THE State Government is improving the governance of Victoria’s councils and ensuring ratepayers get the representation they deserve.
Local Government Minister Marlene Kairouz released the Local Government Bill 2018. The draft bill will repeal and replace the Local Government Act 1989, which has been amended about 100 times.
The draft Bill implements consistent representation structures and voting methods for council elections across Victoria, and requires councils to adopt long-term plans and budgets backed by their local communities.
It gives Government stronger powers to deal with individual councillors who are not performing and requires most council meetings to be open to the public.
The exposure draft will be open for public comment from December 12, 2017 until February 23, 2018, with feedback to be used to shape any final changes before the Bill is legislated in 2018.
The Bill is one of several election commitments from the Labor Government to improve the accountability and transparency of councils, including the introduction of Fair Go Rate Capping and the Know Your Council website.
“We’re putting people first and getting it done – updating laws that haven’t been properly updated in decades,” Local Government Minister Marlene Kairouz said.
“This Bill will ensure councils are accountable and focused on delivering what’s important to ratepayers.”
The release of the draft exposure Bill follows a two-year assessment of the current Act that took feedback from councils, ratepayers, the wider community and industry stakeholders.
To view the exposure draft and have your say, visit yourcouncilyourcommunity.vic.gov.au