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State Council action report May 2009

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					Municipal Association of Victoria
    State Council, 27 May 2009

             Resolutions Report
TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 4
TIMING OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS IN VICTORIA ......................................... 5
CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROVISIONS............................................................................. 7
FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ................................................. 9
SCHOOL CROSSING GRANT TO COUNCILS .................................................................. 11
See School Crossings Funding ........................................................................................... 11
SCHOOL CROSSINGS FUNDING ..................................................................................... 12
See School Crossing Grant to Councils .............................................................................. 12
DEPRECIATION ................................................................................................................. 13
TAX DEDUCTIBILITY - ELECTION EXPENSES ................................................................ 15
PUBLIC LIBRARY FUNDING.............................................................................................. 16
RATING VALUATIONS ....................................................................................................... 18
INCREASE OF CAPITAL FUNDING TO JOINT-USE FACILITIES BETWEEN LOCAL
GOVERNMENT AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD
DEVELOPMENT ................................................................................................................. 20
PENSIONER RATE CONCESSION.................................................................................... 25
FUNDING FOR RURAL GENERAL PRACTITIONERS....................................................... 27
COST OF VALUATIONS .................................................................................................... 29
COST SHIFTING OF ESSENTIAL SAFETY MEASURES ON BUILDINGS ON CROWN
LAND .................................................................................................................................. 31
LIABILITY FOR ASSETS IN ROAD RESERVES ................................................................ 33
ESTABLISHING A FEDERAL COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE FUND .......................... 34
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES ............... 36
FUNDING FOR AGED AND DISABILITY SERVICES ......................................................... 39
FUNDING FOR DROUGHT RESPONSE OFFICERS ......................................................... 41
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE .. 43
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO CHANGE TO ENERGY EFFICIENT STREET LIGHTS ........... 45
ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING........................................................................................ 47
ENERGY EFFICIENT STREET LIGHTING ......................................................................... 49
PROTOCOL FOR NEGOTIATING STATE EARLY YEARS FUNDING ............................... 51
FUTURE DIRECTION OF RATING AUTHORITY VALUATIONS ........................................ 53
LAND TAX .......................................................................................................................... 55
RIGHT OF REVIEW BY VCAT IN RELATION TO CROWN LAND...................................... 57
AFFORDABLE HOUSING - 1 ............................................................................................. 59
AFFORDABLE HOUSING - 2 ............................................................................................. 61


                                                                                                                                         2
MEALS ON WHEELS ......................................................................................................... 63
FREEZA PROGRAM .......................................................................................................... 65
INTEGRATED HACC SERVICES ....................................................................................... 67
CHILDREN‟ S SERVICES REGULATIONS ......................................................................... 69
DPCD ANNUAL COMMUNITY SATISFACTION SURVEY ................................................. 71
PRE-SCHOOL SERVICES ................................................................................................. 72
RELEASE AND FUNDING OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT‟ S AUTISM STATE PLAN ..... 74
SUPPORTING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EARLY YEARS REFORM AGENDA ............ 75
IMPACTS OF HEAT STRESS ............................................................................................ 78
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH PRIVATE UTILITY COMPANIES ............. 80
CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR REVITALISATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF MAJOR AND
PRINCIPLE ACTIVITY CENTRES THROUGH THE EXTENSION OF THE CREATING
BETTER PLACES PROGRAM ........................................................................................... 81
LEVEL RAILWAY CROSSINGS – GRADE SEPARATION ................................................. 83
NATIONAL TV TAKE BACK SCHEME ............................................................................... 85
DISPOSAL OF FLUORESCENT GLOBES ......................................................................... 87
IMPLEMENTATION OF VICTORIAN COASTAL STRATEGY SEA LEVEL RISE POLICY.. 89
SEA LEVEL CHANGE ........................................................................................................ 91
CONTAINER DEPOSIT LEGISLATION .............................................................................. 93
PACKAGING /CONTAINER RECOVERY SCHEME ........................................................... 95
PHASE OUT POLYETHYLENE BAGS ............................................................................... 97
ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE................................................................................. 99
TAKE IN – TAKE OUT RUBBISH POLICY........................................................................ 100
TREATMENT OF GREEN POWER UNDER THE CARBON POLLUTION REDUCTION
SCHEME .......................................................................................................................... 102
ESTABLISHMENT OF MEASURES TO ADDRESS E-WASTE ........................................ 104
WEED CONTROL............................................................................................................. 106
WATERING OF COMMUNITY SPORTS GROUNDS ....................................................... 109
ASSISTANCE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION ..................... 111
BUSHFIRE LEVY.............................................................................................................. 113
MUNICIPAL SUBSIDIES FOR VIC SES UNITS................................................................ 115
FIRE CONTROL PROGRAMS.......................................................................................... 117
REGIONAL LIBRARY CORPORATIONS BY TELE/VIDEO CONFERENCE .................... 119
CALL FOR THE MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA TO ADVOCATE ON ISSUES
RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS................................................................. 120
A PACKAGE TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS, CREATE JOBS AND SUPPORT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT .......................................................................................... 122
LOCAL GOVERNMENT BROADBAND ............................................................................ 124
ACCOUNTING FOR REGIONAL, RURAL AND GROWTH AREA NEEDS ....................... 126
COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE .................................................................................. 128
PLANNING PERMIT EXEMPTIONS ................................................................................. 130

                                                                                                                                        3
INTRODUCTION


The State Council is the governing body of the Municipal Association of Victoria. Members
can submit matters of state-wide significance in writing not less than 28 days before the
meeting. Motions are resolved on the majority of votes cast by members present in
accordance with the MAV Rules 2008.

It is the MAV Management Committee‟ s responsibility to define the detail of the broad
policies, objectives and strategies determined by State Council. The Management
Committee has considered each of the resolutions from the State Council meeting on
Wednesday 27 May 2009 and determined how each resolution will be actioned.

This report provides member councils with feedback on the Management Committee‟ s
assessment of the resolutions from 27 May 2009 and the actions it has approved to progress
each resolution. It should be read in conjunction with the MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10, which
was endorsed at the same meeting of State Council.

The Management Committee has determined that the newly formed advisory groups will
play an important role in guiding and monitoring the implementation of State Council
resolutions.

The terms of reference for the advisory groups target their activity on the priority issues
facing local government as set out in the MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10. Their roles will be to
inform the MAV of councils‟ positions, issues and strategies identified in each region; support
consultation with regional groupings of councils on current state-wide issues; and participate
in the formulation of MAV state-wide policy positions and campaigns.

Councils appointed representatives to the MAV will receive a report ahead of the next State
Council meeting scheduled for Friday 30 October 2009 on the implementation of the
resolutions. This will identify the status of all the actions detailed in this report and any
additional activity undertaken relating to the resolutions.




                                                                                                4
TIMING OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS IN VICTORIA

Resolution:
That the State Government be requested to amend the Local Government Act to provide for
municipal elections in Victoria to be held on the second Saturday in October, in order to
create the opportunity for a far earlier start to the Council Plan process, and thereby creating
the opportunity for a far more influential involvement for Councillors in the first budget of a
new Council.

Contact officer:
Alison Lyon

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The current timing for elections, Council Plan and budget preparation has been in place for
some time and it is therefore difficult to assess the magnitude of impact of bringing forward
local government elections.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The State has argued that the consistency in the election date for State and local
government increases the awareness and the interest of the public in the elections.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Will not affect councils until the lead up to the 2012 local government elections.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Early comments by the Minister suggest that more evidence will be needed to be identified
to support the proposal.

Additional comments:

It is unlikely that the proposal will be favourably considered unless it is clear that the public
are either supportive or indifferent to the change.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):



                                                                                                    5
1. Request interested councils to provide input regarding the current challenges associated
with the November Local Government elections.
2. Write to the Minister including details of the current challenges and the benefits that would
accrue to both councils and the community if local government elections occurred on the
second Saturday in October.




                                                                                               6
CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROVISIONS

Resolution:
The Municipal Association of Victoria requests the Government amend the new conflict of
interest provisions to remove the complexity, procedural problems and uncertainty they are
now causing Councils by hamstringing them in their role of effectively representing their
communities

Contact officer:
Alison Lyon

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The Strategic Plan includes monitoring the impacts of recent changes to the Local
Government Act 1989 and seeking clarity where necessary in addition to supporting
councillors to understand the new conflicts of interest provisions.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant governance implications for councillors.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The Minister has indicated a preparedness to review aspects of the conflict of interest
provisions however has also indicated that a wholesale review will not occur until the
provisions have been in place for some time.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

It is likely that some legislative amendments will be proposed in Spring session of Parliament

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Preliminary discussion with the Minister and Local Government Victoria suggests that it will
be possible to achieve a partial review however more evidence will be required to campaign
for wholesale review.

Additional comments:

The written submissions received to date have focussed on the hospitality issues (applicable
gift) and the conflicting duty arising from membership of the governing body of a not-for-
profit.

A threshold issue that has been raised during training and in a variety of other forums is the
difficulty of understanding the conflict of interest provisions, minor „interests‟ unnecessarily
restricting councillors from representing their constituents and frustration at the lack of
advice available from council officers or Local Government Victoria given that a breach of
the provisions is an offence.

                                                                                                   7
Other relevant resolutions (if any):

The additional State Council resolution relating to Conflict of Interest provisions is intended
to be addressed with the same action plan.

Action(s):

   1. Call for expressions of interest from interested councillors and council officers to form
       a Working Group that both assists in identifying the priority issues together with the
       preferred amendments;
   2. Prepare a discussion paper for consideration by the Management Committee that
       would be the subject of consultation with the sector;
   3. Campaign for change.




                                                                                                  8
FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council, in regard to ensuring the long term financial sustainability of
Local Government, convey to State and National Governments that:
         a) The largest problem facing councils is vertical fiscal imbalance (i.e. the sector
             requires additional funding from other levels of government to fund its services).
 And
         b) As the Commonwealth raises significant additional revenue over and above its
             expenditure responsibilities.
 That
 There is a need for the redistribution of National income, through the commonwealth
providing local government a predetermined share of national income tax allocated as
'untied' and as 'base' revenue.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:
High, directly addresses the key priority of “Continu[ing] advocating that Commonwealth
funding to councils should be increased to one per cent of its revenue base and an escalator
introduced reflective of the cost structures of local government, such as the Wage Cost
Index.”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:
The issue of financial sustainability has been allocated a high priority due to the magnitude
of impact on councils, its affect on a majority of councils and high immediacy.

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities
The issue of financial sustainability and appropriate Commonwealth funding is of key
concern to local government, particularly rural municipalities with significant infrastructure
portfolios and limited populations.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue
All councils, particularly 38 rural municipalities

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Relates specifically to the strength of the relationship between local and Commonwealth
governments.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

An immediate priority

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Improvements to the financial relationship between the two spheres of government are
possible in the 2010-11 financial year through the allocation of funding for the Regional and
Local Community Infrastructure Program.

The likelihood of influencing the outcome in untied grants is low in the short-term, but also
could be possible through the Henry Tax Review


                                                                                                  9
Additional comments:
Some issues may be identified in using terminology around „vertical fiscal imbalance‟ as the
outcome sought by the MAV and councils would actually increase the level of VFI in the
Australian federal system.

An alternative argument for improved funding arrangements relates to the failure of the
current pool of untied grants in that it does not achieve full horizontal fiscal equalisation –
that is, it does not allow all councils to provide services at an average level. Addressing this
issue would achieve the underlying goal of the resolution.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Resolutions from previous meetings of State Council directly relate to this priority

Action(s):

1. Undertake the annual assessment of councils‟ financial performance to build awareness
of the current financial state of the sector
2. Advocate through the ALGA and COAG for improved funding relations for local
government
3. Advocate for the continuation of the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure
program on an ongoing basis.
4. Provide submissions to the various stages of the Henry Review of Tax to advocate for an
improved share of funding for local government




                                                                                               10
SCHOOL CROSSING GRANT TO COUNCILS

Resolution:
That the MAV write to the Victorian Minister for Public Transport, the Hon. Lynne Kosky MP,
requesting an increase in the grant allocation pool to councils for the employment of School
Crossing Supervisors.

Contact officer:
John Hennessy

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities

Councils are increasingly cross subsidising school crossing services at a significant cost.
Where these costs cannot be met there are serious implications for road safety.

(2)     Number of councils affected by the issue

79

(3)     Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This is a politically sensitive issue

(4)     Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)     Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Current review nearing finalisation

Additional comments:

The MAV, councils and VicRoads have been working on a sustainable outcome for two
years. This matter has been the subject of consultation with councils and representations to
the Minister and is now nearing finalisation. Additional funding is a part of the overall strategy
for local government.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
See School Crossings Funding

Action(s):
   1. Consult councils on the draft outcome from the School Crossing Supervisors Review




                                                                                               11
SCHOOL CROSSINGS FUNDING

Resolution:
That the State Government reviews the warrants criteria and funding arrangements for
school crossings to lessen the increasing funding shortfalls for Local Government

Contact officer:
John Hennessy

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities

Councils are increasingly cross subsidising school crossing services at a significant cost.
Where these costs cannot be met there are serious implications for road safety.

(2)     Number of councils affected by the issue

79

(3)     Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This is a politically sensitive issue

(4)     Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)     Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Current review nearing finalisation

Additional comments:

The MAV, councils and VicRoads have been working on a sustainable outcome for two
years. This matter has been the subject of consultation with councils and representations to
the Minister and is now nearing finalisation. Additional funding is a part of the overall strategy
for local government.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
See School Crossing Grant to Councils

Action(s):
   1. Consult councils on the draft outcome from the School Crossing Supervisors Review




                                                                                               12
DEPRECIATION

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria State Council calls on the State Government to
ensure consistency in the calculation of the depreciation expense to ensure valid
comparisons between councils.

Contact officer:
John Hennessy

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The Strategic Plan 2009-10 acknowledges that the significant infrastructure portfolios of
councils are typically the biggest source of financial challenge for local government and that
councils must continually make long term provision for renewing and rebuilding this
infrastructure at the rate it degrades.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

This is a major issue impacting on council financial outcomes and credibility. Consistency of
approach is essential.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

79 councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

None. The State Government has actively supported reform among councils.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

A consistent approach would be a benefit for the local government sector and its
communities.

Additional comments:

The State Government has completed some assessments of pilot councils and the approach
is being utilised in the Step Asset Management Program.

Through the Step Asset Management Program Victorian councils have reduced the asset
renewal gap from $280 million to $133 million over the past four years through introducing
more robust assessment methods; establishing asset management plans; improving links
between financial records and engineering; separating renewal, upgrade and new capital
works in council budgets; increasing rates and elevating responsibilities for managing the
asset portfolio to senior management and councillors. This demonstrates that Step is an
appropriate model to drive further reform among councils.


                                                                                             13
The ALGA also has a role to play in ensuring consistency at a national level. The MAV
provides regular input to the ALGA on asset management initiatives and reforms.

Action(s):
1. Develop a draft local government position for consultation with councils
2. Discuss local government position with the State Government




                                                                                        14
TAX DEDUCTIBILITY - ELECTION EXPENSES

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria State Council further write to the Australian Tax
Office seeking an urgent review of the current ceiling of $1,000 for election expenses that
can be claimed by candidates for council elections.

Contact officer:
Alison Lyon

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil


Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Financial implications for all local government candidates who spend more than $1,000 on
election expenses.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Unknown

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Nil

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Will not affect candidates until after the next council elections in 2012 except where there is
an extraordinary vacancy.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Difficult to achieve traction within ATO to date. Greater likelihood of success if ALGA support
proposal.

Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):


Action(s):

1. Recommend that ALGA adopt the proposal and support ALGA; or in the absence of
adoption by ALGA;
2. Write to ATO and Minister for Local Government.




                                                                                               15
PUBLIC LIBRARY FUNDING

Resolution:
That the MAV continues to pursue the issues raised by councils and Regional Library
Corporations, regarding the escalating recurrent costs by local government for the provision
of public library services in Victoria.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The Human Services and Public health priorities include:
„position Victorian local government in the library funding campaign at a national level”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Increasing investment above CPI is being required of all councils annually to maintain library
service levels and/or to undertake growth/development of services. Libraries are currently
experiencing measurable growth in service usage linked to the community impact of the
global financial crisis. As a result, councils determine whether library services are a priority
expenditure for their community on an annual basis. In terms of financial sustainability, there
is scope for councils to increase their focus on containing costs through collective
arrangements and sector development initiatives.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils and Regional Library Corporations.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Councils are seeking a partnership approach between the three spheres of government to
investment in public libraries through the development of a national public library framework,
in the spirit of the national Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) and the Victorian State Local
Government Agreement (VSLGA).

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing funding and cost shifting issue for councils.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

In terms of intergovernmental negotiation, following advocacy with successive Premiers,
Ministers and Treasurers, the MAV‟ s experience is that there is little likelihood of receiving
additional recurrent funding from the State to keep doing „more of the same‟ , and that
funding will never be restored to the 50/50 State/local government contributions of the past.

The approach most likely to achieve success is a Partnership Agreement around shared
goals (which has been proposed in the past - similar to MCH MoU model) with funding
contributions made on the basis of the continuing commitment by State and local
government to particular aspects of the library sector and service costs. A joint approach


                                                                                              16
could then be made to the Commonwealth around potential funding investment in areas of
national interest, eg broadband roll-out, social inclusion programs and so on.


Additional comments:

MAV advocacy with the State on library funding issues has been undertaken over the last
twenty years, and is the subject of many previous similar State Council resolutions. No
significant improvement in recurrent library funding has been achieved to date, although the
State has increased investment into library sector development, building capital, book stock,
information technology and non-recurrent projects. A longer term 3 – 5 year funding
campaign has been now proposed by councils, which seeks to re-position public libraries
around the objectives of social inclusion and lifelong learning in the information age, and the
Ministerial Advisory Council vision for „borderless libraries‟ .

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Similar motions have been put to nearly every State Council meeting over several years.

