This week's local government news.
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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1104: 24 November 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • Puppy farms: The MAV this week called on the Government to halt its puppy farm reforms, and any proposed amendments, until after the Parliamentary Inquiry releases its report on the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016. The MAV has expressed serious concerns about the cost impacts and enforceability of the proposed laws, and the Government’s failure to properly consult with councils before introducing the changes. The Parliamentary Committee is due to report its findings by 6 December.

  • Fracking ban: The Victorian Government has introduced legislation to permanently ban all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and coal seam gas. The Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 also proposes to extend the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration until June 2020, in response to concerns raised by communities about the potential environmental and health risks.

  • Victorian Parliament turns 160: Elections for the first Victorian Parliament were held in spring of 1856. The first Victorian Members of Parliament met on 21 November in Parliament House before they were sworn in at an official opening ceremony on 25 November 1856.

    Parliament House, Melbourne

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The draft Integrated Water Management Framework for Victoria has been released by the Victorian Government for comment. The Framework links to chapter five of the State’s water plan Water for Victoria, and illustrates how collaborative planning can offer more efficient service delivery while providing multiple benefits that support the achievement of resilient and liveable cities and towns.

Feedback can be provided to by 13 January. The MAV will prepare a submission in consultation with member councils.

To hear more in person about the framework and Water for Victoria, register now for one of our remaining information sessions on 28 November in Traralgon or 8 December in Warrnambool.

For further information, contact Nicky Kindler.

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Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change was launched this week by the Victorian Government. This landmark 10-year strategy details how the State will deliver on the 227 recommendations made by Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence to build a future free from violence.

The MAV is proud to be a partner in the development of the plan and participated on the Family Violence Steering Committee and the Prevention Taskforce, along with several other working groups supporting the reform agenda.

This Friday, MAV staff will also participate in the Walk Against Family Violence to acknowledge the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - commonly known as White Ribbon Day – which also marks the beginning of the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign.

All councils have previously been sent a letter from the Victorian Government inviting participation in the 2016 Victoria Against Violence – 16 Days of Activism campaign by lighting up town halls and other councils buildings in orange. The Victoria Against Violence campaign website includes a list of events, ambassadors and resources.

Victoria Against Violence 2016 campaign

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Last week the Australian Government released a discussion paper on the use of value capture as a mechanism to fund transport infrastructure in the future.

The paper outlines ways in which the uplift in land values associated with major public sector infrastructure projects, such as new roads or rail projects, is captured through taxation and applied toward the cost of the project. This paper lists local government as a potential mechanism to collect value uplift of infrastructure projects.

This follows the recent release of Infrastructure Victoria’s value capture policy paper, which also listed local government rates as a value capture mechanism currently in place which could be used to fund infrastructure projects.

The MAV will be writing to all councils to seek feedback on the Federal Government’s discussion paper, and will use responses to assist the Australian Local Government Association’s submission on the matter.

Submissions to the discussion paper close on 3 February 2017.

For further information, contact Kevin Peachey.

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The Federal Department of Environment and Energy is seeking feedback on a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for swimming pool pumps.

Councils are invited to attend a meeting in Melbourne at 3pm on Tuesday 29 November to discuss the RIS, which examines ways to improve the energy efficiency of swimming pool pumps sold in Australia.

Measures proposed include energy rating labels and minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for pumps. Initial modelling shows that introducing a MEPS of four stars could save consumers over $1 billion between 2018 and 2030, and reduce greenhouse emissions by 9.2 million tonnes (CO2) over the same period.

To register for the Melbourne meeting email Interested stakeholders can provide feedback on the consultation RIS by 21 December 2016.

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The CFA declares the Fire Danger Period for each municipality at different times in the lead up to the fire season. Declarations depend on the amount of rain, grassland curing rate and other local conditions. A number of declarations have already been made, mostly in the west of the state, and this will be an ongoing process as summer approaches. View the list of Fire Danger periods already commenced in each municipality.

