Dear friends and colleagues,
As you would be aware, the matter Lake vs MAV was heard in the Supreme Court on 10 September to review the position that a casual vacancy in the office of the President was created due to the Whittlesea Council not paying its membership fees by 31 August.
I am extremely pleased to inform you that the judgment yesterday by Justice Ginnane has confirmed that I can serve as your President for the full term I was elected.
His judgment concluded that no casual vacancy in the office of the MAV President is created by the City of Whittlesea not reappointing me as its MAV Representative or as a result of Whittlesea’s decision to not pay its MAV membership fees.
It’s been a really tough time for the MAV Board, who were faced with an unprecedented situation.
In an extraordinary action, board colleague Cr Geoff Lake took a huge step to defend the MAV Rules. Geoff has been involved with the MAV Board for 15 years and was President when the MAV Rules were significantly reviewed. As the only serving Board member with this corporate history, Geoff’s decision to seek a judicial review of the rules was not taken lightly. I thank Geoff for his conviction in the MAV rule changes that occurred in 2006.
I’m now glad the short disruption is over and look forward to the MAV continuing to deliver a range of great initiatives for the benefit of councils and our communities; together with my supportive Board, new CEO, Kerry Thompson and our wonderful MAV staff.
Thank you to everyone for your warm and kind messages of support; it has been very very humbling.
State election advocacy update
Our Call to Parties action plan has been well-received by all political parties.
We’re starting to see some strong policy commitments that align with some of our key sector priorities around better managing population growth and opportunities, public transport access and connectivity, and providing services where communities need them. A safe and reliable road network is another of our priority commitments sought.
It’s pleasing that today the State Government has opened the first round of funding for the $100 million Fixing Country Roads program. Rural and regional councils can apply for up to $500,000 to fund project(s) in their council area, with applications due by 15 October.
A united voice is crucial to secure election commitments, and councils play a key role in showing local MPs and candidates that there is a local community need and support for initiatives in our action plan.
Five ways you could get involved:
- Send an email from your Mayor to MPs and candidates seeking their support for our Call to Parties
- Invite State MP(s) or preselected candidates to receive a personal briefing or tour of key local sites that demonstrate the community need for specific commitments outlined in the Call to Parties action plan
- Request that local MPs put forward Call to Parties initiatives for consideration as part of their party’s state election platform
- Issue a media release calling for political parties to support local communities this election
- Use #localmatters and #VicElection2018 on your relevant council social media posts.
MAV Annual Conference, Dinner and State Council
It’s only three weeks until our annual conference and dinner on 18 October followed by State Council on 19 October.
Key conference topics include creating a sustainable future for local government, and addressing challenges of population, the environment and political, social and economic uncertainty. Keynote speakers include Minister for Local Government, Marlene Kairouz; Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy; Leader of the Greens, Dr Samantha Ratnam; comedian Rod Quantock; and the War on Waste’s Craig Reucassel.
The 2018 Victorian Councillor Service Awards will be presented at our dinner, recognising the contribution of long serving councillors and Mayors. Register online to attend the conference and dinner.
Business papers will be distributed next week to member councils for our State Council meeting on 19 October. You can register online to attend State Council.
National LG Social Media Week
This week, 24 – 28 September is a time to showcase the best of local government and the services we provide to communities across Victoria.
If you are a mayor or councillor who is active on social media please join in National LG Social Media Week using the hashtag #PartOfYourEveryDay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Ideas for how you can get involved include:
- Post about council activities – invite community members to try out a free service, activity or program
- Create some interesting ‘did you know’ posts – number of babies that council immunised last year, road length maintained, meals delivered etc
- Document your Mayoral day
- Share your council’s social media posts or posts published by @VicCouncils on Twitter and Facebook.
New audit reports of interest
Last week the Victorian Auditor General’s Office released two new reports that will be of interest to all councils (that were amongst a dump of other reports tabled at the very last opportunity). I’m making my way through them and will update in the next MAV matters.
Delivering Local Government Services examined how councils are effectively planning for and delivering cost‐efficient services that meet community needs. It also examined the role of Local Government Victoria (LGV) in providing support and guidance to councils on efficient service delivery. The report includes four recommendations for all Victorian councils to support service planning, review and evaluation.
Security and Privacy of Surveillance Technologies in Public Places assessed council processes to keep secure the information collected from CCTV surveillance systems and whether they adhere to privacy laws. The report made nine recommendations for all audited councils.
On a closing note, I’m extremely honoured to be able to continue to serve as President of the MAV. See you around.