Dear friends and colleagues,
Welcome to the second edition of my President’s Update, Our MAV.
May has been a busy month with the Federal election, MAV State Council, State Budget and many other sector events taking place. It was great to see so many attending our Future of Local Government Summit, our Arts and Creative Industries Forum and this week’s Rural and Regional Planning Conference.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to two newly elected councillors – Cr Bridgid O’Brien at Yarra City Council and Cr Sherry Matthew at South Gippsland Shire. A by-election is currently underway at Melton, and Surf Coast Shire will require a by-election following this week’s resignation of Cr Libby Coker, who successfully contested the Federal election in the marginal seat of Corangamite.
2019 State Budget
This week the Victorian Government released its State Budget. We acknowledged the many positives in the budget for councils and our communities – including significant spending on transport infrastructure, kindergarten and parenting centre funding and $50 million for the Growing Suburbs Fund, as well as incentives to attract businesses and skilled workers to our regions.
We also expressed our disappointment that only $6.6 million will be made available in 2019/20 to tackle the recycling crisis - with none of it appearing to come directly to local councils. We will continue our conversations with Minister D’Ambrosio about how we can work together on shared solutions that provide greater stability for our volatile recycling system.
While the Australian Electoral Commission finalises the federal election counting and declarations, this week the re-elected Prime Minister announced his Cabinet which has been sworn in by the Governor General.
West Australian MP, Ken Wyatt becomes the first Aboriginal person to sit in Cabinet as the Minister for Indigenous Australians. Alan Tudge takes on the population, cities and urban infrastructure portfolios, while NSW Nationals MP Mark Coulton becomes Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government.
We are particularly pleased to see a new position of Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management allocated to Queensland MP Trevor Evans. We are hopeful this signals the beginning of more meaningful leadership by the Australian government on waste issues. The re-elected government also committed to a $167 million Australian Recycling Investment Plan. We will be urging the government to act quickly to set ambitious targets and timeframes, recognising the vulnerability of our resource recovery system.
You will be hearing more from the MAV shortly about the post-election phase of the ALGA’s national A Fairer Share campaign. This will also be discussed at the ALGA National General Assembly in Canberra in a few weeks. I hope to see many of you there.
Our State Council took place on 17 May with a new pilot format and layout. We heard from guest speakers Malcolm Alexander (Local Government New Zealand) and Toni Jones (KPMG) on the topic of financial sustainability. Presentations from both our speakers are now available on the State Council page in the members-only area of our website. You will need to log-in using your password, or you can register to gain access.
All resolutions adopted by State Council are now available on our website, and last week we sent all members a survey link seeking your feedback on the State Council format. We would greatly appreciate you completing the survey to inform our format for future State Council meetings.
We have also published our adopted Strategic Work Plan for 2019/21 on our website.
Strengthening our reporting transparency
I was pleased to circulate new tailored Member Services Reports to all councils at the beginning of this month. These reports outline the services and benefits provided to your council during 2018 and are the first step towards improving how we report back to you about the value of your MAV membership.
I welcome your feedback on these reports ahead of our project in the second half of 2019 to develop a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for the MAV. We would like to automate and improve upon the Member Services Report for next year so your feedback will help inform our CRM design process.
To improve upon our transparency, we have also created a new Our Board Hub on our members-only website where all future MAV Board minutes will be published. You can log-in to view the April Board minutes.
Rural and Metro Forums
Finally, the agendas were circulated this week for our upcoming Rural and Regional Forum and Metropolitan Forum on 6 June. For the first time, we will be hosting a combined networking lunch with separate members-only forum meetings that reflect councils’ current strategic and operational priorities.
Please ensure you register your attendance by next Monday, 3 June. I look forward to welcoming you to our forums next week.
With kind regards,