Further reforms for local government
The Minister for Local Government this week announced further reforms which will give the Minister the ability to suspend individual councillors charged with serious or gross misconduct.
These build on earlier announcements including additional powers for mayors and the Local Government Inspectorate.
We hope to have more details on the reforms before the legislation is introduced to parliament so we can report back to the sector.
However we believe the approach, while likely to be seldom necessary, is a useful additional power subject to appropriate checks and balances.
The MAV State Council and annual general meeting will be held on Friday 16 May at the Sofitel Melbourne.
MAV Representatives will consider the 2014/15 Strategic Work Plan and vote on motions of significance to the local government sector.
Motions can be submitted by members using the State Council motion template by no later than 18 April.
Late motions will require a vote from MAV Representatives at State Council to be included as business on the day.
The 2014 Local Government Annual Report Awards will also be announced.
R2R funding for our roads
The MAV welcomes the Federal Government’s extension of the vital Roads to Recovery (R2R) program, which delivers a $72.3 million annual investment to Victoria’s local roads.
The national program will be extended from 30 June 2014 to 30 June 2019, as outlined in the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill currently before the Australian Parliament.
The R2R has been a highly successful and valuable program for more than a decade, and is vital for addressing municipal road maintenance and renewal.
In December the MAV also launched our Funding Regional Communities campaign with the aim to secure a further $160 million in State funding over four years for local rural roads.
The State's Country Roads and Bridges program complements R2R investments and acknowledges that road maintenance is an ongoing challenge, particularly in municipalities that have large land areas, extensive road networks and small budgets.
Future of Local Government Summit: program released
The program for the MAV’s tenth Future of Local Government National Summit on 21-22 May has been released.
The aim of the summit is to examine what the future of local government looks like.
Speakers will include former Premier Jeff Kennett who will discuss if there is a future for local government and Graham Sansom, (Panel Chair, NSW LG Review), who will assess whether shared services will replace amalgamations as the preferred future direction for the sector.
It will be held at the Rydges Hotel, registrations are now open.
For further information, contact John Hennessey.
Local Government Funding Vehicle - council briefing session
The MAV will run two briefing sessions on the Local Government Funding Vehicle (LGFV) project.
The project involves a proposed pooling of council debt requirements and issuance via the public bonds market to decrease councils' costs of borrowing.
The first session will be on 27 March from 1pm-3pm and the second on 31 March from 1.30pm-3.30pm.
These sessions will provide details of the final structure, timing, engagement process and governance of the LGFV.
They will also provide council representatives the opportunity to ask questions of a panel including representatives from MAV, EY, CBA and NAB.
Registrations can be made online. If you are unable to attend in person, but would like access via webinar, contact the MAV Procurement Team.
For further information, contact Cameron Spence.
Independent inquiry into Hazelwood Mine Fire
The Premier and Deputy Premier have announced the establishment of an independent inquiry into the Hazelwood Mine Fire.
The Board of Inquiry will comprise three members and be headed by the Hon Bernard Teague AO. It will be asked to submit its report to the State Government by late August.
Justice Teague headed the Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires.
The inquiry will be convened by the end of March.
Transport Infrastructure Conference
The MAV is encouraging members to attend Expotrade’s Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference on 17-18 June at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The conference will address how major transport projects shape the way communities grow, with the public and private sector coming together to discuss the prioritisation, planning and delivery of critical transport infrastructure projects.
Key topics discussed include; the release of Plan Melbourne, the $8 billion East-West Link project, Port of Melbourne’s Webb dock development and Melbourne Airport’s Masterplan approval.
MAV members will receive a five per cent discount by contacting Maddy Mahana Shah and requesting the promotional code.
Bookings can be made online.
Mayors of Victoria Federation Square digital time capsule
Federation Square is creating a special section in Federation Story; a digital time capsule which reflects contemporary Australian life, to feature the Mayors of Victoria.
Federation Story is used as a major education resource by schools and is an ongoing project.
The Mayors of Victoria project provides a unique opportunity to record personal stories, reflections of experiences during the mayoral year and to promote the achievements of councils and communities.
Submission guidelines are available online, and close on 28 March.
For further information, contact Ron Smith.
$2.4 million for local projects on prevention of gambling-related harm
Funding for projects to reduce gambling-related harm is being boosted by $2.4 million under the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation's new prevention program.
The foundation is inviting eligible organisations across Victoria to apply for funding to run local prevention projects.
Set to launch on 1 July, the new program will complement the foundation’s existing portfolio of prevention and community education activities.
Applications close at 5pm, 10 April.
Local crime prevention grants now open
Applications are now open for the latest round of Community Safety Fund grants.
Councils and community groups are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for local crime prevention initiatives.
These could include projects such as security equipment for community facilities, crime prevention awareness and education activities, community engagement projects and initiatives for people at risk.
The grants are part of the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention Program, which helps to promote community safety and prevent crime in communities across Victoria.
Over the past three years, the government has provided more than $2.8 million to fund 422 projects across the state.
Applications close on 12 May.
New multi-lingual support services for gamblers
Problem gambling treatment services for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities will be boosted by a $600,000 grants program for multi-lingual counselling services, funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF).
The VGRF has identified Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic speaking communities as priority groups for the first phase of the new program, which will run from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.
Expressions of interest must be lodged by 2pm, 3 April.
For further information or to register, email Responsible Gambling.
2014 Victorian Honour Roll of Women
Twenty women were inducted to the 2014 Victorian Honour Roll for Women last week.
Honour roll inductees are recognised for their contributions to a range of fields such as science, engineering, health, education, arts and community services.
Congratulations to the 2014 inductees, who will join 518 other who have been inducted to the honour roll since 2001.
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