Latest news

The Victorian Government is conducting the first comprehensive review of the Local Government Act 1989 in a quarter of a century.

Through the Your Council Your Community website you can:
Please check back regularly to keep up to date on the latest developments as the review progresses through the various stages. You can also register here to receive monthly newsletter updates.


The Victorian Government is conducting the first comprehensive review of the Local Government Act 1989 in a quarter of a century.

Through the Your Council Your Community website you can:
Please check back regularly to keep up to date on the latest developments as the review progresses through the various stages. You can also register here to receive monthly newsletter updates.


Latest news

  • Get Involved - opportunities for consultation on the Directions Paper

    25 days ago

    The Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins MP, released the Local Government Act Review directions paper - Act for the Future on 10 June 2016.

    The release of the directions paper follows the initial stages of the review which provided the opportunity for councillors, council staff and members of the public to identify issues to be addressed and present ideas for Victoria's new Local Government Act.

    The Local Government Act Review Directions Paper outlines the key reforms proposed to develop the legislative framework for Victorian local government.

    You can find the Directions paper and affiliated documents here.

    Over the coming... Continue reading

    The Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins MP, released the Local Government Act Review directions paper - Act for the Future on 10 June 2016.

    The release of the directions paper follows the initial stages of the review which provided the opportunity for councillors, council staff and members of the public to identify issues to be addressed and present ideas for Victoria's new Local Government Act.

    The Local Government Act Review Directions Paper outlines the key reforms proposed to develop the legislative framework for Victorian local government.

    You can find the Directions paper and affiliated documents here.

    Over the coming months the views of the community and stakeholders will be sought through a range of mechanisms including face-to-face consultations.

    Local Government Victoria will be visiting regional Victoria and outer metropolitan centres to listen to citizens, community groups, mayors, councillors, CEOs and council staff.

    As the schedule of visits is finalised, details will be posted on this site for those interested in attending. In addition summary feedback from consultation sessions will be posted on this site for information.

    In the meantime, you can have your say on the Directions Paper by making a submission here.

    Alternatively, view the At a Glance document and complete the quick poll to respond to the key new reforms proposed in the directions paper.

  • Maryborough Community Forum

    4 months ago

    We are pleased to announce that a further community forum will be held in Maryborough.

    The details for the Maryborough Community Forum are as follows:

    Wednesday 23 March 2016

    Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm

    Location: Central Goldfields Community Hub, 48 Burns Street, MARYBOROUGH


    Once again, residents and businesses, councillors and council staff are invited to attend to hear about the Local Government Act review and contribute ideas for reform.

    If you are unable to attend a community forum, we plan to live broadcast the Sunshine Community Forum on Thursday 17 March 2016.

    You can also download the presentations from the community forums below:
    1. Emerging Issues Presentation
    2. Next Steps Presentation

    We are pleased to announce that a further community forum will be held in Maryborough.

    The details for the Maryborough Community Forum are as follows:

    Wednesday 23 March 2016

    Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm

    Location: Central Goldfields Community Hub, 48 Burns Street, MARYBOROUGH


    Once again, residents and businesses, councillors and council staff are invited to attend to hear about the Local Government Act review and contribute ideas for reform.

    If you are unable to attend a community forum, we plan to live broadcast the Sunshine Community Forum on Thursday 17 March 2016.

    You can also download the presentations from the community forums below:
    1. Emerging Issues Presentation
    2. Next Steps Presentation
  • Community Forums - Live Streaming

    4 months ago
    The next two community forums will be held at the following locations:

    MELBOURNE CBD
    8 March 2016 - 4pm to 6pm
    Theatrette, 1 Spring Street (entry via Flinders Lane forecourt), MELBOURNE CBD

    SUNSHINE
    17 March 2016 - 5:45pm to 7:45pm
    Visy Cares Hub Auditorium, 80B Harvester Road, SUNSHINE

    For those who can't be there in person, join the live video broadcast on Periscope from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Follow DELWP_Vic using the Periscope app or visit twitter.com/DELWP_Vic and open the broadcast link in your browser – available from:

    • 4pm on 8 March
    • 5.45pm on 17 March

    If you... Continue reading

    The next two community forums will be held at the following locations:

