Early payment of 2015-16 Financial Assistance Grants funds
The MAV has been advised that the Commonwealth Government has brought forward the payment of 50 per cent of the 2015-16 Financial Assistance Grants funds into the 2014-15 financial year.
It is understood that all Victorian councils will have received the funds on 30 June 2015. The Victorian Government has advised that the remaining funds for 2015-16 are expected to be provided in four quarterly instalments, commencing August 2015.
The Victorian Government will be providing councils with advice on the accounting treatment of the funds and whether the revenue received needs to be recognised in 2014-15 or 2015-16.
For further information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.
MAV event: freight and communities
The MAV and the Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics are co-convening an event called From Monster Trucks to Driving Global Business Success on 24 July.
It will focus on the role of supply chain and logistics, industry and government responses to key challenges, and opportunities to support Victorian businesses and communities. Attendees will gain insight on transport infrastructure and planning regulation, trends resulting in local outcomes affecting employment, education, health and the success of local companies in a global context.
It will be held at Treasury Theatre, 1 Macarthur Street. Registrations can be made online.
Writing for the web workshop
The MAV is hosting its annual writing for the web workshop on 25 September.
Writing for the web is different to writing for print. In this workshop, you will learn content development techniques catering to online reading habits. Participants will learn how to:
- Write, edit and present better web content
- Make it easier for people to find your information
- Lay out scannable content.
The full-day workshop is suited to council staff who write, edit or manage content for the web.
Participants will also gain an understanding of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and design considerations for people with disabilities, particularly useful given legislative requirements around web accessibility.
It will be held from 9am-3.30pm, at the MAV office, Level 11, 60 Collins Street. Registrations can be made online.
Consultation on revised Draft Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy
The Victorian Government has re-opened consultation on a revised draft Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has invited council officers to attend the following targeted practitioner roundtables as part of the consultation:
- Horsham, 9–11am, 2 July - DELWP Grains Innovation Park, 110 Natimuk Rd
- Maryborough, 3–5pm, 2 July - Central Goldfields Community Hub, 48 Burns St
- Kerang, 9–11am, 3 July - Kerang Memorial Hall, 4 Nolan St
- Wangaratta, 10.30am–12.30pm, 6 July - Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre, 33-37 Ford St
- Shepparton, 3–5pm, 6 July - Shepparton RSL, 88 Wyndham St
- Geelong, 10–12pm, 10 July - Royal Geelong Yacht Club, 25 Eastern Beach Rd
- Traralgon, 2–4pm, 16 July - West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, 16 Hotham St
The MAV is preparing a draft submission and has invited initial council feedback by 10 July.
Submissions to DELWP close at 5pm, 8 August. For more information, contact Emma Lake.
Environmental Upgrade Agreements: legislation
The State Government announced it will introduce legislation to provide incentives for Victorian businesses to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their buildings.
The Local Government Legislation Amendment (Environmental Upgrade Agreements) Bill 2015 provides for council-rates based financing to help businesses fund building works which improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and cut water use.
Under an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA), lenders provide finance to a building owner for environmental upgrades, with the council then collecting the repayments through its rates system and passing them on to the lender.
In Victoria, EUAs are currently only available to businesses in the City of Melbourne through the City of Melbourne Act 2001. The new legislation will expand the existing scheme to all Victorian councils. How councils are supported to manage an EUA program has not been determined as yet.
The government also announced that it will be hosting an Energy Efficiency and Productivity Summit, which aims to showcase leadership in energy efficiency, bringing together global and local expertise.
The event, to be held at the Melbourne Convention Centre on 25 August will bring together manufacturers, energy efficiency businesses, the building and property sectors, energy retailers, environmental groups and energy consumers.
Energy Efficiency and Productivity Statement
The Victorian Government has released its Energy Efficiency and Productivity Statement – Saving Energy, Growing Jobs.
The Statement positions energy efficiency as a central driver to improving energy affordability, transitioning to a low-emissions economy and creating new jobs across the economy.
Based on government consultation with industry, consumer and environmental organisations, the Statement presents the government’s policy direction for energy efficiency and sets the next steps.
Building Social Cohesion in our Communities
A new online resource offers councils a practical approach to develop socially cohesive communities and an opportunity to join a national community of practice.
The highly interactive online resource was developed by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government for the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), with input from the MAV.
It is structured around five elements of building social cohesion based on international and Australian best practice, and features case studies from local government (including Victorian councils), tips and templates for implementing good practice at a local level and links to further material.
The resource is part of the National Anti-Racism Strategy, which includes the ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ campaign to which the MAV recently recommitted. Together with the AHRC, the MAV will be arranging an event to officially launch the online resource in Victoria, and celebrate its continued commitment to addressing racism.
Park&Walk grants available
Grants of between $25,000 and $50,000 are available to councils to create Park&Walk initiatives for primary school children in an effort to address low walk-to-school behaviour.
Research undertaken by VicHealth in its evaluation of the 2014 Walk to School campaign revealed that students who live within 1km of their school walk to or from school five times a week, whilst those living more than 2km from school walk no more than once a week – if at all.
In response to these findings, VicHealth has funded Victoria Walks to administer the Park&Walk Grants Program.
A number of Victorian councils have already instigated programs that identify and promote parking or drop-off points, and safe routes to walk part of the way to school. These projects not only support physical activity and independence for children; they also help to address traffic congestion, parking and safety problems around the school gate.
Applications close on 24 July.
Mobile black spots funding
The State Government has announced funding support for a black spot elimination project, partly funded by the Commonwealth. The project includes the construction of 109 mobile towers across regional Victoria over the next three years.
The State has committed $21 million to the project, working collaboratively with Telstra and the Commonwealth Government to maximise the amount of funding available, generating a project worth $86 million to the state.
Public safety and emergency management were also high priorities in developing the government’s submission to the black spots programme.
A range of councils are included in the rollout, a full list is available online.
Why Local Government Matters
The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) has released a major piece of social research called Why Local Government Matters.
The research aims to better understand how and why the activities of local government and their roles in society are valued by communities.
The report will be important for Australian local government and other tiers of government, organisations and agencies that work closely with councils.
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