Action(s):

   1. Contribute to development of a national framework for public libraries at the National
       Summit in July 2009.
   2. Raise policy and funding issues at MAV meeting planned with Senator Ursula
       Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion
   3. Hold a summit / forum for all Victorian councils and corporations in late 2009 in
       conjunction with the Public Libraries Network Victoria (PLVN).
   4. Propose to the State a Partnership Agreement be developed with the MAV on public
       libraries, in the spirit of the VSLGA, building on the research in the MAV
       commissioned „Dividends‟ report 2008.
   5. Pursue financial sustainability through sector development and aggregated
       purchasing and similar arrangements to contain library costs.




                                                                                             17
RATING VALUATIONS

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria call upon the Minister for Environment and Climate
Change, as the responsible party for the office of the Valuer General, to abandon the
proposals put forward in the document “The Future Direction of Rating Authority Valuations
in Victoria”

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

The issue is of high importance to local government under the criteria identified below, with
widespread implications, high impact for some councils and a high probability of influencing
the outcome.

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities

The proposal will be of greater consequence to those councils with in-house valuers that
would be exposed to redundancy costs and potentially declining valuation standards.

The issue is of concern to all councils insofar as it relates to the tax base of local
government.

(2)     Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils with some more affected, in line with the above assessment.

(3)     Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

There is evidence of some division in opinion in the sector on this matter, but a significant
majority of councils appear to oppose the proposals.

The issue does not appear to be a key strategy for the State Government.

(4)     Immediacy of the issue

Will affect councils by 2012 if the proposal is successful.

(5)     Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High. The proposals would be required to go through the Victorian parliament and it has
received negative responses from the Opposition and minor parties. It is unlikely, if the
sector were to oppose the matter, that it would be passed through the upper house.

Additional comments:
The MAV convened a forum of councils in early 2009 to inform its submission to the
discussion paper, which opposed the proposal. In addition, the MAV called for formal
positions of council.

                                                                                                18
Since it provided the submission, the MAV has raised its concerns with the Valuer General
and has met with the Minister‟ s office.


Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Directly related to and consistent with the resolution from May 2009 entitled „Future
Directions of Rating Valuations‟ .

Action(s):

1. Communicate the resolution to the Valuer General and the Minister‟ s office (complete)
2. Write to the Minister for Environment to indicate the MAV‟ s opposition to the proposal




                                                                                             19
INCREASE OF CAPITAL FUNDING TO JOINT-USE FACILITIES BETWEEN LOCAL
GOVERNMENT AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD
DEVELOPMENT

Resolution:
That the MAV lobby State Government to increase capital funding to joint use facilities
between local communities and the Department of Education and Early Childhood
Development (DEECD)

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution relates to three MAV 2009/10 Priorities for Human Services:
        Develop a partnership agreement with the State Government for the delivery of
        education and early childhood services that, among other things, protects councils
        against cost shifting.
        Position local government to benefit from the re-alignment of the responsibilities
        between federal, state and local government for…early childhood services.
        Support councils to take up opportunities under federal funding for the planning and
        development of community hubs in coordination with State Government projects,
        being mindful of the potential for cost-shifting.
And one of MAV‟ s 2009/10 priorities for Infrastructure:
       Work with the Victorian Coordinator general to assist councils to think creatively and
       differently when planning and coordinating community infrastructure projects to
       maximise community outcomes, meet Federal Government funding criteria and
       leverage opportunities for further State Government investments

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

“Joint-use facilities” negotiated between a council and DEECD, are becoming increasingly
common as councils and State Government recognise their benefits, and unprecedented
capital funding allocations have been announced for schools and community infrastructure
through State and Federal Budget commitments for 2009/10 and the coming years.
In the early years area, both the State and Commonwealth governments have policies for
funding integrated children‟ s services centres, with both child care and education on the one
site or precinct, and the construction of children‟ s centres on, or adjacent to, primary school
sites.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

The MAV is unclear how many councils are currently seeking or negotiating joint-use
facilities with the State and specifically DEECD. Councils report varying success in their
attempts in aligning with DEECD on proposals for joint community use. Given the scale of
the capital funding rounds currently announced by State and Federal governments, all
councils in Victoria are expected to have new capital works underway at schools within their
municipality and many will have new community infrastructure projects in the planning
phase.




                                                                                             20
(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This issue would require a whole-of-government approach. The Victorian Competition and
Efficiency Commission (VCEC) is to report shortly on an „Inquiry into Shared Facilities‟ .

Current education budget allocations to schools are generated by criteria for land envelopes
acquired and design briefs for schools.

However, a renewed effort by the State, and DEECD, to jointly address this issue for local
communities would be symbolic of a true partnership approach developing and a major step
forward for intergovernmental relationships and cooperation.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Immediate action by DEECD on this matter could impact on council assets and budgets in
the next financial year, particularly those councils currently negotiating joint-use
agreements/facilities with DEECD. However immediate changes or resolution is unlikely in
the immediate term.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The current rounds of capital funding for DEECD facilities is being rolled out with a sense of
urgency with the general understanding that minimal consultation with local government will
be occurring, due to the desire to commence construction and therefore create jobs this
calendar financial year. This has meant reduced planning phases and restricted processes.

Under the terms of the economic stimulus packages such as the „Building Education
Revolution‟ , the State is under significant pressure to deliver on Commonwealth targets.
The State therefore has limited capacity to negotiate new processes, to change priorities or
funding criteria under such circumstances, and this may remain the case for the next two
years.

It is more likely that the State Government and DEECD would await the recommendations/
findings of the Report from the VCEC Inquiry report.

Additional comments:

The MAV provided a submission, participated in roundtables and has met with the
Commissioners to inform the VCEC Inquiry.

A partnership agreement between MAV and DEECD is about to be signed, in the spirit of the
Victorian State Local Government Agreement.

Other relevant resolutions:
“Supporting the implementation of the Early Years Reform Agenda.”

DEECD, though a federal/state agreement, is being funded to implement in Victoria most of
the reforms of the National Early Years Agenda including rollout of capital grants also for
early learning & care centres on or adjacent to school sites where appropriate.




                                                                                             21
Action(s):
   1. Seeking a meeting between the MAV President and the Minister for Education and
       the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development within the next three
       months to build on the partnership work to date and explore further opportunities for
       capital funding of joint use facilities.

   2. Raise the resolutions in a meeting between the MAV CEO and the Secretary of
       DEECD

   3. Develop a formal response to the recommendations of the VCEC Inquiry




                                                                                           22
SENIOR OFFICER DEFINITION

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria lobby the Minister for Local Government to amend
the definition of “Senior Officer” in the Local Government Act in order to ensure that the
Senior Officer definition only captures the appropriate level of positions and that a
remuneration level should not be included.

Accordingly the following definition is proposed:
Senior Officer means –
the Chief Executive Officer
any officer who has management responsibilities and reports directly to the Chief Executive
Officer

And, further that an amendment be made to the Financial Reporting Regulations to require
remuneration for all Senior Officers to be reported through the Related Parties disclosure in
the Annual Financial Statements.

Contact officer:
Alison Lyon

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Some resource and financial implications for all councils

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Unknown.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Will not affect councils until such time as any legislative change is operational.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Receptive to change. Threshold has not been amended since 2003.

Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Action(s):



                                                                                            23
1. Write to Minister for Local Government and continue to liaise with Local Government
Victoria.




                                                                                         24
PENSIONER RATE CONCESSION

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria lobby the Minister for Local Government to
conduct a review of the pensioner rate concession with a view to increase the concession
amount.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-BEavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Directly related to the priority to “explore opportunities for reforming rating practices to take
into account capacity to pay in the current economic climate”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

Moderate. While there are several factors that make the pensioner rate concession a high
priority, it is unlikely that the State will provide additional funding in the current climate.

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities

Variable, depending on the proportion of ratepayers who are pensioners and the increase in
concession sought.

(2)     Number of councils affected by the issue

All

(3)     Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Insignificant

(4)     Immediacy of the issue

Potentially an acute issue given the widespread issues around the capacity to pay during a
recession.

(5)     Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Low, as the State Government is unlikely to significantly increase funding for a recurrent
service in the current economic condition unless further work is undertaken to better identify
and reflect a lack of capacity to pay rates for pensioners is undertaken.

The 2004-05 State Budget also increased the base rate from $135 to $160 and provided
indexation from this point.

Additional comments:

The MAV has undertaken an analysis of the burden of rates on residential households with
the view to advocate for improved concessions from the State and the improvement of
council policies on rates affordability.



                                                                                                  25
The analysis indicates that among pensioners, a lack of rating affordability is most acute in
single pensioner households. It is arguable that any advocacy around pensioner rate
rebates would benefit from an acknowledgement that the current pool of funding may be
better targeted.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Consistent with several resolutions from previous State Councils.

Action(s):

1. Form a working group to inform the MAV Management Committee on rates affordability
policies by August 2009
2. Develop an endorsed policy position on rates affordability, including pensioner rate
concessions
3. Write to the Minister for Community Services seeking a review of the level of the
pensioner rate concessions within the context of the broader rates affordability issues




                                                                                            26
FUNDING FOR RURAL GENERAL PRACTITIONERS

Resolution:
That the MAV lobby federal government to retain the current incentive program for GP
practices in rural and remote areas.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

While this resolution has no direct reference in the MAV Strategic Plan, it is consistent with
the aim of councils to support the viability of rural communities which depends on
reasonable access to key primary health services such as General Practitioners.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

This issue will not have significant direct financial or resource implications for councils,
although in the longer term may impact on community viability and therefore indirectly on
local government viability.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Municipal areas meeting the Commonwealth classification as rural and remote may be
affected, if the Commonwealth removes the financial incentives for rural GP practices.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Not applicable

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Advice from the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) is that the Federal Government is
changing the classification system as from January 2010, when the rural category will
disappear. This is of significant concern in Victoria, and RWAV will be closely monitoring the
impact. (Some „grandfathering‟ of funding arrangements currently in place with GPs will
occur).

The MAV has a councillor representative on the RWAV Board, currently Cr. David Quayle,
Swan Hill.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

This issue is not the direct responsibility of local government, therefore MAV advocacy with
the Federal Government would serve to contribute to that being put forward by the range of
key stakeholders on behalf of the communities potentially affected.

Additional comments:

Maintaining an adequate range of health and human services in more remote parts of rural
Victoria, and an appropriately skilled workforce are key issues for local government. The
MAV Maternal and Child Health workforce project intersects with this resolution, with greater

                                                                                               27
integration and sharing of roles between health services, GPs, nurse practitioners and local
government MCH nurses a likely scenario for the future in rural areas in particular.

The Federal Government is currently considering health, hospital and primary care reform.
It is understood that GP Divisions, practices and super-clinics may be increasingly seen as
the platform for increased service delivery to communities, although no federal position on
these issues has yet been announced publicly.

Action(s):

1. Write a letter to the Federal Health Minister, The Hon. Nicola Roxon.
2. Write to the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria and General Practice Victoria, with a copy of
the letter to the Minister, and offer MAV support to their representations for GP incentive
programs on behalf of Victoria.




                                                                                           28
COST OF VALUATIONS

Resolution:
That the MAV lobby State Government to increase the contribution made towards the bi-
annual revaluation process.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

No direct reference, although it supports increasing funding to local government.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

The issue has an effect on all councils, although the likely financial costs between members
will vary. There is only a minor likelihood of successfully resolving this issue.

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The formal cost of revaluations is estimated at $40 million per cycle, with the current
arrangements sharing the costs equally between local government and the State Revenue
Office. There is evidence that the formal cost of revaluations underestimates the indirect
costs of undertaking this activity, such as contract management, accommodation and
management oversight.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Nil

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The next general revaluation will occur as of 1 January 2010 and as such, councils will begin
to incur costs in late 2009.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Previous discussions with the State Revenue Office has indicated that changed funding
relations are unlikely.

Additional comments:

The MAV has consistently raised the issues with the adequacy of cost recovery for
valuations with the SRO and the State Government. These efforts have been unsuccessful
to date.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Previous State Council resolutions are consistent with the intent of this resolution


                                                                                             29
Action(s):

1. Seek a meeting with the State Revenue Office to discuss concerns about the level of cost
recovery




                                                                                         30
COST SHIFTING OF ESSENTIAL SAFETY MEASURES ON BUILDINGS ON CROWN
LAND

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria calls upon the State Government to undertake its
obligations under the Victorian Building Regulations in relation to essential safety measures
on buildings located on Crown land, or provide financial assistance to Councils to undertake
the works required.

Contact officer:
Liz Johnstone

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Changes to the requirements under the Building Act and Regulations have been made which
affect councils as the manager of public buildings on crown land. Many such areas have
buildings used for public purposes that are affected by the more onerous standards and
require upgrades to comply. The relevance to the strategic plan relates to implications on
councils costs by changes to state policy, legislation or regulation and also to council
capacity to respond.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

For some councils with extensive numbers of buildings on crown land in need of upgrade the
implications are significant, particularly for smaller councils.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Unknown, all councils are affected but the larger councils better able to manage impacts.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The changes to the Building Act and Regulations have been underway for many years and
an extension of time has been granted to the compliance date. Not only does this affect
councils but often buildings (improvements) on crown land are the responsibility of the tenant
who may be a small not for profit community group. For those councils and groups unable to
comply the political ramifications for councils having to force compliance would be
damaging. For councils to have the public continue to use non-compliant council facilities,
again the political ramifications are damaging.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Immediate and current.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Low. Given the additional state and federal economic stimulus funds, councils will currently
be perceived as having additional capacity for capital works and hence able to redirect funds
internally to meet obligations. Where the asset is community owned however the problem is
exacerbated. Many of the assets belong to the crown or default to the crown at end lease
term.


                                                                                            31
Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

In May 2008 State Council resolved that the Victorian State Government enter into a cost
sharing arrangement with all councils on a 50% - 50% basis to enable the requirements of
the (Essential Safety Measures implemented by 13/6/2008) to be met. The compliance date
was extended.

Action(s):

   1. Write to the DPCD highlighting the difficulties faced in compliance with the Essential
       Safety Measures and need for support
   2. Advocate that DPCD take a leading role in forming a working group to identify
       barriers to compliance; the extent of non-compliance; and solutions including but not
       limited to a small grants program, further time extensions and/or targeted community
       support to ensure compliance




                                                                                          32
LIABILITY FOR ASSETS IN ROAD RESERVES

Resolution:
That the MAV develop a position which protects Councils from any ongoing liability or cost
regarding water authority assets in road reserves that are transferred to private ownership.

Contact officer:
John Hennessy

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)      Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
         communities

Can be significant for some councils

(2)      Number of councils affected by the issue:

Many councils impacted to varying degrees

(3)      Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Of relevance.

(4)      Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Local government has had success previously in dealing with this issue when the Road
Management Act was passed.

Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

      1. Discuss with VicRoads




                                                                                           33
ESTABLISHING A FEDERAL COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

Resolution:
That the MAV advocate for the establishment of a Federal Community Infrastructure Fund,
similar to the "Regional & Local Community Infrastructure Fund", to support local
governments in providing and renewing community infrastructure for local communities.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Consistent with the priority to increase funding to local government for infrastructure issues.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Could provide around $60 million for Victorian councils on an annual basis.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils. Rural and outer metropolitan have a stronger reliance on funding for community
infrastructure.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The capacity to achieve the stated objective will be strongly influenced by councils‟ delivery
of the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program as announced as part of the
Commonwealth‟ s stimulus packages. The failure to expend this pool of funding within the
required timelines will negatively affect the sector‟ s capacity to advocate for the
establishment of a permanent program.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

This issue will have a direct effect on councils in the 2010-11 financial year when the current
stimulus payments are expended.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Unclear and will depend significantly on the performance of local government nationally in
meeting the stated timelines of the Commonwealth in the expenditure of stimulus payments.
If the payments are spent in a timely fashion, then there is a reasonable probability of
achieving a positive outcome for the implementation of an ongoing infrastructure program.

Additional comments:

This is a significant issue for local government nationally and will be a priority for the MAV
through the ALGA.

A House of Representative Inquiry into the design of the new program released its final
report in June 2009. This report recommends that local government should have a central
role in any new program.


                                                                                                 34
Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Resolutions from previous State Councils are consistent with the intent of this submission.

Action(s):

1. Raise the importance of a new Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Fund in any
meetings with the Commonwealth Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary
2. Advocate through the Management Committee‟ s representatives on the ALGA Board that
the introduction of a new program be a key priority for the ALGA in the 2009-10 financial
year




                                                                                              35
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES

Resolution:
That the MAV call upon the Federal government to reinvest in not-for-profit childcare and
early years education in Australia by creating an infrastructure fund and by providing
program support funding for not for profit centres.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution relates to two of MAV‟ s 2009/10 Priorities for Human Services:
        Position local government to benefit from the re-alignment of the responsibilities
        between federal, state and local government for…early childhood services.
        Support councils to take up opportunities under federal funding for the planning and
        development of community hubs in coordination with State Government projects,
        being mindful of the potential for cost-shifting.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Increased investment by the Commonwealth has potential to reduce financial pressures on
councils considering construction of childcare facilities or integrated care and early learning
centres.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils are eligible to apply for federal capital funding for early learning and care
centres, provided there is demonstrable demand. All councils have existing early years
infrastructure and may consider new infrastructure for the provision of integrated
kindergarten and childcare where need /demand is proven, investment scenarios clear, and
funding conditions favourable.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Some ambivalence and division of opinion in the local government sector about the role of
local government in childcare and emerging concerns about the hidden costs associated
with establishing integrated service centres or hubs.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Has potential to impact on councils infrastructure planning/capital works budgets from
2010/2011.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

In the early years area, the attention and funding priorities of the Federal Government are
focused on the rollout of its National Reform Agenda for early childhood education.
The Federal Government has made a commitment to invest in infrastructure owned by the
community based not-for-profit sector, with the announcement of capital funding for 260 new


                                                                                              36
community-based “Early Learning and Care Centres” in Australia. Ten of these centres are
being built or planned to be built on already identified sites in Victoria from 2009.
The collapse of ABC Learning and other commercial child care businesses in 2008/09,was
expected to lead to a major review by the Federal Government of current child care market
and federal funding policy in order to restructure the child care market and redress market
domination by the for-profit sector over the long term. The current Senate Inquiry into child
care provision may result in recommendations relevant to this resolution.

