- In a win for councils last week, following a strong push from the MAV, the State Government has released its draft Sustainability Fund Priority Statement for feedback. With almost half a billion dollars sitting in the fund, we want to see a transparent annual reporting process to show how much money has been received from state landfill levies and where it will be spent. Further details below.
- More than 50 council representatives will attend an MAV roundtable today to discuss the Local Government Act review. With submissions to the discussion paper due on 18 December, now is the time for councillors and CEOs to work together to influence the legislative framework for the future of local government. We will report back to the sector with the outcomes of the roundtable, and our next steps.
- Last month the State Government released the Plan Melbourne refresh discussion paper outlining a range of new ideas they are considering to manage Melbourne’s future growth. We held a briefing on 9 November for council CEOs and mayors. Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, provided an overview of the discussion paper and the process for engagement with local government. A recording of the briefing will be available on the MAV website shortly. Submissions are due by 18 December.
Sustainability Fund Priority Statement
The State Government has released its draft Sustainability Fund Priority Statement for consultation. The Statement sets out the State’s strategic priorities in terms of allocation of accrued landfill levy funds.
The MAV has been advocating for greater investment of sustainability funds into local initiatives that will achieve a genuine step change in waste management in Victoria. We’ve also sought increased transparency around expenditure from the Sustainability Fund. As noted in our media release last week, the current balance of the Sustainability Fund was $430.7 million at 30 June.
The MAV will be seeking council feedback to inform our submission in response to the draft Statement. Councils are also encouraged to lodge your own submissions by the closing date of 20 December.
For further information, contact Claire Dunn.
Change the story of violence against women
In a world first, Australia now has a framework for a consistent and integrated national approach to prevent violence against women and their children.
Our Watch, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) this week launched Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia.
The framework brings together the latest international evidence on what drives violence against women, and what works to prevent it. It represents more than 400 diverse stakeholder groups from around the country.
The MAV participated in consultation that informed the framework, and we look forward to councils’ using the framework to further their positive work in the prevention of violence against women.
EPA Scheduled Premises review
The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has released a discussion paper to inform the State’s review of the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 2007. The regulations are due to sunset in mid-2017.
The Scheduled Premises Regulations define ‘scheduled premises’, specifying which activities require a works approval, licence, financial assurance, payment of landfill levies and/or payment of environment protection levies. The regulations also provide for general exemptions to these requirements.
The EPA is seeking feedback to the discussion paper via an online questionnaire or as a written submission by 14 December. The MAV will be seeking council feedback to inform MAV input to the review.
For further information, contact Claire Dunn.
School Focused Youth Service to continue
The MAV is pleased that the School Focused Youth Service will continue for a further two years, to assist young people at risk of leaving school early or becoming disengaged.
The MAV has lobbied for the program’s continuation, and the two-year extension allows continuity of the service as the Department of Education seeks to align it with an improved system response to disengagement and support for at-risk and vulnerable young people.
There are 10 councils directly involved in providing this program, and others are engaged with service providers and schools in working towards supporting and engaging young people.
Local government award winners
- The MAV would like to congratulate Strathbogie Shire Council mayor Colleen Furlanetto who won the Brenda Gabe Leadership Award. The award recognises women with disabilities who have made a significant contribution to improving the status of women with disabilities in Victoria.
Sale of surplus land policy
The Victorian Government has recently endorsed the Victorian Government Landholding Policy and Guidelines (the policy), which aims to ensure consistent decision-making across government in acquiring and retaining land and managing land portfolios.
The policy incorporates a First Right of Refusal (FROR) process, which provides local government with a unique opportunity to express interest in purchasing land that has been declared surplus to government requirements.
The FROR process allows councils to consider whether there is a suitable community use for the surplus government land, and purchase it prior to the land being offered for sale on the open market.
For further information, please contact Louise Coulson on (03) 9651 2529.
Victoria’s Cycling Strategy update
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is leading an update of Victoria's Cycling Strategy. A consultation session for council officers will be held on 23 November at 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne from 3-6pm.
Registrations can be made online by 18 November. Council officers are invited to attend one of 10 community consultation sessions or complete an online survey.
For further information, email Victoria's Cycling Strategy update team.
News in brief
- The State Government has launched a comprehensive guide for communities wanting to establish renewable energy projects
- The VicEmergency website has been updated for summer to provide the Victorian community with one, centralised location for emergency warnings and information
- A new water safety app has been developed by the State to help prevent drownings and teach children to swim safely this summer
- The second round of State Government Interface Funding for councils has opened
- Registrations are now open for Stormwater Victoria and Engineers Australia’s Joint Seminar – Sydney International WSUD Conference Highlights on 26 November
- The State Government has announced new appointments to Victoria’s catchment management sector. The make-up of the 10 CMA boards can be found online, and the new Victorian Catchment Management Council is also available online.
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