News and resources

Issue 34 August 2014

MAV President's Update - occasional report from Cr Bill McArthur, President of the MAV

Issue 34, August 2014

MAV Call to Parties

Our Call to Parties outlines the agreed local government sector priority issues for political parties to address in the lead up to the state election.

It includes 51 commitments sought across eight key themes - State-local government relations, regulatory and self reform, planning, environment, transport and infrastructure, community services, public health and safety, and emergency management.

The Call to Parties reflects our Strategic Work Plan priorities and State Council resolutions adopted by members, as well as issues raised through our metropolitan and rural/regional forums. Thank you to all councils who provided feedback on the draft document, which has now been approved by the MAV Board.

Our state election campaign page is up and running. It includes a copy of the Call to Parties, together with letters to all political party leaders. All responses received from parties will be published on this page.

I also encourage all councils to provide a copy of the Call to Parties to your local MPs, and to brief your local candidates in the lead up to the state election.

Finance Taskforce

The MAV’s new Financial Assistance Grants and Rate Capping Taskforce held its first meeting in late July, with the next meeting coming up in early September.

Councillors and officers from 25 councils are represented on the Taskforce to guide the MAV’s response to the recent Commonwealth Government decision to cease indexation of Financial Assistance Grants over the next three years, and the state opposition’s proposed rate capping policy.

The Victorian Grants Commission provided a presentation to the Taskforce outlining the method used to distribute the grants between councils and an overview of the consequences of indexation cuts. Over the coming months a range of strategies and responses available will be examined by the Taskforce to develop a sector-wide position. We will keep you updated as this work progresses.

Councillors as candidates

As the state election looms closer, there are a number of councillors announcing their intention to nominate as candidates, either pre-selected to run for a registered political party or as an independent candidate.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the MAV Board recently reviewed and updated our Councillors as Candidates Guidelines (Word - 93.3KB). The MAV has encouraged all councils to adopt the guidelines as part of the Council Code of Conduct to ensure transparency and good governance arrangements are in place.

The guidelines distinguish between a prospective candidate (either pre-selected or with an intention to stand) and additional requirements considered appropriate for a nominated candidate. We have received a number of media queries about this matter in recent weeks.

A pre-selected candidate is not a nominated candidate until their nomination form has been submitted to the VEC. Nominations for the state election open on 5 November, so up until this time any councillor intending to stand in the state election is a prospective candidate.

August edition of CiVic

Our August edition of CiVic magazine has some great local government stories. Community Chef has been profiled, plus Brimbank and Greater Dandenong’s large scale distribution centres for delivered meals; Monash’s Baby Makes 3 partnership program targeting first time parents; Queenscliffe’s tourism plan for Fort Queenscliff; and how abandoned cars in Banyule and Moreland are helping to tackle youth homelessness.

You can also read about the MAV’s new food sampling app developed to help councils fulfil their food safety obligations, and RCV’s funding for (f)route to deliver technology in creative industries within East Gippsland, Corangamite, Hepburn and Baw Baw shires.

Planning has also commenced for the December edition of CiVic so send your story ideas through to our Editor, Kristi High at Puffafish.

Annual Conference, Dinner and State Council

We are currently putting the finishing touches on our 2014 annual conference program. Confirmed speakers so far for the 23 October event include the Premier, The Hon Dr Denis Napthine; Victorian Greens Leader, Greg Barber; Victorian Auditor General, John Doyle; and ABC 774 presenter Jon Faine. The full program will be available from next week.

One of the highlights of our annual dinner is the presentation of Councillor Service Awards recognising 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years’ service. The award of Mayor Emeritus also recognises councillors who have served three full terms or more as mayor. We recently circulated the award applications to all councils, which must be completed, certified by your CEO and returned to the MAV by 9 October.

Following the annual conference, State Council will take place on 24 October. Motions for State Council can be submitted by members using the template form until 26 September.

Best wishes
Bill