VLGA Local Government Bill (2020) Update

Thursday, 19 March 2020
VLGA Discuss

The Local Government Bill (2019) has formally passed the Victorian Assembly (lower house) on 17 March 2020 formally ratifying amendments made in the upper house. The Bill is expected to receive its Royal Assent on 24 March where it will then become law.

The upper house made a number of amendments during its debate, the most significant include:

  • The position of Deputy Mayor is now optional and no longer mandatory
  • In addition to unsubdivided council structures, the Minister will be able to determine that specified councils can consist of uniform multimember wards (equal number of councillors per ward) as well as default single member ward structures
  • Election methods will continue to be confined to attendance and postal only, although the Minister still retains the power to determine the method of election for all councils

Other proposed reforms including mandatory candidate training and mandatory councillor induction remains. The regulations governing the implementation of these reforms will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders including the VLGA and released to councils in due course.
The latest information from Local Government Victoria (LGV) regarding mandatory candidate training include:

  • Course material will be provided to councils by LGV
  • Councils to provide mandatory candidate training free of charge on at least two occasions in face to face workshops
  • Training are to run as stand-alone workshops
  • Candidates can attend mandatory training in municipalities outside their own
  • Councils need to make considerations for people with disabilities
  • LGV will run additional mandatory training immediately prior to close of nominations for last minute nominations
  • Proof of mandatory training attendance is being developed

VLGA is working closely with LGV and other stakeholders in the implementation of the new Act. We will keep councillors updated on its progress as key developments take place.

For more information contact the VLGA on 9349 7999.