The VLGA is aware of the challenges facing the Ararat Rural City Council.
There are no provisions under the current Local Government Act (1989) for a mayor or any elected councillor to stand down on a motion of no confidence. However, councillors are elected to represent, lobby and advocate on behalf of their community. They are leaders in the community and are expected to make decisions in the interest of their community.
This is especially true for mayors, who are elected by their fellow councillors as their leader. Mayors are expected to work closely with all elected councillors and council administration in discharging their duties.
It is not uncommon for elected councillors to have paid employment in addition to their council duties due to relatively low levels of councillor allowances.
Mayors have a higher level of allowance than their fellow councillors reflecting their additional duties. While some mayors choose to focus exclusively on their mayoral duties, some do take on additional employment.
The VLGA offers training and support to council staff, councillors, and mayors in performing their duties. While Ararat is not a member of the VLGA, we encourage Ararat Council to seek support to guide them through this uncertain time and offer our support and services to them.
Importantly, the work of the VLGA is to focus on good governance leadership – going beyond the mandated duties outlined in the Local Government Act (1989) to encourage and support mayors and councillors to act with integrity and exercise due diligence in their decision making so as to maintain public trust and confidence in council. The proposed new Local Government Act also clearly outlines the governance requirements of elected local councillors.
Attributable to Kathryn Arndt Chief Executive Officer
Media Contact: Liddy Clark 0403 542 411
The VLGA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners, their elders past, present and future, and to their cultures.
The advice provided by the VLGA is intended to be guidance only. It is not a substitute for legal or formal advice from relevant regulatory bodies.
© Victorian Local Governance Association 2023