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Municipal Association of Victoria

BULLETIN

All your local government news this week

Issue 1060: 22 January 2016
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  • The State Government has announced a $2.75 million assistance package to help Great Ocean Road communities affected by the Christmas Day bushfires rebuild and get back on their feet. Councils in the affected areas will receive a portion of the funding to help assist with the recovery process. A further $340,000 will go to the Scotsburn and Barnawartha communities. The MAV continues to represent councils’ interests on the State Emergency Management Team and Emergency Management Joint Public Information Committee, which gives us the opportunity to share important information with the sector.
  • The MAV will be making a submission to the Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities’ inquiry into the role of transport connectivity in stimulating development and economic activity both in major urban areas and in regional Australia. Our focus will be on value-capture mechanisms that provide further funding for major transport projects. Councils can provide feedback for inclusion in the MAV submission by contacting Owen Harvey-Beavis. Submissions close on Friday 12 February.
The MAV is establishing a Local Government Digital Transformation Taskforce to help establish a strategic direction for the sector and oversee activities in the short to medium term. The Taskforce will include senior representatives from all tiers of government and the private sector, and will meet four times during 2016. It will have a reporting capacity to the MAV Board.

Local government representatives will include five council CEOs (representing metro and regional areas), the MAV CEO, and an MAV Board member.

Council CEOs should nominate if they are motivated to drive high value digital transformation outcomes for the sector in short time frames, open to collaboration with other Taskforce stakeholder organisations, and available to attend Taskforce meetings.

For further information, or to register interest, please contact Polly Banks by 3 February. Appointments will be confirmed by 9 February.

It is with great sadness that the MAV staff and board members acknowledge the tragic loss of Karen Chetcuti, a dedicated staff member at the Rural City of Wangaratta.

Karen worked at the council for the last 20 years and will be remembered as a great employee, reliable and thoughtful; as well as a valued member of the Whorouly community.

We send our deepest condolences to Karen's family, friends and council colleagues.

The City of Wangaratta has released a statement commemorating Karen's dedication to the council and her community.

The MAV has emailed all councils requesting feedback on our draft submissions in response to discussion papers released by separate Advisory Committees on Major Hazard Facilities and the Animal Industries Advisory Committee.

Councils have been asked to provide feedback by 3 February.

For further information, email Gareth Hately or call 9667 5596.

Recent changes to the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2009 now allows disability parking permits from interstate and overseas to be recognised in Victoria, and overseas visitors are advised to bring a current permit with them when travelling to Australia.

Following consultation with the MAV on the potential challenges faced by councils with this policy change, VicRoads has developed a resource to provide councils with examples of the major international disability permits.

For further information on this policy change, please contact VicRoads.

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources has released its response to feedback received regarding proposed amendments to the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2008. A copy of the regulatory amendments is available online.

The MAV welcomes the removal of restrictions on street lighting, which we called for in our submission. Enabling councils to generate certificates for lighting upgrades will provide a much-needed incentive to take on the next tranche of work and investment required to upgrade lights on major roads.

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First Strategic Plan Consultation: 8 February

Our first strategic plan consultation session for 2016 is on 8 February in Bendigo, from 12-2pm. Councillors, senior council staff and CEOs can register by contacting Gavin Mahoney.

A further seven sessions will be held during February and March. Further details are available online.

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Save the date for the MAV Tech Conference 

Mark your 2016 diary for a special two-day event that will explore how councils are transforming the way they deliver services for their communities.

The MAV Technology National Conference will be held on 10 - 11 August with the theme ‘2020 Vision’, and will feature dynamic local and international speakers. Registrations will open soon.

  • Round Three of the National Stronger Regions Fund has opened for applications and will close on 15 March. The funding supports investment in priority economic and infrastructure areas – from freight and transport projects to convention centres and major multi-purpose sports facilities. Guidelines are now available for councils to view. Grant funding must be matched on at least a dollar for dollar basis. The MAV encourages councils to apply for this funding.
  • Councils and community groups can apply for a grant of up to $60,000 to build a new Men’s Shed or for a grant of up to $30,000 to refurbish an existing Men's Shed. Applications close on Friday 27 May.

Federal Government transport projects

Following a State Council resolution from May 2015, the MAV advocated to the Federal Government to prioritise funding of major transport infrastructure projects based on merit and cost benefits, rather than whether they are road or rail projects.

Responses have now been received from the Federal Government welcoming the MAV’s position and stating that the government will not discriminate one form of transport over another.

Further information on the government’s priorities is available online.

Heart Foundation planning for active living 

Council managers and staff are invited to participate in a free local government policy masterclass run by the Heart Foundation to address planning for healthy, active living in your local community. Masterclasses will be held in seven Victorian locations in February.

These interdisciplinary sessions will build capacity to more effectively incorporate healthy design impacts and outcomes in land use planning for new and existing communities.

Registrations can be made online.

  • The University of Western Australia and the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions have released a study that examines the connection between sale prices of about 7200 rural properties in north-central Victoria and native vegetation cover on those properties. The study found that native vegetation can add 4-25 per cent to the value of a rural property.
  • The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has announced a new enhanced performance heat map technology that aims to advance the movement of freight across the country. The maps will provide local government with the ability to compare permit requests and work with adjoining councils to locate where improvements can be made to the road network.
  • Interested councils can comment on proposed changes to Australia's copyright laws. The proposed changes will ensure the disability sector, libraries, archives and educational and cultural institutions have reasonable access to copyright material. Submissions are due by 12 February.
  • Councils can attend a Sustainable Land Development, Civil Design and Recycled Materials Seminar on 17 February, run by Swinburne University of Technology and Geotesta, with support by Sustainability Victoria.
  • Councils are invited to participate in the Australasian Bat Society’s Bat Night during March and April by hosting activities or encouraging local environment and landcare groups to run events such as a bat walk, building bat boxes or giving a presentation. Councils can register local events and find out more information by emailing Maree Treadwell Kerr.

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