Previous consultation

Local Government Act Review

The review of the Local Government Act has been informed by extensive and deep engagement with councils, ratepayers, the wider community, experts and specific stakeholders.

There have been four stages to this engagement process, the final stage being the release of an Exposure Draft Bill.

Stage 1 – Discussion paper and reform ideas

The discussion paper, released in September 2015, was the beginning of the Local Government Act review, and the beginning of a conversation with the sector and the community, about the legislative framework that governs local government in Victoria.

The discussion paper identified the issues in the current Local Government Act 1989 and invited ideas on options to reform all aspects of the legislative framework.

348 submissions were received responding to the Discussion Paper.

To view the submissions, click here

Reform ideas were also developed through:

  • 10 community forums between February and March 2016 at: Wangaratta, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Warrnambool, Horsham, Dandenong, Sale, Melbourne CBD, Sunshine and Maryborough.

  • six technical working groups of senior council specialists on: council operations; consultation and engagement; council role and responsibilities; rates and charges; financial decision-making and accountability; and offences and breaches.

  • meetings with peak council and ratepayer associations.

  • the development of background papers on the local government legislative framework.

Stage 2 – Directions paper

The directions paper, Act for the Future - Directions for a new Local Government Act, was released in June 2016. The directions paper outlined the key reforms proposed to develop the legislative framework for Victorian local government for the future.

Councils and their communities were invited to have their say on these proposed reforms and contribute their ideas for a contemporary, clear and comprehensive Local Government Act which supports councils as they meet future challenges and better serves a new generation of Victorians.

333 submissions were received online, by email and in hard copy form.

To view the submissions, click here

Responses to the reform directions were also provided at 18 community forums with Mayors, Council CEOs and community members between July and September 2016 at: Frankston, Traralgon, Ararat, Kyneton, Benalla, Werribee, Angelsea, Mildura and Melbourne CBD.

Stage 3 – Implementation Challenges

Throughout 2017, targeted consultation have been undertaken to inform the Exposure Draft Bill, comprising of:

  • Seven technical working groups of senior sector experts to resolve implementation challenges, analyse timing and staging issues, identify areas where further guidance material will be required to underpin the reforms. Topics included: council operations, representative structures, community engagement and strategic planning, council finances, rates and charges, council probity and local laws.

  • Meetings with peak ratepayer groups.

  • Meetings with key stakeholders on issue specific reforms.

  • Meetings with council peak organisations and newly elected councillors.

Stage 4 – Exposure Draft Bill

The release of the exposure draft Bill is the fourth and final stage of public consultation before the Bill enters the Parliament. The Government is providing a two-month window for comments on the Bill before the Hon Marlene Kairouz MP, the Minister for Local Government, takes a final Bill into the Parliament proposing that it become the Local Government Act 2018.

The review of the Local Government Act has been informed by extensive and deep engagement with councils, ratepayers, the wider community, experts and specific stakeholders.

There have been four stages to this engagement process, the final stage being the release of an Exposure Draft Bill.

Stage 1 – Discussion paper and reform ideas

The discussion paper, released in September 2015, was the beginning of the Local Government Act review, and the beginning of a conversation with the sector and the community, about the legislative framework that governs local government in Victoria.

The discussion paper identified the issues in the current Local Government Act 1989 and invited ideas on options to reform all aspects of the legislative framework.

348 submissions were received responding to the Discussion Paper.

To view the submissions, click here

Reform ideas were also developed through:

  • 10 community forums between February and March 2016 at: Wangaratta, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Warrnambool, Horsham, Dandenong, Sale, Melbourne CBD, Sunshine and Maryborough.

  • six technical working groups of senior council specialists on: council operations; consultation and engagement; council role and responsibilities; rates and charges; financial decision-making and accountability; and offences and breaches.

  • meetings with peak council and ratepayer associations.

  • the development of background papers on the local government legislative framework.

Stage 2 – Directions paper

The directions paper, Act for the Future - Directions for a new Local Government Act, was released in June 2016. The directions paper outlined the key reforms proposed to develop the legislative framework for Victorian local government for the future.

Councils and their communities were invited to have their say on these proposed reforms and contribute their ideas for a contemporary, clear and comprehensive Local Government Act which supports councils as they meet future challenges and better serves a new generation of Victorians.

333 submissions were received online, by email and in hard copy form.

To view the submissions, click here

Responses to the reform directions were also provided at 18 community forums with Mayors, Council CEOs and community members between July and September 2016 at: Frankston, Traralgon, Ararat, Kyneton, Benalla, Werribee, Angelsea, Mildura and Melbourne CBD.

Stage 3 – Implementation Challenges

Throughout 2017, targeted consultation have been undertaken to inform the Exposure Draft Bill, comprising of:

  • Seven technical working groups of senior sector experts to resolve implementation challenges, analyse timing and staging issues, identify areas where further guidance material will be required to underpin the reforms. Topics included: council operations, representative structures, community engagement and strategic planning, council finances, rates and charges, council probity and local laws.

  • Meetings with peak ratepayer groups.

  • Meetings with key stakeholders on issue specific reforms.

  • Meetings with council peak organisations and newly elected councillors.

Stage 4 – Exposure Draft Bill

The release of the exposure draft Bill is the fourth and final stage of public consultation before the Bill enters the Parliament. The Government is providing a two-month window for comments on the Bill before the Hon Marlene Kairouz MP, the Minister for Local Government, takes a final Bill into the Parliament proposing that it become the Local Government Act 2018.