Issue 924:                                                   Week ending 5 April 2013

National Disability Insurance Scheme passed
New York’s participatory budgeting project features at FOLG Summit
MAV Outdoor and Works Field Day
Planning amendments
Now you’re a councillor website
Meeting with Minister Powell
Awards open – contributing to healthy lifestyles and communities
Avoid delays to trams and buses when working in road reserves
New and updated enHealth standards and guidelines
Guidelines for Geographic Names updated
Ricci Marks Award
In social media news...

National Disability Insurance Scheme passed

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill was passed in Parliament on 21 March. The Bill establishes the National Disability Insurance Scheme – DisabilityCare - and the NDIS Launch Transition Agency to deliver the scheme.

The agency will work with people to develop a personal plan that identifies the person’s needs, goals and life aspirations, and recognises the support they receive from family and friends. This plan forms the basis of the person’s funded NDIS support package which they can choose to manage themselves or with the help of local agency workers, family or friends.

The first stage of the NDIS in Victoria will commence from July in the Barwon area (City of Greater Geelong, Colac-Otway Shire, Surf Coast Shire and the Borough of Queenscliffe).

The Barwon area launch will be phased in over three years. Around 4 000 people with disability are expected to benefit from the first stage in year one. By the third year, around 5 000 people with disability are expected to benefit from the launch stage of the scheme in Victoria.

For further information contact Jan Black.

New York’s participatory budgeting project features at FOLG Summit

Participatory budgeting is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, and a type of participatory democracy in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a public budget. It allows citizens to identify, discuss, and prioritise public spending projects, and gives them the power to make real decisions about how money is spent.

Participatory budgeting generally involves several basic steps: 1) community members identify spending priorities and select budget delegates 2) budget delegates develop specific spending proposals with help from experts 3) community members vote on which proposals to fund 4) the city or institution implements the top proposals. Maria Hadden from The Participatory Budgeting Project in New York will discuss the initiative and its global spread at the MAV Future of Local Government Summit from 22 - 23 May.

For further information contact John Hennessy.

MAV Outdoor and Works Field Day - 3 May

The MAV Outdoor and Works Field Day is a new event, initiated by MAV Procurement, to showcase and demonstrate the latest advancements in the fleet, outdoor and works areas. The day will offer council staff and councillors a place to look for new ideas and initiatives to improve processes and efficiency in these areas, as well as an opportunity to directly engage supplier staff.

Speakers include:

  • Shane Jacobson, award-winning actor, co-host Top Gear Australia
  • Michael Carter, GPS fleet manager, Navman
  • Tony Ware, executive manager, turf development and environment, Melbourne Cricket Club

Cost: admit three or more $200, admit two $160, admit one $95 (pricing is per council). Register now.

Planning amendments

The Planning and Environment Amendment (Growth Areas Authority and Miscellaneous) Bill 2013 was introduced into Parliament in March. It has passed the Lower House and is now before the Upper House.

The MAV has written to the Victorian Government expressing concerns regarding the lack of consultation on the Bill. The absence of consultation on particular components of the Bill contravenes the principles within the Victorian State-Local Government Agreement (VSLGA), fails to communicate the likely implication and could prevent the identification of unintended consequences for councils and Government.

For further information contact Gareth Hately.

Now you’re a councillor website

The Now you’re a councillor website was launched at the Women’s Charter event hosted last week by Boroondara City Council. The website, sponsored by the Women’s Participation in Local Government (WPILG) Coalition, VLGA, MAV, and the Victorian Government, was created as a toolkit for women who are newly elected to local government. This is the first time the resource has been published on the web and it is the 4th edition of the toolkit first published in 2001. The website includes the stories and advice of experienced women councillors, and provides links to resources which we hope will support new councillors to thrive.

For further information contact Linda Bennett at the WPILGC.

Meeting with Minister Powell

This week the MAV participated in our regular meeting with Minister for Local Government, Jeanette Powell. We advised of our work to establish a local government ‘log of claims’ to provide input into the Minister’s current review of the Victorian State-Local Government Agreement; and informed the Minister of our recent letter to Premier Napthine requesting a review of the Victorian Government’s position on constitutional recognition of local government.

