Gaming machine review needs local input
The MAV is calling on the State Government to ensure the community and councils have a say in the upcoming review of gaming machine entitlements.
Victorians lost almost $70 million more on gaming machines last year compared to 2013-14, and extensive consultation regarding the future distribution and operation of gaming machines is critical to reversing this trend.
The State has said there will be a consultation process as part of this review and we look forward to learning more about what it will entail and how we, councils and communities can contribute.
Councils and the MAV have been campaigning for changes to the bet limits on machines and to the approval systems for gaming machines to ensure the best interests of communities are given priority, through our Enough Pokies campaign.
MAV Partners with Social Traders to make social impact
We are pleased to announce a new collaborative partnership between MAV Procurement and Social Traders, which aims to create employment for marginalised groups in local communities by connecting Victorian councils with social enterprises.
Social Traders is an independent not for profit company established in 2008 that works collaboratively with social enterprise operators to build commercially viable businesses that deliver social impact.
The social procurement initiative provides councils with access to a panel of certified social enterprises, simplifying and streamlining the engagement process and enabling councils to request quotations across a range of categories through the MAV Procurement VendorPanel system.
Buying from social enterprises is an effective way of councils leveraging the procurement process to support community outcomes, and in particular, to help create employment for marginalised groups. Social enterprises on the panel support a range of beneficiaries including people with disabilities, long term unemployed, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with mental illness and the homeless.
For further information, contact Cameron Spence.
No jab, no play
This week the State Government proposed a No Jab No Play law to be considered in parliament towards the end of the year with a view to commencing on 1 January 2016. The key points for councils are:
- From 1 January 2016 parents will be required to provide evidence of up-to-date vaccinations before a child can attend a service
- Where families face difficulties accessing immunisations the law will allow vulnerable children to be enrolled with a period of 16 weeks from commencing at a service to access immunisations and obtain the necessary documentation
- There is no provision in the law for contentious objections – the only exemptions are for a medical contraindication
- Families can apply to enrol their children for kindergarten through a council run central enrolment process without having to provide evidence of their child’s immunisation status. However they must provide that evidence to the service upon accepting a place and the child commencing attendance at that service.
It would be advisable for councils to nominate a key contact person for referring enquiries regarding immunisations. DET and DHHS advise there will be further communications regarding the introduction of this law.
Planned boost to State’s rail freight capacity welcomed
The MAV has welcomed the State Government’s plans to strengthen and improve rail freight capacity in the Murray Basin.
We have been advocating for significant improvements to Victoria’s regional freight routes for some time and the Murray Basin Rail Project would be a great win for communities and councils in the state’s north.
Local communities on road freight paths, including those living in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs near the Port of Melbourne, would also benefit from the Murray Basin Rail Project through less truck traffic and resultant diesel emissions.
The State has committed up to $220 million towards the $416 million Murray Basin Rail Project which will see lines standardised and reopened, links to regional ports fixed, and improvements made to interstate freight connections.
Roadside weeds and pests funding
In order to implement the State’s budget commitment of $5.2 million over two years for council roadside weeds and pest management activities, Local Government Victoria (LGV) has sent all eligible councils a funding agreement, as well as control plan and yearly reporting templates.
Councils will continue to receive a base funding amount of $5,000 per year (exclusive of GST), with the remaining funds to be allocated based on the total number of kilometres of rural roads managed by council. The maximum funding available per year will be capped at $75,000 (exclusive of GST) per council. This is a $25,000 increase from the previous funding period to provide further support for councils with more extensive rural road networks.
Councils must enter into a funding agreement with DELWP to formalise the offer of funding. For information on the funding arrangements contact Kane Roach at LGV.
EPA Inquiry Discussion Paper
The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) for the Inquiry into the EPA has released a discussion paper to mark the starting point of its consultations across the state.
The paper, titled `Examining the future task of Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority’, invites input about the future role and operational set up of the EPA. The paper identifies eight key themes for consideration, including protection of public health, community safety and environmental justice.
