Review of council electoral system
Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell yesterday announced a review of Victoria’s local government electoral system.
The MAV called for a review following the 2012 elections and welcomes this announcement.
An independent Local Government Electoral Review Panel will examine the electoral processes, voter participation, integrity and electoral representation as outlined in the terms of reference.
The Panel members are:
Petro Georgiou AO – Chair (former Federal Member for Kooyong and Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters)
Sally Davis (former manager of the Australian Electoral Commission’s Melbourne Electoral Education Centre and Councillor at Stonnington City Council), and
Anne Murphy OAM (former MAV President, Mayor of Preston, and Local Government Commissioner at the Cities of Stonnington and Whittlesea).
The Panel will issue a discussion paper and seek feedback through written submissions and public hearings during September-October. A Stage One report will be prepared for the Minister in January 2014 dealing with process matters for potential legislative reform. A Stage Two report will be provided to the Minister dealing with electoral representation in April 2014.
A secretariat is supporting the Panel and can be contacted on 9208 3795.
New rural zones announced
The MAV had our quarterly meeting with the Hon. Matthew Guy, Minister for Planning this week. We discussed the Metropolitan Strategy, queried when it will be released and presented the draft local government model for the Metropolitan Planning Authority developed with councils over the past few months. In our meeting the Minister advised that the draft strategy is likely to be released in September, with two months for consultation. The Minister also reaffirmed his commitment to reviewing planning fees this financial year.
The long awaited rural zone reforms were finalised this week and released with the Government’s response to the Reformed Zones Advisory Committee report. The changes introduce more varied uses and generally relax permit requirements. The inclusion of additional rural-related uses that support agricultural production is a win for country Victoria. We acknowledge the complexity associated with the review and the difficulty in developing a suite of controls that are relevant across Victoria. We will continue to highlight the need to allow flexibility to adjust uses, where justified, to suit local circumstances.
The reformed rural zones will be introduced into the Victoria Planning Provisions and planning schemes by Amendment VC103 in September. The MAV hopes to see a 12 month review to fine tune the provisions and address challenges that councils may encounter.
For further information contact Gareth Hately.
Sector-wide employment branding project
The MAV has been working on developing a sector-wide employment branding project. This follows on from previous work in 2009-10 and a subsequent State Council resolution in 2011 indicating the importance and demand for this project.
The objective is to promote careers in local government, and educate the market on the diverse range of career opportunities available.
Through this promotion we aim to attract a broader range of quality candidates to the sector, grow talent pools and increase councils’ return on investment through a consolidated statewide campaign.
The project is based around a creative concept developed by Blaze Advertising; a combined media buy ensuring the message reaches a broad market, and underpinned by a website to position local government as an employer of choice.
Details of the project concept, execution and costs can be found at www.careersyoulove.com.au.
The three-year campaign is expected to go live in July 2014 and we are now calling on councils for formal expressions of interest to participate in the process.
EOI forms can be returned to Cameron Spence by Friday 27 September.
For further information contact Cameron on 9667 5554.
Freight and logistics plan released
The Victorian Government has released its freight and logistics plan Victoria - The Freight State this week. The Plan emphasises freight capacity increases to improve efficiency, productivity and benefit the Victorian economy. Key priorities of the plan which will affect local government include: identifying, prioritising and investing in ‘first and last kilometre’ freight routes (key directions 18 & 31); encouraging more flexible delivery vehicle access to local roads (key directions 25 & 52); and improve local road maintenance (56).
The MAV participated on the Victorian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Council (MAC) to inform the plan, and the MAC Chair John Begley discussed many of these issues at the recent MAV Transport and Infrastructure Committee meeting on 8 August. The MAV is currently reviewing our Transport Position Paper, which includes a thorough discussion of freight issues and recommends modal shift for freight towards rail, and more integrated planning of freight infrastructure into a state-wide transport infrastructure plan.
For further information, please contact James Cleaver.
MAV briefing: Major Projects Facilitation Amendment (East West Link and Other Projects) Bill 2013
In June the Victorian Government introduced the Major Projects Facilitation Amendment (East West Link and Other Projects) Bill 2013. The Bill will limit the role of councils in the development and delivery of major projects nominated under the Major Projects Facilitation Act. An explanatory memorandum outlines the Bill’s content.
