Issue 995:                                             Week ending 12 September 2014

Signing of the Victorian State-Local Government Agreement
Local government Electoral Review report released
Funding for 15-hours kinder announced
Program released for MAV Annual Conference and Dinner
MAV WorkCare progress
MAV Planning Conference: more speakers announced
MAV Councillor Fundamentals
Metropolitan whole-of-water-cycle strategic framework forum
Premier's Sustainability Awards 2014 finalists
Stormwater Victoria seminar
‘What are you doing on ice?’ campaign launched
Dogs, cats, neighbours and you
In social media news...

Signing of the Victorian State-Local Government Agreement

The MAV has welcomed a revised and strengthened Victorian State-Local Government Agreement (VSLGA).

Our President was pleased to represent the sector at this week’s Ministerial and Mayors Forum, where he signed the VSLGA, along with Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine, and Minister for Local Government, Tim Bull.

Prior to the last state election, the Coalition made a commitment to review the VSLGA to ensure it fulfils its purpose, has practical significance, and provides an overall framework for managing the future relationship between the State and local government.

The MAV is urging bipartisan support of the VSLGA following the state election. The Victorian Government’s goodwill should be supported by all political parties as a progressive way forward.

Image courtesy of Andrew Jarvie Photography.

Local government Electoral Review report released

The MAV has welcomed this week’s release of the Local Government Electoral Review Report, which outlines 55 recommendations for the sector during the election process.

Many of the 55 reforms are a step in the right direction; however council views will be divided on some of the proposals. Whilst we expect there’ll be some contention among councils, strengthening democracy through this process is a good outcome.

We had hoped the report would have been made available earlier in the year as promised, with a state election only a few months away. We will be developing a response on behalf of councils to the review, and hope that all parties will make clear their intentions about actioning this review well before the election.

Funding for 15-hours kinder announced

The MAV has welcomed the Federal Government’s investment of $406 million to fund 15-hours of kindergarten in 2015, ensuring universal access continues for all children.

Extension of the national partnership agreement on early childhood education would offer some relief for Victorian families for another 12 months.

Until this week, funding of the 15-hours was in limbo. While the State Government funds 10-hours, the Federal Government was undecided on whether it would continue to fund the extra five hours beyond December.

The funding announcement is a good start, however long term funding certainty is urgently needed. We hope that we can continue working positively and productively with the state and federal governments to find a permanent resolution.

Program released for MAV Annual Conference and Dinner

A full program has been released for our MAV Annual Conference and Dinner on 23 October.

Presenters include ABC 774 Morning’s presenter Jon Faine, former Victorian Supreme Court Judge and author, Sir Murray Rivers, and STREAT CEO Rebecca Scott.

Presenters will discuss current and future challenges facing local government, and the upcoming state election.

The MAV is excited to have ARIA Award-winning songwriter, and Logie-nominated actor Clare Bowditch co-hosting the dinner, alongside Casey Bennetto of KEATING! the musical.

Registrations are now open.

MAV WorkCare progress

The MAV is pleased to have received 60 registrations for our WorkCare Self Insurance Scheme. This means that the project will proceed to the next stage.

The MAV WorkCare proposal is a breakthrough opportunity for local government to take control of employee workers' compensation insurance. It will bring us in line with all other mainland states where local government already enjoys the cost savings and improved health and safety outcomes offered by a self-insurance scheme.

It is expected that a decision on the preferred service provider will be made by the end of September. The next step is to work closely with participating councils and the provisionally appointed service provider to develop the proposed operating model, support structures and the associated performance standards.

MAV Planning Conference: more speakers announced

The fifth annual MAV Planning Improvement Conference is shaping up to be one of the biggest planning events to date.

The event will be held on 17 October at the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel.

New speakers to join the conference program include Janet Dore, CEO of the Transport Accident Commission; Dr Kathy Alexander, CEO of the City of Melbourne; and Christine Wyatt, Deputy Secretary Planning, DTPLI.

A full program will be released in the coming weeks.

Registrations can now be made online.

MAV Councillor Fundamentals

The MAV will run a program on Demystifying Local Government Finance and the new Reporting Framework.

This Program is ideal for councillors wishing to increase their knowledge on Local Government Finance and Reporting arrangements, for those wanting to refresh and renew existing knowledge, and those needing to be informed on new legislative arrangements.

It will run from 10am-4pm on 25 September at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street; 17 October at the Traralgon Service Centre and Library; and 30 October at the Ballarat Municipal Offices.

Registrations can be made online.

Metropolitan whole-of-water-cycle strategic framework forum

The MAV will host a metropolitan whole-of-water-cycle consultation forum on 16 September.

The forum follows the release of the Metropolitan Whole-of-Water-Cycle Strategic Framework 2014-2024 Discussion Paper.

The Metro Framework outlines a number of roles for local government and has implications for how councils will be expected to plan, implement, fund and be evaluated for their whole-of-water-cycle projects and programs.

The Office of Living Victoria will present at this members-only event on the key aspects of the Metro Framework relevant to councils, followed by a council discussion to help inform the MAV’s submission.

For further information, email Martijn Gough or call 9667 5540.

Premier's Sustainability Awards 2014 finalists

Five Victorian councils have been announced as finalists in the 2014 Premier's Sustainability Awards for their joint project, Seedlings: Sustainability in the Early Years.

Knox City Council, Alpine Shire, City of Melbourne, City of Port Philip and Yarra Ranges Council run this program which introduces young children in a range of early learning contexts to the concept of sustainability.

Winners will be announced at the gala awards night on 2 October, at Peninsula, Docklands.

Stormwater Victoria seminar

Stormwater Victoria is running a seminar called ‘Who Levey’s My Levee – Melbourne’s New Flood Strategies?’ on 16 September .

The purpose of this seminar is to provide a direct conduit between local government representatives and both Melbourne Water and DEPI to answer any queries on the Draft Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy released in June, and any updates to a final strategy currently under development.

The seminar runs from 8am-10am at Assembly Hall, Boyd Community Hub, 207 City Road, Southbank. Registrations close 11 September.

‘What are you doing on ice?’ campaign launched

Resources and materials have been sent to councils who wish to promote the State Government’s ‘what are you doing on ice?’ campaign to communities.

The campaign, which runs throughout September, aims to educate young Victorians about the risks of using the drug ice. It highlights the addictive nature of the drug ice and the damage it can have on health and relationships.

As part of the campaign, concerned family and friends will be able to access new material containing practical advice and information on support services, as well as a new website with details of the campaign and information about where to get help and support.

For further information, contact Sophie Jackson on 9096 1550 or 0400 547 448.

Dogs, cats, neighbours and you

Victoria Law Foundation’s new edition of ‘Dogs, cats, neighbours and you’ is now available to order.

This free guide has been updated with changes to the law this year, including higher penalties for dog attacks. It aims to help pet owners better understand their rights and responsibilities.

Order online, by email or via phone on 03 9604 8100 and have the guide delivered to you at no cost.

In social media news...

Upcoming MAV events...

18 September

Maternal and child health conference

2 October

Dealing with difficult people and situations

8 October

Innovation as leadership in local government


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