Additional comments:

This resolution is consistent with a number of positions and options for councils previously
articulated by the MAV:
   -   In 2005, MAV developed a discussion paper for local government in partnership with
       Community Child Care: Local Government Supporting Child Care across Victoria,
       2005. This report presented for councils the evidence and rationales for increasing
       public ownership of early years services, explaining that “… MAV actively promotes
       publicly-owned childcare as an essential component of a mixed economy of
       childcare.” (pg.16)

   -   In the lead up to the 2007 Federal election, MAV developed a position paper on
       Federal Government Policy and funding for early years services and infrastructure.
       This position paper was developed after wide input from members and consultation
       with all councils. The need to ensure availability and accessibility of child care
       services in all local communities was the key issue for MAV.

   -   MAV‟ s submission to the Federal Senate inquiry into child care provision, Feb 2009,
       made a number of recommendations including:
                1. The provision of ongoing funding directed to local government for
                    children’s services infrastructure (Capital funding, from both Federal
                    and State Governments, to continue for publicly-owned child care
                    facilities into the future. And ongoing federal incentives required for
                    development of new facilities in specific localities.)

   -   Research commissioned by MAV in late 2008, following the collapse of the private
       childcare provider ABC Learning, resulted in a report which recommended further
       consideration of an option to create an infrastructure fund to obtain funding from
       private and government sources. Such a fund would support Victorian councils to
       reinvest in publicly-owned children‟ s centres and assist with current policy goals for
       integrated children‟ s centres that include early learning and child care services.

Other relevant resolutions:

This resolution relates to all the other May 2009 State Council resolutions relating to early
childhood education and infrastructure funding.


Action(s):

   1. That the MAV write to relevant Federal Minster, outlining the State Council resolution
       and advocate on this issue at the Senate Inquiry public hearing in July.
   2. That the MAV write to the State Minister for Children and Early Childhood
       Development, with a copy of the State Council resolution


                                                                                                37
3. That the MAV convene a forum within the next two months for all councils on early
    childhood Infrastructure funding models and options.




                                                                                       38
FUNDING FOR AGED AND DISABILITY SERVICES

Resolution:
That the MAV in partnership with ALGA call on the State and Federal governments to
increase real funding for service provision in the Aged and Disability area.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The resolution relates to the MAV‟ s priorities in the 2009/10 Strategic Plan to “position local
government to benefit from the realignment of responsibilities between federal, state and
local government in aged and disability care, and maintaining local government‟ s role as the
primary provider of Home and Community Care services in Victoria”.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The levels of available community care services often does not meet community need and
councils have to manage prioritising and waiting lists. In addition, the growing gap between
the government subsidies and the real costs for providing home care services impacts on
both councils‟ own revenue raising and capacity to provide additional services to the
community.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

74 councils are providers of Home and Community Care, and other aged and disability
services. Two councils contribute financially to other organisations to provide local HACC
services.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Councils‟ capacity and willingness to contribute own source funding to aged and disability
community care services varies from a low percent of total costs per annum to as high as
40% or more, but quite commonly 25 – 35%. Overall, in 2006/7, councils collectively
contributed over $110 million towards providing their local community care services for older
and disabled people.

Because of the history of the HACC program, which started in Victoria with councils
providing 20% and the State/Commonwealth providing 80% of the costs of the core home
care service, councils have always been considered both funders and providers, and the
current agreement between MAV and DHS indicates that councils‟ will continue to contribute
funding to meet local needs. This is however not tied to particular percentages or cost
shares. As costs have grown beyond the unit price and annual indexation provided in the
program, increasingly councils are subsidising an inadequate price, rather than providing
additional service provision.

This has also created some difficulties in meeting funded targets and jeopardises Victoria‟ s
performance with the Commonwealth, which could result in financial penalties.

Although the MAV has been advocating to the Commonwealth regarding the inadequacy of
the indexation formula, and the State has shown some movement on this, and recognises

                                                                                             39
the difficulties of the current unit prices, it has been difficult to get change in the current
climate of uncertainty about future government responsibility for aged and disability care.

Until COAG determines which level of government is to have responsibility for aged care and
disability services, it is politically difficult to progress the financial inadequacy arguments.

(4)      Immediacy of the issue

There is an annual budget impact on councils, and many are under pressure because of it,
but it is not a new issue.

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Although MAV could continue to develop the case, it is unlikely to be successful until COAG
determines the responsibility issues. This may occur late 2009, or be further delayed.

Additional comments:

Although local government is a major provider of services funded by the Home and
Community Care program, it is not always a major provider of other Commonwealth funded
aged care services and State funded disability programs. The Commonwealth has been
growing packaged community care through the Aged Care Act funded programs and the
Home and Community Care Program does have real growth annually, in the order of 6 – 8%,
but councils are adversely impacted by the Commonwealth Government‟ s control over the
proportion of growth that applies to indexation, as it has consistently been well below wages
growth over many years, leaving councils to meet the widening gap from their own revenue
sources.

Other relevant resolutions:
“That the MAV recommend to the Federal Government that it raise the subsidy of meals on
wheels so that it is commensurate with other core HACC service such as Home Care”.

Action(s):

      1. That the MAV continue to develop the case for increased funding commitment to
          community care services, both for expansion to meet community needs and unit
          prices and annual indexation that relate to real costs.
      2. That the timing of further action on this issue in 2009/10, be linked to MAV and ALGA
          negotiations over the COAG decisions on the level of government to be responsible
          for aged and disability services.




                                                                                                  40
FUNDING FOR DROUGHT RESPONSE OFFICERS

Resolution:
1.  That the MAV request the State Government to continue to fund Drought Response
    Officers from 1 July 2009 to provide ongoing support for drought-affected individuals
    and families in Victoria.
2.  That the MAV urge the State Government to review drought conditions and any
    progress in drought recovery by 31 March each year and make an early
    announcement regarding the availability of ongoing funding for Drought Response
    Officers so that affected staff and the communities they serve have certainty of
    ongoing support
3.  Expand the Drought Response Officer Program to all municipalities that are drought
    declared but not in receipt of the service.

Contact officer:
Nina Rogers

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil, although some issues pertaining to drought are covered by climate change and
structural adjustment priorities in the Strategic Plan 2009-10

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Prolonged drought is having a significant impact on almost all councils in the State, including
through reduced local income, high social service needs and changed land-use patterns.
Rural councils which have a large dependence on agriculture are the worst affected.

It is important for budgeting and planning processes that councils have an understanding of
the assistance available from other levels of government at the earliest possible time.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils. But rural councils most affected.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Drought funding has come under significant scrutiny in recent years, as the prolonged nature
of the drought and increasing awareness of climate change has raised additional policy
issues.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Affecting councils now.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Low. The State Government has clearly determined that it would delay the announcement of
drought packages until after the winter season.

Additional comments:


                                                                                            41
The MAV has remained critical of the State Government in delaying announcements for
funding in its public comment. These views have been expressed to the Minister.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Consistent with previous state council resolutions.

Action(s):

1. Seek a meeting with the Minister for Agriculture to express concern about the timing of
announcements for drought support, the importance of continuing the Drought Response
Officer Program and the need to expand this program to all drought declared municipalities
2. Seek a meeting with the Premier to express concern about the timing of announcements
for drought support, the importance of continuing the Drought Response Officer Program
and the need to expand this program to all drought declared municipalities




                                                                                         42
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Resolution:
That the MAV advocate for the Commonwealth Government to provide funding for
sustainable public transport infrastructure in order to provide equitable and quality transport
choices and to mitigate the social and economic impacts of rising fuel costs and the
environmental impacts associated with greenhouse gas emissions.

Contact officer:
Skye Holcombe

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

While the Strategic Plan does not explicitly refer to advocacy efforts to be directed at the
Commonwealth Government to provide funding for sustainable public transport, this issue is
an ongoing priority in the MAV‟ s discussions with the federal government.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The provision of efficient, reliable and affordable public transport is of fundamental
importance to the ability of people to access employment, educational, health and
recreational opportunities. As such, public transport is a concern of every Victorian council.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils are focused on improving transportation options for their communities,
particularly councils in Melbourne‟ s growth areas and in rural and regional Victoria where
public transport is either minimal or non-existent.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Public transport is an important issue for local, state and federal government and will remain
so into the future as a growing population, environmental pressures and potential oil scarcity
encourage higher public transport patronage.

The Commonwealth Government‟ s recent multi-billion dollar investment in Victoria‟ s public
transport system ($3.2 billion for the Regional Rail Link from the Building Australia Fund and
$40m and for pre-construction works on the East West Rail Tunnel), demonstrate the strong
intergovernmental cooperation between the State and Federal governments in seeking to
improve urban and regional public transport.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The ongoing provision of public transport infrastructure and the expansion of existing
services will remain a key issue for local government into the future as new communities are
built on Melbourne‟ s fringe due to the extension of the urban growth boundary (UGB).

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Funding commitments from the Federal Government, announced just prior to the State
Council will increase transport options for passengers from regional Victoria and Melbourne.


                                                                                              43
This outcome is indicative of the impact of strong advocacy efforts from both State and local
government, in seeking to attract federal funding for public transport in Victoria.

Additional comments:

Commonwealth funding commitments for the Regional Rail Link and for initial construction
works on the proposed East West Rail Tunnel (both projects are part of the State‟ s Victorian
Transport Plan) were announced just prior to the May 2009 State Council meeting. The
funding contribution is unprecedented in Victoria‟ s transport history. With the imminent
expansion of Melbourne‟ s population set to result in the development of new communities on
Melbourne‟ s fringe, the MAV remains committed to lobbying the Federal Government for
ongoing funding contributions to assist in providing equitable and quality transport choices
and to mitigate the social and economic impacts of rising fuel costs and the environmental
impacts associated with greenhouse gas emissions.

In March 2009, the MAV provided a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural
and Regional Affairs and Transport as part of their inquiry into the investment of
Commonwealth and State funds in public passenger transport infrastructure and services.

The MAV has consistently lobbied for greater funding to be allocated for the provision of
public transport services for both regional and metropolitan passengers, and will maintain its
strong advocacy efforts in this area.

Action(s):

   1. Identify new opportunities for different approaches to advocacy through the Transport
       and Infrastructure Advisory Group
   2. Write to Federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, highlighting the growing
       transport needs of Victoria‟ s expanding population
   3. Make representations to the Major Cities Unit of Infrastructure Australia to highlight
       Victoria‟ s growing transport needs




                                                                                            44
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO CHANGE TO ENERGY EFFICIENT STREET LIGHTS

Resolution:
That the MAV advocate for financial support for Councils from both the Commonwealth and
Victorian Governments to change over residential street lights to more energy efficient street
lighting thereby reducing emissions and ongoing energy costs to communities.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Has implications for the role of local government in climate change emissions reduction.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The capital cost of upgrading local road street lights is estimated to cost between $100
million and $300 million. However, the yearly saving of upgrading to the T5 fluorescent
lamps has been estimated by DSE at around $5 million.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils pay to provide local road street lighting including electricity and operation and
maintenance costs.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This resolution is consistent with previous MAV State Budget submissions and perspectives
put forward by MAV representative on the DSE Public Lighting Taskforce.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Due to declining revenues from the economic downturn, the Victorian Government budget
has, as we understand it, very limited discretionary capacity. The Australian Government
likewise has seen a large decline in its revenues. Therefore it would be very unlikely to see
financial contributions from either level of government in the 09/10 or perhaps even the
10/11 financial years.

Additional comments:

The MAV sits on the steering committee for the DSE-led financial analysis project that seeks
to provide:
        A cost estimate of accelerating the roll out of more energy efficient public lighting
        across local government in Victoria; and
        An analysis of the main policy incentives to facilitate a state wide roll out of
        sustainable public lighting.



                                                                                                 45
The project is due to report to Ministers in December 2009. The Victorian Government has
indicated it will not consider any further financial contributions until this work is completed.

The MAV is represented by an MAV Officer and the Director of Infrastructure from the
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Other members of the Steering Committee include: the
Department of Treasury and Finance; the Department of Primary Industries – Energy Policy;
VicRoads, the Local Government Victoria and Sustainability Victoria.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
       Energy Efficient Lighting
       Energy Efficient Street Lighting

Action(s):

   1. Participate in the DSE-led Financial Analysis Project that is currently underway
   2. Facilitate direct local government input into the financial analysis, including capacity
       to pay issues. This will include direct workshops with relevant council officers to be
       conducted within the next three months.
   3. Provide ongoing feedback to councils as to the direction of the study
   4. Pursue advocacy opportunities, which may include financial support or legislative
       change, based on the findings when they become available in December 2009




                                                                                                   46
ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING

Resolution:
That the MAV seek State and Federal government funding to develop a state-wide program
to progressively replace public street lighting with low energy globes

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution has implications for the role of local government in climate change emissions
reduction.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The capital cost of upgrading local road street lights is estimated to cost between $100
million and $300 million. However, the yearly saving of upgrading to the T5 fluorescent
lamps has been estimated by DSE at around $5 million.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils pay to provide local road street lighting including electricity and operation and
maintenance costs.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This resolution is consistent with previous MAV State Budget submissions and perspectives
put forward in the DSE Public Lighting Taskforce.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Due to declining revenues from the economic downturn, the Victorian Government budget
has, as we understand it, very limited discretionary capacity. The Australian Government
likewise has seen a large decline in its revenues. Therefore it would be very unlikely to see
financial contributions from either level of government in the 09/10 or perhaps even the
10/11 financial years.

Additional comments:
Upgrading public street lights unfortunately requires the upgrading of the whole lamp
envelope, rather than just the globe. This involves considerable cost.

The MAV sits on the project steering committee for the DSE-led Financial Analysis project
that seeks to provide:
       A cost estimate of accelerating the roll out of more energy efficient public lighting
       across local government in Victoria; and



                                                                                                 47
        An analysis of the main policy incentives to facilitate a state-wide roll out of
        sustainable public lighting.
The project is due to report to Ministers in December 2009. The Victorian Government has
indicated it will not consider any further financial contributions until this work is complete.

The MAV is represented by an MAV Officer and the Director of Infrastructure from the
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. Other members of the Steering Committee include: the
Department of Treasury and Finance; the Department of Primary Industries – Energy Policy;
VicRoads, the Local Government Victoria and Sustainability Victoria.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
       Financial Support to Change to Energy Efficient Street Lights
       Energy Efficient Street Lighting

Action(s):

   1. Participate in the DSE-led Financial Analysis Project that is currently underway
   2. Facilitate direct local government input into the financial analysis, including capacity
       to pay issues. This will include direct workshops with relevant council officers to be
       conducted within the next three months.
   3. Provide ongoing feedback to councils as to the direction of the study
   4. Pursue advocacy opportunities, which may include financial support or legislative
       change, based on the findings when they become available in December 2009




                                                                                                  48
ENERGY EFFICIENT STREET LIGHTING

Resolution:
That the Electricity Distribution Businesses, Federal Government, Local Government and the
State Government each contribute an agreed percentage towards bulk replacements of
energy efficient street lighting globes across Victoria.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution has implications for the role of local government in climate change emissions
reduction.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The capital cost of upgrading local road street lights is estimated to cost between $100
million and $300 million. However, the yearly saving of upgrading to the T5 fluorescent
lamps has been estimated by DSE at around $5 million.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils pay to provide local road street lighting including electricity and operation and
maintenance costs.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Consistent with previous MAV State Budget submissions and perspectives put forward in the
DSE Public Lighting Taskforce.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Electricity distribution businesses have a mandate to provide economically efficient services,
including public lighting. There is no regulatory requirement for them to consider
environmental outcomes and they are therefore reluctant to contribute to what they see as a
community benefit. It would be difficult to influence a change in this perspective, or to
change legislation.

Due to declining revenues from the economic downturn, the Victorian Government budget
has, as we understand it, very limited discretionary capacity. The Australian Government
likewise has seen a large decline in its revenues. Therefore it would be very unlikely to see
financial contributions from either level of government in the 09/10 or perhaps even the
10/11 financial years.

Additional comments:



                                                                                                 49
Upgrading public street lights unfortunately requires the upgrading of the whole lamp
envelope, rather than just the globe. This involves considerable cost.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

       Financial support to change to energy efficient street lights
       Energy Efficient Lighting

Action(s):

   1. Participate in the DSE-led Financial Analysis Project that is currently underway
   2. Facilitate direct local government input into the financial analysis, including capacity
       to pay issues. This will include direct workshops with relevant council officers to be
       conducted within the next three months.
   3. Provide ongoing feedback to councils as to the direction of the study
   4. Pursue advocacy opportunities, which may include financial support or legislative
       change, based on the findings when they become available in December 2009




                                                                                                 50
PROTOCOL FOR NEGOTIATING STATE EARLY YEARS FUNDING

Resolution:
In conjunction with Local Government Human Services Directors and or their delegates, the
MAV undertake a review to develop an agreed protocol between the MAV and Local
Governments to ensure adequate consultation and endorsement procedures prior to
agreement with other levels of government regarding funding and or policy directions
implicating local governments‟ provision and or facilitation of early years programs.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The Plan outlines the critical role the MAV plays in representing local government‟ s interests
to other levels of government in the direct provision of human services and public health
enforcement. The MAV undertakes a strategic approach to developing partnership, program
and funding agreements on behalf of participating councils, which has proved over time to
achieve the maximum and most enduring benefit for the sector.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Regularly reviewing and improving MAV consultation processes is a key activity for a peak
body and documenting processes will ensure that members are aware of the multilayered
involvement of members in reaching agreements with and on behalf of the sector.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

A framework for the development of partnership agreements with the State has been
developed under the Victorian State Local Government Agreement (VSLGA). In negotiating
agreements, the role of the MAV is to achieve the optimum outcomes on behalf of the
majority of councils, (while at the same time being mindful of any unintended consequences
for councils choosing not to participate).

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing strategic and member representation issue.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Multilayered and comprehensive processes are used by the MAV to develop agreements
with and on behalf of councils. The review and documentation of a protocol between the
MAV and councils will assist in clarifying the consultation and negotiation process used by
the MAV, and to identify any improvements which can be made. However, it should be
noted that the MAV may never be able to completely satisfy all councils, and will always be
required to exercise judgement to proceed on behalf of the majority.



