New Local Government Act ushers in reforms

The Andrews Government yesterday passed Victoria’s new Local Government Act 2020 announcing it had ‘delivered the most ambitious and comprehensive reform of local government in Victoria for 30 years’.

Minister for Local Government, Adem Somyurek, said, “The new laws will make councils more accountable, democratic and help them deliver the services their communities need.”

LGPro, the peak body representing local government professionals welcomes the passing of the Act, saying it will be the catalyst for modernizing, reforming and re-energising the entire sector while at the same time stamping out corruption and poor behaviour.

LGPro president, Liana Thompson, said the changes provided a stronger governance framework and more checks and balances that would improve performance across the sector and lessen the likelihood of unacceptable conduct in future.

Thompson said often the people who work for council were the ones most impacted by the poor behaviour of elected officials.

“These are the people who live and breathe the brand each and every day. These are the people who are doing wonderful work in the community, who are proud of what they do and who have built a culture of openness and transparency but by virtue of association, are tarred with the same brush.”

Thompson said the new act would help drive genuine and far reaching transformation of the sector by enabling and encouraging councils to be more entrepreneurial and innovative in the way they deliver services.

She also welcomed the requirement that councils provide much greater clarity around the services they deliver and actively involve their communities in future goal-setting and decision making.