Submissions to the inquiry are due by 31 October. Further information about the Inquiry and the MAC’s consultation program is available online.
The MAV will be making a submission to the Inquiry. For further information, contact Claire Dunn.
VAGO report on unconventional gas
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) has released its report into Managing the Risks and Impacts of Unconventional Gas. The audit examined whether Victoria is well placed to effectively respond to the potential environmental and community risks and impacts of onshore unconventional gas activities in the event that these proceed in this state.
VAGO has determined that Victoria is not as well placed as it could be to respond to the risks and impacts that could arise if the moratorium on exploration is lifted. It has found that the current regulatory system will not be able to effectively manage unconventional gas risks.
The report notes the need for natural resources to be managed sustainably and for competing interests to be assessed equitably. The report will be considered by the Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning Committee’s inquiry into unconventional gas in Victoria.
Procurement Leaders Conference: registrations closing soon
Registrations close next week for our Procurement Leaders Conference on 3 – 4 September, so get in quick to avoid missing out.
The conference will provide a unique opportunity for current and aspiring procurement leaders to undertake an intensive program designed to showcase the latest examples of innovative approaches in procurement strategy within government and private sectors.
It will be held at the Novotel Forest Resort Creswick. A full program is now available.
Launch invitation: Building Social Cohesion in our Communities
Registrations are now open for the official Victorian launch of this resource on 27 August, offering councils a practical approach to develop socially cohesive communities and an opportunity to join a national community of practice.
The highly interactive online resource was developed by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government for the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), with input from the MAV. Launch attendees will hear from:
- Cr Rod Fyffe, MAV Board Member and Multicultural Committee Chair
- Rivkah Nissim, Australian Human Rights Commission Discrimination and Research Manager on behalf of Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane
- Melissa Gibbs, Deputy Director of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government
- Lidia Thorpe, MAV Aboriginal Employment Project Adviser.
Participants will have the opportunity to explore the resource ‘live’, discuss how it can be applied in their council, and share an afternoon tea.
It will be held from 3-4pm at the MAV, Level 11, 60 Collins Street. For further information, please contact Bianca Nutt on 9667 5580.
Public Safety Infrastructure grants closing soon
Councils have until 4pm on 21 August to submit applications for the Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants.
Grants of up to $250,000 are available to councils to support projects that use good urban design and technology, including CCTV and lighting, to help improve community safety, security and confidence in public places.
The Future Public Sector Leaders Colloquium
The Cranlana Programme has invited local government officers to participate in the Future Public Sector Leaders Colloquium.
The Colloquium is a prestigious and intensive six-day programme, designed to enhance critical strategic and ethical decision-making capabilities of those working in government.
There are a number of colloquia on offer over the coming financial year each tailored especially for those working in the public sector, at the equivalent of VPS levels 4, 5 and 6.
Upcoming dates are:
- 4 – 9 October 2015, registrations close: 24 August 2015
- 10 – 15 April 2016, registrations close: 29 February 2016
- 22 – 27 May 2016, registrations close: 11 April 2016
- 31 July –5 August 2016, registrations close: 20 June 2016
For further information contact Anna Hooper Chapman on 9827 2660.
VLGMIN Forum: Preventing Family Violence in Multicultural Communities
Organised by the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN) the Preventing Family Violence in Multicultural Communities forum will be held on 10 September.
Participants will workshop the difference between prevention, intervention and response approaches to family violence, and be presented with a showcase of the initiatives being undertaken at a local government level to address violence against women in multicultural communities.
There will be presentations from the Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence, Fiona Richardson, along with representatives from InTouch, Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, the MAV, Our Watch, and the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health.
It will run from 10am to 3pm at Victoria University Convention Centre, 460 Ballarat Road, Sunshine.
Registrations can be made online. For further information, or to join VLGMIN, contact Eugenia Grammatikakis on 9518 3625.
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