Issue 1025:                                                     Week ending 1 May 2015

Darebin councillor wins McArthur Fellowship
Funding for roadside weeds and pest management
Save the date: Councillor Development Weekend 24-26 July
Annual report writing workshop
MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference
MAV Technology Awards for Excellence: call for entries
VCOSS-MAV 2015 Emergency Management Forum

Disability parking permits
National Awards for Local Government winners announced
Entries now open for Premier’s Sustainability Awards

New ECCV Multicultural Newsletter
ALGWA annual Victorian Conference
In social media news...

Darebin councillor wins McArthur Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that Darebin City councillor Bo Li has been awarded the renowned McArthur Local Government Fellowship.

The $12,000 fellowship will fund Cr Li’s research study tour to investigate the role local government can play in addressing the social determinants of health to improve the wellbeing outcomes of residents.

The McArthur Local Government Fellowship is sponsored by McArthur Management Services and is awarded to a Victorian councillor to undertake an overseas study tour on a matter of relevance to local government.

Cr Li’s research findings will be shared with councils at the MAV Annual Conference in October.

Funding for roadside weeds and pest management

The Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, has announced $5.2 million in funding for Victorian rural and regional councils’ roadside weeds and pest management activities.

The MAV has confirmed with the Minister’s office that the funding is over two years. Further details will be communicated once available.

The current roadside weeds and pest funding program was scheduled to expire on 30 June. Securing further funding has therefore been a priority of the MAV, with the matter raised in our 2014 State election call to parties, our strategic plan, and in a number of recent conversations with the State Government.

We welcome the Minister’s announcement and will continue to advocate for long-term funding.

For further information, contact Claire Dunn.

Save the date: Councillor Development Weekend 24-26 July

The RACV Torquay Resort will host this year’s Councillor Development Weekend on 24-26 July, now in its 17th year. The weekend is the principle training, development and networking event for Victorian councillors and mayors.

Confirmed speakers include Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Workshops will cover ethical decision making, community campaigning, cultural diversity and delivering council objectives in a climate of financial constraint.

The event program and further details will be released in May. Registrations are now open.

Annual report writing workshop

The MAV is again hosting its annual reporting writing workshop to assist local government officers to prepare their 2014-15 annual reports. The workshop will provide officers with training on best practice annual reporting, and aims to support the continuous improvement of local government annual reporting.

By completing the workshop, participants will gain an enhanced understanding and knowledge of:

  • Best practice local government annual reporting structure, content and communication
  • The linkages between annual and sustainability reporting
  • How to plan, manage and deliver a local government annual report.

This low-cost workshop will be of great value for all officers involved in the preparation of council annual reports. It will be held on 25 May from 9.30am-12.30pm, at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne.

Registrations can be made online.

MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference

The annual MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference will be held on 25-26 June in the foothills of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range at Vibe Hotel, Marysville.

With the sponsorship support of Planisphere, the theme is Plan – to deliver on bold ambitions, with the focus on why we plan, and sharing successful international, national and local examples of how we can better deliver on what we set out to achieve.

A full program is now available and guest speakers include Trevor Budge AM, and James Larmour-Reid, Planisphere; Marcus Spiller, SGS Economics and planning; Kathy Mitchell, Chief Panel Member, Planning Panels Victoria; and Laurie Hewett, Senior Member, VCAT.

Registrations can be made online. For further information, contact the MAV events team on 9667 5555.

MAV Technology Awards for Excellence: call for entries

Entries are now invited for this year's MAV Technology Awards for Excellence. The Awards will be presented at the MAV Tech Annual Conference Dinner on 19 August, and entries will close on 30 June.

The awards recognise outstanding team and individual efforts in the use of technology to improve service delivery and efficiency to local government organisations or communities.

Entry instructions and selection criteria for the awards is now available. Entries should be sent to Lisa Bennetto by 30 June.

VCOSS-MAV 2015 Emergency Management Forum

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and the MAV are holding a forum on 17 June focusing on Vulnerable people in emergencies: issues and initiatives.

The significant impact an emergency can have on individuals and communities is often compounded for those already facing disadvantage.

People living in poverty, migrants, refugees, children, older people, people with disabilities, people who are homeless or transient, and those living in poor quality housing are more vulnerable before, during, and after an emergency.

The forum will showcase some recent initiatives to address the needs of people at particular risk during an emergency, and look at what else can be done to understand and respond to their specific needs.

Disability Parking Permits

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner has recently written to the MAV asking councils to consider and protect the rights of people with disabilities seeking to use disability parking spaces.

The Commission’s Disability Reference Group has expressed concern that there is inconsistency in how strictly councils enforce disability parking rules. When people park illegally in disability spaces, it creates additional barriers for people with disabilities that affect their human rights.

As councils are public authorities under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act, officers are obliged to consider relevant human rights when making decisions about enforcement of disability parking spaces. The Commission is also advocating to the relevant state department that penalties for parking in a disability parking space without a permit should be increased to be an effective deterrent.

For further information, contact Jan Black.

National Awards for Local Government winners announced

The MAV would like to congratulate the following Victorian councils who were successful in the 2015 National Awards for Local Government:

  • Northern Grampians Shire Council for From Italy to Stawell-the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory, in the Contributing to Regional Growth category
  • Maroondah City Council for Changing Places Changing Lives, in the Disability Access and Inclusion category
  • South Gippsland Shire Council for Gippsland Safe Freight Network, in the Excellence in Road Safety category
  • Mildura Rural City Council for Work Inspiration-Transitioning from School to Work, in the Youth Employment category.

The annual awards are a celebration of council achievements in delivering targeted, quality services to Australians in urban and regional communities.

The full list of category winners and highly commended projects are available online.

Entries now open for Premier’s Sustainability Awards

In its 13th year running, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards recognise and reward organisations and individuals who have led innovative and sustainable change in reducing their everyday environmental impact.

Entries are now open for any local council, business, community group, organisation or individual with a commitment to the environment and sustainability.

The awards celebrate efficient use of water, resources and energy, better waste management and recycling practices, the enhancement of the environment, and practical community action.

Entries close on 13 July. Details about different categories and information sessions are now available.

New ECCV Multicultural Newsletter

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria has established a new e-newsletter.

This is an informal weekly round-up of material of interest to community sector cultural diversity practitioners, sourced from various websites and newsletters.

It is planned to go out on a Monday, so contributions are sought by close of business at the end of each week. To subscribe or contribute, please contact Con Pagonis.

ALGWA annual Victorian Conference

The Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) annual Victorian Conference will be held in Mitchell Shire on 22-23 May.

Speakers include Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, Dr Ron Ben-David of the Essential Service Commission, International Humanitarian Moira Kelly, and Jenny Gray, CEO of Zoos Victoria.

A full program is now available. Registrations can be made online.

In social media news...

  • Facebook Safety Check connects those affected by devastating Nepal earthquake
  • Ten things we’ve learnt from YouTube’s first decade
  • Facebook News Feed revamped to promote your friends’ content, but pages may suffer
Upcoming MAV events...

8 May

Creating accessible documents in Word and PDF workshop

14 May

2015 National Local Government Infrastructure and Asset Management Conference

20 May

Sector conversation on housing strategies and residential zones


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