- The Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, Jamie Briggs, has created a new Cities and Built Environment Taskforce charged with analysing public transport funding, boosting city planning and environmental programs, and improving urban water systems.
- OurSay’s forum this week 'Ask Natalie Hutchins' put three topical questions to the Minister that received a combined 338 votes. The questions concerned rate capping, gender pay equity, and executive pay in councils.
- The State Government has announced the make-up of the board of Infrastructure Victoria. The new independent body will ensure that Victoria’s immediate and long-term infrastructure needs are identified and prioritised based on objective, transparent analysis and evidence.
- It’s been an early start to the summer fire season with emergency services battling bushfires in Victoria this week. Heading into summer, emergency management agencies and departments have taken steps to prepare, with 17 pre-season briefings running until the end of October. The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre has released a hazard note outlining the bushfire outlook for southern Australia 2015-16.
Aboriginal Population Health Recruit Program
The MAV is working in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, and is seeking expressions of interest from councils to participate in an Aboriginal Population Health Recruit Program for 2015-16. Four positions are available in the categories of traineeship, graduate and cadetship as a 12-week fixed term work placement.
Councils who express an interest in employing a recruit will be assessed against a set of criteria to ensure their organisation is culturally safe and is adequately equipped to support the employment of an Aboriginal recruit. An Aboriginal recruit refers to an individual who identifies as an Aboriginal/and or Torres Strait Islander person.
The Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Employment Framework can assist councils to meet the criteria.
EOI submission forms and guidelines are now available. For more information, contact Lidia Thorpe or Lang Baulch.
MAV nominations to the Noise Review External Reference Group
EPA Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are seeking six non-elected representatives to participate as members of the Noise SEPP Review External Reference Group.
The State Environment Protection Policies (SEPPs) control the management of noise from industry, commerce and trade, and music noise from public premises.
One of the primary roles of the reference group is to provide specific advice on the operation of the noise SEPPs, and discuss opportunities to improve its effectiveness as a planning and compliance tool and Victorians’ experience of noise.
Planning assessment, enforcement or environmental health officers that are interested in participating can send through a letter and CV outlining their interest and experience in dealing with SEPPs to Gareth Hately by 16 October. The first meeting will be held on 6 November. For more information, contact Ashleigh Jones at EPA Victoria on 9695 2582.
National Local Roads and Transport Congress
Regular registrations for the National Local Roads and Transport Congress close on 9 October, after this date an extra fee will apply.
The Australian Local Government Association recently announced that the newly appointed Federal Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, Paul Fletcher will be addressing the Congress, along with the Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese.
The Congress will give delegates the chance to not only hear from these political leaders and engage with them on infrastructure and transport issues, but to have these interactions guide discussion in panels and concurrent sessions.
An updated program has also been released. It will be held on 17 – 19 November in Ballarat.
MAV event: Social Media for Emergency Situations
The MAV is holding a Social Media for Emergency Situations seminar on 13 November.
Council communications staff are invited to attend this seminar to prepare emergency communication policy and parameters for their council, and integrate social media policy within their council's emergency management capabilities.
The program will be delivered by expert social media academic Ross Monaghan of Deakin University and Gerry McCusker, online reputation specialist at EngageORM. Speakers will include Emergency Management Victoria, CFA and Victoria Police, and it also includes a tour of the State Control Centre.
It will run from 9.30am-4pm and will be held at the MAV offices, level 11, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne. Limited places are available and registrations can be made online.
Premier’s Sustainability Awards
Congratulations to the Victorian councils announced as finalists in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.
- Darebin City Council - Darebin Solar Saver (pictured)
- Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group and Moira Shire Council - Overcoming Barriers to Effective Household Kerbside Garden and Food Organics Recovery
- The Inner Melbourne Action Plan; City of Melbourne, City of Yarra, City of Stonnington, City of Port Phillip - The Growing Green Guide for Melbourne
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 29 October.
Grants available to councils
- Councils can encourage young people looking to organise events for National Youth Week to apply for grants, open until 13 November.
- Applications are open for Local History Grants until 30 November. Councils should encourage community groups to apply.
Victorian Organics Resource Recovery Strategy
This week the State Government released its Victorian Organics Resource Recovery Strategy. Led by Sustainability Victoria, the Strategy provides a strategic statewide approach to government, business, industry and the community to better manage organic wastes.
In 2011-12 Victorian households, businesses and industry generated more than 2 million tonnes of organic waste, with almost half of that ending up in landfill. This waste will generate more than 1.2 million tonnes of CO2-e greenhouse gas over its lifetime.
The strategy has a 30-year vision, a 10-year strategic outlook and a five-year action plan. It sets out seven strategic directions which prioritise protection of the environment, human and animal health; and building the knowledge, skills and infrastructure for Victoria to realise the benefits of the better use of organic resources.
News in brief
- Rural Councils Victoria is holding a Mayor, Councillor and CEO Forum on 21 October
- Many councils are getting involved in Mental Health Week (4 - 10 October). A list of Victorian events is available online
- There are a number of scholarships left for rural council staff to attend the Enhanced Local Government Service Delivery program in November, in Warragul and Wedderburn
- Early childhood teachers now have to register with the Victorian Institute of Teaching
- VicRoads is inviting councils to complete a survey to better understand worksite traffic management. Council officers can register via email or call 9854 1896.
In social media news...