Issue 967:                                                      Week ending 28 February 2014

Strategic planning update
Writing for the web workshop
MAV submission on the Water Bill exposure draft
National General Assembly of Local Government
How Patchwork is progressing…
Citizenship ceremonies review
National Day of Action Against Bullying
Asset Management Conference
National Heavy Vehicle turnaround
Women in parliament

MAV Environment Conference
In social media news...

Strategic planning update

The MAV’s strategic planning road show is currently underway. The road show allows members to provide input to our strategic work plan for the 2014-15 year.

In the sessions to date, there has been a strong emphasis on the need to secure ongoing funding for capital works. Concerns around the new regional waste management model and fire services levy have also been prominent.

This feedback will inform the MAV’s planning, and advocacy leading up to the state election.

Following the road show, our draft strategic plan will be circulated to councils for input in April, before being presented for endorsement at State Council on 16 May.

Remaining sessions include Melbourne (two sessions, 26 Feb), Yarriambiack (28 Feb), Geelong (3 Mar), and Bendigo (12 Mar).

Writing for the web workshop

The MAV is hosting a writing for the web workshop to be held on 31 March at our Collins St office.

Writing for the web is different to writing for print. In this workshop, you will learn content development techniques for online reading habits.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Write, edit and present better web content
  • Make it easier for people to find your information
  • Lay out scannable content.

The full-day workshop is suited to council staff who write, edit or manage content for the web.

Participants will also gain an understanding of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and design considerations for people with disabilities, particularly useful given all government websites and online documentation must meet Level AA of these guidelines by December 2014.

The workshop costs $275 and includes lunch and refreshments. RSVP by 10 March.

MAV submission on the Water Bill exposure draft

The MAV submission on the Water Bill exposure draft is now published.

The Victorian Government released the Water Bill Exposure Draft in late 2013, and held a series of forums around Victoria between 29 January-7 February.

A short time frame was also provided where the government would accept submissions. The time frame prevented the MAV from conducting standard consultation with members and the MAV Board during preparation of our submission.

The basis for issues raised in our submission includes discussions during the forums, council feedback to the MAV, and issues identified during the 14 months since the review was initiated in 2012.

The submission is consistent with earlier MAV communication to councils, including MAV Board updates, emails to council CEOs, the MAV Bulletin and the MAV Insurance Bulletin.

The MAV has scheduled a meeting with representatives from the Office of Living Victoria to reinforce the issues raised in our submission and to discuss next steps. For further information, contact James Cleaver.

National General Assembly of Local Government

The 2014 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) will be held on 15-18 June in Canberra.

The NGA is an opportunity for local government to identify and discuss issues which it believes should be addressed by the new Australian Government.

Every council has the opportunity to raise relevant issues for debate at the NGA and is invited to participate by submitting a motion for consideration.

The guidelines for motions eligibility and the background paper Getting Down to Business are provided to assist councils in developing their motions.

All motions will need to be submitted electronically before Thursday 17 April.

How Patchwork is progressing…

The MAV’s Patchwork Pilot Project was launched last July with five councils volunteering to take part. Initially the councils loaded 100 clients and connected with 44 different organisations. This established a network of over 100 front line workers.

So far, more than 100 different organisations have signed up ranging from local government, state departments and non-government organisations. On top of this, Patchwork has over 350 clients, and 250 workers.

The project has received endorsement from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) and we are currently planning the roll out to those staff that would benefit from access to Patchwork.

The MAV will hold two Patchwork introductory and networking sessions on 3 April and 30 April.

Citizenship ceremonies review

The MAV will prepare a submission to a review of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code and wants input from councils.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection is seeking feedback from councils who use the code to conduct citizenship ceremonies.

The focus of the review is on guidance and assistance that the content of the code provides to organisations such as councils.

Responses should focus on whether the code meets the needs of your council in delivering and conducting citizenship ceremonies.

Input to our submission is due by 7 March, alternatively councils have the option to send feedback directly to the Immigration Department via email by 21 March.

National Day of Action Against Bullying

The National Day of Action Against Bullying (NDAB) is on 21 March and the Bully Zero Australia Foundation is running a range of events that communities, businesses and schools can get involved in.

As part the NDAB, Bully Zero is seeking the support of organisations to register and receive promotional merchandise packs to be offered to your staff or the general public for a small donation.

Councils can also get involved by joining a 48 hour digital detox.

The Bully Zero Australia Foundation was established in March 2013 to protect and empower Australian children and adolescents to live a fulfilling life free from all forms of bullying.

Asset Management Conference

The MAV is hosting the 2014 National Local Government Infrastructure and Asset Management Conference on 7-8 May at the Rydges Melbourne Hotel.

It will focus on the following themes:

  • The planned road and bridge funding revolution and implications for councils: the challenge of change
  • Improving the financial sustainability of councils via better ways of doing business
  • Good practice case studies in a variety of areas including service planning
  • Strengthening leadership and influence to deliver real results.

Registrations close on 5 May.

For further information, contact John Hennessy.

National Heavy Vehicle turnaround

The new arrangements under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) came into operation on 10 February, with councils needing to give consent to the regulator for access to local roads.

Unfortunately since this date, the new system has had a number of problems and is not working well under pressure.

To provide a ‘quick fix’ to the situation, the MAV and VicRoads proposed that for three months all permit applications from over-dimensional, over-mass vehicles (cranes, concrete pumpers) requiring a rapid turnaround, go to VicRoads, who will assess the proposed route and contact relevant councils if they feel there a need to do so.

This approach was announced by Minister Mulder last week.

For further information, contact John Hennessy.

Women in parliament

A new study released from the Parliamentary Library in Canberra shows the number of women in Australian and state parliaments has doubled since the last study done in 1996.

The updated research paper Women parliamentarians in Australia 1921–2013, shows there was 664 women in parliament in December, up from 303 in 1996.

These statistics provide interesting reading for those following the increasing number of women in senior decision-making roles in Australia’s governing institutions.

As these changes are flowing through national and state parliaments, the challenge for local government is ensuring activities reflect and accommodate greater participation of women as councillors and senior managers.

Currently, only 34 per cent of councillors are women, despite women comprising 50 per cent of the population.

The Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter section on our website has a range of materials with suggestions about ways local government can increase participation of women in senior decision-making.

MAV Environment Conference

Another two great speakers have been locked in to appear at the MAV Environment Conference.

Karl Braganza is the Manager of Climate Monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology's National Climate Centre. The Climate Monitoring section prepares and analyses Australia's instrumental climate record and is also responsible for the official reporting of observed climate variability and change in Australia.

Stan Krpan is the Chief Executive Officer of Sustainability Victoria, the state agency charged with leading integrated waste management and resource efficiency in Victoria. He is one of Victoria's leading regulatory practitioners and has held senior executive roles in government, including the Acting Executive Director of WorkSafe Victoria.

The conference is being held on Wednesday 30 April and Thursday 1 May at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Registrations are now open.

In social media news...

  • Discover the 70 Victorian Government departments and agencies using Mobile Apps. Find out more.
  • Gallery: 25 clever Twitter keyboard shortcuts. Learn more.
  • LinkedIn shows who visits your profile - and then some. Read more here.
Upcoming MAV events...

4 March

The Company Directors Course

13 March

Managing contracts in local government

26 - 27 March

Smart Urban Futures


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