September edition of CiVic out now
The September edition of CiVic has been published. Councils will receive their print copies shortly. The magazine can also be read using our free iPad app or through our e-magazine.
Featuring 14 councils, the main theme of this edition is 'change' in its many different forms, and how local government is responding and adapting. As part of this theme, the first of a four-part series on climate adaptation focuses on work being done by Colac Otway Shire.
The cover of the latest edition links to the centre page feature - Brimbank City Council's new all-abilities playground in St Albans, which is the first Touched By Olivia playspace in Victoria.
If you have a story idea or would like to advertise in CiVic, contact our publisher Puffafish.
Community-building legend returns
Jim Diers, a global community-building legend and the founder of Seattle’s Department of Neighbourhoods, is returning to do one workshop on ‘Community development: Places, policies, programs and practices for people-powered change’ on Tuesday 22 October at the MAV. This workshop will explore the field of community development as development that is of, by and for the community.
Jim will illustrate the relationship between people and place including examples of development that is anti-community, and how communities have shaped places that work. He will talk about the role of the community development professional, not as someone who speaks or does for the community, but rather as someone who helps build community capacity and re-orient agencies so that citizens can take the lead. Jim will share tools that you can use to build agency-community partnerships and to involve citizens in shaping their social, built, natural and economic environments highlighting inspiring case studies from around the world.
There will also be opportunities to share your own experiences, practice some of the tools, and to develop initial plans for utilising this community development approach in your own work.
Gender and emergency management factsheet
The MAV has developed a gender and emergency management fact sheet designed to raise awareness of how gender and emergency management interact. It also provides practical advice to help councils consider gender in emergency management planning and service delivery.
The short two-page fact sheet contains information on:
the relevance of gender to emergency management
the benefits of integrating gender considerations into emergency management
how local government can take gender into account in emergency management
useful resources and information.
It is part of the MAV’s gender and emergency management strategy which aims to reduce the negative consequences of gender-blind practices.
For further information please contact Martijn Gough on 03 9667 5540.
MAV submission to the State Planning Policy Framework
The MAV recently submitted our views to the Government about the role, structure and format of the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) and how best it can integrate with the Metropolitan Strategy and Regional Growth Plans. We voiced concern, like many, that the review seems to put ‘the cart before the horse’ and would be better informed once the structure and content of key reforms are known.
At its most basic, the MAV would like to see a SPPF that:
spatially demonstrates the Government’s long-term planning directions and infrastructure commitments for the development of Victoria and highlights key areas for protection
provides leadership, in a statewide/regional context, for the resolution of difficult policy issues and conflicts
only includes policy that is within the scope of land use planning to influence.
For further information contact Gareth Hately.
Heavy Vehicle Route Assessment Tool
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) held a national webinar for local government last week where CEO Richard Hancock confirmed support for the MAV Route Assessment Tool and stated it was a key part of the NHVR plans for the future. The tool provides council engineers with a user-friendly and consistent way to assess access for heavy vehicles onto local roads on a national basis.
The proposed starting date for the new heavy vehicle laws has been delayed and a new date will be announced in the near future. Furthermore, the NHVR is drafting replies to the issues raised by Victorian councils at the recent MAV Heavy Vehicle workshops. These will be distributed to councils this week.
For further information contact John Hennessy.
Draft plans for waste and resource recovery infrastructure
The Victorian Government has released the draft Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan (SWRRIP) and the draft Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Strategic Plan (MWRRSP).
The two plans are intended to prepare for Victoria's growing population and maximise the economic return from waste materials through better planning.
The draft SWRRIP provides a 30 year roadmap to improve Victoria's waste management and resource recovery infrastructure network. It maps the long-term trends in waste generation, and population and waste infrastructure at a statewide scale.
The draft MWRRSP identifies the specific waste and resource recovery infrastructure needed for metropolitan Melbourne over the next ten years.
Sustainability Victoria and the Metropolitan Waste Management Group will hold a series of joint metropolitan workshops and consultations across regional Victoria. The draft SWRRIP will be open for comment until 6 December and the draft MWRRSP is open for comment until 25 November.
Funds to restore war memorials and avenues of honour
The Victorian Government has announced a new round of grants to restore war memorials and avenues of honour, with maximum funding increased from $10 000 to $20 000.
Councils are eligible to apply for these grants to help prepare for the Anzac Centenary through restoration of facilities, statues, and lettering, as well as replanting of trees that formed part of an original avenue of honour.
Applications for the Restoring Community War Memorials and Avenue of Honour Grants Program can be submitted at any time.
Opportunity to engage locals in waterway health
A new website developed by cesar and Melbourne Water provides an opportunity for councils to engage communities in waterway health and council-driven environmental strategies. platypusSPOT is an interactive hub connecting Victorians with platypuses and their local environment by encouraging people to report sightings of platypuses, post photos, discover where they are found in their local area, and interact with other ‘platypusSPOTTERS’.
platypusSPOT uses citizen science to improve understanding of platypus distribution while also raising awareness of conservation issues. Unfortunately, a recent increase in litter and net related platypus deaths across Victoria highlights the need for this initiative.
Councils are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to leverage platypusSPOT in a broader community engagement and education strategy to help protect platypuses and improve waterway health.
For further information or to find out about partnering with platypusSPOT, contact Josh Griffiths on 03 9349 4723.
VCOSS Anti-Poverty Week event
Violence against women and children in Victoria is one of the most serious issues facing our state, with repercussions not just for the families involved, but for the broader community.
Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness in Victoria, a significant driver of poverty and disadvantage, and one of the main reasons the crime rate in this state continues to rise.
Happily, the mood is shifting. This change in the conversation is welcome, yet women are still too often blamed and family violence is still often regarded as a private problem.
On Wednesday 16 October, during Anti-Poverty Week, VCOSS will host a special event to examine this issue further with special guests:
Damon Johnston, Editor of the Herald Sun
Detective Inspector Kerryn Hynam APM, Victoria Police Family Violence Coordination Unit
Fiona McCormack, CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria
Danny Blay, CEO of No To Violence
Emma King, CEO of VCOSS.
Register for this event now.
2014 GCA Awards for Excellence
The annual Government Communications Australia Awards recognise the exceptional work of government communicators.
The awards are presented to organisations and communicators who have achieved outstanding success from innovative and effective communication practices. There are 12 categories, catering for all areas of government communications, marketing, engagement and public relations.
Entries for the awards are now open. Submissions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 pm on Friday 25 October. Awards will be announced at the Annual GCA Awards for Excellence Presentation Dinner on 27 February 2014.
Australian Regional Development Conference
The Australian Regional Development Conference will take place from 15 to 16 October 2014 at the Commercial Club in Albury.
The conference, held by the Association for Sustainability in Business, will be hosted in the twin-cities of Albury-Wodonga, Victoria and New South Wales' top entry for liveable cities.
The conference theme “Where to from here?” will cover the broad areas of regional development, specifically environment and sustainability, planning and building, community development, economic development, infrastructure, employment and education, and health services.
Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the conference are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the aims, contents and conclusions of their paper or presentation; or about their intended role in a workshop. Presentations will be selected to provide a program that offers a comprehensive and diverse treatment of issues related to the conference theme.
In social media news...
Ballarat Regional Tourism has created smartphone apps dedicated to promoting Ballarat and its historic villages, including guides to its attractions. They are available for apple and android.
Is crowdsourcing and open innovation the future of civic engagement? Find out more here.
From the US: Long Island libraries have rolled out a custom app, the digital library card. Read more here.