Issue 968:                                                      Week ending 7 March 2014

Continuation of the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program
Funding Regional Communities campaign
LGICT Forum – Communications 2014
Writing for the web workshop
New multicultural policy
New safety standards for inflatable pools
2014 Rural Summit full program out now
The Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2014
Major events in Victoria to mark Anzac Centenary
Cultural Diversity Week
ACELG Research Forum

In social media news...

Continuation of the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program

The MAV welcomes last week's announcement by Minister Powell that the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program (MERP) will be funded for a further two years.

The 64 councils within CFA districts will continue to receive funding to address the recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. The MERP funding recognises the considerable work undertaken by local councils in emergency management, and the extension of the funding will assist them to continue this work.

For further information, contact Ros Handley or Emma Lake.

Funding Regional Communities campaign

Some fire effected councils have requested an extention to submit case studies for our Funding Regional Communities campaign.

The new deadline is 28 march, and we urge all 48 rural councils to get their case studies in.

Our campaign launched in December to help secure four more years of crucial funding in the 2014 State Budget. The three state initiatives, all funded from 2011-12 through to 2014-15, are the Country Roads and Bridges programs ($160 million), the Local Government Infrastructure program ($100 million) and the Putting Locals First program ($100 million).

We have asked councils to showcase how the $360 million of funding has been used in establishing vital infrastructure in communities.

These case studies will form part of our state budget and election advocacy efforts.

For further information, or to submit your case study, please contact our Communication Team.

LGICT Forum – Communications 2014

On Friday 28 March, the MAV and the Local Government Information and Communication Technology (LGICT) Group is heading to Bendigo for the March Forum - Communications 2014.

Delegates will have the opportunity to attend mini-presentations and exhibits from each of the 15 suppliers to the new MAV Telecommunications contract.

Plans for the development and implementation of a Local Government Private (Cloud) Network will also be showcased, along with the latest news on a number of important LGICT projects and activities.

The forum is free for MAV/LGICT member councils and promises to be another memorable event in a fantastic regional location.

Registrations can be made online.

Writing for the web workshop

The MAV has extended its cut-off date for our writing for the web workshop to be held on 31 March at our Collins St office.

Registrations now close on 11 March.

In this workshop you will learn content development techniques for online reading habits.

The full-day workshop is suited to council staff who write, edit or manage content for the web. The workshop costs $275 and includes lunch and refreshments.

New multicultural policy

Last Monday Premier Denis Napthine joined the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras to launch Victoria’s Advantage – Unity, Diversity, Opportunity, a landmark multicultural affairs and citizenship policy.

This new policy statement recognises local government's contribution to Victoria's multicultural success.

The policy focuses on three major themes: maximising the benefits of our diversity; citizenship, participation and social cohesion; and responsive and accessible services.

Victoria’s Advantage outlines a plan to support social cohesion and citizenship, while reducing instances of racial and religious discrimination.

New safety standards for inflatable pools

Inflatable pools will need to come with mandatory safety warnings under new national safety standards introduced this month.

Portable pools and their retail packaging will now feature new warning labels outlining potential drowning hazards.

The mandatory warning labels will highlight state and territory fencing laws for pools, including inflatable and portable pools.

In Victoria, inflatable or portable pools that are deeper than 30 centimetres need to be surrounded by a swimming pool fence.

2014 Rural Summit full program out now

The full program for this year’s Rural Summit in Nhill on 27-28 March is now available.

The summit is an annual event of Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) and is aimed at CEOs, mayors, councillors, economic development officers, tourism staff, business and community leaders.

The event includes high quality speakers, Indigenous and Karen cultural experiences, amazing settings including the Little Desert Nature Lodge, panel discussions, networking and the launch of RCV Tomorrow - the Five Year Strategic Plan.

Tickets and accommodation options can be found online.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2014

Entries are now open for the Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2014.

The nine categories in this year’s awards program are Cleaner Yarra and Bay, Community, Education, Environmental Protection, Infrastructure and Buildings, Innovative Products or Services, Large Business, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Tourism.

In addition to these awards, the Premier will personally select two overall winners: the Premier’s Regional Recognition Award and the Premier’s Recognition Award.

Entrant information sessions will be held on Friday 21 March and Wednesday 9 April. Registrations can be made via email.

An Entry Kit is available online. For further information, contact the sustainability awards team.

Major events in Victoria to mark Anzac Centenary

Communities around Victoria will be eligible for up to a $100,000 grant to mark the Anzac Centenary (2014-2018).

The announcement was made this week by Veterans’ Affairs Minister Hugh Delahunty at the Victorian Government Anzac Centenary Seminar.

Seminar attendees, including councils, received tips from VicRoads on how they can assist with the logistics of organising Anzac Centenary events in Victoria. The Office of Geographic Names gave Anzac Centenary project and street naming ideas.

The Minister encouraged Victorians to tell their stories via social media, at the Anzac 100 Victoria Facebook page and by using the #Anzac100 hashtag.

This funding is in addition to the Anzac Centenary Community Grants and the Restoring Community War Memorials and Avenues of Honour grants program, which councils can still apply for.

Cultural Diversity Week

The MAV is a strong supporter of Victoria’s Cultural Diversity Week which will run from 15-23 March.

The week incorporates national Harmony Day and the national A Taste of Harmony campaign, which aims to celebrate diversity in Australian workplaces.

Free promotional kits are available from all three websites to help support and promote council events.

To receive merchandise, councils need to register events on the respective websites. These fixtures on our cultural diversity calendar have developed out of the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, held on 21 March each year.

ACELG Research Forum

The next Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) research forum will be held on Wednesday 30 April in Melbourne in conjunction with Local Government Managers Australia’s (LGMA) National Congress & Business Expo.

The forums provide a unique opportunity for local government researchers and practitioners to hear about the latest research in the sector and to discuss the implications for policy and practice.

More than 20 papers will be presented to the forum on themes such as civic participation, organisational excellence and esearch practice.

Attendee places are limited as the Forums are very popular. Register online.

In social media news...

  • Discover the 28 Victorian Government departments and agencies using Flickr. Find out more.
  • The Tweet that cost $105,000. Read more here.
  • Facebook for neighbours to help councils. Find out more.
Upcoming MAV events...

26 - 27 March

Smart Urban Futures

28 March

MAV LGICT Forum - Commuications 2014

31 March

Writing for the web


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