Funding uncertainty for kindergarten 15 hours
Last week, Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell provided services with an update on Commonwealth funding uncertainty for national preschool reforms in a letter that accompanied the 2014 Kindergarten Funding Guidelines. Minister Lovell outlined that the recent move to 15 hour kindergarten programs was part of a National Partnership Agreement between Australian states and territories and the Commonwealth.
The Agreement is due to expire in December 2014 and, to date, the Commonwealth has made no further commitment towards its five hours of kindergarten funding past this date. This means that the Commonwealth funding towards five hours of kindergarten programs is not confirmed for 2015 and beyond.
The MAV will this week write to the Prime Minister and meet with Minister Lovell to discuss this issue as a matter of urgency. We will stress the importance of long-term funding certainty required for the national 15 hours reforms and outline some of the impacts if the additional five hours funding is not continued. The MAV will also send more formal advice to CEOs, together with information that can be used by councils to raise the issues with Federal and State MPs and your community.
The Commonwealth has indicated that a decision about its future funding arrangements are not likely to be known before the completion of its review in June 2014.
For further information, contact Clare Hargreaves.
MAV’s Strategic Work Plan 2014-15: seeking feedback
The MAV is seeking member feedback about our draft Strategic Work Plan 2014-15. The plan sets out the MAV’s program of work for the coming year.
The strategic planning road show, where councils were encouraged to propose areas for MAV’s focus, concluded in March. The eight sessions were well-attended, averaging 30 participants at each.
In the sessions, there was a strong emphasis on the need to secure ongoing funding for transport and infrastructure. Concerns around the HACC transition, library funding, responsibility-shifting and regional waste management were also prominent.
If you wish to provide feedback about the plan—including any proposed additions or amendments—please email Diana Labiris by COB Thursday 17 April.
The draft plan will be presented at the MAV State Council on 16 May, where members will vote to endorse it.
Last registrations for the MAV Environment Conference
Councillors and council officers have their last opportunity to register for the MAV Environment Conference—local government’s premier environment and sustainability forum.
This year’s conference features a range of expert speakers who will present the latest information on environment and sustainability—where things are at now and where we are heading.
The impressive list of speakers includes Federal Minister for Environment Greg Hunt, Australia’s best-known climate scientist Tim Flannery and Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith.
The program also includes panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities.
The conference will be held from 30 April-1 May at Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Register online or, for further information, contact MAV Events.
MAV Future of Local Government Summit
The MAV Future of Local Government Summit, to be held on May 21-22, will explore the local government reform and innovation agenda at this time of change. The period 2020-25 will see major changes as ‘digital government’ becomes a reality.
Issues to be considered at the summit will include: financial sustainability and “two speed local government”, public sector silos, scaling the digital divide and leading change.
The choices facing local government will be highlighted. Will we continue ‘business as usual’ and accept imposed changes or join the ‘councils of the future’ and work together to identify preferred strategies to transition to new and sustainable business models?
For more details, visit the MAV events website.
VMC seeks members for advisory councils
The Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) is seeking expressions of interest from Victorian council representatives who wish to become members of its Regional Advisory Councils (RACs).
The RACs provide advice to the VMC on settlement, multicultural affairs, service delivery and citizenship issues, advocate on behalf of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and promote the benefits of cultural and religious diversity.
There are vacancies for the current term of the RACs, which expires in February 2015. People who are committed to the future of their regions and who can demonstrate leadership, vision, and the ability to champion regional interests are encouraged to apply.
Information on how to apply and application forms are available on the VMC website, by emailing email@example.com or by calling (03) 9651 0651. Expressions of interest close Monday 21 April.
Austroads releases new guidelines
Austroads, the association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities, has released three new reports and guidelines for speed and road safety.
These are the Model National Guidelines for Setting Speed Limits at High-risk Locations; Reducing Speeds on Rural Roads; and Understanding Run-off-road and Head-on Crashes in Urban Areas.
Councils wishing to learn more about the MAV’s role in road safety are invited to attend the upcoming council Road Safety Officer network meeting on 29 May, or join the new MAV Road Safety and Traffic Yammer page.
For further information, or to access the Yammer page, contact James Cleaver.
Entries open for Heart Foundation Local Government Awards
Entries are now open for the 2014 Heart Foundation Local Government Awards (previously known as the Healthy Community Awards). The awards recognise and showcase council work that is improving heart health by encouraging people to be physically active, smoke-free and to make healthy food choices.
Councils interested in applying for the 2014 awards can register to attend a teleconference to find out more about the awards and the application process. There are two times available: Wednesday 16 April, 11am-12pm (central time) and Thursday 17 April, 2.30pm-3.30pm (central time).
Councils can also download the awards information pack. Entries close on Friday 23 May.
For more information, contact Jenni Lanfear.
Improving cultural diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Last week, the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) launched their “Work Solutions” discussion paper. The paper includes a recommendation that Victorian local government develops inclusive recruitment strategies and targets to increase the employment of people from culturally diverse backgrounds to a minimum of a third of employees within the next 10 years.
The MAV has been working closely with ECCV for some time to address concerns about the number of culturally and linguistically diverse people within the local government workforce. We support greater employment opportunities for those from culturally diverse backgrounds, as well as women and Indigenous people. Councils already have inclusive recruitment strategies designed to ensure fairness and equity to all applicants.
The MAV does not, however, support the idea of quotas or targets. Councils’ recruitment decisions should always be based on merit—not targets for a particular group within the community.
Grants Network Victoria Conference 2014
The Grants Network Victoria Conference 2014 provides an opportunity to learn more about the Victorian Government’s review of all grant programs, as well as the latest from the Australian Government.
Find out what makes a strong grant application and hear about the Commonwealth’s plan for their new Stronger Regions Program and strategies for local government to partner with philanthropic organisations.
For further details, including booking information and ticket prices, see the conference program or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register online before April 23 to be eligible for an early-bird discount.
Get the latest Anzac Centenary news
The Victorian Government has launched the Anzac Centenary blog—a dynamic space for informing Victorians about all things Anzac Centenary. Head to the blog, Facebook or Twitter to keep up-to-date with the latest news.
A new email bulletin will also be launched soon—subscribe via the website to get the first bulletin, including a full run-down of Anzac Day 2014.
Council communications staff have also been sent a range of resources to help inform communities about Anzac Centenary activities. These materials include imagery, web banners, news items and a poster. Councils can also download Anzac Centenary branding files and guidelines from the Anzac Centenary website.
Motorist organisations propose new funding model for infrastructure
A new report, jointly released by Australian motorist organisations, including the RACV and Australian Automobile Association, urges the federal and state governments to embrace reform of the funding and charging for transport to improve the capacity and safety of the country's transit networks.
The report identifies three barriers to better transport infrastructure: the revenue model is unsustainable, the pricing model lacks transparency and does not support efficient use of the network and the investment priorities are poorly aligned with the needs of network users.
The new report is consistent with the MAV’s Transport Position Paper’s strategic priority that states that the government must investigate new funding models for long-term transport infrastructure investment.
For further information on the MAV's Transport Position Paper and collaborations with RACV, please contact James Cleaver.
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