The Bill is due to be second read in the parliamentary sitting week from 21 - 23 August. To inform the parliament’s debate, the MAV requested the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) deliver a local government briefing, as well as provide a written summary of the Bill’s impact on councils. The briefing is scheduled for 12.30 pm on 19 August at the MAV offices. The written summary of the Bill’s impacts on councils is expected from DTPLI shortly and will be forwarded to councils as soon as it’s available. Register for this event by Friday 16 August.
For further information contact James Cleaver on 9667 5519.
Waste and resource recovery governance review
The Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith has released both the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) report on Waste and Resource Recovery Governance and the Victorian Government’s response. This review was initiated as part of the release of the Victorian Waste and Resource Recovery Policy, Getting Full Value. The Waste Governance MAC’s Terms of Reference included examining the current institutional arrangements and governance of the Victorian waste and resource recovery sector; and making recommendations for improved arrangements and governance of the sector to support the Getting Full Value policy.
Following extensive consultation, the MAC made 20 recommendations, including reducing the number of Regional Waste Management Groups from 12 to six; broadening their scope to include commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste; and introducing eight person Minister-appointed boards made up of four local government representatives (including the chair) and four skills-based directors. The Victorian Government has accepted these recommendations, as well as most of those made by the MAC, on the basis that this provides an improved setting for achieving the objectives of Getting Full Value.
For further information contact Ben Morris on 9667 5580.
LGICT award winners
The LGICT Awards for Excellence celebrate the achievements of council ICT teams in improving productivity and efficiency for their councils and communities.
Les Firth from Yarra Plenty Regional Library received the individual achievement award for his outstanding work in NBN for YPRL. Macedon Ranges Shire won the team achievement category for their Digital Aged Care Assessments project. Highly commended awards went to the City of Casey’s Improvement in customer satisfaction rating initiative; the City of Melbourne for their 3D Model project; and Wyndham City Council’s Mobile Inspection Framework project.
Collaboration of the year was received by Nillumbik Shire for its IT Policy Management System Implementation; and project of the year was awarded to Moorabool Shire for Implementation of a smartphone-based aged care rostering system.
This year’s $10,000 Innovation Fellowship went to Cardinia Shire for its Transition to Activity Based Working initiative.
Congratulations to all award winners. Further details about the outstanding entries will be published soon on the LGICT website and in CiVic magazine.
Cranlana Colloquium Scholarship
Cr Stephen Hartney, Mayor of Bayside City Council has won a scholarship from the MAV to attend the September Cranlana Coloquium. The Cranlana Colloquium Scholarship gives a councillor the opportunity to join a leadership program with 20 other leaders from corporate, not-for-profit and government organisations over a six-day leadership program run by the Myer Foundation.
The program challenges leaders from business, government and community to examine values, ethics and vision through the prism of classical and contemporary readings. This enables participants to reflect on their leadership style, judgement and decision-making capability. The MAV offers this Scholarship valued at $6 300 twice a year.
For further information contact Andrew Rowe on 9667 5549.
Standing up to race-based discrimination
Promoting diversity and preventing race-based discrimination go hand-in-hand. The MAV and VicHealth have a strong history of working in partnership to support diversity and address discrimination. Standing up to Race-Based Discrimination, Local Government Continuing to Build Inclusive Communities is a new VicHealth-funded MAV resource which focuses on supporting local government’s broad and diverse role of working for and within local communities. The resource builds on the achievements of councils in shaping cohesive and diverse communities, and promoting fairness and justice for all residents.
A print copy will be mailed to councils shortly. For further information contact Con Pagonis on 9667 5544.
Collaborative aged care service delivery to CALD communities
The MAV, in partnership with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) and the Department of Health, is convening two professional development opportunities for council and community sector aged care service providers. The sessions will offer updates on the policy environment, new resources to support service delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) clients, and examples of good collaborative practice between HACC-funded council and community-based service providers.
The free half-day sessions will be offered on Tuesday 10 September at Ballarat Town Hall and Wednesday 11 September at the MAV offices in Melbourne.
Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Awards
Councils are encouraged to nominate their innovative and successful health promotion work for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Awards 2013.
From major public awareness campaigns to programs in local sports clubs and schools, health promotion provides ways for all Victorians to enjoy better health.
Nominations are open in the following categories:
Promoting healthy eating
Encouraging physical activity
Preventing tobacco use
Preventing harm from alcohol
Improving mental wellbeing
Communications in health promotion
Building health through sports
Building health through arts
Knowledge and understanding.
Programs must have been active between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013. Nominations close on Friday 13 September.
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