This week's local government news.
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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1119: 30 March 2017
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Strategic priorities
  • Rate cap exemption: Council applications for a rate cap exemption are due by 31 May. The ESC will notify councils of its decision within two months of receiving the application, in time for councils to formally adopt their budgets by the end of August.
  • End the Freeze Thunderclap: Councils are encouraged to join ALGA’s End the Freeze ‘Thunderclap’ to promote the campaign for indexation of Financial Assistance Grants to be restored. The Thunderclap will post the same approved message to all participating social media accounts at 11am on 21 April. To take part, councils need to join the campaign via their social media accounts before that date.
  • FAGs indexation in Parliament: The MAV congratulates Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan for bringing Financial Assistance Grants indexation to the attention of the Federal Parliament today. The MAV worked with Ms McGowan’s office to provide the estimated financial impact on councils in 2016/17. A notice of motion calling on the Federal Government to honour its promise and restore indexation appeared on page five of today’s notice paper.

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Last week the MAV attended the launch of new translated Maternal and Child Health resources for Victorian parents.

It is the first time this information will be available in Arabic, Burmese, Chin (Hakha), Chinese (Mandarin) Dari, Persian, Karen, Khmer, Punjabi and Vietnamese.

Minister Mikakos launched the translated health promotion and safety information at the Elm Grove Maternal and Child Health Centre in Coburg.

The resources are available in printed hard copy from MCH centres and online.

Minister Mikakos (centre) pictured above with Moreland City Council CEO Nerina Di Lorenzo (left) and Mayor Cr Helen Davidson (right).

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Changes to the Residential Zones were gazetted by the State Government on 27 March. Changes affect the Mixed Use Zone (MUZ), Township Zone (TZ), Residential Growth Zone (RGZ), General Residential Zone (GRZ) and Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ).

The most substantive changes are to the GRZ and NRZ, which will see mandatory height and storey limits as well as mandatory requirements for minimum garden areas.

The changes will not apply where buildings have been constructed before the gazettal date, planning permits have been lodged before the gazettal date, or substantial progress has been made on construction which did not require a planning permit.

Where existing schedules to a zone apply, the height limits in those schedules will apply. Where an overlay applies a lower height limit, the lower limit will apply. Where an overlay or local provision previously permitted a higher height limit, the new lower limit found in the zones will apply.

Information from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning can be found online, while the full text of the new zones can be found via Planning Schemes Online.

For more information, contact Michelle Croughan or Emlyn Breese.

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Councils have been notified that the MAV State Council Meeting will be held on Friday 12 May in Melbourne, with all motions due to be submitted to the CEO by no later than 14 April.

Early motions received by 6 April will be distributed to MAV Representatives on 7 April.

Motions should be submitted via email using the State Council Motion template. Submitters may amend their motions up to three weeks before the State Council meeting by emailing the amended motions no later than 21 April.

The business papers for State Council will be emailed to MAV Representatives on Friday 28 April.  

If the MAV Representative or substitute is unable to attend, your council may appoint another councillor to attend the meeting and vote. In order for the councillor representative to be entitled to vote, the Nomination of a Substitute Form must be completed and forwarded to the MAV prior to the State Council Meeting.

Please register your attendance online. For further information, contact Olivia Boddeus on (03) 9667 5528.

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Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) is seeking feedback on its Resilient Recovery Discussion Paper to help inform system-wide emergency relief and recovery reform.

The Discussion Paper proposes a new delivery model based on five pillars or elements – wellbeing, liveability, sustainability, viability and community connections.

The paper asks for stakeholder’s views on these elements and asks how policy and programs, governance arrangements and accountabilities, capability and capacity and funding and investment can be improved.

Under Victoria’s current arrangements, councils lead relief and recovery at the local level, so it’s important that councils consider the proposal and provide input if they have capacity.

The MAV’s emergency management team has been discussing the proposal with councils and is currently drafting a submission for circulation to members early next week.

Submissions are due to EMV by 13 April.

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MAV Procurement training

The next course in the MAV Procurement Contract Management and Excellence Series is ‘Evaluation, Supplier Selection and Contract Establishment’ on Thursday 27 April.

This one-day course supports supplier selection and evaluation techniques aligned to probity and value for money.

Learn key tips on setting up evaluation criteria for the quotation and tender stage, to ensure the right supplier is selected.

Designed for staff either currently involved in quotation/tender evaluations or about to do so, participants will come away with practical skills applicable in the local government context.

More details and registration are available online. For further information, contact Zara Ahmed.

Understanding local government

The MAV’s Understanding Local Government Workshops are being held in April, June and September.

The program assists council employees to develop a deeper understanding of local government's functions, roles, responsibilities, history and relevant legislation.

It examines the local government sector in relationship to federal and state government systems, and explains and introduces participants to council funding, structures and governance.

Through the interactive discussion and activity based session, participants are provided with the opportunity to enhance their understanding and awareness of the role of local government in community.

This workshop is suitable for all council employees.

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  • Bridge renewal: The third round of the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Programme is open to support upgrades and repairs bridges to enhance access for local communities and facilitate higher productivity vehicle access. The Federal Government will contribute up to 50 per cent of the total project cost to successful projects. Applications for round three of funding close on 15 May.
  • Early years awards: Applications are open for the 2017 Victorian Early Years Awards. The awards, now in their 11th year, recognise the crucial work early childhood professionals do to make a difference to the lives of Victorian children and families. Winners in each category will receive between $10,000 and $15,000 to go towards enhancing their work.
  • Men’s Sheds: Grants of up to $60,000 are available for communities to build a new Men’s Shed, or up to $30,000 to refurbish an existing one. Community groups and local councils are encouraged to apply, and a public information session will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday 11 April. See the Men’s Shed Grant Guidelines for more information about the grants and for details of the information session (page 10), or contact Daniel Pennefather at DHHS.

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Local Government Diploma

The MAV is calling for expressions of interest from councillors to participate in future intakes of the Diploma of Local Government.

It is a nationally-recognised qualification that has been developed as a result of extensive research and consultation with councillors and the local government sector. 

The program is designed to cover the wide range of competencies and skills required in the day to day work of councillors.

To express your interest, contact Julie Saylor-Briggs (03) 9667 5549.

Climate Change review

The Federal Government has released a discussion paper for public consultation as part of its review of climate change policies.

This follows the government’s commitment to review its climate change policies when it set Australia’s target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Submissions to the discussion paper are open until 5 May. The review will conclude by the end of 2017.

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  • Deputy Mayor of Frankston City Council, Cr Steve Toms, has been elected new President of the Association of Bayside Municipalities, with Cr Tim Baxter, from the City of Port Phillip, elected Vice-President. Cr Toms said he is looking forward to showcasing the role of local government in managing and protecting Port Phillip Bay and working closely with the State Government and agencies to ensure councils are supported in their role.
  • Expressions of interest for board vacancies on Victoria’s water corporations and Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) are open until 3 April. The State is also looking to appoint the first Aboriginal Commissioner for the Victorian Environment Water Holder, with applications open until 10 April.
  • Music Victoria has released its inaugural Top 10 Victorian Councils for Music list: Ballarat, Darebin, Greater Geelong, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra. Music Victoria has acknowledged the effort of these councils in striving to ensure that live music and the arts is well-represented in their area.
  • The Resilient Melbourne Citymart Challenge has been launched, inviting problem solvers, entrepreneurs, technology developers, artists and creative thinkers to use their innovative ideas to tackle some of Melbourne’s most pressing challenges. Entries close 23 June.

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Social media and tech news...

In social media

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