There are some restrictions that should be observed during a Fire Danger Period, but a wider set of rules applies on Total Fire Ban days when fires are more likely to spread rapidly and can be difficult to control. Check out the CFA’s Can I, Can’t I page and brochure for more information.

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Briefing on Safe and Accessible WaterwaysBriefing: Safe and Accessible Waterways

A briefing session for councils about the recently released Safe and Accessible Victorian Waterways Strategy discussion paper will be held on Tuesday 13 December from 10.00am to 12 noon.

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources will provide an outline of the discussion paper, and will take feedback from councils about how to make Victoria’s waterways safer and more accessible. Registrations for this event will be available early next week.

For further information, contact Rosemary Hancock.

2016 Mayoral ProgramMAV 2016 Mayoral Program

Our Mayoral Program on 1 December is a no cost event for Mayors (and Deputy Mayors).

To be held from 10am – 4pm at the MAV offices, this event offers a rich opportunity to learn, debate, challenge and understand the complexities of being mayor, with topics drawing on the shared wisdom of current and past mayors.

Sessions will explore key issues related to the mayoral role and the CEO performance appraisal process, and participants will also be provided with a practical mayoral checklist.

Registrations are now open.

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  • The Victorian Government this week announced a $6.7 million Managing Fruit Fly – Regional Grants Program to support projects across the areas of Greater Sunraysia, the Yarra Valley and the Goulburn Valley. The first round of funding is available to horticulture industry organisations, community groups, local councils and educational institutions – with a second round of funding to be opened in 2017. Grants of up to $1 million are available and applications for round one must be submitted before 18 December.

  • Winners of the 2016 Resilient Australia Awards were last week announced by the Australian Government. Congratulations to Sunshine Coast Council for receiving the Resilient Australia Award for its Sunshine Coast Council Disaster Hub project; and to the City of Yarra on being recognised with a highly commended citation for its Keep Cool in Yarra campaign.

  • Congratulations to the City of Stonnington, winner of Garage Sale Trail’s 2016 Trail Blazer Award for working with local traders in High Street to enable businesses to use their street frontage to participate in the Garage Sale Trail initiative.

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Victorian Resources Online Survey

Victorian Resources Online (VRO) is a gateway to a wide range of information and maps related to Victoria's soil and landscapes. It is a web resource funded through Agriculture Victoria, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

The VRO project team is conducting a brief survey to gather information about how frequently users access the VRO website, what types of information they generally search for, and whether they have identified any key information gaps. The survey takes only five minutes and council users of the VRO website are encouraged to respond.


Health Snapshot

VicHealth has launched a new website, Health Snapshot to help Victorians get a better idea about their health and wellbeing, as well as learn how they can make healthier lifestyle choices.

By answering a few short questions, an individual can see how their health rates compared to other people in a local council, age group, and across Victoria. The data is based on the results from the VicHealth Indicators Survey, a major population survey conduct by VicHealth every four years to monitor health and wellbeing trends across the state.

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  • The Victorian Government this week introduced the Climate Change Bill 2016 into Parliament. The bill seeks to repeal and re-enact, with amendments, the Climate Change Act 2010 to establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for Victoria, to set out policy objectives and guiding principles, and to provide for climate change planning and reporting.

  • Sustainability Victoria’s I love leftovers campaign highlights simple measures to use left-over food and reduce the volume of material going to landfill. Follow the Love Food Hate Waste Victoria Facebook page or visit for tips, advice and recipes, or see the videos.

  • A new Liberal-Nationals Victorian Population Policy Taskforce has been announced to develop a clear strategy to manage Victoria’s population growth, and the opportunities and challenges that this presents. The Taskforce includes Liberal and National MPs, as well as experts in demography, property, planning and regional development.

  • Victoria’s Mental Health Services Annual Report 2015-16 was released this week to provide a greater understanding of the public mental health system. A report will be provided annually to the Parliament following amendments to the Mental Health Act 2014.

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Social media and tech news...

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