                                                                                            51
The MAV develops agreements (at the request of councils) which aim to progress the policy
and funding position of local government in the spirit of partnership with the State and / or
Commonwealth. These agreements are not legally binding. For example, in the case of early
years funding agreements with the State, councils have the option of signing up (or not) to
the specific details of the funding agreement for their municipality with the Department of
Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD).

Additional comments:

This resolution relates to the central purpose of the MAV in entering into collaborative and
collective partnership and program agreements at the request of councils, and the
multilayered consultation and negotiation process required to reach an outcome acceptable
to the majority of councils.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Action(s):

   1. Develop a draft protocol for negotiating funding agreements in the human services
       and public health area under the guidance of the MAV Human Services Advisory
       Group for consideration by the MAV Management Committee by December 2009.




                                                                                           52
FUTURE DIRECTION OF RATING AUTHORITY VALUATIONS

Resolution:
That the MAV vigorously represent the interests of those local governments opposed to the
proposal announcement in December 2008 by the Valuer-General for the responsibility for
municipal valuations to be centralised and co-coordinated by the Valuer-General.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

The issue is of high importance to local government under the criteria identified below, with
widespread implications, high impact for some councils and a high probability of influencing
the outcome.

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The proposal will be of greater consequence to those councils with in-house valuers that
would be exposed to redundancy costs and potentially declining valuation standards.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils with some more affected, in line with the above assessment.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

There is evidence of some division in opinion in the sector on this matter, but a significant
majority of councils appear to oppose the proposals.

The issue does not appear to be a key strategy for the State Government.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Will affect councils by 2012 if the proposal is successful.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High. The proposals would be required to go through the Victorian parliament and it has
received negative responses from the Opposition and minor parties. It is unlikely if the sector
were to oppose the matter that it would be passed through the upper house.

Additional comments:
The MAV convened a forum of councils in early 2009 to inform its submission to the
discussion paper, which opposed the proposal. In addition, the MAV called for formal
positions of council.

Since it provided the submission, the MAV has raised its concerns with the Valuer General
and has met with the Minister‟ s office.


                                                                                                53
Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Directly related to and consistent with the resolution from May 2009 entitled „Rating
Valuations‟ .

Action(s):

1. Communicate the resolution to the Valuer General and the Minister‟ s office (Complete)
2. Write to the Minister for Environment to indicate the MAV‟ s opposition to the proposal
(Complete)




                                                                                             54
LAND TAX

Resolution:
That the MAV calls upon the State Government to reduce its reliance on Land Tax and to
reduce the costs to small business and the Victorian community.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Land tax has an inconsistent effect on local communities, with a significant burden on a
minority of the population. It has no direct effect on councils, but it could be argued it
„cannibalises‟ local government‟ s revenue base and exposes councils to local political
criticism in their valuation responsibilities.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils have ratepayers who are also subject to land tax.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Significant. The State Government has a strong reliance on property and transaction taxes
since the introduction of the GST led to the abolition of a large number of state taxes. Strong
advocacy in this area is likely to negatively affect the relationship between local government
and the state.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

No decision on land tax could be made before the 2010-11 state budget.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Very low, given the current economic crisis and associated fiscal stress for the State
Government.

Additional comments:

It should be noted that the Henry Tax Review has assessed the efficiency of the major taxes
used in Australia and has concluded that rates and land taxes are among the most efficient
available. This means that the cost (i.e lost economic growth) of raising the tax is lower for
land tax than nearly all other available options, including income tax, GST, stamp duty,
corporate tax, etc.

As such, it is difficult to sustain an argument that there is a significant cost to the Victorian
community through the imposition of land tax. While there may be some reasonable
concerns about whether movements in land tax are reasonable, it is unlikely that advocacy
would be successful.

                                                                                                55
Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Previous State Council resolutions raise similar issues

Action(s):

1. Write to the Treasurer expressing concern about the significant impost land tax can have
on some businesses and households
2. Include land tax issues in future MAV submissions to the Henry Tax Review




                                                                                          56
RIGHT OF REVIEW BY VCAT IN RELATION TO CROWN LAND

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council note the decision of VCAT (VCAT REFERENCE NO.
P1983/2008) and inform its members of the outcome of the decision and potential
implications for development on Crown Land in Victoria.

Contact officer:
Liz Johnstone

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

This VCAT decision provided for the issuing of a permit where council is committee of
management and objects to the proposal. Given the land manager (council) retains an
approval role (lease, licence or permit) the implications would appear low.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Most councils have committee of management status over crown land reserves to varying
degrees.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

If council as committee of management was directed by the Crown there would be
implications politically.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Not urgent.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Extremely low. It is unlikely that the government would support legislative change to give
veto to committee of management over planning permit decision, or to remove right of
appeal. At a practical level it is generally pointless for an applicant to persist without land lord
support. They may have a permit issued but without land manager / owner approval it cannot
be acted on.

Additional comments:

Nil

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):


                                                                                                 57
1. Clarify MAV interpretation of case with DSE and DPCD.
2. Include advice in planning bulletin




                                                           58
AFFORDABLE HOUSING - 1

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council request, the State Government to develop a suitable definition
of affordable housing and investigate opportunities within State Planning Schemes to
encourage the provision of affordable housing.

Contact officer:
Liz Johnstone

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The strategic plan includes actions to “Scope and implement a project to better engage
councils in urban planning issues, particularly regarding housing, transport oriented
development and economic development” and to “ Identify and pursue opportunities and
improve awareness to make councils role in housing policy and provision more effective”.
The resolution is relevant to and within the intended scope of these actions.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Housing policy (state and local) is a significant issue for all councils and often contentious in
its delivery.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All, particularly metropolitan councils, regional cities and coastal “sea change” councils.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

All councils

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The importance of this issue and its immediacy has been increased due to the economic
stimulus funding targeting social housing.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High. Grant funding for a housing policy officer has been received, predominately to work
with councils on the housing growth requirements project. This resolution will be part of their
work in terms of agreed methodology, definitions and exploration of implementation
mechanisms.

Additional comments:

Nil

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
See Affordable Housing – 2. Also consistent with previous resolutions of State Council.

Action(s):


                                                                                               59
1. Incorporate this resolution into the Housing Policy Officer‟ s work plan
2. Write to the Minister for Housing conveying the two State Council resolutions on
    affordable housing
3. Write to the Minister for Planning conveying the two State Council resolutions on
    affordable housing
4. Engage councils on housing policy and implementation issues




                                                                                       60
AFFORDABLE HOUSING - 2

Resolution:
That the MAV call upon the Commonwealth Government to:
· ensure that Victoria receives an equitable share of the Commonwealth Government‟ s
   funding programs for public, social and affordable housing; and
· encourage State and Territory governments to introduce mandatory accessible design
   features for all new domestic dwellings.

Contact officer:
Liz Johnstone

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution is generally consistent with the strategic plan. The Human Service and Public
Health action to, “Monitor legislative proposals for establishing standards for accessing
premises and their impacts for local government” is most relevant.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Potentially significant financial and policy implications for councils

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Low

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standards and being reviewed this year.
Economic stimulus funds targeting social housing.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Unknown – the resolution calls for funds to flow to Victoria not to councils. The new
accessible design features may impact affordability and increase complexity of councils
approvals processes.

Additional comments:

The Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standards are being developed by the
Commonwealth to clarify the level of access to buildings required to meet responsibilities
under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The MAV has made and will continue to make
submissions to this process.

The MAV is poised to appoint a Housing Policy Officer who will work with councils to
improve their understanding of Commonwealth housing programs (such as the Housing
Affordability Fund) and facilitate access to funding support.


                                                                                          61
Other relevant resolutions (if any):
See Affordable Housing – 1. Consistent with previous resolutions of State Council.

Action(s):
1.      Utilise the Housing Policy Officer to raise awareness of current funding opportunities
for public, social and affordable housing;
2.      Conduct forums with councils, particularly the LAAH (Local Action on Affordable
Housing) pilot councils to improve understanding of the barriers and processes required to
deliver public, social and affordable housing;
3.      Make submissions at appropriate times to the development of the Disability (Access
to Premises - Buildings) Standards.




                                                                                            62
MEALS ON WHEELS

Resolution:
That the MAV recommend to the Federal Government that it raise the subsidy for meals on
wheels so that it is commensurate with other core HACC services, such as Home Care.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This motion relates to the MAV‟ s priorities in the 2009/10 Strategic Plan to “position local
government to benefit from the re – alignment of responsibilities between federal, state and
local government in aged and disability care, and maintaining local government‟ s role as the
primary provider of Home and Community care services in Victoria”.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Although all unit prices for HACC services are well below provision costs, this is most
obvious for delivered meals, where the subsidy of $1.40 meets less than 15% of the costs.
On average, councils are contributing 35% of the costs, although this is higher for councils
who use paid delivery staff.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

The majority of councils are responsible for delivered meals as part of their HACC services
(74) - most purchase meals from other providers but arrange delivery themselves using paid
staff and or volunteers. 33% of metropolitan services use paid staff, but 92% of regional and
rural areas rely on volunteers.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The State Government determines the HACC subsidy level for meals, and has been part of
the program since its inception in the 1950s and its history of a service developed by
volunteers. The per meal rate varies across the different States but is comparable and
nowhere over $2 per meal. Victoria last increased the rate (beyond indexation) in 2005/6,
but to be able to increase it significantly towards the level of subsidy for other services would
require most of the annual HACC growth funds and or an additional injection of
Commonwealth funding into HACC.

Until COAG determines which level of government is to have responsibility for aged care and
disability services, it is politically difficult to progress the financial inadequacy arguments.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

There is an annual budget impact on councils, and many are under pressure because of it,
but it is not a new issue.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Major change in the HACC funding structure is unlikely to be successful outside the Triennial
Plan and until COAG determines the responsibility issues. This may occur late 2009, or be

                                                                                               63
further delayed. It may be possible to gain other financial contributions to offset councils‟
budgeted net costs, in line with current Triennial Plan priorities e.g. for training.

Additional comments:

During 2008/9, the Department of Human Services (DHS) improved the funding for HACC
assessment; made additional one-off payments to assist councils with implementing change
to their assessment services; and made small grants to assist with work on assisting clients
adapt to climate change and meet increases in petrol costs for volunteers. DHS is committed
to using State contributions to top up the Commonwealth HACC indexation to around 3%.

Delivered meals have always been subsidised on the premise that they are funded
predominantly by the client (who has to meet food costs anyway) and delivered by
volunteers.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

That the MAV in partnership with ALGA call on the State and Federal governments to
increase real funding for service provision in the aged and disability area.

Action(s):

   1. That the MAV meet with DHS requesting that some of the 2009 /2010 HACC growth
       funds be directed to supporting councils‟ growth in meals provision and delivery
       costs.

   2. That the MAV continue to develop the case for increased unit prices for services in
       the HACC program, and an annual indexation formula that relates to real wage
       growth.

   3. That the timing of further action on this issue in 2009/2010, be linked to MAV and
       ALGA negotiations over the COAG decisions on the level of government to be
       responsible for aged and disability services.




                                                                                                64
FREEZA PROGRAM

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria State Council reiterates its support for an urgent
review of State Government Funding for the FReeZA Program.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution aligns with human services and public health priority to “Advocate for
initiatives to improve youth services including mental health and counselling”.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The State has not undertaken a review process or significant consideration of funding
increase for the FReeZA program for at least the last six years. While this issue does not
have significant financial implications for affected councils, the continuing low levels of
funding may result in cutting back of services able to be provided for young people.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Majority of Victorian councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Although the FReeZA program was in place before the signing of the Victorian State Local
Government Agreement (VSLGA), the cost shifting issue for councils could now be pursued
in the spirit of the VSLGA. At a minimum, a clear acknowledgement by the State that
councils are in some cases funding up to half the program costs is required.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing issue.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Previous MAV and council representations to the State Government on this issue have been
unsuccessful. The State Minister has replied to MAV letters outlining the increase in grants
which have been provided to FReeZA and related programs. Review of the role and
contribution of both the State and local government in the light of the VSLGA would be
beneficial.

Additional comments:

Councils are currently major funders of community based youth programs with minimal
support from the State. In the past, the State did provide more direct support to local
government in its planning, service coordination, program provision and youth engagement
role. The FReeZA funding issue is one example of the broader advocacy issue the MAV is
pursuing with the State on youth funding issues.


                                                                                                65
Action(s):

1. Write another letter to the State Minister for Sport Recreation and Youth Affairs (James
Merlino MP) seeking a FReeZA funding review, and requesting a meeting with the MAV
President and selected senior council representatives regarding general youth issues and
support for the role of councils.
2. Provide copy of letter to the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria seeking support for MAV
advocacy position.




                                                                                              66
INTEGRATED HACC SERVICES

Resolution:
That the MAV seek further planning, funding and program opportunities for family carers
living with a child or children with disabilities, to ensure an integrated service approach is
implemented to address the needs.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution relates to one of the 2009 /2010 MAV priorities for Human Services:
“To advocate for initiatives to improve youth services including mental health and
counselling”; and is consistent with the overall strategic direction in Human Services which
acknowledges both councils‟ role in planning and delivering human services and the
opportunities to reform and contribute to optimal structures for local service delivery.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Although councils are not generally providers of the main disability services funded by the
State Disability program, most are involved through the HACC funded respite service.
These services for families with disabled children and young people tend to be small
programs, but they can be costly and complex to manage, with some inherent risks. Most
councils would experience the same difficulties in providing adequate service levels and the
type of service required by families, in a manner that is safe for care staff and clients and
consistent with the standards and guidelines of the HACC Program.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

74 Victorian councils are involved in delivering respite services as part of the Home and
Community Care Program. Some would also have respite funding from other
Commonwealth and State program sources. It is likely that the same complexities and
inconsistencies across program types and needs have been commented on in councils‟
Municipal Early Years Plans and Youth Services Strategies.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The major difficulty for families relates to trying to negotiate a service to meet their individual
need from the multiple program types, or from the one available service type that may not be
best suited to the particular family or situation. If COAG decides to separate the
responsibility for community care for aged and disabled people, then an optimistic outcome
could be that one level of government will become responsible for disability services, and
presumably be better placed to manage and integrate the planning, funding, standards and
access to appropriate respite services for families of young people. The MAV has raised
some of these issues with the Department of Human Services during 2008 and asked the
Aged Care Branch and Disability Service to jointly address areas requiring clarification or
better solutions, but action was delayed awaiting a COAG outcome.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue



                                                                                                 67
This is not a new issue and has been raised with the State Department of Human Services
over a number of years, although the new disability legislation has created some different
integration issues than previously.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

It is difficult to engage DHS with this as a priority issue whilst the COAG decision is imminent
but unresolved.

Additional comments:
As children with a disability get older, they are more likely to require age appropriate
recreation opportunities as part of also providing families with a break: i.e. the home based
respite provided by the HACC program becomes less suitable and the service tries to
respond by sending care workers out with adolescents or young adults to public places and
events – there are some inherent risks in this practice with some clients.

HACC respite has not been prioritised for growth for some years, and some areas cannot
meet the demand.

Action(s):

1. Seek a meeting for the MAV President with the State Minister, the Hon. Lisa Neville
    within the next two months to discuss the potential COAG reforms in disability and aged
    care, and requesting that the Department review the planning and operational
    requirements for HACC and disability funded respite to achieve better access and
    integration for families locally.




                                                                                             68
CHILDREN‟ S SERVICES REGULATIONS

Resolution:
That the State Government provide local governments with sufficient funding to offset any
increases to parent fees and/or operational expenses as a result of the implementation of
the new regulations.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

One of MAV‟ s priorities for 2009/10 is to:
       Develop a partnership agreement with the State Government for delivery of
       education and early childhood services that, among other things, protects councils
       against cost shifting.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)      Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
         communities

The MAV has estimated that the new regulations will have a moderate-low financial impact
on those councils which are licensees of children‟ s services (kindergarten, child care or
outside of school hours care services).

(2)      Number of councils affected by the issue

The new regulations will impact on councils which are licensees of children‟ s services.
It is estimated this will be over 90% of councils, given that kindergartens are included and
now family day care services must be licensed.

(3)      Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The local government sector had been divided in its opinion on this matter (degree of
financial impacts for licensees or parents). See comments in (1) above.

(4)      Immediacy of the issue

The new regulations impact on council services from May 2009, however long lead times
and transition periods are allowed for significant changes and new requirements.

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

There is a low likelihood of MAV influencing an outcome in this regard for the following
reasons:

      1. Whilst State Government is responsible for regulation of children‟ s services, it does
          not provide operational funding for those children‟ s services most heavily impacted
          by the new regulations (long day care, out of school hours care).
      2. The new regulations will apply to all operators/licensees of children‟ s services in
          Victoria. Local government is one segment only of the current operators/licensees
          across Victoria.
      3. The children‟ s services industry includes many for-profit businesses/commercial
          providers as well as not-for profit, community-based and local government providers.

                                                                                               69
          There are regulations concerning fair competition and creating a level playing field for
          all services providers.
      4. The Commonwealth Government has traditionally been responsible for funding child
          care services and offsetting the cost of childcare for families by the provision of Child
          Care Benefits (CCB). It is unlikely that the Commonwealth would be willing to offset
          the costs of the new regulations in Victoria, given that Victoria‟ s new regulations still
          remain less prescriptive (and therefore less costly) than regulations in other states of
          Australia.
      5. The 2009 Regulations introduced by the State have been overtly aimed at improving
          the quality of care for children in Victoria. In preparing the new regulations, the State
          Government, did canvass three options to achieve quality improvements for children.
          It is understood that the least stringent of these options was selected deliberately to
          reduce the cost impacts on providers and families.

Additional comments:
Costs identified in the cost-benefit analyses in the Regulatory Impact Statement may have
under estimated the costs to councils of the changes, it is considered however that the
resulting benefits for children will be substantive.

Since the motion was put, the final regulations have been announced (commenced 29 May,
2009) and the State has directly responded to a number of councils concerns, specifically
incorporating an additional option for defining child to staff ratios which should reduce
financial cost impacts.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

1.    That the MAV write to State Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, the
      Hon. Maxine Morand, outlining the State Council resolution.




