VLGA’s New Constitution
On behalf of the VLGA Board I am pleased to announce that the two special resolutions tabled at the VLGA’s AGM on Thursday 15 November 2018 were passed by a majority vote.
The resolutions tabled included:
87 votes in total were exercised, including those from proxies received and members who were in attendance.
The VLGA acknowledges the participation of those members who exercised their vote and thank them for their interest in, and commitment to, the organisation and the important work it undertakes on behalf of its members and the local government sector in Victoria.
Resolution 1 was carried unanimously. This resolution sought to resolve an administrative matter in the regard to the manner in which the VLGA had been previously registered.
A 95% majority carried resolution 2. This resolution sought to rectify some deficiencies within the previous VLGA rules of Association (Constitution) and perhaps more importantly, provide the organisation with a contemporary fit for purpose governance structure.
The new constitution will better place the organisation for future funding and partnership opportunities in addition to provide a model of best practice governance. Unlike other local government peak bodies in Victoria, the VLGA is a not for profit and independent membership-based organisation and its governance structure should align with the organisation’s purpose and vision.
Importantly, the new constitution does not lessen the VLGA’s focus on delivering outcomes for the community. On a practical level, the VLGA is literally unable to represent (at a governance or operational level) all of the diverse interests of Victorian communities directly. However, we can support and work directly with the councils and councillors who have been elected by their municipalities to deliver outcomes on behalf of Victoria’s 79 diverse communities. Additionally, community members (organisational and individual) will continue to be stakeholders of the VLGA as associate members.
The changes to the VLGA’s constitution that were voted in favour for at the AGM by a 95% majority (with 84 out of 87 votes exercised in total) are a significant change and the VLGA Board appreciates that some Members may have had mixed feelings in regard to them, given the origins and history of this organisation.
However, the intent is that these changes do not remove the ‘soul’ of the VLGA, but rather position it well for the future and at the very least strengthen our position as an important compliment and independent voice in the sector.
It was a great pleasure and extremely significant to hear from the VLGA Patron, Hayden Raysmith AM, address the AGM and express his support for the new Consitution in the context of the organisation’s history.
Transitional Arrangements & Key Provisions of New Constitution
The provisions of the new constitution will now take effect and the following transitional provisions will apply specifically in regard to Members:
In addition, the current board members (directors) will remain in office until 30 June 2019 at which time all positions will be spilled, and an election held.
Other key provisions of the new Consitution include:
Membership (Part 3 and clause 71)
Member councils that become un-financial will automatically lose their voting rights (including those of their Councillors). A member council will only be able to resign after giving 6 months’ notice of its intention to do so.
Board of Governance (Part 5)
The board is responsible for the governance and management of the VLGA and will consist of 6 elected board members and up to 3 (appointed) co-opted board members. The appointed board members will be subject to a rigorous selection and recruitment process based on a skills matrix. A governance sub-committee has been established to undertake this process.
The elected Board members will have staggered 3-year terms, with 2 elected board members elected each year in June by electronic or postal ballot using proportional representation. Only the councillors of member councils will be eligible to be elected as board members.
All councillors of member councils will be entitled to vote for the elected board members. There will be a limit on the maximum term of office for elected board members of 9 years.
The elected board members will be able to co-opt up to 3 additional Board members to fill gaps in skills, experience and background. The Board may first call for expressions of interest.
Office-Bearers (Part 6)
There will be 4 office-bearers: President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. The Chief Executive Officer will be the Secretary.
The other office-bearers will be elected by and from the Board every 2 years at the first board meeting after 30 June, with a maximum of 2 full terms in any one position
Election of President*
Only elected board members (who are councillors of a member council) will be eligible to be elected as President. The President will be elected by the board.
I look forward to working with the sector as the VLGA continues to progress change that will better support the local government sector in Victoria and the important work that our members undertake. These changes continue with the following in mind – “respecting the past but acknowledging the future”
Cr Marg Attley
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Victorian Local Governance Association