Issue 929:                                                    Week ending 10 May 2013

Referendum on Constitutional recognition to proceed
2013-14 Victorian Budget
Fire Services Property Levy rates
Metropolitan Planning Authority meeting
Container deposit study
New commercial and industrial zones released
Local Government Annual Report Awards
Performance reporting regional workshops
Using telecommuting and e-business to work remotely
Streetlife retailer skills workshops
SACS Leadership Awards
National Volunteer Week
In social media news...


Referendum on Constitutional recognition to proceed

The Prime Minister and Minister Albanese have today announced that the referendum to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution will proceed at the September 14 federal election.

The MAV has issued a media release welcoming the announcement. The ALGA’s media release is also available online.

A national ‘yes’ campaign will be run by the ALGA, and coordinated at a state level by the MAV. We will also be supporting councils to roll out the national messages, materials and campaign activities at the municipal level.

A Communications Working Group has already been established by the MAV to help guide and advise on implementation at the municipal level, and it will be chaired by MAV Board member Cr Coral Ross.

Further information will be provided on the ‘yes’ campaign approach as it becomes available over the coming weeks.

2013-14 Victorian Budget

The MAV has distributed a members’ brief on the 2013-14 Victorian Budget, which was delivered this week. The Budget was notable for its few major infrastructure initiatives along with a rapidly improving financial position. Our media release welcomed the emphasis on infrastructure, but expressed disappointment that it was not accompanied by a Victorian Infrastructure Plan that will guide investment and prioritise projects.

Among items of interest to local government are $34.5 million for improvements to the infringement enforcement system, $7 million for children’s services infrastructure and $12 million for waste.

For further information contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.

Fire Services Property Levy rates

Last week the Fire Services Property levy variable rates were announced, along with the launch of a State website

We welcome the Government releasing this information, which councils will use to put the systems in place to collect this State levy from 1 July.

Councils will pay the levy based on the CIV of their municipal property holdings - excluding roads, bridges, drainage, footpaths etc.

Resources have been made available for councils to promote to their communities, including web tiles for use on council website and an online calculator which can estimate how much individuals are likely to pay.

Fact sheets and a flyer are being developed by the Government as part of their statewide information campaign and will be circulated when available.

CFA Fixed rate Variable rates (cents per $1,000 of CIV)
Property sector    
Residential $100 11.5 c
Commercial $200 109.2 c
Industrial $200 170.9 c
Primary production $200 31.2 c
Public benefit* $200 11.5 c
Vacant (excluding vacant residential land) $200 11.5 c
MFB Fixed rate Variable rates (cents per $1,000 of CIV)
Property sector    
Residential $100 6.9
Commercial $200 60.7
Industrial $200 95.0
Primary production $200 17.3
Public benefit* $200 6.9
Vacant (excluding vacant residential land) $200 6.9

*For properties classified as public benefit that are owned by the council, no variable charge will be paid; only the fixed charge is levied.

Metropolitan Planning Authority meeting

On the back of our meeting with Minister Guy, the MAV was asked to convene a meeting of the Metropolitan Strategy Reference Group to assist Government and the Ministerial Advisory Committee to understand councils’ views on and help in the scoping of the proposed Metropolitan Planning Authority.

The meeting took place earlier this week and included presentations from Prue Digby, Deputy Secretary who provided a government perspective on the Metropolitan Planning Authority; and Roz Hansen, Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee who discussed alternative governance arrangements from other jurisdictions. The meeting was an important opportunity for councils to directly influence the design and role of the Metropolitan Planning Authority. A document summarising the conversations throughout the day will be prepared and circulated to participants.

Container deposit study

In partnership with Sustainability Victoria, the MAV commissioned an analysis of the financial impacts on Victorian local government with a container deposits system. The analysis report, "The financial impacts of Container Deposit Legislation to local governments in Victoria" is now complete and is available on MAV's website.

The report, carried out by consultancy Equilibrium, found that there would be winners and losers within the local government sector, with the financial impact differing depending on an individual council’s specific circumstances. In general, those councils that pay for kerbside materials to be sorted and processed would be better off as the value of the materials would rise; but other councils who currently receive a payment or rebate would lose revenue as the overall volume of kerbside materials would reduce under a container deposit scheme (CDS). In general, rural councils could make financial savings under a CDS, whereas many metropolitan councils who receive rebates would lose revenue. The analysis largely used the core assumptions of the Packaging Impacts Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement, however the Victorian costs for collection and reprocessing were significantly different.

Sustainability Victoria and the MAV are working to make the MS Excel 'calculator' available to individual councils to assess the impact for themselves.

For further information contact Ben Morris.

New commercial and industrial zones released

The Planning Minister Matthew Guy in a media release on Monday announced the release of the commercial and industrial zones. The Advisory Committee Report, Government’s Response and the zones are now available to view on the DPCD website. The MAV is still examining the detail of the changes. Interestingly, the rural zones were not released as part of this package. Hopefully we will see the final product shortly.

The zones will be fully implemented on 1 July 2013. A statewide planning scheme amendment will replace the existing zones. It is unclear what resources, if any will be provided to councils to assist them implement the new zones.

