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


All your local government news this week

Issue 1112: 9 February 2017
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Strategic priorities
  • Rate cap variations: Seven councils have notified the ESC that they may apply for a rate increase above the 2 per cent cap set by the State Government: Casey, Horsham, Hindmarsh, Pyrenees, Queenscliffe, Towong and West Wimmera. Councils have until 31 May to submit their applications and other councils can still apply.
  • Beat the Bite: Councils are encouraged to continue using the State Government’s resources to help combat the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River virus. This includes brochures, posters and factsheets which are available online. Members can also download social media resources from the MAV's members' only communications hub.

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The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has released a consultation paper as part of its review into the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

The FFG Act is one of three elements of Victoria’s biodiversity regulation currently under review, along with the native vegetation clearing regulations and biodiversity strategy. 

The MAV is preparing a submission which should be circulated to members this week. We will then incorporate feedback we receive from members before making the submission to DELWP.

The current deadline for submissions is 5pm on 13 March. The MAV and a number of member councils have requested this deadline be extended and are waiting for a response to this request.

DELWP will be holding a briefing session on the review for councils which will be hosted at the MAV. The session is currently scheduled for 1.30-3.30pm on Monday 27 February. More details will follow as they are finalised.

For more information contact Claire Dunn or Emlyn Breese.

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Nominations for the MAV Board and President close at 4pm tomorrow, 10 February. The election will be held on Friday 3 March.

The President is elected at large while regional Board members are elected by the MAV representatives within each region. Voting will be via post.

Phillippa Heskett of the VEC has been appointed the Returning Officer.

MAV Presidential Candidate Forums are being held to allow MAV representatives to meet the candidates and ask questions about their election platforms.

The forums will be held in Benalla (14 February), Melbourne (15 February) and Stawell (16 February) from 6-7.30pm.

Refreshments will be available upon arrival at each forum. You can register online, or contact Gavin Mahoney on 0419 486 646 or 9667 5564 if you would like more information about the forums.

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MAV Procurement has launched a new eLearning Program.

The eLearning modules provide councils with a cost-effective and easily accessible platform to embed procurement practices across the entire organisation. They deliver a consistent message and provide an audit trail for measurement of participation and learning outcomes.

The modules can be used for new staff induction or as a regular refresher for those staff involved in the procurement and contract management process.

If your council is interested in accessing the newly developed MAV Procurement eLearning program, we are able to provide a free trial for you to review the content of each module.

To date 13 councils have requested access, with a number soon to roll-out the training across their council.

The initial modules developed specifically for Victorian local government are:

1. Procurement essentials
2. Contract management essentials
3. Probity for purchasing and procurement.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a demonstration, please contact Zara Ahmed on 9667 5524.

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Eight strategic planning sessions begin next week and will continue through March, to allow members to provide input into the development of the MAV's 2017/18 Strategic Work Plan.

Input and feedback from councillors and chief executive officers is essential to ensure that the MAV remains focused on meeting our members' needs.

Councillors, CEOs and relevant council officers are invited to attend any of these meetings: 

13 Feb: Bendigo 12.30-2.30pm 
17 Feb: Warracknabeal 12.30-2.30pm
21 Feb: MAV offices 6-8pm
23 Feb: MAV offices 2-4pm
24 Feb: Wonthaggi 2-4pm
2 Mar: Geelong 4-6pm
9 Mar: Benalla 1-3pm
10 Mar: Warrnambool 11am-1pm

Full details of session locations are available online. For inquiries or to RSVP, please contact Gavin Mahoney on 9667 5564.

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Emerging Technologies & Data Directions

The MAV is holding an Emerging Technologies & Data Directions forum on 20 March at The Pier Geelong.

The day-long program will look at how quickly driverless vehicles, 3D Printing and artificial intelligence will affect councils, and how data management requirements will increase exponentially as these and other new technologies roll out.

The free forum is recommended for councillors, CEOs, corporate services directors, business transformation leaders, customer experience teams, and of course Information Management, GIS and ICT leaders.

Highlights will include:

  • Bosch presenting Australia's first driverless vehicle (including a prototype)
  • VicRoads outlining their preparations to accommodate driverless vehicles
  • Microsoft explaining developments in artificial intelligence (including Hololens applications)
  • Deakin University reporting on their pioneering activities in 3D printing and re-skilling the community for the digital era.

Leading councils will explain how they are dealing with data now and what they think the key challenges will be as these emerging technologies unfold.

The full program will be available soon. Places are limited, so register now. For more information contact Lisa Bennetto.

Hacktivation: Innovation in Local Government

The MAV is hosting a national innovation conference ‘Hacktivation: Transforming Local Government in the Innovation Era’ on March 15 and 16, 2017 at the Royal College of Surgeons Conference Centre, Melbourne.

‘Hacktivation’ is a skills development conference that will include:

  • Leading case studies of ‘big change’ innovation and ‘community first’ councils from around Australia
  • Interactive workshops modelling key steps in the innovation process using structured thinking and tools to focus on real life council transformation challenges
  • PechaKucha workshops and circulating audiences
  • GovHACK workshops workshop presented by Service Design leaders
  • Prototyping: developing real solutions to council transformational challenges;
  • Journey mapping
  • National Local Government Innovation Awards: Plenary voting
  • Plenty of free take-aways: Including ‘My Hackivation Tool Kit’ and downloads.

Anyone with an interest in a more productive local government sector is encouraged to attend.

Find out more details or register online.

For further information contact John Hennessy.


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  • Anzac centenary grants: The Anzac Centenary Community Grant Program offers funding of up to $20,000 for projects that commemorate the service and sacrifice of World War One (WWI) veterans and their communities or inform and educate Victorians about the experiences of WWI veterans and their communities. Applications for the current round of funding close on 14 February, while the next round will open 5 June until 28 August.
  • CALD Seniors: The Participation for CALD Seniors Grants Program provides funding for projects that help isolated people from CALD backgrounds to connect with existing or new support networks and activities. Applicants can apply for grants of up to $5,000, or for more complex or partnership projects up to $10,000. Applications close on 24 February.
  • Building Better Regions: This Federal Government fund will provide grants to projects in regional Victoria, either for new infrastructure or upgrades under the Infrastructure Projects Stream, or community activities with economic and social benefits under the Community Investments Stream.  Applications close on 28 February. 

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Playspace training program

The next Play Australia Playspace Development Training Program is being held on March 15 and 16.

The program will deliver the information required to meet concerns regarding the safety of children and young people in playgrounds and playspaces while supporting the ongoing development of exciting and challenging experiences for all children in accord with AS4685-2014.

You can find more information and register online.

LGPro Annual Conference

The LGPro Annual Conference is being held on 22-23 February at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The conference will include:

  • Six, four-hour workshops
  • Keynote speakers Holly Ransom, Dianne Vella-Brodrick and Phil Ruthven
  • Four Short Talk presenters – Nasir Sobhani, Tania de Jong, Nick Hatzoglou and Phil Cleary
  • A presentation by LGPro’s 2016 Emerging Leaders Program participants.

Further information and registration options are available online.

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  • The State Government’s Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 returned to Parliament this week to be debated. The Bill, if passed, would permanently ban all onshore unconventional gas exploration and extend the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to 2020.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a series of animations explaining how bushfire smoke can affect people’s health, and ways that people can protect themselves. The animations will be included in new stakeholder toolkits, along with supporting resources such as graphic info sheets, posters and social media content. 

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Social media and tech news...

In social media

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