MAV key dates for 2015
Key event dates for the MAV in 2015 have been released, with a lot of new forums and workshops, along with some familiar favourites.
Events to kick off the year include Smart Urban Futures on 25 -26 March and our Metro Forum on 9 April.
Our first State Council for 2015 will be held on 15 May, followed by our Rural and Regional Planning Conference on 25-26 June.
A full list of events and dates are available online.
Early years capital information
Last week the MAV sent a brief survey to all councils about early years capital information so that we can continue to advocate for government funding on councils' behalf.
This information will better inform us so that we can progress a planned approach to early years capital investment with the new State Government.
We were pleased that prior to the election Labor committed to $50 million for kindergarten infrastructure, which we hope to build on.
Responses should be sent to Jan Barrett by 22 December.
Federalism White Paper Review
The MAV has recently met with the state and territory associations and the Australian Local Government Association to develop a national position on the review of Federation, the review of Taxation, and cuts to Financial Assistance Grants arising from the 2014-15 Commonwealth Budget.
The meeting agreed that the ALGA and state associations will develop a national campaign to raise the profile of Financial Assistance Grants and provide greater recognition to the Commonwealth for its funding package.
The Finance and Rate Capping Taskforce have recently been briefed by the ALGA on the Commonwealth political context and the major policy challenges facing local government.
The Taskforce were encouraged by the ALGA to make submissions to the Federation review process, and reiterate the sector’s support for the continuation of a direct relationship between local and Commonwealth government. The Taskforce is guiding the MAV’s contribution to the Federation review and councils can raise priority issues with Taskforce members or directly with the MAV via Owen Harvey-Beavis for inclusion within the MAV’s response.
New State Departments
The new Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a reshuffle of State Departments.
There will be a reduction in the number of government departments from nine to seven, effective 1 January 2015.
The Local Government portfolio will come under the new Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. This Department also includes the Environment, Climate Change and Water portfolios.
Other notable changes include a new super Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources which includes Public Transport, Agriculture, Creative Industries, Employment, Energy and Resources, Industry, Ports, Regional Development, Roads and Road Safety, Small Business, Innovation and Trade, and Tourism and Major Events (including major sporting events).
A new Department of Education and Training will incorporate Education, Training and Skills, and Families and Children (in respect of children and early years responsibilities).
Work Inspiration program: survey
The Smith Family is calling on councils to participate in an obligation free survey, to see if a Work Inspiration program could be useful to run for youth in local communities.
Work Inspiration is a business-led initiative that provides young people with opportunities to experience the world of work first-hand in a meaningful and inspiring way. More than just work experience, Work Inspiration provides a way for employers to play a valuable role in shaping their future workforce – and the next generation of Australian workers.
You do not need to have run or participated in a Work Inspiration program previously to be able to complete the survey.
For further information, contact Stephanie Brincat.
Changes to wireless microphones
Councils should be aware of Federal Government changes to a radio frequency used regularly by councils and community groups who operate wireless microphones.
From 1 January 2015, spectrum located in the 694-820 megahertz (MHz) frequency range will be used solely to provide 4G mobile broadband services. It will be illegal to operate wireless microphones and other audio devices in that frequency range because they may cause or receive interference to and from the mobile broadband service.
It is likely that there are many individuals and organisations that live and work in your community that use wireless microphones and other audio devices on a day-to-day basis.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority wants to ensure that all community groups and businesses understand the change, and know what they should do to prepare. Further information is available online.
Victorians embrace cultural diversity but more work needed
VicHealth has released a report called Victorians’ Attitudes to Race and Cultural Diversity outlining its research findings from a survey.
It shows that 78 per cent of Victorians are in favour of cultural diversity, however, 40 per cent of survey respondents could identify at least one group they believe does not ‘fit into Australian society’.
The findings were released at a joint MAV-VicHealth forum called Leading and Embracing Diversity: Strategies to Reduce Race-based Discrimination at Melbourne’s Arts Centre. The forum featured a panel discussion with representatives from Adult Multicultural Education Services, beyondblue, the Centre for Multicultural Youth, and the Scanlon Foundation.
Also released at this forum was a summary report of the Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) pilot program, developed by the MAV and VicHealth. The LEAD program developed and tested solutions for reducing race-based discrimination and promoting cultural diversity in two Victorian municipalities – Greater Shepparton and the City of Whittlesea.
Television and computer recycling review
The Department of Environment has released a consultation paper for its review of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS).
Under the NTCRS, the television and computer industries are required to fund collection and recycling of a proportion of televisions and computers disposed of in Australia each year. In 2014–15 industry is required to recycle 35 per cent of waste televisions and computers, while state, territory and local government are responsible for 65 per cent of television and computer waste.
The review will consider the need to adjust the scheme’s operational settings in order to ensure it is able to deliver its outcomes sustainably and efficiently.
The MAV will be providing input into ALGA’s response to the review. Submissions are due by 6 February 2015. For further information, contact Claire Dunn.
Nominations for PLA Awards open
Nominations for the Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) Awards of Excellence are now open.
The awards showcase the excellent work of parks and leisure professionals who deliver enormous benefit to our communities, and recognise outstanding performance by both organisations and individuals contributing to the sector.
There are nine organisational awards, plus three individual awards.
Award applications close on 16 March and winners will be announced in their respective states between April and June, earning the opportunity to present as national finalists at next year’s annual National Conference in Sydney from October 25-28.
2015 AFC Asian Cup offer
Councils have the opportunity to encourage community sporting groups to attend the AFC Asian Cup at a heavily discounted price.
Community groups can purchase a ticket to the Quarter Final 1 game on Thursday 22 January and receive 50 per cent off the final Group D game between Japan v Jordan on Tuesday 20 January.
The event organisers have circulated further details directly to all councils. This offer ends on 15 December.
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