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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1058: 18 December 2015
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  • This week we distributed resources to council communication and emergency management staff on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services. The resources form part of a new Survive the Heat campaign, which was launched by the State Government on Thursday. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the seriousness of extreme heat, and share tips on staying safe. Councils are encouraged to use the resources to promote safety messages to communities about keeping kids safe, advice for seniors, exercising during a heat wave and simple tips to stay healthy in the sun. The resources are available in our Comms Hub on the members-only section of our website.
  • For the first time women have been able to run and vote in council elections is Saudi Arabia this week. A total of 17 women were elected. More than 900 women were among the 6,440 candidates standing for seats on 284 councils.  According to election commission data, nearly 1.5 million people aged 18 and above signed up for the polls. This included about 119,000 women out of a total native Saudi population of almost 21 million. We hope to see this democracy continue and that gender equality and female representation in local government increases.
  • The Federal Government has released its National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy. The report acknowledges that councils are on the frontline in dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Strategy highlights adaptation actions by both public and private individuals and organisations across the Australian community, as well as in Asia and the Pacific. Following its release the government signed the Paris climate agreement which requires all countries to tackle climate change by reducing global warming to below two degrees Celsius.
The MAV Board, CEO and staff would like to wish everyone involved in Victorian local government a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Thank you for your continued support over the last 12 months. We look forward to working with you again in 2016. This will be the last bulletin for the year and it will resume in mid-January.

The MAV office will close at 3pm on 24 December, and will re-open on 4 January 2016.

The summer edition of CiVic Magazine is now available and has been sent to all councils.

This edition features a range of interesting local government stories on female empowerment, councils work with Aboriginal communities, and urban forestry.

The first edition of CiVic for 2016 will be published in March. Advertising and content deadlines for all 2016 editions will be available shortly on our website.

Story ideas can be sent direct to our editor, Kristi High.

The MAV Audit Committee is an advisory committee to the MAV Board and assists it in maintaining its governance framework by reviewing financial and risk controls, including internal and external audit reports, monitoring organisational performance and corporate governance generally.

We are seeking to appoint an independent Chair and/or member with Audit Committee experience, accounting skills and insurance knowledge. Risk management or local government experience would be highly regarded.

Please forward your expression of interest, together with your CV and a summary of relevant experience to Alison Lyon by 5 February 2016. Interviews will take place the week commencing 22 February 2016.

This week the MAV has made submissions to the Plan Melbourne refresh, and the Review of the Local Government Act.

Our Plan Melbourne submission supports a greater emphasis on climate change and housing affordability actions. Our focus is on getting the governance, funding and implementation arrangements right to give Plan Melbourne 2016 the greatest chance of success.

For the Plan to succeed, a strong relationship with local government is also required, and a number of suggestions were made about improvements to the sub-regional groups, developing agreements with councils, exploring infrastructure needs in peri-urban areas, and funding for the strategic and statutory implementation of the Plan.

Our submission to the Review of the Local Government Act represents preliminary sector views. It is intended that it stand alongside submissions made by individual councils and councillors in the first phase of consultation. The submission is generally pitched at matters of principle rather than operational detail. There will be opportunities over the next two years for the sector to be involved in the subsequent consultation phases, and have input into the legislative detail of the new Act.

Both submissions will be available on our website shortly.

Text The MAV has developed a series of resources to assist councils in the design, siting and provision of interesting shade projects for public areas. The resources were launched last week at our highly successful Local Government Shade Forum, run in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and Cancer Council Victoria.

They explore interesting approaches to shade delivery and provide a better understanding of the context for shade development. Six case studies show creative shade projects and policy approaches that support shade provision.

Keynote presentations from the forum will be available on the MAV website shortly.


Our annual Smart Urban Futures conference will be held on 22 – 23 March 2016, and will focus on building liveable, walkable, and sustainable communities.

Speakers include Gyles Bendall, Auckland Council, Urban Design Program Leader; and Gilbert Rochecouste, Founder and Managing Director, Village Well. A full program will be available in early 2016.

Company Directors Course

In partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), the Company Directors Course will hone skills and knowledge including understanding the director’s duties and responsibilities, and managing and controlling finances.

It will run on 30 March, with registrations closing on 26 February.

  • Community organisations in four Victorian areas can apply for a share in $300,000 of Federal Government funding under the Solar Towns Programme.
  • The Federal Government has committed $60 million to provide new or upgraded mobile coverage to black spots in regional and remote Australia under Round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme. Nominations close on 31 December.
  • Councils can encourage community groups to apply for funding under the State Government's Social Cohesion Research Grants Program.
  • Applications for the final funding round of the Taxi Rank Safety Program 2015-16 are now open. Approximately 40 councils have successfully applied for grants in previous rounds totalling over $3.66 million to install infrastructure at taxi ranks.

MAV kinder funding advocacy

The MAV and council advocacy efforts were duly rewarded with the announcement of a new funding model for small rural kindergartens to support their continued operation and viability.

For the first time, the model provides a base funding amount for services with eight or fewer enrolments that includes a base per capita amount and an indexed small rural grant payment.

The MAV would like to acknowledge the advice rural councils provided us earlier in 2015 to assist our partnership and advocacy work. We will continue to work with councils and the Department of Education and Training (DET) to address the needs of small rural kindergartens.

Further information can be obtained from DET's regional offices.

Conference: prevention of violence against women 

ANROWS - a federal, state & territory initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022, is holding its inaugural National Research Conference at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne on 23-25 February 2016.

Policy-makers, participants from the three tiers of government, practitioners and researchers will be encouraged to share experiences, ideas and advice on how this research can drive evidence-based policy development, service responses and practice.

A program for the conference is now available.

Registrations can be made online or by emailing Caryn Morgan.

  • The State Government will introduce stronger domestic building protection to avoid costly disputes. The new rules will make it compulsory for builders to work with consumers to resolve building disputes.

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