                                                                                                 70
DPCD ANNUAL COMMUNITY SATISFACTION SURVEY

Resolution:
That this State Council meeting of the Municipal Association of Victoria call upon the Minister
for Local Government to initiate a review of the Annual Local Government Community
Satisfaction Survey in the light of changes in the local government sector and changes in
community expectations and concerns since this survey was introduced. Further, that the
review be established on a fully consultative basis with representation of the local
government sector and that discussions with the Municipal Association of Victoria and other
stakeholders be sought before the finalisation of the terms of reference of such review.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:


(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Low, but could potentially provide better performance data for councils

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

A review is unlikely to be contentious

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Is undertaken annually.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High

Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
See the resolution titled: “Environmental Performance”

Action(s):
1. Advocate for a review of the survey to the project manager




                                                                                            71
PRE-SCHOOL SERVICES

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria calls upon the State Government to establish a
funded strategy to meet its commitment to provide universal 4 year old pre-school access,
given the apparent decline of the church and community based sectors in this critical service
area.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution might be assisted by the following MAV priority for 2009/10 relating to Human
Services:
        Develop a partnership agreement with the State Government for the delivery of
        education and early childhood services that, among other things, protects councils
        against cost shifting.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The unexpected closure of a kindergarten centre owned by a church or community-based
agency, and withdrawal of the church or agency from management of the kindergarten
program can place unexpected demands on councils, their children‟ s services resources and
potentially for their capital works budget.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

This is most commonly an issue for metropolitan councils with older established suburbs
where churches were active in provision of children‟ s services during the 1950‟ s and 1960‟ s.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

In Victoria, ensuring participation in kindergarten has evolved as a shared responsibility of
State and local government. There is strong community pressure on councils to plan and
construct children‟ s centres in response to population growth, on the understanding that the
State will commit recurrent funding for these kindergarten programs.

MAV work in this area has several components: advocacy with governments for investment
in planning and funding for community infrastructure; sector development to improve
councils‟ asset planning and management (which involves both development and
rationalisation); and exploration of new funding models (refer to „Allen‟ report).

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Affected councils are reporting impacts now. Successful action by MAV would potentially
impact on these councils from 2010/2011.


(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour



                                                                                           72
The Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development has indicated a willingness to
consider MAV representations on behalf of councils working in partnership with the State,
which has resulted in increased allocation by the State of municipal-wide early years
infrastructure planning grants and capital funding to councils.

Additional comments:

The MAV has since 2005 been promoting with all councils the need for comprehensive
community asset audits, and development of strategic asset management and renewal
plans. In support of this work by MAV and in an effort to acknowledge and strengthen the
work of councils in municipal early years planning, the State Government, in 2008,
announced significant funding to 15 councils for municipal-wide infrastructure planning.

The State Government commenced an extensive Capital Funding round in 2007 - 2010 for
Victorian children‟ s centres. The criteria strongly reflect the State‟ s new policy directions for
Children‟ s Centres which integrate kindergarten with child care and other services for
children and young families. There has been criticism that the amount offered by the state
($500,000) is insufficient given the total cost of new children‟ s centres. As a result councils
have sought capital funding from a range of sources to contribute to the cost of these larger
facilities or hubs.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):


Action(s):

1. That the MAV advocate to the State Government seeking further funding rounds for
municipal-wide infrastructure grants from 2010, with one of the targets being councils where
this issue is of prime concern.
2. That the MAV further refine the strategy to support councils in infrastructure planning,
development and funding.




                                                                                                73
RELEASE AND FUNDING OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT‟ S AUTISM STATE PLAN

Resolution:
That the State Council recommends that the State Government release the Autism State
Plan and provide adequate resources and funding to meet the complex service needs of
people with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Informs human services and public health priority to “play a critical role in protecting our
most vulnerable by promoting and implementing initiatives that provide better access to
services and greater equity in program outcomes for marginalised groups, including
migrants, people with a disability and older people”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

Since this motion was put forward to State Council, the State has released the Autism State
Plan, and announced funding of $8.27 million over four years which is available immediately
to „build new and better approaches across government for meeting the growing and
complex needs of people with autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)‟ .

(1)      Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
         communities

The intent of this resolution has been achieved

(2)      Number of councils affected by the issue

The autism plan affects all communities.

(3)      Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

None

(4)      Immediacy of the issue

The intent of this resolution has been achieved.

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The intent of this resolution has been achieved.

Additional comments:
None

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Action(s):

      1. That the MAV write to Minister for Community Services, Lisa Neville congratulating
          the State Government on the release of the Autism State Plan and the funding
          investment in implementation.

                                                                                               74
SUPPORTING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EARLY YEARS REFORM AGENDA

Resolution:
That the MAV call upon the Commonwealth and Victorian State Governments to ensure that:
          a) A partnership approach is taken with local government to develop and
              implement the national early years reform agenda;
          b) Adequate financial resources are allocated to ensure the availability of the
              required numbers of appropriately qualified early years professionals to
              implement the reform agenda;
          c) Adequate financial resources are provided to ensure that well designed
              facilities can be developed or refurbished to meet the expanded and
              integrated early years services needs, including the universal platform of 15
              hours of preschool program per child per week; and
          d) Appropriate transition timelines and financial support arrangements are in
              place to ensure local service and facility planning can be undertaken to
              successfully meet the goals of the early years reform agenda within local
              communities.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution is consistent with two of the MAV Priorities for Human Services in 2009/10:
        Develop a partnership agreement with the State Government for the delivery of
        education and early childhood services that, among other things, protects councils
        against cost shifting.
        Position local government to benefit from the re-alignment of the responsibilities
        between federal, state and local government for…early childhood services.
MAV‟ s Strategic Plan acknowledges “the shift in federal and local government relations…”
and the “critical importance to local government, in realigning responsibilities …of
recognition of the role of local government as planner, services provider and funder.” (Page
10)

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The national early years reform agenda is significant and far reaching. A set of concurrent
reforms have been discussed nationwide since early 2008 - their full implementation will
require new policy and investments in services, systems and current business models;
extensive resources for workforce expansion and development.
Also expected is an increased demand for early years facilities and new capital works/early
years infrastructure. As so much of the early years infrastructure in Victoria is owned by
local government, it is evident that the extent to which many of the reforms are achievable in
Victoria will depend heavily on the capacity of local government to lead the changes at the
local level in collaboration with communities and other local service providers. There will be
considerable financial and resource implications for all councils, particularly councils that
also directly provide kindergarten and/or long day child care services and employ early
childhood staff.
The MAV and councils will need to be engaged in planning these reforms early to mitigate
potential cost shifting and to influence strategic planning for the reform process. This will


                                                                                                75
require an ongoing willingness by councils to engage in the reforms during the planning and
early implementation phases: 2009-2013.

(2)      Number of councils affected by the issue
         All councils will be affected by this issue.

(3)      Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Councils have expressed support for the intent of the reforms but have significant concerns
about potential for cost-shifting and the impacts of changes on families, service users and
ratepayers.

(4)      Immediacy of the issue

While some of the reforms have already required local government engagement and
feedback throughout 2008, the major reforms are yet to be implemented. These will impact
on all councils in the second half of 2009, after funding agreements have been signed
between the federal and state governments.

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour
The key point of leverage for the MAV will be continued advocacy and partnering with the
State, through which MAV views are incorporated in negotiations with the Commonwealth
regarding bi-lateral agreements.
The MAV has established mechanisms in place with the State Government concerning a
partnership approach to the early years including regular meetings with the Minister for
Children and Early Childhood, formal meetings between DEECD (Office for Children) and
MAV (Early Years Strategy Group), MAV representation on the Victorian Children‟ s Council
(VCC), monthly meetings between DEECD and MAV focusing on the early years reform
agenda and shortly, with the signing of the MAV-DEECD partnership agreement regular
meetings between MAV CEO and the Secretary of DEECD.
Local government and MAV must work to build an equally strong partnership with the
relevant Federal Minister(s) and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace
Relations (DEEWR).
The Commonwealth have indicated that significant funds will be provided to each of the
States to implement the reforms. In Victoria, DEECD has indicated that a proportion of this
funding will be directed to councils for a range of actions including as a first step municipal
planning.

Additional comments:
The MAV and the Office for Children and Early Childhood Development have a well
developed partnership and history of working in partnership on state and local reforms in the
early years area.

Other relevant resolutions
“That the MAV lobby State Government to increase capital funding to joint use facilities
between local communities and the Department of Education and Early Childhood
Development”.

Action(s):

      1. That the MAV write to the relevant Federal Minister for Children advising of the State
          Council resolution.


                                                                                                  76
2. That the MAV write to the State Minister for Children and Early Childhood
    Development with a copy of the State Council resolution and others related to the
    early years; and agenda this for discussion at the scheduled meeting between MAV
    President and CEO and the Minister.
3. That the MAV hold a workshop with councils in July / August 2009 to consider in
    more detail the scope of the proposed national reforms and the level of funding.
4. That the MAV continue to work with DEECD on strategic planning for Universal
    Access to 15 hours of kindergarten with all councils.
5. That the MAV continue to work with other peak bodies in Victoria to influence change
    at the system and policy level.
6. That the MAV continue to monitor funding and resourcing issues through senior level
    forums held by MAV for councils, incorporating feedback in written submissions on
    the various reforms.




                                                                                      77
IMPACTS OF HEAT STRESS

Resolution:
MAV advocate to State Government to develop and deliver a community education program
to raise the awareness of communities, families and individuals of how to actively minimise
the negative health impacts of heat stress in the face of the predicted growth in the number
of heatwaves.

Contact officer:
Emma Fitzclarence

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10 recognises that “in the medium to long term, councils will
need to consider adjusting the way both aged care and maternal and child health services
are delivered as the elderly and young members of our communities are increasingly
exposed to health impacts associated with climate change, for example, increased heat
stress.”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Potentially significant, given the predicted increase in the number of dangerously hot days
forecast in the future, combined with an ageing population, which represents the highest risk
category.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The Victorian Government‟ s heatwave strategy is currently being rolled out, using local
government as the key vehicle.

Many councils have been funded a one off payment of $25,000 to integrate heatwave
planning into existing council plans. A heatwave planning guide has been produced to assist
councils with implementation.

The MAV provided feedback on the draft planning guide and has met with the DHS
Environmental Health team to discuss intergovernmental cooperation.

There are risks that local government will be given primary responsibility for heatwave
issues, with associated costs.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Likely to become an increasingly important issue in 2009-10.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour




                                                                                           78
Moderate. The MAV has good contacts and is involved in negotiations around heatwave
issues. It will be relatively resource-intensive to advocate on behalf of local government
given the risk that councils will carry majority of responsibility for heatwave management.

Additional comments:
The current definition of a heatwave falls outside of a natural disaster and therefore is likely
to impose costs on councils in undertaking response and recovery activities.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

1. Inform DHS Environmental Health of the State Council resolution (complete)

2.    Propose a State-led community education program that can be syndicated by councils
      and tweaked to incorporate local messages if necessary by August 2009

3. Discuss with Office of Senior Victorians to ensure that the MAV is linked in with the
    community risk register project (complete)

4. Participate in ongoing state committees on heatwave strategies and advocate on behalf
    of local government for the introduction of the strategy and for the State to have a lead
    role in its implementation

5. Convene workshops of councils, as required, to inform the MAV‟ s representation of the
    sector on the above committee




                                                                                                79
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH PRIVATE UTILITY COMPANIES

Resolution:
That the MAV prepare and negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with private utility
companies that obtains agreement from the companies for commercial rental to be paid
when utility infrastructure such as electricity sub-stations is placed on Council land.

Contact officer:
John Hennessy

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities

Minor

(2)     Number of councils affected by the issue:

All councils

(3)     Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This would be a test case for other assets on council land.

(4)     Immediacy of the issue

Not high


(5)     Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Unknown

Additional comments:

Action(s):

1. Commence discussions with private utilities




                                                                                          80
CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR REVITALISATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF MAJOR AND
PRINCIPLE ACTIVITY CENTRES THROUGH THE EXTENSION OF THE CREATING
BETTER PLACES PROGRAM

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council request the State Government to provide ongoing funding to
support the revitalisation and development of Major and Principal Activity Centres through
the extension of the Creating Better Places Program and other urban planning initiatives.

Contact officer:
Liz Johnstone

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Councils would have few alternative sources of funding if this program ceased. This matter
was incorporated in the MAV‟ s submission to the last State Budget and was subsequently
funded through the Budget. Additional financial capacity is welcomed by councils but for a
number of councils it is a small amount in the context of council annual budgets.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Approx 36, metropolitan councils and networked cities

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This is the single urban design program providing grants to councils for public realm
improvements for council managed projects. Councils would have few alternative sources of
funding if this program ceased. Government own funds are focussed on Central Activities
Districts and Principal Activity Centres with significant state budget support for state projects
in these centres.

(4)   Immediacy of the issue
Immediate - will affect councils from next financial year

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour
Already funded - funding has been extended due to program success and popularity with
councils.

Additional comments:
This resolution was included in the MAV state budget submission and funded in the last
State budget. The MAV understands that the funding extension is only for 2 years and so
ongoing advocacy remains necessary.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

                                                                                               81
1. Write to the Minister for Planning welcoming the announcement of additional
    Creating Better Places funding and seeking ongoing support beyond expiry date and
    broadening of program scope and reach




                                                                                   82
LEVEL RAILWAY CROSSINGS – GRADE SEPARATION

Resolution:
That the MAV calls on the State Government to:
       Release the current priority list for grade separation of level railway crossings in
       Victoria.
       Ensure that construction starts on these projects by 2010/11.
       Increase investment in grade separation over and above the $440 million outlined in
       the Victoria Transport Plan.

Contact officer:
Skye Holcombe

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Improved rail safety is a key component of the transport priorities outlined in the Strategic
Plan.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Unlike other Australian States and Territories, Victoria has a high number of rail/road
interfaces that are either actively (boom barriers/flashing lights) or passively (signage)
protected. Some councils face greater risks, simply as a result of the number of exposed
crossings within their municipality. For example, Loddon Shire has approximately 114 levels
crossings that interface with local roads, while South Gippsland Shire has approximately
three.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Only a few councils in Victoria do not have railway level crossings within their municipality.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The MAV has been facilitating cooperation between State and local government on the issue
of rail safety since entering into a partnership with the State Government in February 2008 to
assist councils in fulfilling their obligations under the Rail Safety Act and to identify potential
crossings for closure, which is significantly cheaper than grade separation and other safety
upgrades.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Issues of community safety are always a priority and the issue of railway level crossing
safety will remain on the public radar and especially the MAV‟ s radar, for the forseeable
future.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The State Government has an ongoing railway level crossing safety upgrade program,
carried out by VicTrack, which operates throughout Victoria. The State is focussed on
upgrades rather than grade separation due to the immense cost associated with the latter
approach.


                                                                                                 83
It is unlikely that the State would release a list of priority grade separation projects due to the
exposure of risk that would accompany such a list.

Additional comments:

In April 2009, the Rudd Government announced that Victoria would receive $30.3 million for
the installation of active protection at level crossings throughout Victoria.

Action(s):
   1. Seek a meeting with the Minister for Public Transport to advocate for additional
       funding to be allocated for grade separation of railway level crossings in Victoria
   2. Seek to have funding allocated as part of the 2010-11 State budget
   3. Seek the release of a priority list for grade separation from the Department of
       Transport
   4. Seek commitment of a timetable for future grade separation at sites throughout
       Victoria, beyond commitments outlined in the Victorian Transport Plan through the
       Department of Transport




                                                                                                84
NATIONAL TV TAKE BACK SCHEME

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council support the introduction of a National TV Take Back Scheme
and write to the State and Federal Governments requesting implementation of such a
scheme by the end of 2009.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

No direct relevance.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

A properly funded National TV Take Back Scheme would reduce costs to local government
in relation to illegal dumping and for those councils that are voluntarily providing electronic
waste recycling. The scale of the issue of TV disposal will increase as the progressive digital
signal switch-over takes place, leading up to end of the analogue system at the end of 2013.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils to some degree affected by not having a system in place. It is expected that
there will be take back locations in all councils, as the system is progressively rolled out.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

No issues. The state, territory and commonwealth environment Ministers at the Environment
Protection and Heritage Council in May 2009, supported the proposed TV Take Back
Scheme as proposed by the TV industry.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The full proposal for TV Take Back will be considered by the Environment Protection and
Heritage Council in November 2009.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High - given that Ministers have already agreed to the proposal, although not within the end
of 2009 timeframe.

Additional comments:

A detailed cost-benefit analysis on the TV Take Back proposal will be available for public
consultation in July 2009, with the final proposal considered at the November 2009 meeting
of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council. The TV industry has indicated that they
could commence the eastern seaboard, capital-city stage of the take back scheme within 6
to 9 months of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council signing off, indicating a mid-
2010 start-up of the TV Take Back Scheme.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

                                                                                                85
       Establishment of measures to address e-waste

Action(s):
   1. Write to the Victorian and Australian Government Environment Ministers expressing
       local government‟ s support for the TV Take Back Scheme and signal the sector‟ s
       willingness to work with industry to find appropriate local solutions.
   2. Make a submission to the TV Take Back Regulatory Impact Statement when it
       becomes available (expected in 4 months).
   3. Meet with TV Industry representatives to discuss how local government may be
       involved, whilst not incurring additional, unfunded costs.




                                                                                      86
DISPOSAL OF FLUORESCENT GLOBES

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council support a national scheme for recycling compact fluorescent
globes and write to the State and Federal Governments requesting implementation of such a
scheme by the end of 2009.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

No direct relevance

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Disposal of florescent globes into landfill may have health and environmental impacts for
sites below best practice, where mercury travels offsite. A national scheme may help to
prevent these potential impacts.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

No councils directly, although will impact positively on their communities with an appropriate
disposal pathway. Councils may be affected through providing drop-off locations for globes.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

No issues. The state, territory and commonwealth environment Ministers at the Environment
Protection and Heritage Council in May 2009, supported the „fluoro-cycle‟ proposal to
recover fluorescent globes from the commercial sector.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Less efficient incandescent globes are being phased out, with an effective import ban from
February 2009 and retail restriction from November 2009. Therefore over time there will be
decreasing volumes of compact fluorescent globes requiring disposal.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High - given the support at the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, with the
commercial sector project and a national initiative for the domestic sector currently being
developed. However, this is unlikely to occur within the end of 2009 timeframe, given the
priority development of the television, computer and tyre product stewardship schemes.

