Honours List 2018
While we were all enjoying a long weekend, one of our very own was receiving a Queen’s Birthday honour. Cr Jackie Fristacky AM from Yarra City Council received a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for her significant contribution to local government and the community of Melbourne. I’d like to congratulate Jackie for her commitment and dedication - a councillor since 2002, three time mayor and past MAV Board member. We’ll have a summary of all Queen’s Birthday honours in our bulletin later this week.
Vic Councils website is live!
I’m pleased to share with you the new Vic Councils website, which has gone live at www.viccouncils.asn.au
The site aims to improve community access to information about council roles and services. It has resources for residents, businesses, job seekers, volunteers and prospective councillor candidates.
Features of the site include a monthly Guest mayoral blog and a Spotlight on section to showcase innovative council projects. The inaugural blog was kindly provided by Melbourne’s new Lord Mayor, Cr Sally Capp. We’ve also set up a new Vic Councils Facebook page, which will share council posts alongside content from the Vic Councils site.
Two of the top three reasons people visited the former MAV website was to access our council careers page or information in the ‘About local government’ section. Our new corporate website now contains information and resources for our members, while the Vic Councils site provides information and resources for the community. It’s also a great way to promote our sector, which is what I’ve been hearing from you.
Local Government Bill
As you know, the Local Government Bill 2018 was introduced to State Parliament last month following more than two years of State consultation with the sector and communities.
A number of provisions in the Bill reflect feedback provided by councils and the MAV in response to the Government’s Directions Paper in 2016. We are pleased the Government listened and acted on some of the matters raised by the sector. However, additional matters identified by members through our regional meetings and detailed in our submission to the Exposure Draft have not been addressed in the legislation currently before Parliament.
We will be undertaking advocacy with the Government, opposition, minor parties and independent MPs ahead of the Bill's debate in Parliament during the week 19-21 June. We are also preparing a Member’s Brief with further details on the legislative reforms and remaining areas of concern for the sector.
State election 2018: Call to Parties
We launched our state election Call to Parties document at State Council last month. It seeks 42 commitments from all political parties and candidates contesting the November election to grow Victoria’s economy, improve liveability and support stronger communities.
We’ve started filming 30 second video messages with mayors and councillors to roll out as part of our social media campaign. There will be a further opportunity for councillors to film a video message at our upcoming Councillor Development Weekend.
Some passionate mayors are also getting out in the community to film their own video message and sending it to us for the campaign. It’s great to see such enthusiasm and we welcome videos recorded by mayors or councillors out in your local community being emailed in to email@example.com.
To ensure we can use your video, here’s a couple of tips about what we need:
- Choose one of the 42 commitments in the Call to Parties – make it an issue you are passionate about
- In your message, state what commitment you seek from all political parties and explain why this is important to your community
- Videos will be edited to a maximum of 30 seconds for sharing on social media so keep your message concise. Tangible examples of how the commitment will improve life for your community are encouraged.
In other news, I'm teaming up with Cr Dick Gross to create some videos about local government. You can watch Rob Spence's take on this project below.
Kinder Funding Campaign
While the May Federal Budget provided operational funding until the end of 2019 for 15 hours of kindergarten, it also contained the unwelcome surprise that the National Partnership Agreement for the National Quality Agenda – the system that oversees regulation and quality assessment of all early childhood education and care services – will not be renewed.
We are increasing our advocacy efforts to secure an enduring funding agreement for the additional five hours of kindergarten, plus a long-term commitment for the National Quality Agenda. We have updated our kindergarten funding campaign page and sent a request to all councils to continue the sector-wide advocacy on these important matters affecting families in your community.
Following a resolution of State Council in May, we have also joined the I Love Kinder community advocacy campaign. If you’re attending the National General Assembly in Canberra next week, I’m arranging a group 'I Love Kinder' selfie with as many councillors and senior officers from Victorian councils as possible. Listen out at the NGA for an announcement about the photo timing and location.
We encourage all councils to join the campaign, and promote it widely among your community. Some simple ways you can get involved: sign up to receive I Love Kinder campaign information; like I Love Kinder on Facebook; follow I Love Kinder on Twitter and Instagram; and help spread the #ILoveKinder message on your own social pages.
Councillor Development Weekend
We’ve just released an exciting program for our 19th Councillor Development Weekend, taking place in Torquay from 27 – 29 July. The theme is learning from each other, with the program to explore prominent sector issues and future challenges facing local government.
Speakers and workshops will cover topics such as teamwork, the CEO relationship, leadership and liveability. The program includes a keynote address from the State Government and also the Shadow Minister for Local Government, David Morris MP; as well as a timely and topical address from Craig Reucassel, host of the ABC series War on Waste, which returns on 24 July with a focus on e-waste and recycling.
Bookings are open online for the Councillor Development Weekend, and you can find information for partner and children’s packages as well. I look forward to catching up with many of you in Torquay!