It is the role of the council to provide good governance and leadership for the local community through advocacy, decision making and action. The Local Government Act 2020 provides a number of measures to support councils to improve governance processes and integrity and address governance and conduct issues when they arise.
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Municipal monitors can be appointed by the Minister for Local Government to councils that have experienced governance issues. The role of a monitor is to:
- observe governance processes and report back on issues
- provide advice to councils that are experiencing governance issues
- make recommendations to the Minister for further action
At the end of their appointment, the monitor provides a final report to the Minister.
Two monitors, Prue Digby and Peter Dorling have been appointed to Greater Geelong City Council in response to the concerns raised by the Chief Municipal Inspector (CMI) about the Council's recruitment and appointment process for its ongoing Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointments are for a period 12 months, commencing 24 January 2023.
The monitors will advise on the governance processes and the practices of Greater Geelong City Council and provide a report to the Minister.
Jude Munro AO and Peter Dorling were appointed to Greater Geelong City Council as monitors from November 2017 until October 2020. Jude Munro concluded her role as monitor in January 2020 and Peter Dorling concluded his role on 12 November 2020. The monitors were overseeing and assisting the council with its progress in implementing:
- The Commission of Inquiry's findings and recommendations
- The findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry
- The findings of the Council’s Workplace Culture Review
- The good governance framework identified by the Commission of Inquiry
- Council’s ‘Transformation’ Program and ‘Our Future’ 30-year vision
- Council’s strategic and financial plans, planning framework and community grants programs
The municipal monitors at Greater Geelong City Council prepared quarterly updates with the council administration on the council's Transformation Program. These updates were provided to the council and the Minister for Local Government.
To view the latest Transformation Program reports including the December 2019 update, please see the council’s dedicated Transformation Program web page.
Ms Jude Holt was appointed municipal monitor to Horsham Rural City Council for a period of six months, commencing 22 July 2022 until 31 January 2023. The monitor was appointed to advise on the governance processes and practices of Horsham Rural City Council and provide a report to the Minister at the end of this six-month period.
John Watson was appointed as municipal monitor to Darebin City Council from 22 April 2022 until 31 January 2023.
The monitor was to advise on the governance processes and practices of Darebin City Council and provide a report to the Minister.
Janet Dore was appointed as municipal monitor to Wodonga City Council for a period of nine months, commencing 22 April 2022.
The monitor advised on the governance processes and practices of Wodonga City Council and provided a report to the Minister.
Janet Dore was appointed as municipal monitor to Strathbogie Shire Council for a total period of 12 months, commencing 14 September 2021 until 15 September 2022.
The monitor provided advice on the governance processes and practices of Strathbogie Shire Council and provided two final reports to the Minister at the end of both six month appointments.
The published reports have been redacted to preserve privacy or confidentiality of material they contain.
In response to ongoing concerns with governance and conduct at the Council, Peter Stephenson has been appointed as municipal monitor to the Council for a period of three months commencing 15 May 2023.
The monitor will assess the Council's ability to function to best serve its community and report back to the Minister for Local Government on any further intervention needed.
Marg Allan was appointed as municipal monitor to Moira Shire Council for a period of nine months, commencing 22 April 2022.
Following the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry into Moira Council on 28 October 2022, the Monitor's appointment ceased.
The monitor advised on the governance processes and practices of Moira Shire Council and provided a report to the Minister.
The Commission of Inquiry reported to the Minister on 26 February 2023. The Minister tabled the report in Parliament and the Government introduced a Bill to dismiss the Council. The Council was dismissed until October 2028 and Mr John Tanner was appointed as the administrator at the council from 10 March 2023 for a period of 90 days or until such time a panel of administrators is appointed, whichever occurs earlier.
A panel of administrators was appointed to perform the functions, powers and duties of the council from 8 June 2023 until the first meeting of the council following the general elections in October 2028. The panel comprises Mr John Tanner (Chairperson) whose appointment concludes on 8 December 2023, Ms Suzanna Sheed and Dr Graeme Emonson.
Yehudi Blacher was appointed as municipal monitor to Yarra City Council for a period of six months from 20 December 2021 until 21 June 2022.
Yehudi Blacher was subsequently reappointed as municipal monitor to the Council for a further three months, working 1-2 days per week for the period of the appointment, commencing 22 June 2022.
The monitor advised on the governance processes and practices of Yarra City Council and provided a report to the Minister at the end of this three month period.
The council was elected in October 2021 following a period of administration from June 2019.
Ms Prue Digby was appointed municipal monitor to South Gippsland Shire Council for a period of 12 months, commencing 8 November 2021. The monitor was appointed to advise on the governance processes and practices of South Gippsland Shire Council and provide a report to the Minister at the end of this twelve month period.
Mr Yehudi Blacher was appointed as municipal monitor to Whittlesea City Council from 13 December 2019 until 18 March 2020.
The monitor provided his report to the Minister on 10 March 2020. The Minister tabled the report in Parliament and the Government introduced a Bill to dismiss the Council. The Council was dismissed until October 2024. A panel of administrators was appointed to perform the functions, powers and duties of the council from 19 June 2020 until the first meeting of the council following the general elections in October 2024. The panel comprises Ms Lydia Wilson (Chairperson), Ms Peita Duncan and Mr Chris Eddy.