    MELBOURNE CBD
    8 March 2016 - 4pm to 6pm
    Theatrette, 1 Spring Street (entry via Flinders Lane forecourt), MELBOURNE CBD

    SUNSHINE
    17 March 2016 - 5:45pm to 7:45pm
    Visy Cares Hub Auditorium, 80B Harvester Road, SUNSHINE

    For those who can't be there in person, join the live video broadcast on Periscope from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. Follow DELWP_Vic using the Periscope app or visit twitter.com/DELWP_Vic and open the broadcast link in your browser – available from:

    • 4pm on 8 March
    • 5.45pm on 17 March

    If you would like to provide feedback on the issues or share your reform ideas for the Local Government Act, you can have your say on the issues and reform ideas page or on brainstormer.

  • Community Forums

    5 months ago

    Residents and businesses, councillors and council staff are invited to attend community forums being held around Victoria to hear about the Local Government Act review and contribute ideas for reform. Community forums will be held in the following locations during February and March.

    SWAN HILL

    17 February 2016

    Time: 3pm - 5pm

    Location: Swan Hill Town Hall, 53 McCallum St, SWAN HILL

    SHEPPARTON

    18 February 2016

    Time: 10am - 12 noon

    Location: Quality Hotel Parklake, Park View Room [1st Floor], 481 Wyndham Street, SHEPPARTON

    WARRNAMBOOL

    23 February 2016

    Time: 3pm – 5pm

    Location: Lighthouse Studio, 185 Timor Street, WARRNAMBOOL

    HORSHAM

    24 February 2016

    Time: 11am - 1pm

    Location: Horsham Town Hall, 78 Wilson Street, HORSHAM

    DANDENONG

    2 March 2016

    Time: 10am to 12noon

    Location: Drum Theatre, Cnr Walker & Lonsdale Streets, DANDENONG

    SALE

    2 March 2016

    Time: 4pm to 6pm

    Location: Sale Baptist Church Hall, Princes Highway (opp Cobains Road), SALE

    MELBOURNE CBD

    8 March 2016

    Time: 4pm to 6pm

    Location: Theatrette, 1 Spring Street (entry via Flinders Lane forecourt), MELBOURNE CBD

    SUNSHINE

    17 March 2016

    Time: 5:45pm to 7:45pm

    Location: Visy Cares Hub Auditorium, 80B Harvester Road, SUNSHINE

    Residents and businesses, councillors and council staff are invited to attend community forums being held around Victoria to hear about the Local Government Act review and contribute ideas for reform. Community forums will be held in the following locations during February and March.

    SWAN HILL

    17 February 2016

    Time: 3pm - 5pm

    Location: Swan Hill Town Hall, 53 McCallum St, SWAN HILL

    SHEPPARTON

    18 February 2016

    Time: 10am - 12 noon

    Location: Quality Hotel Parklake, Park View Room [1st Floor], 481 Wyndham Street, SHEPPARTON

    WARRNAMBOOL

    23 February 2016

    Time: 3pm – 5pm

    Location: Lighthouse Studio, 185 Timor Street, WARRNAMBOOL

    HORSHAM

    24 February 2016

    Time: 11am - 1pm

    Location: Horsham Town Hall, 78 Wilson Street, HORSHAM

    DANDENONG

    2 March 2016

    Time: 10am to 12noon

    Location: Drum Theatre, Cnr Walker & Lonsdale Streets, DANDENONG

    SALE

    2 March 2016

    Time: 4pm to 6pm

    Location: Sale Baptist Church Hall, Princes Highway (opp Cobains Road), SALE

    MELBOURNE CBD

    8 March 2016

    Time: 4pm to 6pm

    Location: Theatrette, 1 Spring Street (entry via Flinders Lane forecourt), MELBOURNE CBD

    SUNSHINE

    17 March 2016

    Time: 5:45pm to 7:45pm

    Location: Visy Cares Hub Auditorium, 80B Harvester Road, SUNSHINE

  • Submissions on the Discussion Paper have now closed

    6 months ago

    Thank you to everyone who made a submission on the Local Government Act Review Discussion Paper. The submissions received are available here and will inform the development of the Local Government Act Review Directions Paper which will be released in 2016.

    There will be further opportunities to make a submission on the Directions Paper and get involved in public forums on the review throughout 2016. More details on the locations and dates for these forums will be made available on the Your Council Your Community website.