We also discussed our submission on differential rates and the need for expert advice and guidance for the sector around rating strategies; as well as our consultation with councils to collate issues for an MAV discussion paper on concerns relating to the 2012 local government elections to inform the Government’s own imminent review process.

As part of our ongoing engagement with the Victorian Government, the MAV is scheduled to meet with Minister Guy next week.

Awards open – contributing to healthy lifestyles and communities

Applications are open for the 2013 Heart Foundation Healthy Community Awards to recognise and celebrate local government achievements in creating healthier communities. Of particular relevance to these awards are council initiatives that address opportunities for recreational and incidental physical activity; accessible, safe and appealing environments that encourage healthy lifestyles; smoke-free environments; and helping community members to lead interactive and socially-connected lives. Award entries are due by Friday 17 May.

Nominations are also open for Aquatics & Recreation Victoria’s (ARV) 2013 Industry Awards to be presented on Friday 14 June. The awards recognise recreation facilities, staff, and innovative programs that contribute to healthy lifestyles. Three new awards for 2013 cover sustainability, online communication and membership sales. Award nominations close on Friday 12 April.

The Australian Award for Urban Design, hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia, is inviting entries for design initiatives, projects, built developments, and publications that will make a difference to our places, spaces, buildings and infrastructure. Entries are due by 4 pm on 13 May.

Avoid delays to trams and buses when working in road reserves

VicRoads has recently received increased complaints from public transport operators, particularly of bus and tram services which have been delayed by road works. In response, VicRoads has prepared a new fact sheet, Avoid Delays to Trams and Buses when Working in Road Reserves.

The fact sheet outlines the Works Manager’s responsibilities to avoid and minimise impacts on public transport and provide safe access to tram and bus stops. Further information is available on the VicRoads website. VicRoads encourages councils to provide a web-link of this fact sheet on their website to increase awareness.

The MAV continues to represent councils on the VicRoads Victorian Road Based Public Transport Advisory Council (VRBPTAC), which meets quarterly. If you would like the MAV to raise a matter at the next VRBPTAC, please contact James Cleaver.

New and updated enHealth standards and guidelines

In order to promote four new and two updated Environmental Health Committee (enHealth) standards and guidelines, three Victorian workshops are planned for the environmental health sector. The workshops will help familiarise Environmental Health Officers with the latest in evidence-based practice as well as improve awareness of the National Environmental Health Strategy 2012-15.

Two workshops will be held in Melbourne and one in Wodonga. Each event runs from 9.15 am to 3.30 pm. In Melbourne, workshops will be held on Monday 15 April and Friday 17 May at the Department of Health, 50 Lonsdale Street. Wodonga’s workshop will be held on Thursday 18 April at Wodonga City Council Chambers, Level 2 104 Hovell Street.

The workshops will be facilitated by SEAM Consulting. Attendance is free and lunch will be provided. To RSVP contact Jenny Taylor at SEAM and provide any dietary requirements.

Guidelines for Geographic Names updated

The Office of Geographic Names has updated the Guidelines for Geographic Names by launching Version 2.

Updates include:

  • updated web links
  • expanded information on Principle 1(A) Language
  • expanded information on Principle 1(M) Consulting with the public
  • practical information on signage
  • what not to do when assigning locality boundaries
  • guidance for naming new estates and road types
  • a number of minor amendments throughout the Guidelines.

Ricci Marks Award

The Ricci Marks Award recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who are doing great things and have aspirations to make a difference in their communities. Anyone can nominate a young person for this award.

Two young people will each receive $5 000 to support them in their further development, and a third young person will receive a $500 bursary. The Awards will be presented in May. All nominations must be submitted by Monday 15 April.

In social media news...

  • The Victorian Government has launched It’s There for Life, an online safety campaign. Read more here.
  • New technologies are being leveraged to involve the public in co-delivering government services. Read a new report by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
  • Open North is a Canadian non-profit creating tools to get citizens involved in council budgets, engage with local councillors and make democracy better. Find out more here.
  • In the US, Google includes emergency alerts in Google Maps. View more here.
Upcoming MAV events...

30 April - 1 May 

The Future of Communities conference

3 May

MAV Outdoor and Works Field Day

22 - 23 May

Future of Local Government National Summit


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