Additional comments:

Sustainability Victoria ran a short trial with lighting retailers and Coles to test the composition
and demand of recycling services for lighting. Initial results indicated that of the lighting
returned, only a quarter were compact fluorescents, with the remainder incandescent and
halogens. It would seem appropriate to develop take back proposals before the volumes
increase with the incandescent phase-out.


                                                                                                87
Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Nil

Action(s):

   1. Write to Victorian and Australian Government Environment Ministers supporting a
       national, self-funded recycling scheme for compact fluorescent globes.




                                                                                        88
IMPLEMENTATION OF VICTORIAN COASTAL STRATEGY SEA LEVEL RISE POLICY

Resolution:
That the MAV work more proactively with coastal municipalities and the State Government to
provide:
          1. A more collaborative, strategic and coordinated approach to the
              implementation of sea level rise policy across the Victorian coast;
          2. Increase support for Local Government through the development of clearer
              guidelines that will assist in the management of strategic planning and
              development approvals processes in coastal areas;
          3. The urgent release of a program and timeframes for implementation of
              Victorian Coast strategy actions relevant to sea level rise, and
          4. The provision of interim protection from liability for local government for
              decisions made where land may be impacted by sea level rise.

Contact officer:
Liz Johnstone

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The strategic plan identifies climate change as a high priority for local government
notwithstanding the economic downturn, as adaptation to climate change impacts and
responses will significantly affect councils and communities. More specifically the strategic
plan action to “Support councils to access tools and information for planning decisions that
take account of rising sea levels” is intended to address concerns articulated by this State
Council resolution.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant financial and political risks are associated with managing likely impacts of sea
level rise.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

22 coastal councils significantly affected as well as low lying councils.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The complexity, public interest and need for significant scientific and technical expertise
require a well coordinated response across councils and with the State Government.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Immediate and current.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Moderate to high. As this is an emerging policy area in which some councils are more
advanced at a practical level than state agencies and departments, significant opportunity
exists to influence a positive outcome. Preliminary discussions with both the DPCD
(Planning) and DSE (Future Coasts) are favourable.


                                                                                                89
Additional comments:

The MAV is contributing to the development of an implementation plan for the Victorian
Coastal Strategy to guide agencies work plans.

General advice has been sought on the question of liability for councils regarding land use
and development decisions on land likely to be affected by sea level rise.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Nil

Action(s):

1. Seek the establishment of a local government reference group to support DPCD in the
    development of a consistent, strategic and coordinated approach to the implementation
    of sea level rise policy across the Victorian coast;
2. Request that the Ministerial Planning Advisory Committee set up to advise on planning
    for sea level impacts provide interim guidelines for councils to assist in the management
    of strategic planning and development approvals processes in coastal areas;
3. Advise the Victorian Coastal Strategy Implementation Reference Group of the urgent
    need for timeframes for the implementation of the Victorian Coastal Strategy actions
    relevant to sea level rise
4. Seek further advice as and when required to ensure that councils are protected from
    liability as far as possible for decisions made where land may be impacted by sea level
    rise




                                                                                              90
SEA LEVEL CHANGE

Resolution:
That the MAV advocate for a reduction in greenhouse gas concentrations to levels that will
prevent dangerous climate change and prevent sustained human induced sea level rise.

Contact officer:
Nina Rogers

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Rising sea levels is one of the consequences of climate change, influenced by the thermal
expansion (warming) of the oceans and by the melting of polar ice caps.

Climate change and its implications for councils and for communities is an overarching
theme of the MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10.

The Strategic Plan specifically states that the projected impacts of climate change will force
councils to consider and enable appropriate patterns of human settlement and more resilient
forms of construction, to reduce exposure and vulnerability to consequences such as coastal
erosion, rising sea levels, coastal storm surge and severe weather events.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Victoria has 22 coastal municipalities. Sea level rise has the potential to directly affect each
of these municipalities, with major consequences on coastal infrastructure, natural assets,
patterns of human settlement, safety, amenity and tourism.

When rising sea level combines with storm surge events the potential for coastal flooding
may move beyond the 22 councils with immediate coastal frontage to adjacent low lying
municipalities with river systems subject to tidal influences.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Sea level rise and associated storm surge may directly affect in the vicinity of 20 to 25
Victorian municipalities.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The response to climate change is a high priority area of attention across the three levels of
government. Sea level rise is recognised as a direct threat to coastal settlements in Victoria
and nationally, with flow through social, economic and environmental implications.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Natural Resource Management
Ministerial Council (NRMMC) have both identified the coast as a priority for climate change
adaptation.

The emphasis on coastal community adaptation acknowledges that sea level rise is already
occurring and that, as a global community we are unlikely to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions fast enough or sharply enough to avoid further sea level rise. However, this does
not negate from the need to try and global emissions reduction targets are hence the subject
of international negotiation to be held in Copenhagen in 2009.

                                                                                               91
Advocacy on this issue can occur in the context of seeking effective intergovernmental
cooperation on Australia‟ s climate change response, and in providing the Australian
Government with a mandate for negotiating for an international emissions reduction target
that will seek to avoid „dangerous climate change‟ .

The term „dangerous climate change‟ is commonly associated with an average global
warming of 2 c over pre-industrial levels. The Garnaut Climate Change Review states that a
              0


stabilisation target of atmospheric carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) concentration of 450
parts per million gives a 50 per cent chance of exceeding this warming level.

(4)      Immediacy of the issue

The Australian Government will participate in international climate change negotiations in
Copenhagen in December 2009, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference Council
of Parties meeting (COP 15). At this meeting the international community will seek to
negotiate a global agreement on the level of emissions reductions to be achieved for the
period 2012 to 2020, and with an eye to beyond.

Advocacy on this motion should occur immediately and in the context of the Australian
Government considering its position for Copenhagen.

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Australia‟ s contributions to the international negotiations at COP 15 in Copenhagen will be
subject to a wide range of influences.

At the time of writing this report the international commentary suggests it is unlikely that COP
15 will secure a commitment to action by both the developed and developing worlds to
emissions reductions of a magnitude and with the speed that will avoid triggering
„dangerous‟ climate change as defined above.

Additional comments:

This motion seeks to avoid the triggering of „dangerous‟ climate change, and in turn
associated sea level rise. This outcome can only be achieved by the international
community, comprising developed and developing nations, acting in unison toward a
common global emissions reduction target. The efforts of Australia alone will not achieve
the desired outcome, but Australia must play its full proportionate part in the international
effort.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

See resolution on the implementation of the Victorian Coastal Strategy sea level rise policy,
May 2009.

Action(s):

1.    Immediately write to the Australian Government and to the Opposition and minor parties
      raising this motion in the context of Australia‟ s preparations for the United Nations
      Climate Change Conference Council of Parties meeting (COP 15) in Copenhagen in
      December 2009.
2.    Raise the resolution with the ALGA President for representation at COAG



                                                                                                92
CONTAINER DEPOSIT LEGISLATION

Resolution:
That the delegates to this MAV State Council: –
a) support the introduction a Container Deposit Scheme throughout the State,
b) write to the State Government urging the introduction of legislation to implement
   Container Deposit Schemes throughout Victoria, because of the financial, social and
   environmental benefits,
c) actively promote the benefits of Container Deposit Schemes in the wider community.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The MAV understands that the rationale for this resolution is based on a report from Colleen
Hartland of the Greens that sought to provide a rationale for the introduction of a container
deposit system in Victoria. The MAV is concerned by a number of assertions made in the
Hartland report and considers there to be gaps in the analysis that could significantly
influence the assessment provided.

In summary, the MAV considers that a more thorough analysis would show it is likely the
introduction of a container deposit system would have an impact on the existing kerbside
recycling system and would introduce additional costs to the community. These would need
to be considered carefully against any identified benefits.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Minimal. The Victorian Government through the Environment Protection and Heritage
Council is pursuing further analysis of a container deposit system.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

No immediate impacts on local government

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The Victorian Parliament is to consider a bill to introduce a Victorian container deposit
system from Colleen Hartland in coming weeks. This bill is unlikely to be passed given that
both the Victorian Government and the Opposition have indicated they would only support a
national approach.

Additional comments:


                                                                                           93
The Environment Protection and Heritage Council considered at their May 2009 meeting an
investigation into methods of recovering higher levels of beverage packaging and reducing
litter. The investigation report found that while a container deposit system would increase
beverage container recovery and would have the best direct litter reduction, it was the most
expensive option by a significant margin, notwithstanding the „inconvenience costs‟ (time
spent washing and sorting containers).

A national container deposit system would cost the economy and consumers $192 million a
year, excluding the contentious „inconvenience costs‟ - estimated at $300 million - whilst an
advanced recovery fee would cost around $42 million a year. The study identified that with a
container deposit system local government nationally may save in the order of $75 million
annually; this sum would be transferred to consumers. The report by the BDA Group,
recommended an Advanced Disposal Fee approach as offering the best balance of system
cost, resource recovery and opportunity to contribute to litter programs.

The Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to commission a „community
attitudes survey‟ to ascertain willingness to pay, which will further inform their decision
whether to proceed to a full Regulatory Impact Statement for a container deposit system.
They directed that the National Packaging Covenant‟ s focus would be strengthened in the
areas of workplace and public place recycling and litter reduction. The Environment
Protection and Heritage Council is to consider a „willingness to pay‟ study at its November
2009 meeting before making a decision whether to proceed to a full Regulatory Impact
Statement for container deposit system.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Container Deposit Legislation - May 2008 – which called for further examination of the costs
and benefits of a container deposit system.

Packaging /Container Recovery Scheme – May 2009

Action(s):

   1. Commence further research into the costs and benefits a container deposit system
       may have on local government
   2. Provide a brief to councils on benefits and costs of a container deposit system for
       Victorian local government and the community.




                                                                                            94
PACKAGING /CONTAINER RECOVERY SCHEME

Resolution:
That the MAV support the introduction of a broad based packaging/container recovery
scheme supported by legislation; integrating initiatives such as Container Deposit
Legislation, the National Packaging Covenant and kerbside recycling.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The introduction of a broad based packaging/container recovery scheme would have an
impact on the existing kerbside recycling system and may introduce additional costs to the
community. These would need to be considered alongside the benefits perceived.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Minimal. The Environment Protection and Heritage Council, of which the Victorian
Government is a member, has undertaken analysis of a broad-based packaging recovery
scheme and container deposit legislation, as well as supporting further development of the
National Packaging Covenant.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

No immediate impacts on local government, however the Environment Protection and
Heritage Council is considering a range of packaging initiatives in November 2009.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The Environment Protection and Heritage Council meeting in November 2009 will consider a
potential National Packaging Covenant Mark 3, a study on „preparedness to pay‟ for different
packaging measures and will determine whether to undertake a full Regulatory Impact
Statement cost/benefit analysis of container deposit legislation.

The packaging industry has indicated that they would be unwilling to be part of a National
Packaging Covenant if container deposit legislation is introduced. However, they may be
willing to support a broad-based recovery scheme, such as an advanced recovery fee that
incorporates all packaging and is seen to complement the design emphasis of the proposed
Mark 3 National Packaging Covenant.

Additional comments:



                                                                                             95
The Environment Protection and Heritage Council considered at their May 2009 meeting an
investigation into methods of reducing and recovering higher levels of beverage packaging
and reducing litter. The investigation report found that while a container deposit system
would increase beverage container recovery and would have the best direct litter reduction,
it was the most expensive option by a significant margin, notwithstanding the overstated
„inconvenience costs‟ .

A national container deposit system would cost the economy and consumers $192 million a
year, excluding the contentious „inconvenience costs‟ (time spent washing and sorting
containers), whilst an advanced recovery fee would cost around $42 million a year. The
report, by the BDA Group, recommended an Advanced Disposal Fee approach as offering
the best balance of system cost, resource recovery and opportunity to contribute to litter
programs.

The Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to commission a „community
attitudes survey‟ to ascertain willingness to pay, which will further inform their decision in
November 2009, whether to proceed to a full Regulatory Impact Statement for a container
deposit system. They directed that the National Packaging Covenant‟ s focus would be
strengthened in the areas of workplace and public place recycling and litter reduction and
will consider the National Packaging Covenant Mark 3 at the November 2009 meeting.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Container deposit legislation

Action(s):

   1. Conduct further research into the costs and benefits a container deposit system may
       have on local government.
   2. Provide a Members Brief on a broad-based packaging scheme incorporating an
       advanced disposal fee and the National Packaging Covenant within the next six
       months.




                                                                                                 96
PHASE OUT POLYETHYLENE BAGS

Resolution:
That delegates to this State Council support representation to the State and Federal
Governments to legislate for the phase out of polyethylene plastic bags.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

No direct relevance

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

It is estimated that around 1% of lightweight plastic bags consumed annually in Australia are
littered, amounting to about 40 million bags in the environment and they therefore present a
highly visible litter source. The Regulatory Impact Statement (Decision) indicated that a ban
may have significant impacts on communities, as compared with the status quo.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils are likely to have some plastic litter and their communities may face higher costs
from any bans.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The Victorian Government has trialled a 10 cent levy for plastic bags, which had a high level
of success and acceptance by consumers. Pursuing a ban is unlikely to detrimentally effect
intergovernmental cooperation.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The Environment Protection and Heritage Council in November 2008 expressed a
preference for pursuing a national approach, furthering the voluntary approach and the
Victorian levy trial.

Additional comments:

South Australia has decided unilaterally to implement a ban on lightweight plastics spate
from the decisions of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council. It would seem
unlikely that a national ban will be pursued by state and Commonwealth governments, given
the findings of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council Regulatory Impact
Statement, although a voluntary levy is possible. Against 2002 levels, plastic bag usage
decreased by 43.2% in 2006, and 33.9% in 2007 highlighting the importance of continued
messages about plastic bag reduction.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

                                                                                            97
None.

Action(s):

   1. Write to the Victorian and Australian Governments requesting that further substantive
       action be taken towards reducing the use of polyethylene plastic bags including the
       use of levies.




                                                                                          98
ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria strongly encourage the Department of Planning
and Community Development to include within a revised Annual Local Government
Community Satisfaction Survey a measure relating to community satisfaction with
environmental management performance of a Council within a new version of the annual
survey after consultation with the sector.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:
Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:


(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Low. An expansion of the survey would have a financial cost, but would provide further
performance related data.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Low

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Low

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High

Additional comments:

There are significant questions about whether the survey will continue. If local government
sought the addition of further survey material, it is highly likely that this could be included.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Relevant to the “DPCD Annual Community Satisfaction Survey” motion

Action(s):

1. Raise the matter with the DPCD project manager for the survey.




                                                                                                   99
TAKE IN – TAKE OUT RUBBISH POLICY

Resolution:
That the MAV seek an urgent review of the State Government‟ s “Take in Take out” rubbish
policy in State and National Parks, with a view to implementing an improved system that
adequately compensates Local Government.

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

No direct relevance

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Difficult to quantify, as only a limited number of councils have been able to report increased
costs due to the State Government‟ s policy.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

It is predominately rural and regional councils that have state or national parks within their
areas. Many of these have either a state or national park within or abutting the boundaries of
their shires and cities. It appears to be mostly the councils along the Murray River reserve
that are affected, although others will be affected to different degrees.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The MAV has previously written to the Victorian Government on this issue, therefore the
Government is aware of the sector‟ s views.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Ongoing

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Responses to the MAV‟ s previous letters in 2007 from the Minister for Environment and
Climate Change made it clear that the Victorian Government intended to maintain the
current „carry in and carry out‟ policy for the reserves under its management. It seems highly
unlikely that the Victorian Government would compensate local government for waste that
may or may not be a result of the „carry in and carry out‟ policy. However, the Victorian
Government may be more willing to contribute to an integrated approach to waste issues in
and around state and national parks and other significant reserves, as advanced by the
Murray River Litter and Waste Taskforce.

Additional comments:

The central issue is whether the Victorian Government‟ s „carry in and carry out‟ policy has
resulted in higher costs for those councils adjacent to parks and reserves managed by the
State Government. It is very difficult to directly attribute the „carry in and carry out‟ policy as
the cause for higher costs incurred by local government. Only two councils in the Murray

                                                                                               100
River area, have to the MAV‟ s knowledge, been able to provide evidence of higher waste
costs after the introduction of this State Government policy. Further, whilst the two councils
are able to show higher costs, it is unknown whether during this period visitation to the area
increased and therefore whether the rise is costs is attributable to the policy versus that
attributable to the number of visitors. The quantum of the costs and benefits to local
government of parks and reserve visitation and tourism must be understood before
requesting compensation.

The MAV is involved with the Murray River Litter and Waste Management Taskforce which is
developing an integrated approach to the issues around waste management and the Murray
River Reserve. This approach requires examining each of the following areas:
       Research - Collection of relevant data to comprehensively understand current status
       Infrastructure - Documentation of existing infrastructure, relevance and potential
       improvements
       Education and awareness - Development of a communication strategy that
       influences a change in behaviour and reinforces appropriate camping waste
       management
       Enforcement - Strengths and weaknesses of current enforcement regime and
       improvements/consistency of application across the area

Active Taskforce members include Moira Shire, Campaspe Shire, Greater Bendigo City,
Gannawarra Shire, VicRoads, Parks Victoria, Resource GV (Goulburn Valley Regional
Waste Management Group), Central Murray Regional Waste Management Group,
NevRWaste (North East Regional Waste Management Group), Mildura Regional Waste
Management Group, Victorian Litter Action Alliance, Department of Sustainability and
Environment, EPA Victoria and the MAV. The Taskforce is finalising its report to present to
stakeholders.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

A similar resolution was passed by MAV State Council in May 2007.

Action(s):

   1. Continue participation in the Murray River Litter and Waste Management Taskforce
       over the next 6 months
   2. Advocate the recommendations of the Taskforce on its conclusion in 6 months
   3. Write to the Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change to reinforce the
       importance of state and local government working together to find solutions to waste
       and litter issues and flag the need for possible financial support for recommendations
       of the taskforce.