    Requests to submit a late submission can be emailed to local.government@delwp.vic.gov.au or sent to Local Government Act Review, Local Government Victoria, PO Box 500, Melbourne, Victoria, 3002.

    Thank you to everyone who made a submission on the Local Government Act Review Discussion Paper. The submissions received are available here and will inform the development of the Local Government Act Review Directions Paper which will be released in 2016.

    There will be further opportunities to make a submission on the Directions Paper and get involved in public forums on the review throughout 2016. More details on the locations and dates for these forums will be made available on the Your Council Your Community website.

    Requests to submit a late submission can be emailed to local.government@delwp.vic.gov.au or sent to Local Government Act Review, Local Government Victoria, PO Box 500, Melbourne, Victoria, 3002.

  • New Background Papers

    6 months ago

    New Background Papers prepared for the Local Government Act Review are now available on the Your Council Your Community document libraries.

    Imagining Local Government in the 21st Century – Yehudi Blacher

    This paper, prepared by Yehudi Blacher, former departmental Secretary for the Department for Victorian Communities and the Department of Planning and Community Development, provides an overview of the legislative history of local self-government in Victoria including the introduction of the Local Government Act 1989, its intended purpose and its deficiencies. It makes a number of suggestions for the future direction of legislation and argues that it should strike a balance between effective service delivery and representative democratic governance. In doing so, it examines a number of key issues for consideration including electoral arrangements, ratings and ministerial powers.

    The Rights of Ratepayers – Campbell Duncan

    This paper, prepared by Campbell Duncan, Principal of Duncan Lawyers and formerly Manager of Legislation, the Department of Local Government, unpacks and explores the legal context of local government decision-making and local governments place as a statutory decision-maker. Part A examines a number of issues in respect of the decision-making processes of local government, particularly as it relates to public participation. Part B examines recent developments in regulatory reform generally with particular regard to enforcement and legislative instruments and how this has effected the Local Government Act 1989. Part C then goes on to discuss a number of specific issues and makes a number of recommendations for possible reform.

    New Background Papers prepared for the Local Government Act Review are now available on the Your Council Your Community document libraries.

    Imagining Local Government in the 21st Century – Yehudi Blacher

    This paper, prepared by Yehudi Blacher, former departmental Secretary for the Department for Victorian Communities and the Department of Planning and Community Development, provides an overview of the legislative history of local self-government in Victoria including the introduction of the Local Government Act 1989, its intended purpose and its deficiencies. It makes a number of suggestions for the future direction of legislation and argues that it should strike a balance between effective service delivery and representative democratic governance. In doing so, it examines a number of key issues for consideration including electoral arrangements, ratings and ministerial powers.

    The Rights of Ratepayers – Campbell Duncan

    This paper, prepared by Campbell Duncan, Principal of Duncan Lawyers and formerly Manager of Legislation, the Department of Local Government, unpacks and explores the legal context of local government decision-making and local governments place as a statutory decision-maker. Part A examines a number of issues in respect of the decision-making processes of local government, particularly as it relates to public participation. Part B examines recent developments in regulatory reform generally with particular regard to enforcement and legislative instruments and how this has effected the Local Government Act 1989. Part C then goes on to discuss a number of specific issues and makes a number of recommendations for possible reform.

  • Topic 4 - Planning and reporting

    7 months ago

    The focus of this month’s forum discussion is on council planning and reporting.

    As part of the new mandatory performance reporting for councils, information regarding the performance of local councils across Victoria is now available on the Know Your Council website. The site allows you to view the performance data for your council, compare the performance of your council to other similar councils and find out more about how local government works.

    This is a key initiative to improve the transparency and accountability of council performance to ratepayers and to provide a more meaningful information on council performance to the community.

    Forums are now open for feedback on how councils set the strategic direction for the council and the community, reporting requirements and budgeting. Councillors, local government professionals, members of associations, as well as members of the general public are invited to participate.


    The focus of this month’s forum discussion is on council planning and reporting.

    As part of the new mandatory performance reporting for councils, information regarding the performance of local councils across Victoria is now available on the Know Your Council website. The site allows you to view the performance data for your council, compare the performance of your council to other similar councils and find out more about how local government works.

