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Local Government News
3 March 2017
Issue 8

In this issue... 


Vehicle Concession Cut Campaign
In response to requests from Member Councils, WALGA has initiated a sector advertising campaign to oppose State Government cuts to vehicle concessions. The cuts will affect all Local Governments and when including stamp duty will cost the sector up to an additional $10 million per annum. 
The following is a link to the advertisement that is being promoted online and which will be broadcast on metropolitan and regional television in the lead-up to the State election on Saturday week.

Vehicle Registration Cut Campaign

Members are encouraged to cut and paste the above link to include in their own social media posts and request their Local Governments also feature the advertisement in their communications.

The campaign would also be enhanced by Elected Members and Local Governments raising the issue directly with candidates in their electorates and sharing their responses with local press and online.
WALGA Divestment Position
A motion to rescind a previous State Council position to support divestment for WALGA finances was lost.  However there seems to be ongoing confusion on key components of this issue from parts of the sector.
The WALGA State Council decision to support divestment – investment in financial institutions not with fossil fuel industries – only applies to the allocation of WALGA finances. The Association is not proposing a sector position and recognises investment decisions are the domain of individual Councils.       

In a separate process to the investment decision for WALGA finances, WALGA has issued a discussion paper for the sector on divestment for their information.

The decision for WALGA to include divestment in its financial options was taken to support the Association’s previous State Council endorsed policy position on climate change (December 2009).

This policy in part required the Association “considers a wide range of policy measures from regulatory intervention and market-based mechanisms through to voluntary scheme, education and behaviour change programs.”

Application of divestment to WALGA finances will not exclude the Association from investing in institutions associated with fossil fuels as this is not possible in practice given the organisation’s extremely conservative investment requirements.

The conservative risk and portfolio requirements of the WALGA investment policy has not been changed with the addition of divestment. Previously WALGA finances were able to be allocated to institutions with a rating of ‘A’ and above and that remains in place. Also there is the requirement that only 10 per cent can be invested with any single ‘A’ rated institution up to 50 per cent of the total portfolio.

These requirements are more conservative than many Local Governments that have investment portfolios and with higher financial exposure than WALGA through investments in institutions that have a rating lower than ‘A’.

In practice for WALGA finances, currently there are three institutions that are ‘A’ rated that qualify for divestment which will capture 30 per cent of the WALGA portfolio. It should be recognised that the plus or minus notation on the assigned ratings are trend indicators and do not change the underlying rating. That is an A+, A- and A rating are all ‘A’ ratings.
EPA Briefing Session: Navigating the Environmental and Planning Approvals Process
WALGA will host a briefing by the Office of the EPA (OEPA) on the referral and assessment process for planning and development applications. 
Information covered will include:
  • the role of OEPA’s Environmental Planning team
  • interactions between the Environmental Planning Act 1986 and Planning and Development Act 2005
  • referrals of scheme and scheme amendments
  • referrals of development applications and proposals
  • structure plans and local planning strategies; and
  • new EPA policies – what does it all mean.
Date:        Wednesday, 22 March
Time:       10:00am to 12:00pm - Registrations open from 9:30am.
Venue:     WALGA office, LV1, ONE70, 170 Railway Parade, West Leederville.
Cost:        Free

RSVP by Friday, 17 March. Morning tea will be provided; please advise of any dietary requirement.
To register or for more information, email the Environment Team.
Seeking Comments: WALGA Public Health Survey
WALGA is seeking input on environmental health workforce planning and local public health planning from Local Governments.
The Community Team is developing a discussion paper on Local Governments’ obligations under the Public Health Act 2016. The paper will contain information on workforce planning in environmental health and how Local Governments develop a local public health plan.

The team has prepared two surveys to assist in gathering information from the sector on those issues.

The survey on environmental health workforce planning is suitable for Authorised Officers and Environmental Health Managers. The survey is available here.

The local public health planning survey is aimed at all Local Government staff who are involved in health and well-being, and is available here.

The deadline for the survey is Monday, 27 March.

WALGA strongly encourages all Local Governments to provide feedback, to ensure that the Association is accurately representing of the views of the sector.
For more information, email Policy Officer, Community Evie Devitt-Rix or call 9213 2082.
Blessing of the Roads Campaign
Supporting the Blessing of the Roads campaign is one way Local Governments can remind the community to make safe decisions during the Easter long weekend and help reduce death and serious injury on our roads.
The Blessing of the Roads campaign kit has been launched on the RoadWise website, to assist Local Governments implement road safety actions and messages in the community, reminding them that everyone can have a positive impact on road safety.
To download the campaign kit or for more information, visit the RoadWise website.
The following courses are available for Local Government Officers:
Planning Practices - The Essentials
Thursday, 9 March
Financial Fundamentals - Monthly Annual Reporting
Thursday and Friday, 9 March and 10 March
Local Government Act - Advanced
Tuesday and Wednesday, 14 and 15 March
Participate in Local Government Emergency Management Preparation
Thursday, 23 March
Manage Recovery Activities in Local Government
Friday, 24 March

Planning Practices - Advanced
Monday, 27 March
For more information, email WALGA Training or visit the website.
Community Heritage and Icons Grant Program - Applications Open
The Community Heritage and Icons Grant Program provides funding for a range of interpretation, communication, promotion and volunteer activities that promote community participation and awareness of places listed on Australia’s National Heritage List.
Local Government are eligible to apply for funding under the program.

To view the eligible activities that could be covered by the funding, click here.

Applications close on Thursday, 23 March.
For more information, visit the grant website.
Festivals Australia Grant Program
Remote and Rural Local Governments can apply for the Festivals Australia grant.
$1.2 million is given each financial year for high-quality arts and cultural projects in regional and remote Australia that support community participation and audience engagement.

Funding is given to activities which can include but are not limited to a parade, performance, workshop, installation, or exhibition held as part of a festival or a significant one-off community event.

Projects must be a single discrete activity, not a range of unrelated activities across a festival program.

Applications close on Friday, 24 March at 5:00pm.
For more information or to apply, visit the Festivals Australia website.
Off-road Vehicles Workshop
Following feedback from WALGA, the Department of Local Government and Communities will hold a workshop on off-road vehicles and will provide an opportunity to raise specific issues that Local Government may be confronting, while sharing ideas and experiences.
Capacity is limited - the workshop is accepting two registrations per Local Government. Additional workshops may be provided depending on demand.

Date:       Friday, 7 April
Time:      10:00am to 1:00pm
Venue:    140 William Street, Perth

The entry to 140 William Street is from the Murray Street Mall next to the underground railway entrance.

Attendees are invited to meet in the public reception area on level 2.
To register or for more information, email DLGC Senior Legislation Officer Troy Hancock.
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, 170 Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia