Victorian Waterways Strategy briefing session
The Victorian Government has released a discussion paper to help shape development of a Safe and Accessible Victorian Waterways Strategy. The discussion paper outlines the value, management, safety and accessibility of Victoria’s waterways and was developed with input from local government, the boating and fishing industry, and waterways managers.
The MAV has arranged a session for councils to discuss the paper and its proposals with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. The briefing session will be held on Tuesday 13 December from 10am until noon at the MAV. Register online.
Integrated Water Management Framework for Victoria
The draft Integrated Water Management Framework for Victoria (PDF) has been released for public comment. The Framework links to chapter five of the Victorian Government’s water plan Water for Victoria, and illustrates how undertaking collaborative planning can offer more efficient service delivery while providing multiple benefits to support the achievement of resilient and liveable cities and towns.
Feedback can be provided to firstname.lastname@example.org by 13 January 2016. The MAV will prepare a submission in consultation with councils.
For further information, contact Nicky Kindler.
EPA scheduled premises RIS
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) are reviewing the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations. A regulatory impact statement (RIS) and the proposed 2017 Regulations have been published for consultation. An overview of proposed key changes is available on the EPA website.
Of particular interest to councils may be the proposal to permit transfer stations to temporarily store limited amounts of asbestos for up to 60 days without a works approval or licence. There are also noteworthy changes in relation to e-waste and glass reprocessing.
The deadline for feedback to the RIS and proposed regulations is 16 December. The MAV will make a submission.
For further information, contact Claire Dunn.
Draft Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan released
The Victorian Government has released the draft Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan 2017-2027 for public comment. The draft plan is part of the Government’s commitment to ensure Port Phillip Bay remains healthy and resilient over the coming decade.
Required under the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria), the plan applies to all waters of Port Phillip Bay bounded by the high water mark, a line drawn between Point Lonsdale and Point Nepean and a line across the mouth of the Yarra River.
The deadline for providing feedback to the plan is 10 February 2017. The MAV intends to prepare a submission in consultation with councils.
Community renewable energy projects discussion paper
Thank you to those councils who provided input for the MAV submission (PDF) to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Community renewable energy projects PiLoR and planning issues discussion paper.
The discussion paper focused on three key issues: the definition of community renewable energy projects; the possibility of an alternative payment-in-lieu-of-rates (PiLoR) methodology for community renewable energy projects; and planning arrangements for community wind farms.
It is disappointing that consultation regarding issues of direct relevance and importance to local government was released so close to the council election period. The MAV and councils support a transition away from non-renewable energy sources; and it is our hope and expectation that the State will engage constructively with local government to ensure a smooth transition.
Council ESD Policy opportunity
The Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) is currently facilitating a third round of councils interested in seeking a local ESD Planning Policy amendment.
CASBE’s work to date on this issue has clearly demonstrated that councils can successfully work together to achieve a common goal. Seven councils have had a local ESD Policy gazetted in the past twelve months, with two more policies currently before the Minister, and another two councils with an amendment in process.
CASBE is an association of Victorian councils committed to the creation of a sustainable built environment within and beyond their municipalities.
For further information, contact Natasha Palich.
Port Phillip Bay Fund
Round one of the Port Phillip Bay Fund is now open. The $10 million grants program will support projects that address local and regional priorities to protect the health of Port Phillip Bay and the bay catchment area. Up to $4.5 million is available for single and multi-year projects.
Local government, community groups, non-government organisations and other agencies are eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm, Wednesday 15 February 2017.
Round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund now open
The second round of grants for the $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund (NEJF) is now open. A total of $6 million will be made available, with grants of between $20,000 and $1 million on offer for new energy technology projects that support the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions and assist community groups to develop their own projects.
Applications must be lodged by 1 March 2017. Successful projects from round two will be announced in mid-2017.
Terms of reference have been released by the Australian Government for a review of its climate change policies to commence in February 2017. The review will be led by the Department of Environment and Energy, with a discussion paper to be released in early 2017 seeking public submissions.
The Victorian Government has introduced the Climate Change Bill 2016 into Parliament. The bill seeks to repeal and re-enact with amendments the Climate Change Act 2010, to establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for Victoria, to set out policy objectives and guiding principles, and to provide for climate change planning and reporting.
The Victorian Government has introduced legislation into Parliament to permanently ban fracking in Victoria. If passed, the Resources Legislation Amendment (Fracking Ban) Bill 2016 will permanently ban all onshore unconventional gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and coal seam gas, and extend the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development to 30 June 2020.
Washington Post has published a series of photographs commissioned by National Geographic that show the impacts of climate change.