The Victorian Government is currently undertaking a review of the Local Government Act and it has appointed a Local Government Act Review Advisory Committee to assist with the task. It has invited public submissions which close next Friday 18 December. We strongly recommend that you make a submission to the review to register your concerns and to ask that the Local Government Act be amended to ensure that Glen Eira City Council is compelled to be a far more transparent and accountable institution.

With less than a week to go before submissions close, this Council is up to its old tricks. No formal resolution endorsing a submission; no submission made public and no discussion in chamber. Needless to say this is not how other councils are doing things – Bayside, Stonnington, etc. Whatever Glen Eira is submitting has been decided behind closed doors. This is one very good reason why the Act needs reforming.

Here are some suggestions to consider:

The Local Government Act should make it mandatory that:

  • All councils have Notice of Motion
  • All councils have ‘dissent from the chair’
  • All councils adhere to regular rotation of Audit Committee membership and council committee membership
  • All councils present live broadcasts of meetings
  • All councils publish agendas and full minutes for advisory committee meetings and that these meetings be open to the public
  • All CEO positions be advertised
  • No CEO be appointed for more than 2 consecutive contracts (ie a limit of ten years)
  • Staff Code of Conduct be published
  • Key Performance Indicators for CEO and senior staff be made public
  • Minutes to include how each councillor voted
  • The provision of open, timely and evidence based public consultation on major issues, including the public work shopping of significant issues
  • Community representation on all advisory committees
  • Public questions answered by individual councillors at start of meetings if question addressed to them
  • Ensure that budgets reflect community views

We are sure you will be aware of many other instances of systemic Council failure which can and should be remedied by appropriate reform of the Local Government Act. Please do so to assist to give the necessary weight to the changes we need in Glen Eira.

Your submission can be made through the Local Government Act review website at http://www.yourcouncilyourcommunity.vic.gov.au/submission or by post to Local Government Victoria, PO Box 500, Melbourne, VIC 3000, by no later than Friday 18 December 2015. Submitting through the website requires you to log in.

Alternatively (and you may find this easiest) simply send an email to hannah.wood@dewlp.vic.gov.au and clearly mark your submission for the attention of the Local Government Act Review Advisory Committee. Note: each submission is to be released publicly unless the submitter requests that it be withheld.

 

 

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