To promote the efficient carrying out of municipal government throughout



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INFRASTRUCTURE

With infrastructure management rating as one of local government’s

greatest challenges, improvements to asset management capability



and fairer cost arrangements were welcome.

ASSET MANAGEMENT

CAPACITY-

BUILDING


Through the Advanced Step

Program, the MAV continued

to assist councils to undertake

strategic and sustainable asset

management programs by

working with experts to assess

and measure council asset

gaps and practices, resulting

in more rigorous and

independent assessments of

asset management capabilities.

Further work identified the need

to align asset management

assessment and accounting

policies. Through the Australian

Local Government Association,

the MAV requested $1.7million

of a $13 million proposal from

the Minister for Transport and

Regional Services to improve

the capability of local

government’s asset management

practices, including more

effective management of asset

data. The MAV continued to

work with the State Government

and through the Future of Local

Government Project to develop

an agreed financial and asset

management reporting

framework. The MAV and

Department for Victorian

Communities also worked

together to identify councils’

CHRISTMAS

DECORATIONS

An accident caused by a council

contractor placing a sign on a

power pole was the catalyst for

a review of practices for erecting

signs and banners on power

poles. The electricity industry

proposed that electrical safety

legislation be applied more

rigorously and a sector-wide

agreement adopted. The MAV

represented councils on the

issue and organised training

accreditation. The timing of this

issue meant that some councils

and street traders were not able

to install Christmas decorations.

REGIONAL

TRANSPORT

GROUPS

As part of an ongoing



commitment to assist members

to access funding from the

Regional Strategic component

of the Commonwealth Auslink

program, the MAV worked with

councils to establish the

necessary regional structures.

Input was also provided into the

funding framework developed

by the Commonwealth, and the

MAV supported and contributed

advice to members on specific

project bids.

ROADS


In preparation for a review of

the Road Management Act,

the MAV hosted forums and

conducted a survey to identify

council concerns. The MAV

agreed to form a working group

with VicRoads and councils to

review the issues identified and

recommend appropriate action,

including legislative

amendments. The significant

work undertaken by the MAV

led to changes in the Act that

became operational in October,

including the transfer of

responsibility for water crossings

to water and catchment

management authorities.

Advocacy for a third round

of Roads to Recovery funding

commenced, as part of the

Australian Local Government

Association’s Fairer Funding

campaign. The

PricewaterhouseCoopers

national study on the financial

sustainability of local

government incorporated

significant input from the MAV,

and included recommendations

to make funding for Roads to

Recovery permanent and the

establishment of a $250 million

per year Local Community

Infrastructure Renewals Fund.

SPATIAL


PLANNING

The MAV continued its

membership of the Victorian

Spatial Council, which is

responsible for co-ordinating

policy development on spatial

planning and initiating

stakeholder frameworks.

The Property Information Project

was a key agenda item

in 2006/07. A review of the

existing process for transferring

property information from

councils to State Government,

which was funded jointly by local

government and the Department

of Sustainability and

Environment, concluded it

was not meeting stakeholder

requirements. As a result, a

stakeholder management group

was established to identify a

best-practice framework.

STREET


LIGHTING

A working group of councils,

the MAV and VicRoads

addressed the long-standing

issue of shared cost arrangements

for arterial roads, which has

seen the sector paying more

than 60% of lighting costs,

despite an historical

arrangement local government

would pay one-third of these

costs. Agreement was reached

that VicRoads would fund 60%

of the ongoing operation and

maintenance costs of lights on

arterial roads, with councils to

fund 40%. Lights designed to

directly illuminate service roads

were not deemed to be part of

this cost-sharing arrangement -

councils would fund 100%

of these lights, while VicRoads

would continue to fund 100%

of the lights on freeways.



asset renewal gaps.
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