • Kinder participation: The Victorian kindergarten participation rate for 2015 was 98.1 per cent, up 1.7 per cent from 2014, according to new State Government data. The MAV and Department of Education and Training central enrolment project is one strategy that has supported these positive results, where participating councils have been working to ensure they prioritise access for vulnerable children, link kindergarten enrolment with maternal and child health, and make it simpler and easier for families to enrol.
The Victorian Parliament’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has tabled the final report for its review of the regulatory and legislative framework relating to restricted breed dogs. The Committee has made 31 recommendations, most of which, if adopted by the State, will directly impact councils.

It is concerning that the report appears to be recommending that the role of assessing a suspected restricted breed dog remain with councils despite acknowledging that councils do not have the requisite expertise to undertake these assessments. We will continue to call on the State to establish an independent panel of breed experts to undertake the assessments.

The MAV made a submission and presented to the inquiry. The government is required to respond to the Committee’s report within six months.

The MAV has developed a submission to the Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Strategy Consultation Paper, with input from councils.

In this submission we identify that generational changes are needed, and that there are multiple ways the government can play a leadership role through innovation and investment in many realms of community life and at critical life stages.

We look forward to the release of the strategy, and will report back to councils with any updated information about its release date.

The first meeting of the newly-established MAV Local Government Digital Transformation Taskforce was held recently.

The taskforce believes there is a significant near-term opportunity for local government to be digitally transformed, and there are clear benefits in working with all levels of government and interested parties to achieve this. Taskforce members believe there is a sense of urgency to develop a digital transformation roadmap with clear deliverables within the next six months.

The success of the taskforce will require the engagement of the sector, and the taskforce will champion this engagement as the roadmap and deliverables are developed in 2016.

For further information, contact Lisa Bennetto.

The MAV, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, will hold a forum for councils about the Water for Victoria discussion paper. The MAV has been a member of the Water for Victoria stakeholder group and has provided input into the discussion paper.

The forum will provide an opportunity for councils to discuss specific issues relevant to local government.

It will be held on 6 April from 10am-12pm at the MAV office, Level 12, 60 Collins Street. Registrations can be made online. DELWP will also hold stakeholder and community consultation sessions throughout the state from 12-27 April.


MAV Citizens’ Jury Masterclass

Our Citizens Jury Masterclass will run on 14 April and will provide a practical overview of emerging methods for engaging citizens in complex planning dilemmas. It will be run by community engagement specialist Max Hardy.

We will discuss the steps needed to set up a successful processes including deliberative polls and participatory budgeting.

It will run from 9.30am-4pm at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street. Registrations can be made online.


MAV Maternal and Child Health Nurses Conference

This conference on 22 April will provide information about new initiatives and updates on clinical practice for maternal and child health nurses.

Regional video conference sites will be available at Warrnambool, Horsham, Moe, Wangaratta and Robinvale. A full program will be available shortly.

Registrations can be made online.

Council funding for family violence prevention

The State Government has announced an immediate injection of almost $10 million for vital family violence services across the state.

A total of $600,000 will go to councils to help develop programs to prevent family violence in communities. The MAV is waiting to hear how the funding will be distributed.

Funding of $6 million for health services and organisations will help meet an expected rapid rise in calls for assistance after the Royal Commission’s report is released next week. A total of $2 million over two years will help support culturally diverse communities who are experiencing family violence.

Women & Leadership Australia grants  

Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across all industry sectors through grants for leadership development.

Senior Management and Executive level women leaders can apply for $12,000 individual grants to undertake the Advanced Leadership Program.

Women managers can apply for $4,500 individual grants to undertake the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program.

Applications close on 29 April. For further information contact Ian Johnson on 9270 9016.

  • The Austimber 2016 Expo will run from 11 – 16 April with a range of conferences, field trips and workshops across the Latrobe area. Registrations can be made online.
  • The ALGWA State Conference will be held on 7- 8 April, hosted by the City of Banyule at the Art Deco Ivanhoe Centre, 275 Upper Heidelberg Road. A full program is now available. Registrations can be made online.
  • The 2016 Learning Environments Australasia Conference will be held on 29 May – 1 June at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Registrations can be made online.
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council has awarded two grants totalling $3.3 million to enrich the evidence-based understanding of the effects of wind farms on human health.

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