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Municipal Association of Victoria

BULLETIN

All your local government news this week

Issue 1072: 14 April 2016
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Strategic priorities
  • City of Greater Geelong: Following negotiations with opposition parties, the State Government Bill to Parliament will see administrators replace councillors at the City of Greater Geelong until a municipal election in October 2017. Following the release of a Commission of Inquiry report this week, the MAV expressed disappointment at the Minister’s initial decision to remove councillors until 2020. The bullying findings in the report are damning and the priority for council moving forward must be to ensure a safe workplace for all. Many other good governance matters raised in the report went well beyond the responsibilities required of all councils under the Local Government Act. The MAV expressed concern that these were used as grounds for dismissal rather than being dealt with through the review of the Act.
  • Violence prevention: The State Government has announced a funding injection of $572 million over two years in its 2016/17 budget in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence report. The funding will help to deliver 65 report recommendations to provide more housing and crisis refuges, counsellors, prevention programs and support for children who are victims of family violence. The funding includes $21.8 million to deliver a respectful relationships program across Victorian schools and early years services to prevent family violence.
The MAV’s Draft Strategic Work Plan has been circulated to members for feedback.

The draft plan has been prepared following extensive member consultation including eight strategic planning sessions held throughout the state in February and March.

The plan’s priorities include addressing cost shifting and the indexation freeze on Financial Assistance Grants, along with improving community perceptions of local government and supporting sector innovation.

The MAV welcomes written submissions for amendments to the draft plan, by COB 22 April. Please email submissions to Lisa Bennetto.

Each submission will be acknowledged and considered by the MAV Board for inclusion in the final plan, which will be presented for consideration and endorsement by MAV State Council on 13 May.

The latest edition of CiVic Magazine has been sent to all councils and is available online.

This issue covers a range of topics including multiculturalism, crime prevention, and councils’ continued push for rail projects.

To submit local government story ideas for future editions please contact CiVic editor Kristi High.

This week the MAV signed an Age-Friendly Declaration with the State Government to help address loneliness and social isolation experienced by Victorian seniors.

The declaration provides a commitment to working together with the State on creating age-friendly communities. Councils are encouraged to sign the declaration to help work towards age-friendly outcomes. Councils can also send a photo of signed declarations via email to join the virtual wall of commitments.

As part of its commitment, the State will deliver $2.2 million over four years for age-friendly projects led by councils.

Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley MP signing the Age-Friendly Declaration with MAV President, Cr Bill McArthur.

The MAV has circulated two draft submissions on the Water for Victoria discussion paper and the Native vegetation regulations discussion paper for member feedback, due on 22 April and 26 April respectively.

The MAV hosted a local government briefing and workshop on both discussion papers, and feedback from councils has been incorporated into the drafts.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is also holding regional consultation sessions on the Water for Victoria discussion paper.

Comments on our draft submissions can be emailed to Michelle Croughan. For further information, contact Michelle on 9667 5541.

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Maternal and Child Health Nurses Conference

There is still time to register for our MCH Nurses Conference on 22 April. Speakers include Jenny Mikakos, Minister for Families and Children; Dr Gillian Opie, neonatal paediatrician, Mercy Hospital for Women; and Lynette Mitchell from Laughter for Living.

It will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8.30am-3.10pm. Regional video conference sites will be available at Warrnambool, Horsham, Moe, Wangaratta and Robinvale.

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Future of Local Government Summit

Our annual Future of Local Government Summit will be held on 17-18 May at the Rydges Melbourne Hotel.

The summit features an array of Australian and international speakers providing thoughtful leadership for those who want to design a better future for local government.

Speakers include Professor AJ Brown, Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University; Gary Porter, Chairman, UK Local Government Association; and Helen Mexted, Director Advocacy, Local Government New Zealand.

Registrations can be made online.

  • Councils can encourage community organisations to apply for a share in $600,000 of State Government Community Resilience Grants to develop projects that support the most vulnerable members of their community and reduce the threat of violent extremism.
  • Applications are open for the 2017-18 round of the State Government's $100 million Community Sports Infrastructure Fund for local sporting clubs. There are multiple grant categories on offer, including a dedicated program for female friendly facilities. All applications are due by 8 June.

Port Phillip Bay Enviro Management Plan

In collaboration with Melbourne Water, DELWP is developing a new Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for Port Phillip Bay. The EMP provides a framework for government and other organisations to work together effectively to address key threats to the Bay’s health.

Councils are invited to a consultation session with DELWP and Melbourne Water to hear about the work done to date and provide feedback on the draft EMP framework.

The session is on 21 April from 12.30pm-2pm at the MAV, Level 11, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne. Registrations can be made online.

Energy study of Victorian aquatic centres released  

Aquatics and Recreation Victoria, in conjunction with Deakin University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, have released the results of their two-year study into the energy usage and indoor environmental quality of Victorian aquatic and leisure facilities.

The document sets out benchmarking guidelines for designing and operating aquatic centres in Victoria that will assist local government, architects, and other industry stakeholders to manage energy consumption by improving day-to-day operations and guiding environmental decisions in the design of new infrastructure.

For a copy of the report, email info@aquaticandrecreation.org.au.

  • Councils across Victoria are holding a range of events for National Youth Week (8-17 April). Young people are encouraged to get involved.
  • The People and Parks Foundation (PPF) is seeking partnerships with councils across Australia through its Active in Parks program to promote community wellbeing by connecting communities to parks. Active in Parks is PPF's flagship program that seeks to reinforce and encourage the connections between a healthy environment and a healthy society.
  • OurSay and Darebin City Council are hosting an Online Community Engagement Workshop on 21 April which will explore how to improve community engagement and relationships through online methods, and manage hot issues and tricky consultation processes online.

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