On the Road
I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the road over the past month, first at the National General Assembly in Canberra followed by Yarriambiack for the North West Municipalities Association AGM. I’ve also been to Murrindindi for a catch up with the new CEO and council; and Corangamite and Surf Coast Shires for regional meetings. I thoroughly enjoy this part of my President’s role, meeting with members on your home turf to discuss local issues of importance to your communities. Here’s a few photos from my most recent road trips - I was very fortunate to visit the Silo Art Trail in Yarriambiack after the North West Municipalities Association AGM.
Local Government Bill & integrity legislative reforms
Last week we circulated a Members Brief summarising our position on the Local Government Bill 2018, and a range of outstanding concerns for local government that we’re continuing to advocate to the Government, political parties and independent MPs ahead of Parliament resuming next week.
Something that has not been so high profile, is the Integrity and Accountability Legislation Amendment (Public Interest Disclosures, Oversight and Independence) Bill 2018. This Bill seeks to resolve jurisdictional issues between integrity bodies, and a number of proposed reforms will impact local government.
One impact is expanding and clarifying the types of wrongdoing that can be disclosed and investigated as a public interest complaint. It also broadens the functions of the Chief Municipal Inspector to investigate public interest complaints. We will keep members updated on these legislative reforms as provisions in the LG Bill relating to public interest disclosures are contingent on the passage of the Integrity Bill.
State recycling industry plan announced
The State Government’s long-awaited response to the recycling crisis has been released in the Recycling Industry Strategic Plan. Of the 10 actions listed within the State plan, the MAV and/or councils are identified as partners in seven actions.
The plan is a step in the right direction, and we welcome State support to develop the recycling conversion industry, create new markets for recycled materials and increase community education. However with an estimated $500+ million available in the Sustainability Fund, it’s disappointing that significant additional investment hasn’t yet been forthcoming.
State election advocacy campaign
Our state election sector advocacy campaign is underway. All political parties and Independent MPs have received a copy of our Call to Parties plan seeking 42 commitments that will grow Victoria’s economy, improve liveability and support stronger communities.
Campaign resource kits were distributed to members last month. Our campaign framework has a #localmatters theme so councils can select individual commitments from the 42 listed in our sector Call to Parties that are important to your local community and complement your council’s own state election advocacy efforts. I encourage all councils to:
- Follow and share our Vic Councils Facebook and Twitter campaign posts as relevant
- Use the #localmatters campaign hashtag on all your #VicElection2018 social media posts
- Write to your local State MPs and provide them with a copy of the Call to Parties document
- Send us a 30 second video message (as outlined in my June MAV Matters) or record your video message at our Councillor Development Weekend later this month.
We’ll begin publishing video messages as part of our social media campaign from August. And the secret video project that I’ve been working on with Dick is almost complete and ready to share with you.
PwC report on MAV Insurance
Last week we circulated a Members Brief to all councils summarising a report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for MAV Insurance. The report was commissioned in response to current market conditions and proposed legislative reforms that will impact on the operation of our Liability Mutual Insurance (LMI) scheme.
The PwC report concluded that LMI continues to provide a significant benefit to the community, councils and the Victorian Government. This includes continuity of good quality insurance coverage, a focus on risk management and adequate insurance limits. PwC also recommended a range of structural and operational reforms to secure the scheme’s long-term viability, which have been accepted by the MAV Board in principle.
The structure of MAV Insurance will require further discussion and input from member councils before we establish a future pathway. A range of governance and operational changes will be actioned to improve risk management by councils, scheme transparency and administration, and deliver greater value to scheme members.
Councillor Development Weekend: 27-29 July
Our annual Councillor Development Weekend is just around the corner, and we have a fabulous program of topical speakers and workshops to challenge councillors’ leadership development skills.
We’ve experienced a high level of demand for this event and accommodation is sold out! You can still register to attend the conference, and we can help arrange accommodation if required if you email MAV events. I look forward to catching up with many of you in Torquay.