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Municipal Association of Victoria

BULLETIN

All your local government news this week

Issue 1082: 24 June 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • National General Assembly: This week the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) launched its 17th State of the Regions Report at the National General Assembly (NGA). The report provides evidence showing the association between income inequality at a regional level and economic growth on a national level. Both the Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, Paul Fletcher, and Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Julie Collins presented at the NGA. The ALGA also welcomed a commitment by Labor to reintroduce indexation to Financial Assistance Grants in 2017.
  • NSW plebescite promise: The Labor Party has announced, if elected, it will set aside funding for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to undertake council plebiscites across NSW to give citizens a say in who governs them at the local level. The AEC would be engaged by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to arrange ballots on behalf of councils, or councils that have now been abolished through the forced amalgamation process that want to hold a plebiscite.
  • Rome's first female mayor: In a move for gender equality, Rome has elected its first female mayor. Virginia Raggi received two-thirds of the votes in last week’s election. According to the ABC, Ms Raggi has said she will restore legality and transparency to the city’s institutions after 20 years of poor governance.
The MAV is inviting councils to submit an online application for new funding through the Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women (LG PVAW) Grants program.

The State Government-funded program is managed by the MAV. The program aims to increase the capacity and capability of Victorian councils to engage and lead community action for the prevention of violence against women, and embed principles of gender equality.

Councils can apply for a share of the $345,000 funding pool to implement new initiatives, or build on and expand existing programs, which must commence no later than September 2016 and be completed by mid-April 2017.

Applications close on 29 July.

Councils have been sent our draft submission to the Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, due for feedback by 28 June.

The submission has been informed by a workshop held with senior emergency management staff, and our position paper on the role of local government in emergency management.

We also encourage councils to make individual submissions to Emergency Management Victoria.

Feedback can be sent to Gareth Hately.

The Victorian Greens has introduced a Bill into Parliament to amend the Environment Protection Act 1970 to restrict the supply and sale of plastic bags and plastic and polystyrene packaging, and to prohibit the supply and sale of plastic microbeads.

The Bill seeks to introduce a number of obligations on retailers, including a prohibition on the sale or supply of certain plastic bags, and a prohibition on the sale, supply or provision of perishable fruit or vegetables in restricted packaging.

The MAV supports the establishment and implementation of controls over the distribution of lightweight plastic shopping bags by Victorian retailers.

Councils have until 30 June to submit entries for this year's $10,000 Innovation Fellowship and the MAV Technology Awards for Excellence.

Award winners will be announced during the MAV Technology National Conference on 10-11 August.

Projects need to positively impact council business priorities in economic development; community services; governance and corporate services; planning and infrastructure; or environmental sustainability.

Submission selection criteria and details of how to enter the Awards for Excellence and Innovation Fellowship are available online.

For further information, contact Lisa Bennetto.

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MAV Environment Conference

The full program for the MAV Environment Conference has been released.

Join us at Melbourne Park on 12-13 July to hear the latest on the science and politics of climate change; community, customer and council-led renewable energy projects; the use of drones for ecology and conservation; smart lighting and smart cities; designing thriving built environments; the sharing economy, and more.

Keynote speakers include Rob Gell, Inaugural Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand; and Dr Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute.

Registrations can be made online.

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Workshop: Winning Tourism Strategies for Councils

The MAV is convening a workshop on Winning Tourism Strategies for Councils on 14 July. The event will cover a number of aspects including:

  • The merits for regional tourism structures and issues with partnering
  • Funding tourism infrastructure locally
  • How councils can measure value from their investment into tourism.

The workshop will be facilitated by New Zealand local authority tourism specialist, David Hammond. Registrations can be made online.

For further information, contact John Hennessy.

  • The MAV would like to congratulate the Victorian councils that were successful in the National Local Government Awards for Excellence.Three councils won awards in the following categories: Contributing to Regional Growth: Swan Hill Rural City; Multicultural Australia – Strength in Diversity: City of Greater Dandenong; Youth Economic Participation: Yarra City Council. A winners booklet and individual videos are now available.
  • Nominations for the National Disability Awards are now open. The awards recognise outstanding achievements that have improved the lives of people with disability. Nominations close on 30 June.

Refugee week

Councils are getting involved in Refugee Week (19-25 June) by hosting workshops, theatre performances, luncheons and other community events to tie in with the event theme 'With courage let us all combine'.

The MAV is pleased to see the number of Victorian councils becoming Refugee Welcome Zones increasing by 33 per cent since 2014. A Refugee Welcome Zone is an initiative of the Refugee Council of Australia where councils can show support for refugees by making a commitment to welcoming and upholding the human rights of refugees, showing compassion and enhancing cultural diversity within communities.

Check out local events online.

MAV Campaigns

  • The Metropolitan Planning Authority has released the Precinct Structure Plans for two new Melbourne suburbs located between Caroline Springs and the emerging suburb of Rockbank North, and will be home to more than 55,000 residents.
  • Clearwater and Stormwater Victoria are holding a ‘Water Drinks’ networking event on 28 July. It will be an opportunity to network with colleagues working on Integrated Water Management across Victoria.

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