    This is a key initiative to improve the transparency and accountability of council performance to ratepayers and to provide a more meaningful information on council performance to the community.

    Forums are now open for feedback on how councils set the strategic direction for the council and the community, reporting requirements and budgeting. Councillors, local government professionals, members of associations, as well as members of the general public are invited to participate.


  • Topic 3 - Council Rates and Charges

    8 months ago

    Topic 3 - Council Rates and Charges has commenced on the sector and community hubs.

    Discussions on our forums are now open on the framework for declaring and levying council rates and charges. Councillors, local government professionals, members of associations, as well as members of the general public are invited to participate.

    This topic is in the context of the recently introduced Fair Go Rates Bill currently before Parliament. The Bill is seeking to amend the Local Government Act to provide a framework for the Government’s Fair Go Rates System and will enables the Minister for Local Government to set... Continue reading

    Topic 3 - Council Rates and Charges has commenced on the sector and community hubs.

    Discussions on our forums are now open on the framework for declaring and levying council rates and charges. Councillors, local government professionals, members of associations, as well as members of the general public are invited to participate.

    This topic is in the context of the recently introduced Fair Go Rates Bill currently before Parliament. The Bill is seeking to amend the Local Government Act to provide a framework for the Government’s Fair Go Rates System and will enables the Minister for Local Government to set a cap on rate increases linked to CPI. The Bill will also provide a process for councils to apply to the Essential Services Commission for an increase above that cap.

    You will need to register here to leave a comment.
  • Background Papers

    8 months ago

    The first of our Background Papers on the Local Government Act is now available.

    The Conflict of Interest paper provides additional information and context on the conflict of interest provisions in the Act cover in Chapter 8: Councillor conduct, offences and enforcement. The paper also discusses the legislative rational and history behind these provisions and how other states and jurisdictions deal with conflict of interest.

    A number of Background Papers will be released over the coming months dealing with issues such as transparency and confidentiality in council decision making, council financial requirements and key learnings from other jurisdictions.

    The first of our Background Papers on the Local Government Act is now available.

    The Conflict of Interest paper provides additional information and context on the conflict of interest provisions in the Act cover in Chapter 8: Councillor conduct, offences and enforcement. The paper also discusses the legislative rational and history behind these provisions and how other states and jurisdictions deal with conflict of interest.

    A number of Background Papers will be released over the coming months dealing with issues such as transparency and confidentiality in council decision making, council financial requirements and key learnings from other jurisdictions.

  • Governance reforms

    8 months ago

    Following consultation with the local government sector, a range of amendments have been made to Local Government Act 1989 which deal with councillor conduct issues and council electoral matters. These reforms will come into effect in stages over the coming months.

    For the first time, the role of councillor and the functions of the Mayor will be included in the Local Government Act. Signing the council’s code of conduct will now be a requirement for being a councillor and councils will be empowered to better deal internally with breaches of their codes through mandatory dispute resolution procedures.

    The new Act... Continue reading

    Following consultation with the local government sector, a range of amendments have been made to Local Government Act 1989 which deal with councillor conduct issues and council electoral matters. These reforms will come into effect in stages over the coming months.

    For the first time, the role of councillor and the functions of the Mayor will be included in the Local Government Act. Signing the council’s code of conduct will now be a requirement for being a councillor and councils will be empowered to better deal internally with breaches of their codes through mandatory dispute resolution procedures.

    The new Act provides a framework for dealing with both misconduct and serious councillor conduct issues through councillor conduct panels. Gross misconduct will continue to be dealt with at VCAT. The Minister for Local Government will have additional powers for early intervention to address serious governance issues at councils through the appointment of municipal monitors and the issuing of governance directions.

    Councils will also no longer be able to have ward funds which allow individual councillors the discretion to allocate council expenditure without council oversight.

    In exceptional circumstances, the Minister will have the power to recommend that a councillor who is subject to an application for serious or gross misconduct be stood down.This is subject to a municipal monitor finding that such a councillor is a risk to the health or safety of others or is preventing council from functioning or is acting in a manner inconsistent with their role as councillor.

    For details of the changes, the Local Government Amendment (Improved Governance) Act 2015 can be found here.

    Guidance material to the sector will be made available.