New ministry announced
Victorians have voted for a change of government and we congratulate the new Premier, Daniel Andrews and his team.
Natalie Hutchins, member for Sydenham, will take on the role of Local Government Minister.
Key portfolios of interest to local government include planning (Richard Wynne MP), public transport (Jacinta Allen MP), regional development (Jaala Pulford MP), roads (Luke Donnellan MP), families and children (Jenny Mikakos MP), environment, climate change and water (Lisa Neville MP) and in an Australian first, prevention of family violence (Fiona Richardson MP).
Matthew Guy has been announced as the leader of the Victorian Liberal Party, while Peter Walsh was announced the Victorian Nationals leader.
Commitments from new Labor Government
It was pleasing to last week receive a response to our Call to Parties from Victorian Labor, which is published on our state election campaign page. Their response provides a strong basis for ongoing discussion, negotiation and advocacy with the new government. A priority will be to secure a commitment from the Premier that the recently signed Victorian State-Local Government Agreement will be honoured.
We will seek a meeting with the Local Government Minister, Natalie Hutchins, to discuss Labor’s rate capping policy as a matter of urgency.
Our Finance and Rate Capping Taskforce has endorsed the MAV’s proposal to commission work by a top tier consultancy on constructing an independent local government cost index to reinforce that CPI has no bearing on the changes to councils’ underlying costs.
Vale Lynne Kosky
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Lynne Kosky, former Footscray councillor and mayor, and former Labor minister.
Ms Kosky passed away this week, after a long illness, aged 56.
She was elected to the Footscray Council for four years from 1986 and, later, became mayor. She also held senior ministerial positions in the Bracks and Brumby Labor government.
2015 MAV strategic plan consultations
Our 2015 consultation sessions will take place in February and early March to gain councils’ input into common strategic priorities that members would like the MAV to focus on in our 2015-16 annual work plan. Eight sessions have been scheduled across the state:
- Rural North Central region, 2 February, 12.30 – 2.30pm, City of Greater Bendigo, Reception Room, Council Offices
- Rural South West region, 5 February, 12 noon – 3.00pm, Warrnambool City Council, Reception Room, 25 Liebig St
- Gippsland region, 13 February, 2.00 – 4.00pm, Bass Coast Shire Council, 76 McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi
- Rural South Central region, 16 February, 10.30am – 12.30pm, Golden Plains Shire, The Hall, Bannockburn Cultural Centre
- Metro Melbourne regions, 24 February, 6.00 – 8.00pm, MAV offices, Meeting room 1201, 60 Collins St Melbourne
- Metro Melbourne regions, 26 February, 2.00 – 4.00pm, MAV offices, Meeting room 1201, 60 Collins St Melbourne
- Rural North West region, 27 February, 1.00 – 3.00pm, Horsham Rural City Council, Roberts Avenue
- Rural North East region, 5 March, 10.00am – 12 noon, Wangaratta Rural City Council, Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre
To RSVP or for more details about our strategic plan consultation sessions contact Gavin Mahoney at the MAV.
Victorian Local Government Enablement Platform – Proof of Concept
This week the MAV invited all councils to participate in a six-month proof of concept to test the viability of a Victorian Local Government Cloud Enablement Platform.
The trial will include benchmarking of benefits in the provision of internet services, email services, collaborative data storage, security standards and shared applications. Technology has been identified as a key enabler to improving service delivery efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing collaboration and innovation across the sector.
A briefing session for interested councils will be held on 4 February 2015 from 10.30am to 1pm at MAV, level 11, 60 Collins St, Melbourne to discuss the proof of concept process and answer council queries.
Attendance needs to be confirmed by emailing Cameron Spence. Councils wishing to express interest in the trial or wanting more information should also contact Cameron Spence on 9667 5554 by 15 February 2015.
Tree clearance around powerlines
On 13 October Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) released the regulatory impact statement (RIS) for the Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2015. An exposure draft of the 2015 regulations is included as an appendix to the RIS.
The MAV has now circulated our draft submission in response to the RIS and draft regulations to all councils. The submission was informed by feedback provided by councils at a session with ESV on 20 November. The session was attended by approximately 70 council officers.
The deadline to provide feedback to the MAV draft submission is 7 January 2015. We also encourage councils to make their own submissions to ESV by the closing date of 13 January 2015.
For further information, contact Claire Dunn.
Social media for rural and regional councils
Early next year we are holding a social media workshop for rural and regional councils on 19 February.
This workshop will explore how social media resources can be leveraged by regional councils to communicate – even with offline stakeholders. The workshop will include how to identify key policy issues, risks and opportunities, incorporating social media tools into your engagement strategies, and learning how to deal with, or head-off, online criticism.
It is suitable for any local government employee whose role involves communication or community engagement. A similar session was held in August this year which received a lot of positive feedback. A laptop or tablet is required to participate in this session.
Registrations can be made online.
Sector conversation on planning and building enforcement
Registrations close on 8 December for our world café style forum about planning and building enforcement
The purpose of the event is to give councils the opportunity to understand different approaches being taken, including multi-disciplinary responses and specific issue campaigns.
Seven councils have been invited to host and facilitate discussions on their particular theme. The host will give a 10 minute presentation, and then each group will have 20 minutes to talk, ask questions of the host, and each other.
It’s on Wednesday 10 December from 10am-12.30pm at the MAV.
NBN Co has announced a new national rollout plan revealing the next suburbs and towns that will receive the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The rollout plan includes, for the first time, fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology, in line with the Federal Government's NBN policy.
A full list of the rollout is available online.
Register for National Close the Gap Day
Councils can join more than 200,000 Australian's of all ages and backgrounds who are supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality by registering for National Close the Gap Day, on 19 March, 2015.
Councils can host an activity to help raise awareness, and to take action in support of health equality by 2030.
Registrations can be made online.
Monash Council wins crime prevention award
The MAV would like to congratulate Monash Council for winning a prestigious Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award for its ground-breaking Milk Bar Network Exchange program.
The program aims to prevent crime and to support vulnerable milk bar operators. The council developed a Monash Milk Bar Network Exchange after it met with 44 local milk bar operators to discuss issues they were experiencing as predominately solo business operators.
As part of the six-month project, 32 of the 44 milk bar operators in Monash took part in three meetings where they received tips on crime prevention for small businesses and other safety information from Victoria Police, the council and community services.
In social media news...