Our MAV - President's update
MAV President's Update - sent on 17 May 2022
Dear friends and colleagues,
After this month’s State Budget, the MAV sees many opportunities for improved collaboration between state and local government, much of which will be vital for the budget to implemented.
Councils could be central to the delivery of initiatives across health and mental health, early learning and the ‘Living Local Fund’.
The $30.5m being spent to promote social inclusion action and the extra $9.1m for pilot programs in 10 municipalities is a vital start in mental health funding. Alongside the significant spend in health care, this represents an appropriate response to pandemic recovery.
Money designated to programs that enable social recovery – such as the $3m for social recovery for older Victorians and carers is also something local government is highly supportive of.
We have long advocated for funding to ensure our coastlines can withstand the impacts of climate change, and the $16.9m investment in resilient coasts is a step in the right direction, albeit the tip of the iceberg of what is needed. Significant further investment in adaptation planning and works is essential to protect our communities and infrastructure.
While there are positives, the local government sector is concerned about some gaps in the budget. A lack of funding for councils in emergency management, where the State Government has again overlooked this key service of councils, so critical during and after natural disasters.
There is ongoing investment for two other major council services – kindergarten and maternal and child health – but both sectors need more.
We have seen across Victoria a work force shortage in kindergartens and early learning that has failed to be addressed in this budget. And Maternal and Child Health requires more than just ‘business as usual’ funding, as it recovers from the disruption of the medical code brown earlier this year.
The budget may lack recognition of the work that councils do, but we stand ready for meaningful engagement to ensure this budget can be successfully implemented.
For a more detailed analysis, you can read MAV's Members' Brief on the State Budget here, and our full media release in response to the budget.
Countdown to Federal Election
We’re almost there! The final countdown to the election is well and truly on, with parties and candidates campaigning hard.
Five important topics that councils around the country need to see addressed have been raised through the Australian Local Government Association’s ‘don’t leave local communities behind’ campaign that we’ve supported.
We’ve ensured the voice of local government has been heard by all hopeful candidates.
Those being, economic recovery, transport and community infrastructure, building resilience, circular economy and intergovernmental relations.
We also asked our local communities to ‘Vote For Vic’ when you’re in the ballot box on election day and hope to see the next government, whoever that ends up being, with a focus on these key issues. Check out all the details of our campaign here, or the ALGA campaign here.
MAV Councillor Leadership Conference
It seems like a lifetime ago since we all came together at a live event, so MAV is excited to launch the inaugural MAV Councillor Leadership Conference. The event will be on Friday, 29 July at Hyatt Place in Essendon Fields and will replace the traditional Councillor Development Weekend; however, fear not - you will not be missing out on any of the goodness! We know these events have been popular in the past, so we’ve made sure to organise a cracker of a program for you, filled with an amazing line up of speakers and thought-leaders. More info to come soon.
May Board Meeting
The MAV board meeting agenda offered plenty to discuss from the state budget to the federal election and preparations for the November’s state election. The board considered and endorsed the draft MAV state election platform which will be launched at the June state council meeting. It also dealt with items on the LMI scheme, the draft MAV budget for 2022-23 and ongoing advocacy positions relating to planning reform.
MAV Rules Review
A reminder we are inviting submissions about the Rules Review Directions Paper until Monday 30 May. Thank you to those Councils who participated in the recent round table discussions with Phil Shanahan and Capire Consulting Group. If there are any queries about the Directions Paper please contact Celia Robinson on (03) 9667 5535.
State Council – 24 June 2022
Motions for the next meeting of State Council are due no later than midnight on Friday 27 May 2022. Motions must be submitted online using the State Council Motion Submission Form. The Business Papers for State Council will be emailed to MAV representatives and posted on the MAV website on Friday 10 June 2022. Online registrations are now open here.
Rural & Regional Planning Conference
This year's conference on 2-3 June will be at RACV Club Torquay and will explore how decision makers employ planning tools and policies to respond to some of our greatest challenges and opportunities - from climate change to engaging with Traditional Owners to housing affordability and rapidly changing demographics, to rejuvenating our heritage and protecting landscapes. It's a hybrid format, so attendees can be there in person or attend online. Find out more and register here.
Smart Urban Futures Conference
More than 75 local government and state colleagues attended this year’s Smart Urban Futures conference. Presented in partnership between MAV and VicWalks, an impressive line-up of speakers explored the policy and infrastructure opportunities that exist in our urban environment to reduce social inequality, increase on-street activity, promote more equitable uses of open space, tackle climate change and increase physical activity.
Cr David Clark
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