Issue 1001:                                             Week ending 24 October 2014

MAV State Election newsletter
MAV Annual Conference: update
Environmental Upgrade Agreement Bill: not passed
Electric line clearance regulatory impact statement released
New Chair and Deputy Chair for MAV Technology
Future of Local Government Program: update
New ideas about local leadership
MAV congratulates award winners
Multicultural Arts Forum next week
Garage Sale Trail: this Saturday
Building social cohesion in diverse communities
In social media news...

MAV State Election newsletter

This week we launched our State Election newsletter to keep councils up-to-date with the latest policy announcements from all sides of politics.

The newsletter will be distributed regularly from now until the election.

You can subscribe to the newsletter here. All our State Election materials including our Call to Parties and information on our Enough Pokies campaign are on our website.

MAV Annual Conference: update

An updated program for our annual conference tomorrow is now available.

Included in the update is the list of councillors who will participate in a panel discussion facilitated by Jon Faine, presenter of Mornings on 774 ABC Melbourne.

Councillors on the panel will discuss the topic ‘How do you raise the status of local government in the community’s mind?' The panel includes:

  • Cr Glenn Milne, Mildura Rural City Council
  • Cr Michael Clark, Maribyrnong City Council
  • Cr Barbara Alexander AO, Benalla Rural City Council
  • Cr Felicity Frederico, Bayside City Council.

Our State Council will follow the annual conference on Friday, 24 October, where MAV representatives will vote on 50 motions submitted by member councils. All resolutions will be published on our website next week.

Environmental Upgrade Agreement Bill: not passed

The Local Government Legislation (Environmental Upgrade Agreements) Bill 2014 was introduced into the Victorian Parliament to enable councils across Victoria to offer Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs).

An EUA is an agreement between a council, the owner of a non-residential building and a lending body. Under an EUA, the lending body advances funds to the building owner to finance approved environmental upgrades, and the council levies an environmental upgrade charge, via rates, to recover the funds and repay the lending body. The Bill would have extended the legislative scheme currently applying to the City of Melbourne.

The Bill has not passed through parliament prior to the November election. The Minister for Energy and Resources has announced that if re-elected, the government will reintroduce legislation enabling councils to use EUAs.

Electric line clearance regulatory impact statement released

Energy Safe Victoria has released a regulatory impact statement (RIS) for the Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2015. The RIS outlines three options for the next iteration of the regulations, and proposes to proceed with option two, which includes, amongst other changes: an amended method of specifying minimum clearance distances, an expanded definition of ‘insulated cable’, and mandatory adoption of the Australian Standard for the pruning of amenity trees.

The MAV’s preliminary view is that the proposed regulations are a step in the right direction in terms of achieving a better balance of safety and amenity considerations when managing trees around power lines. We are currently working our way through the RIS and will provide councils with more detail via email.

The deadline to provide feedback to the RIS is 13 January 2015. The MAV will be preparing a submission in consultation with councils.

For further information, contact Claire Dunn.

New Chair and Deputy Chair for MAV Technology

A new Chair and Deputy Chair for MAV Technology were announced last week. The new Chair is Trish Spiteri from Nillumbik Shire Council, and the new Deputy Chair is Michael Smyth from City of Greater Bendigo.

They were elected following nominations by members of the MAV Technology Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee thanks the immediate past Chair, Denis Wilson from Moreland City Council for his outstanding contribution over the past three years. Denis will continue as a member of the committee after standing down as Chair.

For more information contact Lisa Bennetto.

Future of Local Government Program: update

The MAV Future of Local Government Program has established a Strategic Planning Group as well as a Councils of the Future Program to:

  • Identify preferred strategic directions for the sector so it can deliver improved outcomes for Victorian communities in a more sustainable manner in the future, and
  • Identify collaborative opportunities for the sector and its regions.

Currently, the process is identifying those functions suited to a statewide and regional level. Councils will be invited to participate in proof of concept trials for agreed collaborative activities on a common platform.

For further information, contact John Hennessy.

New ideas about local leadership

Boroondara City Council and Swinburne University will hold a forum called ‘What if? Unique ideas from university to community’ on 28 October.

The forum will discuss how local leadership can make a significant contribution to the revitalisation of civic society in Australia. It will discuss some of the new techniques and initiatives that are being taken up here and abroad.

Speaking at the event is Professor John Fien, Executive Director, Swinburne Leadership Institute.

This is a free event, but bookings are essential. It’s at Hawthorn Library, from 7pm-8.30pm. For further information call Boroondara Library Service on 9278 4666.

MAV congratulates award winners

Councils have been kicking goals in the last week, winning a range of awards for different projects. We would like to congratulate all winners and finalists.

PIA Awards of Excellence 2014

  • Moreland City Council: Best Planning Ideas – Small Project for Jewell of Brunswick
  • Moreland City Council: Workplace Award for Harvest Digital Planning’s new residential zones web tool
  • City of Whittlesea: Public Engagement and Community award for Housing Diversity Strategy
  • Warrnambool City Council: Promotion of Planning award for Liebig Streetscape Plan.

Early Years Award winners

  • Swan Hill Rural City Council for its Family Friendly Rooms - supporting transition and belonging
  • City of Ballarat for its Parent Place - a volunteer-led information, resource and drop-in centre
  • Mansfield Shire Council for its Better Communities for Children Leadership Network.

Stormwater National Awards for Excellence

  • Banyule Council won the Excellence in Infrastructure Award for its $6 million Stormwater Harvesting Project.

Multicultural Arts Forum next week

A final reminder that registrations for the annual Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issue Network (VLGMIN) Forum close on 27 October.

The Forum, themed around arts and culture, will be held in Ballarat on 30 October.

Registrations can be made online.

Garage Sale Trail: this Saturday

The annual Garage Sale Trail is back for another year this Saturday 25 October, with more than 17 Victorian councils on board.

The Garage Sale Trail began in 2010 and organises communities around Australia to hold a garage sale on the same day to promote re-use, waste reduction to landfill and positive social interactions among communities.

So far there are 1,044 registered sales in Victoria and more than 2.4 million items listed for reuse.

Building social cohesion in diverse communities

The ACELG has been appointed by the Australian Human Rights Commission to develop an online resource to assist local government to prevent and respond to racism and intercommunity conflict as part of the National Anti-Racism Strategy. They are seeking input from councils regarding initiatives undertaken to foster social cohesion.

The National Anti-Racism Strategy was launched in August 2012. Its aim is to promote a clear understanding in the Australian community of what racism is and how it can be prevented and reduced. The Australian Human Rights Commission is leading implementation of the strategy.

For further information, contact the ACELG.

In social media news...

  • Is government paying enough attention to privacy in its mobile apps?
  • What’s really the difference between Facebook pages, groups and profiles?
  • Facebook introduces ‘safety check’ feature for natural disasters
Upcoming MAV events...

29 October

MAV age-friendly communities and local government national conference

30 October

Victorian local government multicultural issues network forum

30 October

Social Media for Emergency Situations


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