News and resources

Issue 40 April 2015

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

Issue 40, April 2015

First meeting of new MAV Board

Our new MAV Board met for the first time this month on what was a very full agenda.

One of the outcomes of that meeting was the election of our two new Deputy Presidents.

I'd like to congratulate Metropolitan Deputy President Cr Coral Ross and Rural Deputy President Cr David Clark on their appointments.

I look forward to working with them and our new advisory committee chairs over what will no doubt be a busy 12 months for the MAV.

I was also pleased the new board were able to reach an unanimous position regarding our response to the Victorian Auditor General’s Office report Effectiveness of Support for Local Government.

The Board is aware of the breadth of matters the MAV has and continues to address in response to issues raised in the report, and is committed to r the MAV becoming an exemplar of governance practice.

The Board will continue to update members regarding progress with the recommendations of the report.

Forum on the MAV's response to VAGO report

Earlier this week I circulated an email to all Mayors, MAV Representatives, councillors and CEOs regarding a forum on the MAV’s response to the VAGO report. The forum will take place on Thursday 7 May at the MAV offices and include discussions on VAGO’s recommendations.

Draft Strategic Work Plan

The Draft Strategic Work Plan was also approved and endorsed for circulation at the Board meeting.

By now councils will have had an opportunity to contribute to the MAV’s Strategic Direction for 2015/16.

This is a transitional document that reflects our progress in improving our planning processes since the release of the Auditor General’s report in late February.

It will be presented for consideration and endorsement by the MAV State Council on 15 May.

More meaningful success measures and reporting standards are currently being developed in consultation with staff and Board members for implementation and inclusion in this plan prior to 1 July.

Following on from this work it’s intended that the 2016/17 plan will include further improvements to our annual cycle of planning and reporting including proposed changes to our State Council process.

Release of the ESC's rate capping paper

As you’d be aware the Essential Services Commission has released its consultation paper regarding the proposed rate capping framework.

Our rate capping taskforce will be working with councils to formulate a sector-wide response to the framework.

The paper presents a sound opportunity to have input into the proposed framework and I encourage all councils to review the paper and make their own submission.

Some of the questions raised in the paper include whether CPI is an appropriate benchmark for cost increases, what community consultation should occur when deciding to raise rates, and how supplementary valuations should be treated.

The paper also looks at what factors should be taken into account when rate increases above CPI are proposed by councils.

Submissions to the consultation paper are due on 15 May.

Upcoming State Council

Just a reminder to register your attendance to the State Council meeting on 15 May.

I strongly encourage all MAV delegates to attend this meeting so every council can have a say in determining our strategic direction.

The State Council will consider a report from me, the draft MAV Strategic Work Plan and be voting on motions received from individual councils detailing issues they feel are of significance to the local government sector.

The State Council follows the MAV’s Metropolitan Forum and Rural and Regional forum both of which were well attended.

Meeting with Minister Neville

MAV CEO Rob Spence and I met with the Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville to discuss a range of topics relevant to local government.

Some of the matters we raised included the future of the Victorian Adaptation Sustainability Partnership, domestic waste water management, climate change mitigation, and landfill rehabilitation.

It was a productive meeting and we look forward to working with the Minister to achieve positive outcomes for the sector and for the environment.

MAV win award for work to prevent violence against women

It was great to see the MAV’s Prevention of Violence Against Women – Leading Change in the Victorian Local Government Sector booklet win a prestigious international award this month.

The Avon Global Communications Awards are about recognising work that helps change communities, policies, institutions and behaviours in an effort to end violence against women.

Our booklet was chosen from nearly 400 submissions by 146 organisations in 42 countries. The $5000 award grant will be used to create a prevention of violence against women infographic, in partnership with Our Watch, to assist councils with implementing gender equality and violence against women practices across all their service areas.

The infographic will be informed by our booklet which was funded by VicHealth in 2013.

Rural Council Victoria’s Rural Summit at Halls Gap

I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak at the RCV Rural Summit at Halls Gap which was also attended by Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford.

The summit was a great opportunity to come together and work towards the future success of rural councils and communities.

The main lessons for the event were around what rural councils need to do to be successful – change with the times, think outside the square, collaborate and look to our youth.

It was great to learn more about the Tomorrow Towns program and the Rural Councils Sustainability project.

ANZAC Day

On 25 April Australians commemorated ANZAC Day and marked 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.

Many took the time to pause and reflect at one of the many events held across our State.

I know councils were heavily involved in organising events for their communities and I’d like to acknowledge their efforts on this significant day.

Best wishes
Bill