                                                                                           101
TREATMENT OF GREEN POWER UNDER THE CARBON POLLUTION REDUCTION
SCHEME

Resolution:
That the MAV request the Federal Government to amend the Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme (CPRS) to ensure that all purchases of Green Power reduce greenhouse emissions
beyond the National greenhouse reduction target on an annual basis

Contact officer:
Nina Rogers

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10 states that the impacts of climate change and the policies
that seek to direct Australia‟ s emissions reduction response will significantly affect councils
and communities. In the short to medium term these policies will lead to changes in the way
councils do business. Councils will need to work to improve operational efficiency and
minimise costs.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities

GreenPower is an Australian Government accredited scheme promoting the use of
clean, renewable energy, generated from the sun, wind, water and waste, available to
electricity customers at a price premium. GreenPower products allow customers to replace
a proportion of their electricity account with electricity generated from renewable sources,
fed into the national power grid.

As at 31 March 2009, there were approximately 980,000 GreenPower customers nationally,
of which 385,000 were Victorian customers1. The MAV has not been able to locate any
information as to the number of customers in each Victorian municipality, however, it can be
reasonably expected that distribution exists across the State. Some councils are
GreenPower customers.

At the time of writing this report the national Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislative
package is being debated by the Senate. If introduced, a Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme will change the nature of what GreenPower achieves. Councils, as GreenPower
customers, will need to understand the implications of the Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme on GreenPower and make informed decisions as to whether to continue to
purchase GreenPower or not.

(2)     Number of councils affected by the issue

As at 31 March 2009, there were 385,000 GreenPower customers in Victoria2. The MAV
has not been able to locate any information as to the number of customers in each Victorian
municipality, however, it can be reasonably expected that distribution exists across the
State.


1
  Source: National GreenPower Accreditation Program Status Report, Quarter 1 – 1 January to 31
March 2009. www.greenpower.gov.au
2
  Source: National GreenPower Accreditation Program Status Report, Quarter 1 – 1 January to 31
March 2009. www.greenpower.gov.au

                                                                                                 102
(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This motion is not perceived to affect intergovernmental cooperation.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

At the time of writing this report the national Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislative
package is being debated by the Senate. The treatment of GreenPower under the Carbon
Pollution Reduction Scheme forms part of this legislative package. The Carbon Pollution
Reduction Scheme Bill is expected to be voted on before the 25 June 2009. The opportunity
for advocacy on this resolution may have passed, subject to the Senate‟ s treatment of the
legislative package over this next week.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The Australian Government has already once amended the Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme legislative package on its treatment of GreenPower. It may be persuaded to do so
again.

Additional comments:
N/A

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
N/A

Action(s):

1.    Subject to the status of the legislative package, which at the time of writing this report
      was due to be voted on by 25 June 2009, immediately write to the Federal Minister for
      Climate Change, Senator Penny Wong, tabling this resolution
2.    Write to the Opposition and minor parties tabling this resolution
3.    Provide support councils to understand the implications of the Carbon Pollution
      Reduction Scheme (if passed by the Senate) on GreenPower




                                                                                             103
ESTABLISHMENT OF MEASURES TO ADDRESS E-WASTE

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council acknowledge the increasing problems posed by e-waste and
support the implementation of services similar to the “Brimbank Detox Your Home Facility”,
in partnership with Sustainability Victoria, to assist in the responsible disposal of e-waste

Contact officer:
Ben Morris

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

No direct relevance.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Properly funded e-waste services would reduce costs to local government in relation to
illegal dumping and for those councils that are voluntarily providing similar services. The
scale of the issue of e-waste will increase, particularly with the expected increase in
television upgrading with the switch to a digital signal.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Councils are impacted where there are not the services like the „Detox‟ centres. Six
metropolitan and five regional councils in Victoria have permanent „Detox your home‟
facilities.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

No issues. The state, territory and commonwealth environment ministers at the Environment
Protection and Heritage Council in May 2009 supported the proposals for television and
computer product stewardship schemes, which would include funding of services similar to
„detox‟ for these wastes.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The final proposals for television and computers („e-waste‟ ) take back will be considered by
the Environment Protection and Heritage in November 2009.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High - given that the Environment Protection and Heritage Ministers have already agreed to
address e-waste with final decisions due in November 2009. The take-back services may not
necessarily be similar to the „detox‟ centres, and are likely to include retail and other
avenues for receipt of e-waste.

Additional comments:

A detailed cost-benefit analysis on the computer and television product stewardship
schemes will be available for public consultation in July 2009. The final proposal will be
considered at the next meeting of the Environment Protection and Heritage Council in
November 2009.

                                                                                              104
There is likely to be a range of proposed models for recovery of electronic waste, these may
include retailer return, use of local government transfer stations or other solutions. The
choice of options must be driven by cost-effectiveness and community reach.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

National TV Take Back Scheme

Action(s):
   1. Write to the Victorian and Australian Government Environment Ministers expressing
       local government‟ s support for the e-waste product stewardship proposals and signal
       the sector‟ s willingness to work with industry to find appropriate local solutions.
   2. Make a submission to the Regulatory Impact Statements for televisions and
       computers expected within the next 6 months
   3. Meet with television and computer industry representatives over the next 6 months to
       discuss how local government may be involved, whilst not incurring additional,
       unfunded costs.




                                                                                         105
WEED CONTROL

Resolution:
That the MAV lobby the State Government to appropriately resource the Department of
Primary Industry to enable it to effectively meet its enforcement obligations in respect of
weed control on private property.

Contact officer:
Luke Murphy

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10 acknowledges that pest plant and animal management
presents major challenges for councils, and that climate change will likely increase the
prevalence of some pest species.

Although the Strategic Plan does not explicitly cover the management of weeds on private
property, it does specify the importance to obtain support from the State Government to
ensure that councils have the capacity to respond to natural resource management needs.
Clarity of legislative responsibility for pest plant and animal management is highlighted as a
priority.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Weeds pose significant issues for all land managers including councils and their
communities. They present environmental, economic and social risks by impacting on
natural landscapes and processes, reducing agricultural viability, and can affect recreation,
safety, aesthetics, and income levels.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

It is not known exactly how many councils are affected by the limited enforcement of weed
control on private property by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI). However, the
general issue of pest plant and animal management is challenging for all councils.

Historically, the MAV has received correspondence from approximately 31 councils raising
concerns about pest management, specifically about the responsibility for weed
management and State Government funding programs.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

If the DPI was to receive increased resourcing to meet enforcement obligations for noxious
weed control, it is likely to not necessarily be restricted to private property, that is, all land
managers including councils could be subject to enforcement action.

This resolution presents possible risks for councils if the Government is to maintain its view
on the responsibility for the management of weeds on roadsides. Although the negotiations
between the MAV and the Minister for Agriculture and his office continue, the issue currently
remains unresolved and the Government‟ s stated view has been that responsibility rests with
local government. This is not wholly consistent with legal advice received by the MAV.



                                                                                               106
Requesting increased compliance activity could include enforcement on councils for noxious
pest control in designated DPI compliance areas as a result of a better resourced
department.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Weeds are an ongoing problem and increases during each annual growing season if
effective control is not implemented. Managing the impacts of weeds continues to be a
challenge for councils that actively invest in management activities, and community
engagement and education initiatives. It is a particular challenge for councils that have
limited resources.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The likelihood of achieving an outcome for this resolution is limited due to the extent of
weeds across the State, exacerbated by emerging and new pest species and limited
government resources. In addition, the State Government has recently adopted a new
approach to allocating its resources to managing biosecurity threats including pest plants
and animals.

The State Government launched the Biosecurity Strategy on 3 June 2009 and has drafted
the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework, which establishes a strategic and
integrated risk management approach to biosecurity threats. All biosecurity activities,
including the management of weeds, will be directed by the new approach. For weeds, this
will mean that the level of government priority for action will be determined by the extent of
invasion of particular species. The type of intervention will be based on where a species
appears on an „invasion curve‟ with the response aiming to prevent invasion, or achieve
eradication, containment or asset protection outcomes. The Government will focus on where
the greatest return for investment can be achieved through prevention and early intervention
as a priority, compared to investing in weed management once species have invaded and
become widespread and established.

This implies that the greatest effort will be invested in weeds that are not necessarily
currently widespread and established species. In addition, government investment will seek
to achieve public benefit and as a result, control of widespread and established pests will no
longer be the focus where private benefit clearly prevails. This approach will direct how the
DPI will deliver its responsibilities, including compliance and enforcement activities for
noxious pests.

Additional comments:

The resolution seeks improved resourcing for the DPI to meet its enforcement obligations for
weed control on private property. However, the Department‟ s compliance activity is restricted
to three categories of declared noxious weeds:
        State Prohibited Weeds – The Victorian Government is responsible for their
        eradication although it may direct land owners to prevent their growth and spread.
        Regionally Prohibited Weeds – Private land owners are responsible for eradication
        on private land.
        Regionally Controlled Weeds – Land owners are responsible to take all reasonable
        steps to prevent their growth and spread.

The tools available to the DPI to enforce compliance activities for noxious pests are through
Land Management Notices or Directions under the Catchment and Land Protection Act
1994, where action against land managers can be taken. Compliance activities usually target


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priority areas where noxious species present the greatest economic, environmental and
social risks in Catchment Management Authority regions. Therefore, substantial areas exist
across the State where limited DPI compliance activity occurs. More recently, land owner
engagement initiatives in pest plant and animal management have been used over
immediate enforcement activities, which are used as a last resort. Absentee land owner
compliance continues to be a challenge.

Some councils are concerned with the changes to DPI service delivery under the Future
Farming Strategy, which amongst other things; seek a partnership approach with the private
sector and the community for service delivery. Issues raised include the question whether
there is potential for some level of responsibility to be transferred to local government. The
MAV submission to the Draft Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework included the
recommendation that changes in the approach to managing existing widespread and
established pests does not transfer expectation onto local government.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

May 2008 State Council resolution:
Responsibility for weed management on roadsides
      That the MAV requests the State Government to create legislation to provide
      certainty surrounding the responsibility for control of weeds on local roads.
      That this legislation clarifies and reinforces the intention of the Catchment and Land
      Protection Act 1994 that responsibility for management of weeds on local roadsides
      rests with the adjoining landowner.
      That the MAV lobby the State Government to support landowners by adequately
      resourcing weed enforcement activities with a focus on roadsides and on private
      land.

Action(s):

1.   Write to the Minister for Agriculture raising these issues in the context of implementing
     the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework.

2.   Write to the Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries raising these issues in
     the context of implementing the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework.

3.   Raise these issues in ongoing discussions with the Department of Primary Industries.

4.   Continue negotiations with the Minister for Agriculture and State Government about
     responsibility for pest management on roadsides.




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WATERING OF COMMUNITY SPORTS GROUNDS

Resolution:
That, as the first step in responding to the availability of additional water resources under the
State Government‟ s Water Plan, the State Government be requested to exempt the watering
of community sports grounds from water restrictions.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant, particularly for those councils with growing populations that require the
establishment of new sporting facilities.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

No significant political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Immediate, with many sporting facilities in very poor condition for the winter sporting season.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Moderate. The Government has previously focused its strategy of improving drought
affected sporting facilities through directly funding improvements such as new surfaces,
water tanks and pumps etc. The 3A restrictions for Melbourne have been introduced with
significant concern for local sporting facilities. There is some potential, following the
completion of the desalination plant and north-south pipeline, that the additional water could
be targeted to improved sporting facilities.

Additional comments:

Other alternative options which could improve sporting surfaces for all Victoria could be
pursued, such as the introduction of water offset programs.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Consistent with previous State Council resolutions

Action(s):



                                                                                             109
1. Write a letter to the Minister for Water expressing concern with the current state of
    sporting facilities in Victoria
2. Write a letter to the Minister for Sport and Recreation expressing concern with the
    current state of sporting facilities in Victoria
3. Seek improved funding for sporting groups in the 2010-11 State Budget
4. Seek meetings with officers from Sport and Recreation Victoria to improve water
    availability for sporting purposes.
5. Seek meetings with officers from the Department of Sustainability and Environment
    to improve water availability for sporting purposes




                                                                                       110
ASSISTANCE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victoria calls for greater financial support for councils from
the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments for climate change mitigation and adaptation
strategies and actions. Climate Change is substantially impacting on the lives of most
Australians and more action is required in the short term to provide for sustainable
communities and infrastructure.

Contact officer:
Nina Rogers

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Climate change and its implications for councils and for communities is an overarching
theme of the MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10. The Strategic Plan recognises that the response
to climate change must remain a high priority for local government notwithstanding the
economic downturn, if we are to avoid many forms of impacts into the future.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

The impacts of climate change threaten to be wide-ranging for councils, including but not
limited to decreased lifespan of infrastructure and increased maintenance costs, increased
pressure on emergency management systems from more frequent and intense severe
weather events, a rise in health risks for the young and elderly, declining agricultural
productivity exacerbating rural population decline, threats to ecosystem health and pressure
on coastal assets from rising sea levels with associated planning implications and liabilities.

All Victorian councils will be affected by climate change, and in fact already are. The timing
and magnitude of the affects, of both mitigation policies and the impacts of change in the
climate system, will differ between councils. No two councils will experience climate change
in the same way. How the effects will be experienced is subject to the influences and
resilience of the local economy, social structures, geography and broader environment.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils will be affected by climate change. The timing and magnitude of the impacts will
differ for each council.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The response to climate change is a high priority area of attention across the three levels of
government. Councils have long engaged with both the State and Commonwealth
Government on building understanding about the issue and identifying and implementing
appropriate responses. This motion seeks for this work to continue and be given greater
prominence and support.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Victoria, and will continue to
grow in scale and magnitude. Both the emissions reduction challenge and the need to
anticipate and adapt to the impacts of the climate change must become immediate and

                                                                                             111
central priorities for councils if they are to ensure they remain viable organisations
supporting resilient communities.

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

The opportunity to influence the State and Federal Governments for greater support for
Victorian local government is both timely and likely to yield a favourable outcome. The
primary opportunity vests in the development of the Victorian Government‟ s Climate Change
White Paper and accompanying policies and programs. A Climate Change Green Paper is
out for consultation until 30 September 2009.

Additional comments:

Adaptation
The Australian Government funds the „Local Adaptation Pathways Program‟ . There have
been two funding rounds thus far. This program has seen some funds directed to Victorian
local government for municipality based assessments of the impacts of climate change on a
municipality and for the identification of adaptation responses. There is a need to showcase
the learnings from these projects here in Victoria and in other jurisdictions, create new
collaborations between councils and to seek a greater allocation of funds to this program so
that many more councils can understand their exposures to climate change.

The Council of Australian Government considers climate change adaptation a priority for
action by governments. Through the ALGA the MAV has opportunity to influence COAG on
the need for support to local government to respond to climate change.

Mitigation
At the time of writing this report the national Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislative
package is being debated by the Senate. If introduced, a Carbon Pollution Reduction
Scheme will require perhaps a quarter of Victorian councils to understand their potential
responsibilities under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The MAV is actively working
with the ALGA on advocacy about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme to the Australian
Government. There have been some wins thus far, namely the consideration of „legacy‟
waste emissions under a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

The resolution is consistent with the policy positions of the local government associations
nationally.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
N/A

Action(s):

1.    Include this resolution in the MAV‟ s submission to the Victorian Government‟ s Climate
      Change Green Paper due in the next three months
2.    Raise this resolution with the ALGA President for representation at COAG
3.    Write to the Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Penny Wong, to express
      support for the Local Adaptation Pathways Program and the need for its expansion to
      ensure many more councils have access to the program.
4.    Request that the MAV representative on the Victorian Local Sustainability Advisory
      Committee (a Ministerial advisory committee) table this resolution at the committee‟ s
      next meeting expected within three months.




                                                                                          112
BUSHFIRE LEVY

Resolution:
That the MAV request the State Government to impose a fire service levy on all rateable
properties across Victoria to equitably fund fire services.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

No direct action within the strategic plan, but is likely to become an issue in addressing the
priority: “Coordinate a response to the Royal Commission into the 2009 Victorian bushfires”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)     Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
        communities

Significant. The fire services levy, placed on councils within the Metropolitan Fire Brigade
district, raises in excess of $30 million per annum. Assuming revenue neutrality for MFB and
CFA, it could be expected that successful implementation of this resolution will increase local
government costs by over $530 million per annum (approximately 10 per cent increase in
revenue or 20 per cent increase in rates). Even if local government only acted as a collection
agency, it is likely that significant administrative and political costs would be imposed.

If the levy were collected by the State, local government would still be severely negatively
affected by the reduction in capacity to pay for many households.

The significant additional cost on local government would be slightly offset by lower
insurance costs on buildings.

(2)     Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils.

(3)     Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The Victorian Government has a clear policy position imposing the fire services levy on land.
This resolution changes the political dynamics of the matter significantly and could strongly
influence the position of the State. It is highly unlikely that any successful implementation of
this resolution would result in the State using council valuation data to collect the revenue
through the State Revenue Office.

(4)     Immediacy of the issue

Likely to be an increasingly important issue following the release of the interim report of the
Bushfire Royal Commission.

(5)     Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

There is a strong argument that achieving this resolution would not be in the favour of local
government, given the significant costs that would be imposed on the sector.



                                                                                             113
It is highly likely that a property based system would be introduced if this resolution is
successfully implemented.

Additional comments:

The MAV established a clear policy position as part of the 2003 review of fire services
funding that they should be sourced from consolidated revenue. In the event this did not
occur, the Association supported the status quo.

This resolution represents a significant departure from stated MAV position and carries
significant financial risks to the sector.

The major policy rationale in opposing a land-based fire services levy is that the approach
severs the nexus between contributions and risk. Land values are not a proxy for risk and
this will create significant inefficiencies in the contribution to the fire services.

While there are legitimate concerns about issues with the current insurance based
arrangements (particularly for under insurance and tax cascades), these could be addressed
without imposing significant additional costs on councils.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):
Nil

Action(s):

1. Undertake a watching brief on fire services levy issues through the Royal Commission
process.
2. Provide a members brief on the funding of fire services




                                                                                             114
MUNICIPAL SUBSIDIES FOR VIC SES UNITS

Resolution:
That the MAV review the agreement requiring Local Government to contribute matching
funds to State Government in support of SES units because of the financial impact on small
rural councils who have to support several units.