ICAA/MAV Local Government Annual Report Awards 2013

The MAV is pleased to announce that 26 councils have been shortlisted for the ICAA/MAV Local Government Annual Report Awards. The awards were very competitive this year and we would like to congratulate all shortlisted councils: Alpine, Bass Coast, Boroondara, Campaspe, Colac Otway, Corangamite, Darebin, Gannawarra, Geelong, Glen Eira, Greater Bendigo, Hepburn, Hobsons Bay, Kingston, Knox, Melbourne, Monash, Moorabool, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Surf Coast, Swan Hill, Towong, Warrnambool, Yarra City and Yarra Ranges.

Launched in 2000, the Awards are designed to encourage best practice in local government annual reporting. The 2013 awards will be presented at the MAV State Council on Thursday 16 May.

Award categories cover performance reporting, governance, sustainability, financial overview, best summary, and best overall report.

For further information contact Eliza Nolan on 9667 5537.

Performance reporting regional workshops

Local Government Victoria (LGV) is holding regional workshops to obtain feedback on the draft Local Government Performance Reporting Framework and explain how it will affect councils. The MAV has provided input to the Framework as part of the local government sustainability roundtable, which held its final meeting on 30 April. The working group explored factors that contribute to the long-term sustainability of local government, from financial management and capacity to raise own-source revenue, to governance and decision-making.

Workshops are targeted at local government officers, managers and coordinators with expertise or responsibility for organisational performance reporting. Register online for these workshops:

  • Warrnambool, Tuesday 14 May, 1 pm to 3 pm
  • Horsham, Wednesday 15 May, 10 am to 12 pm
  • Traralgon, Friday 17 May, 1 pm to 3 pm
  • Wangaratta, Wednesday 22 May, 10 am to 12 pm
  • Bendigo, Wednesday 22 May, 3 pm to 5 pm
  • Melbourne CBD, Tuesday 28 May, 10 am to 12 pm
  • Melbourne – Springvale, Wednesday 29 May, 10 am to 12 pm
  • Ballarat, Friday 31 May, 1 pm to 3 pm

A community workshop for members of the public will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday 28 May from 2 pm to 4 pm.

LGV will also be meeting with local government CEOs, mayors and special interest groups during the coming months. The draft framework will be refined into the pilot implementation phase, which starts in July.

Using telecommuting and e-business to work remotely

The Parliament of Victoria cross party Rural and Regional Committee has begun an Inquiry into the Opportunities for People to Use Telecommuting and E-Business to Work Remotely in Rural and Regional Victoria. The Committee will investigate best practice in e-business and teleworking and is particularly interested in people in regional areas who have first-hand experience of teleworking or establishing their own e-business.

The Committee is calling for submissions to the Inquiry addressing the Terms of Reference. Submissions are due by 3 June. Public hearings are also planned to take place across Victoria throughout August, September and October.

For further information phone 03 8682 2884 or email

Streetlife retailer skills workshops

Streetlife is a Victorian Government initiative to provide targeted support to small businesses in local shopping precincts, and assist them to better attract and retain customers. Councils, business, trader groups and small shopfront businesses in local areas can work together to develop targeted projects to improve the competitiveness and economic outcomes of their local shopping precincts.

A series of workshops are being held from May until October across the state. Topics to choose from include customer service, merchandising, product control and finance.

SACS Leadership Awards

Applications are now open for the 2013 SACS Leadership Awards to state government and statutory authorities, local government and not-for-profit leaders.

Established to recognise examples of true leadership, the awards offer each sector two categories: executive and non-executive. The winner for each category will receive a prize of $7 500 to be awarded to the organisation employing the leader. This money will be used to foster and develop leadership ability within the organisation.

At last year’s awards the Cities of Latrobe, Knox, Maroondah, Glen Eira, Hume and Yarra, and Cardinia Shire Council were recognised for their leadership. This year SACS is keen to receive more nominations from rural and regional, as well as metropolitan councils.

Nominations close on 31 May.

National Volunteer Week

Next week is National Volunteer Week (NVW2013), Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism.

This year the NVW2013 campaign will recognise the contribution of over 6 million (36 per cent of the adult population) volunteers who offer their time and dedication to the communities we live in.

From 13 to 19 May Volunteering Australia is asking people to visit the Facebook and Twitter pages to post messages of thanks.

Volunteering Victoria has also established a ‘Thank You’ petition, which the MAV has signed. Their aim is to have every organisation that has volunteers to publicly acknowledge their appreciation of the volunteers they coordinate and manage by signing the petition.

This is an opportunity to talk to your leadership team about the volunteers in your organisation and how you work with them – and for your organisation to show its support volunteers.

In social media news...

  • The State Government’s PlanningVIC app has been updated for iPhones and released on Android and mobile-web versions. The app allows users to access property details such as zoning, heritage information and overlay controls while standing onsite. Find out more here.
  • Search #sayyes and #referendum on Twitter to follow interesting constitutional recognition conversations.
  • Mashable has compiled a list of six tech tools to tackle distracted driving. Read more here.
Upcoming MAV events...

22 -23 May

Future of Local Government National Summit

24 May

The brilliant local council of the future workshop

29 - 30 May

Local government infrastructure & asset management conference


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