Issue 956:                                               Week ending 15 November 2013

Victorian State-Local Government Agreement (VSLGA)
National Commission of Audit
MAV Mayoral Program
Walk Against Family Violence
MAV Annual Conference & Dinner – have your say and view photos
National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System
National State of the Assets Report
Profile of the local government workforce
Planning Permit Activity Report available
Free interpreting services
In social media news...
Events

Victorian State-Local Government Agreement (VSLGA)

The MAV is consulting with councils at regional meetings about the Victorian State-Local Government Agreement (VSLGA) in the lead up to a revised discussion paper being released by the Minister.

A preliminary position will be established by the MAV in December based on feedback received to date. Consultations will continue until February 2014.

Prior to the last election, the Government made a commitment to review the VSLGA to ensure it fulfills its purpose, has practical significance and provides an overall framework for managing the future relationship between the State and local government.

For further information contact Alison Lyon.

National Commission of Audit

Councils have the opportunity to make a submission to the National Commission of Audit which was recently announced to assess the role and scope of government to ensure taxpayers’ money is being spent efficiently.

The Commission’s work will feed into the Government's examination of the division of responsibilities between local, State and Federal governments. The MAV will be working with the ALGA on a sector response, and we are likely to prepare a separate submission on Victoria-specific matters such as home and community care.

Tony Shepherd AO will chair the five-person Commission, which will hold public and private hearings over the coming months. Submissions are due by 5pm on Tuesday 26 November in order for the Commission to provide its initial report to the Government by January.

MAV Mayoral Program

With mayoral elections due to be completed by 30 November, the MAV encourages new and returning mayors to participate in our one-day program on 5 December. ‘What every mayor ought to understand’ was developed for mayors after considerable review of the feedback from past programs.

The session aims to draw out the real world challenges and experiences of mayors to provide a rich opportunity to learn, debate, challenge and understand the complexities of being mayor.

It will draw on relevant mayor-CEO dynamics and will examine requirements under the Act, community expectations, and the many roles and practical challenges of the position.

Register online.

Walk Against Family Violence

Join the MAV President, Cr Bill McArthur and staff at this year’s Walk Against Family Violence (WAFV) on 25 November. The walk coincides with White Ribbon Day and will leave Federation Square at 1.30pm. People attending the White Ribbon luncheon at Melbourne Town Hall can join the walk at 1.45pm.

White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women. The Walk Against Family Violence began in 2009 by a committee of family violence services, local councils and Victoria Police in the southern region to raise community awareness of family violence and its impact within the community. The purpose of the walk is to break the silence on family violence.

See further details about the Walk Against Family Violence on their facebook page.

MAV Annual Conference & Dinner – have your say and view photos

The MAV would like to thank those who attended the Annual Conference held on 24 October and would like to gain feedback on the event.

To assist us in the delivery of the MAV Annual Conference next year please fill in a short survey.

For those who attended the MAV Annual Conference you will recall the program delivered some memorable and inspiring presentations. If you had the opportunity to attend the Annual Dinner with Julia Zemiro and Casey Bennetto we hope that you had an enjoyable evening.

The conference photos are now available online.

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System

Melbourne’s Metropolitan Waste Management Group (MWMG) has released a discussion paper on a proposed change to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGERS) to provide recognition for councils that reduce the organic content of their waste to landfill.

NGERS data underpins the carbon pricing mechanism (now scheduled for repeal) and Australia’s national greenhouse accounts.  Medium-sized and large landfills report their emissions using calculations that, in almost all cases, assume a default proportional composition.  If a local council reduces the carbon content of its waste below that of the default, it is highly unlikely that this can be recognised by NGERS.

MWMG commissioned Dr Joe Pickin of Blue Environment to examine this problem and canvass potential changes to the NGERS rules to reflect the results of community and council efforts to reduce emissions by diverting organics. More accurate emission data will help to ensure that carbon policy is aligned with waste policy.

The discussion paper is intended to support a submission to the Commonwealth Department of the Environment.

National State of the Assets Report

The National State of the Assets Report was launched this week at the ALGA's 14th National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Alice Springs.

The 2013 report represents the findings from 344 councils, which manage almost $100 billion worth of transport assets, including sealed local roads, unsealed local roads, concrete bridges and timber bridges. Key findings suggest that $8.3 billion in sealed roads are in poor or very poor condition, together with a further $1.9 billion in unsealed roads and $1.4 billion in concrete and timber bridges.

The report builds on research commissioned in 2010 which indicated that the level of expenditure on local roads would need to increase by an average of $1.2 billion per year to avoid deterioration of the network.

Profile of the local government workforce

The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) has released a profile of the local government workforce. The data was established from a survey of the local government workforce undertaken by ACELG earlier in the year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and other sources. The profile highlights the most significant challenges and opportunities for local government and provides data to inform the future development of the national local government workforce. It also includes a summary of some of the key information gathered from the ACELG survey and ABS data.

In preparation for release of the full data report, the ACELG will prepare a series of workforce snapshots and focus pieces, highlighting key issues arising from the survey, and provide a series of briefings and presentations to key stakeholders and the wider sector on the workforce survey outcomes.

For further information contact Melissa Gibbs, Deputy Director, ACELG.

Planning Permit Activity Report available

The 2012/13 Planning Permit Activity Report (PPARs) is now available on the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure website. Highlights include a decrease in the number of permits received by six per cent and a two per cent reduction in the number of applications going to VCAT.

A total of 96 per cent of all applications still result in permit/notice of decision, with the estimated costs of works for permits issued increasing by 9.2 per cent.

Free interpreting services

The federal government, through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National), provides free interpreting services to local councils so they can communicate effectively with their culturally and linguistically diverse residents.

Does your council make full use of this free resource? Find out more about the Free Interpreting Service (note not all local government services are eligible).

In social media news...

  • My Brimbank is a new smartphone app to tap into council news, events and services. Find out more.
  • From the UK - The Local Digital Today report summarises research into council attitudes towards using digital technologies to improve local public services.
  • Google set up a person finder and relief map for Typhoon Haiyan. View it here.
Upcoming MAV events...

19 November

Planning and Economic Development: A critical relationship

27 November

Environmental Policy Forum: Local government's role in whole of water cycle management

5 December

The MAV Mayoral Program

 

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