News and resources

Our MAV - President's update

MAV President's Update - 17 March 2023

Dear friends and colleagues,

I was humbled and honoured to be re-elected MAV President for a second term last week. I am now looking forward to working with our newly elected board to continue the important work of the MAV.

Our board directors (pictured below) will be: Cr Nathan Hersey, Cr Rohan Leppert, Cr Murray Emerson, Cr Steve Staikos, Cr Ruth Gstrein, Cr Stuart James, Cr Aaron Scales, Cr Jennifer Anderson, Cr Joseph Haweil, and Cr Kathy Majdlik (who was unavailable for the photo).

MAV Board Directors for 2023

I would also like to sincerely thank our outgoing board members Cr Tom Melican, Cr Jami Klisaris, Cr Kristopher Bolam, Cr Brett Tessari and Cr Kylie Grzybek for their participation and contribution.

Once again, it’s been a busy year. We started on the front foot with several meetings with elected representatives. Our liaison with Ministers and their staff is an important aspect of our work to ensure the voice of local government and the communities we represent is heard in the decision-making halls.

We were delighted to welcome the State Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Melissa Horne, to our Councillor Leadership Conference in February. It was a terrific opportunity for mayors and councillors from across Victoria to hear directly from her and participate in a challenging program that explored the pertinent theme - ‘Power of Your Leadership Legacy’.

David Clark, Raf Epstein, and Kerry Thompson

I especially enjoyed Raf Epstein, presenter from the Drive show on ABC Radio Melbourne (pictured above), who presented on “New Media New Politics”. I am still unpacking Raf's profound observation that, in worrying that society might end up like George Orwell's 1984, we have indeed landed in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, where distinguishing fact from opinion and marketing is an increasingly impossible task.

Finally, the MAV was among those to mark IWD 2023, which supported the UN Women Australia’s International Women’s Day theme - ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future’. This was an important occasion to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women as well as highlight there remain inequities to be resolved.

Warm regards,

Cr David Clark


In this issue of "Our MAV" - President’s Update

Call for action on building reform

In October last year, the Supreme Court issued a judgment that fundamentally changed the scope of what a building surveyor could require through issuing a building order. This new interpretation of sections of the Building Act severely compromises councils’ ability to address issues of compliance and safety effectively and efficiently.

The MAV, the Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group, and the City of Port Phillip are advocating to the Victorian Government for a simple regulatory change that would restore the previous interpretation of what a building order can require.

We have provided a template letter to sector CEOs so that your council can express its support for our advocacy to the Minister for Planning. We would also welcome any further comment you have on this issue.

Building reform

More broadly, this week the Victorian Government released the stage one report from the expert panel on building reform, as well as introduced legislation to Parliament. Please see our media release addressing these.

The report can be accessed here, while the Bill can be read here.

We’re glad the panel has recognised the significant shortcomings of Victoria’s current building regulatory system. Many of the recommendations are common-sense fixes and we hope will be uncontroversial.

We do have concerns about some recommendations. The legislation introduced this week has left out the previously supported proposal to make councils responsible for an additional inspection on complex buildings. We hope that is a sign that the government is receptive to the concerns we have expressed. We will continue to raise these issues with them.

Review of the rate capping mechanism

Late last year the Victorian Government tabled the legislated review of the rate capping mechanism and the Government’s response. The review was limited in scope, with critical issues excluded such as whether CPI forecasts are the appropriate basis for setting the rate cap.

For what was in scope, the government’s response is largely positive. It plans to set the rate cap earlier in the year using May CPI forecasts (rather than December). This will allow councils to better incorporate the cap into their budget processes and give them more time to prepare variation applications.

A key focus of the review is improving communication about the rate cap, which if developed in partnership with the sector, will be a step forward.

Kerry Thompson and David Clark

Thank you, Kerry!

I would like to acknowledge our CEO, Kerry Thompson, who informed us last October of her decision to step down from her role following the Board election. Kerry has been an incredible leader in what have been challenging times for the MAV and the sector more broadly.

Without doubt, Kerry has left an indelible mark on the MAV and on the local government sector as a whole. Her distinguished career has involved more than 20 years in executive leadership roles. As well as being our first female CEO since MAV was formed in 1879, Kerry was formerly the acting Chief Executive of VicRoads, she served as CEO of Wyndham and Maribyrnong city councils, and was the Director, City Services and Assets, for the City of Melbourne.

Kerry will depart the MAV on 20 March, and we thank her for the extraordinary service, leadership and contribution she has given to the local government sector.

We are partnering with SHK Asia Pacific in our search for the next CEO of the Municipal Association of Victoria.

Event image

MAV State Council meeting – coming soon!

A reminder that the next MAV State Council Meeting will be held on Friday 19 May from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Melbourne Town Hall, 90 – 130 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Motions must be a council resolution and be submitted by midnight on Monday 20 March. Early motions received up to 5pm on Friday 24 February 2023 will be circulated to all member councils on Monday 27 February 2023.

The Agenda and Business Papers for State Council will be emailed to MAV delegates and posted on the MAV website on Wednesday 19 April 2023. Online registrations are now open, and we are also planning to hold an online briefing in early May for delegates new to State Council.

Save the date

MAV Technology Annual Conference and Awards for Excellence
Date: Wednesday 9 August – Friday 11 August 2023
Venue: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Time: Conference Time: TBD
Dinner Time: TBD
Delivery: In-person
Registrations: open in April 2023

MAV Annual Conference and Dinner
Date: Thursday 12 October 2023
Venue: Sofitel Melbourne
Time: Conference Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm (TBC)
Dinner Time: 6:30pm – 11:00pm (TBC)
Delivery: In-person
Registrations: open in mid-August 2023

MAV State Council  

Date: Friday 13 October 2023
Venue: Sofitel Melbourne
Delivery: In-person
Registrations: open in mid-August 2023