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Municipal Association of Victoria


All your local government news this week

Issue 1070: 31 March 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • Royal Commission: This week the State Government released the Royal Commission’s report into Family Violence. The report includes 227 recommendations which the government has committed to implementing. Further information on the recommendations' impact on local government is included below.
  • Rate capping: Our submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into rate capping is being finalised this week to meet the 1 April deadline. The submission focuses on the key issues councils have faced when developing 2016-17 budgets under the rate capping policy, including decisions made to reduce services or infrastructure expenditure and the likely future implications of the policy. A copy of our submission will be made available shortly.
  • McArthur Fellowship: The MAV would like to congratulate Corangamite Shire Councillor Peter Harkin for being awarded this year’s McArthur Local Government Fellowship. Cr Harkin will use the $12,000 scholarship to travel to Ireland and the UK to learn more about ways to extend the flow-on effects of tourism from the 12 Apostles to other local areas to generate greater business and revenue for Corangamite. Cr Harkin will present his findings at the MAV Annual Conference in September.
The MAV welcomes the release of the Royal Commission into Family Violence report and its 227 recommendations. The report has a strong integration focus for improved family violence system responses throughout the legal, policy and practice domains.

It recommends development of a 10-year statewide Family Violence Action Plan, with a priority to develop a prevention strategy over the next 12 months, aligned to the government’s proposed Gender Equality Strategy.

The Commission is also seeking an amendment to either the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 or the Local Government Act 1989 to require councils to report on measures they propose to undertake with communities to prevent family violence and respond to the needs of victims.

The MAV will keep councils updated with opportunities to work in partnership with the State and the family violence sector to contribute expertise to help implement this long-term cultural change agenda, and to discuss the specific implications for local government.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) recently released Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2036 for consultation. The draft strategy is a 20-year plan for stopping the decline of Victoria’s biodiversity. Submissions are sought by 15 May and the MAV will be making a submission.

DELWP has also released a related consultation paper on the Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations. The paper sets out the issues identified by a range of stakeholders with the current planning provisions and makes 29 improvement suggestions. The MAV will also be making a submission which will be informed by a survey.

We have arranged a local government briefing and workshop on both documents. The briefing is on 7 April, at the MAV office, Level 12, 60 Collins Street from 10am-1pm. Registrations can be made online. DELWP will be holding regional consultation sessions for both of these projects, with further details to be available shortly.

For further information, contact Michelle Croughan on 9667 5541.

The MAV has developed a submission to the Infrastructure Victoria discussion paper Laying the Foundations, which incorporates feedback received from members and comments on our draft submission.

This first round of consultation is one of three that Infrastructure Victoria will host in 2016 to inform its 30-year infrastructure strategy. The strategy will outline short, medium and long-term infrastructure needs and priorities for Victoria. It will include a pipeline of projects to provide guidance to government and the community, and allow the private sector to plan and make future investment decisions.

The MAV is currently in discussion with Infrastructure Victoria to ensure future consultation periods better align with local government processes.

For further information, contact Kevin Peachey on 96675529. 

The remade Road Management Regulations 2016 have now commenced. Following consultation with the local government sector, the MAV supports the remade regulations.

The content of the regulations is largely unchanged and does not appear to create additional new obligations for the sector.

The most important change in the regulations is the simplification of the process for amending Road Management Plans by removing the requirement to consult in anticipation of a RMP being amended, which reduces unnecessary and time consuming consultation which rarely produces feedback.


MAV Procurement workshop

There is still time to register for our MAV Procurement Spend Analysis Essentials for Savings, Efficiencies, Compliance and Collaboration course on 4 April.

The course will cover category, supplier, compliance and probity reviews, and savings and contracting opportunities.

It will run from 9am-5pm at the MAV Office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne. Registrations can be made online.


Understanding Local Government

This MAV workshop on 28 April helps new and longstanding council staff to understand local government, its role, responsibilities and history.

The program will cover topics including how councils are structured, funded and governed, the role of the administration, and issues of governance.

It will run from 9am-4.15pm at the MAV Office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne. Registrations can be made online.

  • Round 2 of the Stronger Communities Programme is open for applications. Grants of $5,000-$20,000 are available for projects that build capacity in communities. Applicants are required to confirm matched funding in cash and/or in-kind on at least a dollar-for-dollar basis. Applications close on 29 April.
  • The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has announced a new round of funding as part of its Local Prevention Grants Program. Projects will be funded from June 2016 to June 2017, with up to $900,000 in total funding available. The foundation has a preference to fund projects that will be delivered in regional Victoria or outer metropolitan Melbourne. Submissions close on 15 April.
  • The State Government has announced new kindergarten grants to upgrade facilities and to improve kinder services. The grants range from $1,500- $25,000. Applications close on 16 May.

Local government CEO roundtable

The MAV Future of Local Government Program is conducting a free monthly CEO luncheon conversation to discuss topics of relevance to councils in preparation for the next four-year council plans. Each luncheon will have a guest speaker.

The first luncheon is on 15 April from 1pm-2.45pm at the MAV office, Level 12, 60 Collins Street. Ian Mann of CT Management will lead a discussion on how to succeed in a difficult environment, which will cover strategic and service planning and funding opportunities.

Places are limited and attendees must be council CEOs (or a nominated director). To attend the April luncheon please email John Hennessy. Details of future luncheons will be updated on a monthly basis.

Changes to VCAT application forms

VCAT is updating its planning and environment application forms from 4 April following feedback from planning practitioners and local government.

Permit applicants for review will no longer have to provide a list of people who lodged objections with the council. A permit applicant applying for review now simply has to advise VCAT whether notice was given under section 52 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Further details are available online.

  • The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office has released a report into Local Government Service Delivery: Recreational Facilities.
  • LG Professionals Australia commissioned a research paper to provide a technical, non-partisan perspective on the value proposition for local government in the future of Australian governance.
  • Community Indicators Victoria has recently developed new Neighbourhood Liveability Profiles. These profiles provide small area neighbourhood-level data visualisation of liveability topics based on the rigour of existing CIV indicators.

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