Contact officer:
Emma Fitzclarence

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Reviewing funding arrangements will have relatively minor impacts on councils and their
communities. In the absence of a review, councils will continue to fund SES units based on
existing arrangements. This has greater impact on rural councils which support more than
one unit.

Recent increases in State Government funding to SES units has created pressure for
councils to match this increase. This is not supported by MAV and it has been agreed to
meet with VICSES to discuss current arrangements and explore future directions.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Currently all but three councils provide support to SES units. The support provided varies
from councils who make a relatively small financial contribution to SES units in neighbouring
municipalities to councils who support a number of SES units (e.g. East Gippsland – 8 units)
and/or provide significant budgetary and in-kind support. In-kind support generally includes
provision of land and buildings, and may include maintenance, insurances, and provision of
unit vehicles.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The establishment of Victoria State Emergency Service as a statutory body in 1995 provides
an opportunity for a significant shift in responsibility for managing SES units. MAV may
argue for a shift away from council support to SES units commensurate with increasing State
Government support.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Local government support to SES units is based on historical arrangements. While there is
no urgency to this issue, it is timely to review existing expectations and arrangements.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

VICSES has agreed to work with MAV and local government on a review of the current
arrangements. MAV will pursue a reduction in councils‟ responsibility for supporting SES
units. There is some optimism that this direction will be successful.


                                                                                          115
Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

1. Facilitate discussion between local government and VICSES on the issue of council
support to SES units over the next 12 months.




                                                                                       116
FIRE CONTROL PROGRAMS

Resolution:
That the MAV requests that the Department of Sustainability and Parks Victoria improve the
effectiveness of their fire control programs on all public land in and around townships, to
ensure that risk to property and lives is minimised, by the reduction of the potential for wild
fires to occur.

Contact officer:
Emma Fitzclarence

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Consistent with the priority: “Coordinate a response to the Royal Commission into the 2009
Victorian bushfires”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Fire management will be a significant issue for a majority of rural councils in 2009-10,
including issues of fire control programs and risk mitigation activities.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Rural councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Significant political ramifications, particularly given the complex legislative regime and the
implementation of the Integrated Fire Management Planning project, which aims to bring
together a coordinated response to risk management of all types of fire.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Immediate and likely to remain an ongoing issue in the medium term.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

High, given the current focus on bushfires through the Royal Commission which is
considering the efficacy of the current mitigation regime.

Additional comments:

The Royal Commission will assess many aspects of the risk mitigation regime for bushfires
in Victoria, including the role of government agencies. These findings and recommendations
will be important in informing policy responses by State and local government.

With the MAV coordinating a response on behalf of 77 councils, opportunities exist for local
government input into these matters. This needs to be balanced against the need to
represent the direct interests of the local government sector.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):


                                                                                             117
Nil

Action(s):

1. Support the IFMP project, through MAV representation on the State Fire Management
    Planning Committee and the executive committee, and by facilitating the implementation
    of IFMP in at least eight municipalities by the next Fire Danger Period commencing in
    November

2. Respond to the Royal Commission Interim Report due in August 2009

3. Represent, support and consult with the sector through the second block of Royal
    Commission hearings and make the necessary submissions to inform the final report due
    in July 2010

4. Work with the State on fire management and community safety programs as appropriate




                                                                                       118
REGIONAL LIBRARY CORPORATIONS BY TELE/VIDEO CONFERENCE

Resolution:
That, in recognition of the distances some members of Regional Library Corporations are
required to travel to attend meetings the Minister for Local Government be requested to
support necessary amendments to the Local Government Act to allow attendance at
Regional Library Corporation meetings by teleconference or video conference.

Contact officer:
Alison Lyon

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant logistical and potentially representation implications for Regional Library
Corporations providing services in rural and regional Victoria.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

Not known

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Nil

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Will not affect Regional Library Corporations until the proposed legislative amendment is
operational.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Unknown.

Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

1. Seek input from Regional Library Corporations regarding the current issues and the
benefits that would flow from the proposed change.
2. Write to the Minister.




                                                                                            119
CALL FOR THE MUNICIPAL ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA TO ADVOCATE ON ISSUES
RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Resolution:
That the Municipal Association of Victorian in partnership with the Victorian Local
Governance Association bring together local, State and Federal Government agencies,
registered training organisations, educational institutions, housing services, international
student services to discuss international student issues at a local operational level with a
view to the establishment of an Overseas Student Coordination Committee with formal links
to the Victorian Government‟ s Overseas Student Education Experience Taskforce.

Contact officer:
Clare Hargreaves

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Human services and public health priorities to “advocate for initiatives to improve community
safety, particularly for young people”, and “advocate to improve youth services including
mental health and counselling”. Also priority to “Administer and deliver grants programs that
increase participation by promoting…cultural diversity; and engagement between faith
communities and the broader community”.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant community relations management implications for affected councils and an
identified need for some level of social support.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

This issue has been raised as a concern with the MAV at officer level by Darebin, Whittlesea
and Monash but clearly is a concern for a wider range of councils, particularly those where
tertiary education institutions have campuses located

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The State Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIIRD) has
primary carriage of cross-portfolio and intergovernmental coordination. It is understood that
DIIRD are contemplating convening a taskforce similar to that proposed in this resolution,
and MAV has flagged interest in working in partnership with the State on this issue on behalf
of local government.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The issues arising from international students need for greater support from the government
sector is current and immediate.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Preliminary discussion with DIIRD advisers suggests that consideration will be given to
including the MAV in a proposed taskforce with a view to developing a framework for local
government responses.


                                                                                         120
Additional comments:

The welfare of international students has emerged as a significant community relations issue
in the media and with the wider community. There are continuing incidences of violence,
some of it allegedly racially motivated. The MAV is seeking further advice from the State
Government on any inter-governmental coordination mechanism where local councils can
have input.

To date the State Government has:

       Fast tracked audit of international education service providers registered in Victoria,
       which has already been initiated. This is led by the Victorian Registration and
       Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
       Prepared a International Education Strategy for release later this year and will
       incorporate recommendations from the Victorian Overseas Students Experience
       Taskforce report released in December 2008; and
       Proposed changes to the Sentencing Act 1991 to require judges to take into account
       hatred for or prejudice against a particular group (such as race, gender, religion or
       sexual orientation) as an aggravating factor when sentencing. The legislation is
       anticipated to be passed by Parliament before the end of the year.

To date the Commonwealth Government has:

       Brought forward a review of the legal framework for the provision of education
       services to international students (Commonwealth Education Services for Overseas
       Students Act 2000) from 2010-1011 to 2009-2010; and
       Advised establishment of an International Students Taskforce (no indication of
       timeframe to date).


Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

             1. Write to Jacinta Allan MP, Minister for Skills and Workforce Participation
                 requesting clarification of State Government action to establish a framework
                 for intergovernmental coordination on issues arising from the international
                 students program and seeking to formalise local government involvement
                 through the MAV.
             2. Seek engagement on behalf of Victorian councils with Commonwealth
                 initiated intergovernmental coordination through the ALGA.




                                                                                           121
A PACKAGE TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS, CREATE JOBS AND SUPPORT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council calls upon the Australian Federal, State and Territory
Governments to resource a package of measures to reduce carbon emissions in local areas
and which also stimulates job creation and economic development.

Contact officer:
Nina Rogers

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Climate change and its implications for councils and for communities is an overarching
theme of the MAV Strategic Plan 2009-10. It recognises that the response to climate change
must remain a high priority for local government notwithstanding the economic downturn, if
we are to avoid many forms of impacts into the future. The Strategic Plan states that some
councils are more at risk of financial stress than others. Structural factors that make councils
more susceptible to financial distress are typically small population, small rate base, large
geographic area and large road network. Generally speaking these councils represent
communities whose economic structures are largely reliant on agriculture, and which have
suffered under persistent drought conditions exacerbated by a changing climate.

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

All Victorian councils will be affected by climate change. The timing and magnitude of the
affects, of both mitigation policies and the impacts of change in the climate system, will differ
between councils. No two councils will experience climate change in the same way. The
effects will be experienced subject to the influences and resilience of the local economy,
social structures, geography and broader environment.

Climate change also provides an unprecedented opportunity to move toward a low carbon
economy, reduce emissions, create new „green‟ jobs and support economic development.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils will be affected by climate change. The timing and magnitude of the impacts will
differ for each council.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

The response to climate change is a high priority area of attention across the three levels of
government. Victorian local government is yet to determine what role it sees for itself in
working with the other levels of government and with industry and the finance sector to
attract new green jobs and economic growth opportunities to Victoria. This resolution
presents an opportunity for initiating intergovernmental cooperation to build economic
resilience and create opportunities for growth in the face of climate change.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Victoria, and will continue to
grow in scale and magnitude. Both the emissions reduction challenge and the need to

                                                                                             122
anticipate and adapt to the impacts of the climate change must become immediate and
central priorities for councils if they are to ensure they remain viable organisations
supporting resilient communities.

Councils need to deliberate, determine and actively pursue their role in supporting economic
growth as we move toward a low carbon economy. By undertaking this role in the
immediate term councils may seek to harness any „first-mover advantage‟ available to
Victoria if it wishes to position itself as a „green-jobs‟ state.

(5)      Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

As Victoria and Australia broadly seeks to define and realise opportunities for economic
development and jobs creation in the move toward a low carbon economy, there are great
prospects for Victorian local government to advocate and support activity in this area.

Two key opportunities for advocacy exist:
        First, with the development of the Victorian Government‟ s Climate Change White
        Paper and accompanying policies and programs. A Climate Change Green Paper is
        out for consultation until 30 September 2009.
        Second, with the development of a Victorian Government Green Jobs Action Plan.
        A Draft Plan is due for release late in 2009.

Additional comments:

Nil

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

1.    Include this resolution in the MAV‟ s submission to the Victorian Government‟ s Climate
      Change Green Paper expected within the next three months
2.    Include this resolution in the MAV‟ s submission to the Victorian Government‟ s Draft
      Green Job Action Plan expected within the next 12 months
3.    Request the MAV representative on the Victorian Local Sustainability Advisory
      Committee (a Ministerial advisory committee) to table this resolution at the committee‟ s
      next meeting expected in three months




                                                                                           123
LOCAL GOVERNMENT BROADBAND

Resolution:
Acknowledging the broadband intentions of the Federal Government, it is requested that the
MAV State Council seek the establishment of a working group with the State and Federal
Governments to develop a common position on best practice in telecommunications and
identify the role of local government in the NBN process.

Contact officer:
Tony Gibbs

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

This resolution relates to the following two priority actions set out in the MAV Strategic Plan
2009-10:
    Assist councils to benefit from government funding for broadband infrastructure
    projects to drive economic development in the regions;
    Advocate for equity in costs of broadband services to the 10 per cent who won‟ t have
    access to the optical cable being rolled out under the National Broadband Network;

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant implications for councils in terms of council planning scheme. Will require
councils to dedicate significant extra resources and skills to enforce;

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All 79 councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Has the potential to create new responsibilities for councils in planning processes and
delivering broadband services to the remaining 10% of the population not served by the
NBN.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

The Greenfields Legislation could effect councils from as early as 1 July 2010.

NBN will take up to 8 years to implement up fibre to 90% of the population. There are no
announcements to date on delivering broadband services to the remaining 10% of the
population not served by the NBN.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Government understood to be open to considering changes as part of new legislative
provisions expected in the next 12 months.

Additional comments:




                                                                                            124
The MAV held a briefing consultation on proposed „fibre into Greenfields estates‟ legislation
on Friday 5th June with two representatives from Department of Broadband, Communication
and the Digital Economy‟ s NBN taskforce and attending councils. The legislation is expected
to be introduced into the winter sitting of federal parliament with the effective date being 1
July, 2010. Local government on the whole was very supportive of the commonwealth
initiative however the main points of concern raised:

       councils do not want to own fibre infrastructure assets or be responsible for ongoing
       maintenance or policing of open access arrangements;

       local government requires state planning policy legislation to be passed down and
       referred to in each local planning scheme because it does not have skills, resources
       or power to enforce telecommunications planning legislation;

       impact on new housing affordability arising from the increase in cost as developer will
       have to pass on increase in cost to buyers;

       cost allocation for Fibre To The Premises deployment in Greenfields (having to pay)
       versus Brownfield (not having to pay) presents equity issues;

       a regulated authority is best to manage the technical infrastructure and commercial
       standards.

ALGA is leading this on behalf of local government. They have sought input from the states
and territories and are preparing a submission to the NBN taskforce.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

1.    Facilitate briefing sessions with the NBN taskforce and Victorian councils where
      applicable;
2.    Inform the ALGA of outcomes from NBN briefing sessions with Victorian councils
3.    Support the ALGA to develop a national position and a role for local government;
4.    Forward publications from ALGA to councils
5.    Improve knowledge and understanding of the NBN among Victorian councils




                                                                                          125
ACCOUNTING FOR REGIONAL, RURAL AND GROWTH AREA NEEDS

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council calls upon the Australian Federal, State and Territory
Governments to include cost factors in grant allocations that take account of distance from
capital cities, sparseness of infrastructure and services and risk factors for communities
living in these areas.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Nil

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:


(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

This would result in the reallocation of funding from larger councils to smaller, more remote,
councils.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

A majority would likely be affected, with some more acutely than others.

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Nil

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Remains an ongoing issue

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Relatively high for some grants programs, low for others.

Additional comments:

Weighting for sparseness and remoteness are already included in the Victorian Grants
Commission allocations. Many programs already provide additional grant weightings
(particularly for service type arrangements, such as HACC and MCH), although this is
inconsistently applied.

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Nil

Action(s):

1. Write to the Commonwealth Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, Regional Development
and Local Government and the State Minister for Local Government

                                                                                           126
2. Raise the issue with the Victorian Grants Commission and request further work in
recognising the above issues in major grant programs over the next year.




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COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE

Resolution:
That the MAV State Council call upon the Federal, State and Territory Governments to
develop national standards for the provision of community infrastructure and an
intergovernmental agreement on how they are to be funded.

Contact officer:
Owen Harvey-Beavis

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

Consistent with priorities in the Infrastructure actions of the Strategic Plan

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:


(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant financial and asset management implications for councils.

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All councils

(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

Would be strongly supported by councils.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Remains a significant and immediate issue for many councils.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

Very low, unless the funding agreement retains local government as the primary source of
funding for community infrastructure.

See the resolution on the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program for the
introduction of an ongoing community infrastructure program

Additional comments:


Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Consistent with previous State Council resolutions

Action(s):

1. Raise the importance of a new Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program in
any meetings with the Commonwealth Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary



                                                                                        128
2. Advocate through the Management Committee‟ s representatives on the ALGA Board that
the introduction of a new program be a key priority for the ALGA in the 2009-10 financial
year




                                                                                     129
PLANNING PERMIT EXEMPTIONS

Resolution:
That this State Council meeting request the MAV to:-
   1. record its recognition of the need for actions to address impacts of the Global
        Economic Crisis
   2. in view of the long term impacts of major development, express its strong concern
        and disapproval to the Minister for Planning in respect of his actions in approving and
        implementing Amendment VC56 which provides for planning permit exemptions for
        school and social housing building and works funded under the Federal
        Government's economic stimulus packages, and also appointing the Minister for
        Planning as Responsible Authority for such applications, which has the effect of
        reducing the role of councils, and the rights of communities, in planning decisions for
        schools and social housing
   3. inform the Minister that the MAV‟ s concerns arise from the lack of transparency
        around the development and approval of VC56 and the failure to properly explore
        other options to achieve the objectives of the economic stimulus package
   4. advise the Minister that Local Government welcomes the opportunity to discuss
        means of realising the objectives and timeframes of the economic stimulus package
        but in a manner which respects the role, competency and commitment of local
        government and without disenfranchising councils as Responsible Authorities under
        the Planning and Environment Act
   5. express concern to the Minster for Local Government that the much vaunted
        partnership agreement between the State Government and Local Government, which
        was signed only 12 months ago, is being honoured only in the breach.

Contact officer:
Liz Johnstone

Relevance to Strategic Plan 2009-10:

The MAV Strategic Plan clearly identifies the imperatives associated with the global
economic crisis and the desire of local councils and communities for input into local planning
decision making. The following actions have at their heart the need for the sector to
demonstrate the value of its planning role and current threats to councils in that role:
       Advocate the retention of local input in planning decisions, including local
       government’s role as a planning and responsible authority, Development Approval
       Committees and Priority Development Panels”
       “Develop a sector-wide position on what local government wants to achieve from the
       review of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and advocate this position”
       “Pilot the planning process improvement methodology in response to the Victorian
       Auditor General’s performance audit of planning”

Assessment against criteria for incorporating emerging issues:

(1)    Magnitude of impact the issue is likely to have on councils and their
       communities

Significant

(2)    Number of councils affected by the issue

All, predominately metro and high growth



                                                                                           130
(3)    Political ramifications of the issue for effective intergovernmental cooperation

This issue goes to the core of whether the promised „sensible balance‟ and partnership
between state and local government in the delivery of planning services is genuine and
presents numerous examples of the state not working in accordance with the Victorian State
Local Government Agreement.

(4)    Immediacy of the issue

Immediate.

(5)    Likelihood of influencing an outcome in local government’s favour

This issue will be difficult for the sector to agree on a common position and will have different
priorities and manifestations across the sector. A well resourced and coordinated effort in the
lead up to the state election is likely to gain traction and influence outcomes in local
government‟ s favour.

Additional comments:

Other relevant resolutions (if any):

Consistent with previous State Council resolutions

Action(s):
   1. Write to the Minister for Planning to convey the resolution
   2. Express concern to the Minster for Local Government regarding actions inconsistent
       with Victorian State Local Government Agreement.
   3. Enlist council support through the MAV Planning Advisory Group to enable data
       collection in support of advocacy (timelines, tracking call ins, innovative responses)
   4. Ensure the Planning Process Improvement Project identifies performance indicators
       useful to councils
   5. Seek regular meetings for the MAV President with the Minister for Planning.




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