Issue 959:                                                      Week ending 6 December 2013

Tomorrow’s Library report
Community Development Grants Programme

MAV 2014 events calendar
New Victorian speed limit guidelines
Gas market taskforce report
VicEmergency – A new way of getting information about fires
Rural forum – the wrap up
Taste of Harmony
Councils’ initial views on the concept of an agricultural overlay
State of the environment report
STOP. One Punch Can Kill

In social media news...

Tomorrow’s Library report

The MAV welcomed release of the Tomorrow’s Library stage two report and called for a strong investment and partnership plan to deliver a 21st century public libraries vision.

Councils and regional libraries are, in general, supportive of the key elements of the Victorian Library concept.

The review report, handed down by the Ministerial Advisory Council (MAC) on Public Libraries as an advisory group to the Minister for Local Government, endorses these policy directions.

As outlined in the report, the recommendations do not commit councils to the Victorian Library initiative, but provide advice to the Minister on how the Victorian Government can best support libraries into the future.

The MAV looks forward to continuing negotiations about investment in statewide support for libraries and encourages the government to act on the recommendations.

The report will be sent to all councils and regional libraries next week with a covering letter from David Morris, MP MAC Chair.

A copy of the MAV’s media release is available online. Community Development Grants Programme

The MAV has welcomed the ending of uncertainty around early rounds of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), following an Australian Government commitment of $342 million towards 300 community projects nationally.

The projects will be funded through a new Community Development Grants Programme, as part of the regional community funding package committed to by the Coalition in the 2013 election.

The government will also fund projects that were left uncontracted under the former Labor Government’s RDAF (Rounds 2, 3 and 4) and Community Infrastructure Grants Programme. RDAF Round 5 and all subsequent rounds will not be proceeding as these were Labor election commitments and were not funded.

The MAV acknowledges there were many worthwhile projects in round five and we encourage councils to continue advocacy about funding for these projects to their local MPs.

MAV 2014 events calendar

Planning for the MAV 2014 events is well underway with a list of key dates now available online.

For further information please visit the MAV events webpage or phone 9667 5555.

New Victorian speed limit guidelines

The Victorian Government has released new Speed Zone Guidelines.

The guidelines were reviewed in line with the commitments made during the 2011-12 Speed Limit Review.

The MAV and councils have been thoroughly engaged throughout the process via workshops, surveys and the MAV’s representation on the VicRoads Speed Limit Advisory Group.

A number of wins for the sector have been achieved, including local area 40 km zones becoming easier to establish, with fewer costly infrastructure requirements; 50 km zone rural shopping strips requiring a minimum of 200 metres retail development, down from 500 metres; school speed zones extended to remote crossings; and more flexible guidelines generally.

Gas market taskforce report

The MAV has welcomed the release of a Gas Market Taskforce Report by the Victorian Government, and the commencement of a 12-month consultation process to inform future decisions relating to on-shore gas exploration.

The Gas Market Taskforce was established in January 2013 to examine gas supply issues.

The consultation process will provide opportunities for all Victorians to consider the issues and make their views known to the government.

The process will include public submissions, and facilitated community meetings and workshops with key stakeholders such as farmers, environmental groups, community groups and individuals across Victoria.

The MAV is pleased that the work to be undertaken will help communities to better understand the impacts on people, land use, health and the environment. We commend the Premier for his decision to continue the moratorium on fracking while the consultation process is underway.

VicEmergency – A new way of getting information about fires

The Fire Services Commissioner will soon be delivering improved emergency information and warnings to all Victorians.

The Vic Emergency website will provide timely, tailored and relevant community information and warnings to improve the safety of Victorians and visitors, and will allow people to seek all necessary information from one site rather than multiple agency websites.

The website aims to be a one stop shop for emergency information before, during and after an emergency. The link above will currently take you to the CFA website, and will continue to do so until the new site is launched.

The website will go live before the 2013-14 summer season, and Victorians will be given the opportunity to provide feedback.

The Fire Services Commissioner will also be releasing a new Fire Ready app in time for the upcoming summer season. It will provide access to official warnings, information on planned burns and other types of incidents across Victoria

A video has also been created about what’s changing with community information and warnings.

Rural forum – the wrap up

The MAV, with support from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI), hosted our quarterly Rural and Regional Planning Forum on 8 November at the RACV Club in Melbourne.

The forum was well attended by over 90 council representatives from across the state. It provided an opportunity for councils to discuss land use planning issues and for the Victorian Government to engage with the sector.

November’s forum featured presentations from a variety of State Government representatives who covered a range of topics relevant to rural and regional councils, including the revised rural zones, agricultural land use and the case for an agricultural overlay, the revised native vegetation regulations, Bushfire Management Overlay schedules, modelling the costs of different settlement patterns in regional Victoria and the 2014 PLANET planning training program.

A Taste of Harmony

The MAV is an official supporter of the Scanlon Foundation’s annual A Taste of Harmony event, which will run from 17-23 March 2014.

Each year, Australians are asked to bring a dish to their workplace that represents their cultural background and share their story with colleagues. This event is designed to stimulate conversation between work colleagues, break down cultural barriers and create a more cohesive work unit.

The Scanlon Foundation invites councils to participate in the event, and help spread the word by encouraging your workplace to register for 2014.

The MAV also encourages you to promote A Taste of Harmony through your own communication networks and channels.
Councils’ initial views on the concept of an agricultural overlay

The MAV has recently completed a report of council views on the concept of developing an agricultural overlay to manage highly productive agricultural land.

The overlay concept has been mentioned on several occasions this year by the Minister for Planning and is identified in the draft Plan Melbourne strategy as an option for investigation.

The MAV’s report is based on workshop surveys completed by council planners and councillors who attended our Rural and regional Planning Forum in November and is intended as a proactive opportunity to inform MAV’s discussions with the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure on the development of the overlay concept.

A draft report summarising council feedback has been distributed to the sector for comment. For further information please contact Stuart Grigg, 9667 5595.

State of the environment report

The Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability has released the Victoria State of the Environment Report 2013.

The report aims to inform communities about the health of the natural environment and influence the Victorian Government to achieve environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability.

The report made 34 recommendations to the government on topics including native vegetation protection, urban water strategy and reducing emissions exposure.

Under the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Act 2003 the government is required to table a response to the recommendations no later than the first sitting day 12 months after the report is tabled in parliament.

STOP. One Punch Can Kill

With White Ribbon Day held recently on 25 November, the MAV is pleased to see councils continuing to champion the cause to end violence.

On 15 December Manningham City Council will host a ‘STOP. One Punch Can Kill’ rally in an attempt to stamp out street violence and is inviting residents to join.

The aim of the day is to unite the community in a peaceful demonstration to bring necessary changes to community standards, judicial system and to acknowledge loved ones who were not given the opportunity to fight for themselves.

It will be held at MC square, Manningham City Council, 699 Doncaster Rd at 1.30pm-4pm.

In social media news...
  • How to own a key topic on social media. Read how.
  • Why WiFi? A panel discussion at RMIT on the provision of public WiFi in Australia. Read more.
  • Mobile text service for new mums. Read more.
Upcoming MAV events...

6 December

Aboriginal Employment Forum

11 December

DIBP & MAV - Council citizenship information session

18 December

Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women


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