Ms Laurinda Gardner was appointed as municipal monitor to Casey City Council from 27 November 2019 until 11 February 2020.
The monitor advised the Minister:
- if Councillors, individually or as a group, are behaving in a manner that does not accord with the role of Councillor; and
- of any impact on the integrity and/or functioning of council decision-making and the orderly governance of the City of Casey arising from Operation Sandon.
The monitor provided her report to the Minister on 11 February 2020. The Minister tabled the report in Parliament and the Government introduced a Bill to dismiss the council. The council was dismissed until October 2024 and Ms Noelene Duff was appointed as the administrator at the council from 20 February 2020 for a period of 90 days or until such time a panel of administrators is appointed, whichever occurs earlier.
A panel of administrators was appointed to perform the functions, powers and duties of the council from 20 May 2020 until the first meeting of the council following the general elections in October 2024. The panel comprises Ms Noelene Duff (Chairperson), Mr Cameron Boardman and Mr Miguel Belmar.
Following the Victorian Ombudsman's report into the Casey City Council's Special Charge Scheme in Market Lane in June 2016, the Bill Jaboor was appointed as Municipal Monitor to monitor the Council.
Mr Jaboor worked with and interviewed council staff and the Mayor, and talked to community groups and members. Mr Jaboor’s report outlines how the ombudsman’s recommendations and other concerns have been addressed by the council. It also assesses the actions taken aimed to ensure similar governance issues do not arise again.
Prue Digby was appointed as Municipal Monitor at the council from December 2017 until 30 June 2019. She was then appointed as Municipal Monitor at the council from 1 July 2019 until 16 September 2019 which was the date the new permanent CEO commenced at the council.
Municipal Monitor Janet Dore was appointed to Ararat Rural City Council in August 2017 until 2 May 2019. Ms Dore was responsible for providing support to the council in implementing the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations and reporting on the council’s progress to the Minister.
Commissions of inquiry
Where more serious governance failures are identified, the Minister for Local Government can, under section 209 of the Local Government Act 1989 and section 200 of the Local Government Act 2020, appoint a commissioner or commissioners to establish an inquiry into a council’s affairs.
Commissioners must conduct their inquiry in accordance with their terms of reference and provide a report to the Minister on their findings and recommendations.
A citizens’ jury is an innovative way to involve everyday people in decision making. This comprehensive, transparent engagement approach allows the community to be placed at the centre of the process.
Citizens’ juries bring together representative, random samples of citizens who are briefed in detail on the background and current thinking relating to a particular issue, asked to discuss possible approaches and/or solutions, and finally craft a set of recommendations to address the issues at hand.
There is no provision requiring citizens' juries under the Local Government Act 1989 or the Local Government Act 2020.
The Geelong Citizens’ Jury
The Victorian Government committed to consult the Geelong community about its local governance arrangements following the dismissal of the Greater Geelong City Council in April 2016.
A citizens' jury was established for this purpose and tasked with recommending how Greater Geelong should be democratically represented by their council.
The Geelong Citizens' Jury was overseen by the independent not-for-profit organisation the newDemocracy Foundation (nDF)
The nDF randomly selected the 100-member jury from 15,000 Geelong residents, who were invited to register their interest to be a jury member. Key stakeholders and interest groups as well as all members of the Geelong community had the opportunity to have their say in person and online, and have those views considered by the jury. This ensured the jury was fully informed about all views and perspectives when it deliberated.
The unedited final Geelong Citizens' Jury report and the Government response were tabled in Parliament on 9 May 2017. This coincided with the introduction of a Bill to implement the jury's practical recommendations.
Local government panels
The Minister for Local Government can appoint a local government panel to:
- review a proposal to form a new council or restructure an existing council
- advise the Minister on potential reforms to the local government sector
At the end of their appointment, the panel provides a final report to the Minister.
On 2 April 2015, former Supreme Court Judge the Hon Frank Vincent AO QC and Mr John Watson were appointed as a local government panel to carry out a review and provide independent advice into whether Sunbury should separate from the City of Hume and become a local government entity in its own right.
In 2013-14, a local government electoral review panel was established to carry out a comprehensive review of Victoria's local government electoral system. The panel was chaired by Mr Petro Georgiou AO and made up of panel members Ms Sally Davis and Ms Anne Murphy OAM.
The panel was tasked with examining the electoral system for councils and advising on how to increase meaningful participation in local government democracy and how to strengthen the integrity of council elections. The panel made 55 recommendations for reform.
The panel's stage 1 report examined the electoral process, participation and integrity.
The panel's stage 2 report looked at electoral representation.
On 17 February 2014, a local government panel was appointed to conduct a review and make recommendations on the creation of a new municipality out of Hume City Council.
Appendix A - Terms of Reference PDF, 302.31 KB
Appendix B - Community consultative committee report PDF, 1824.8 KB
Appendix C - Listing of submissions received PDF, 302.58 KB
Appendix D - Summary of issues and concerns raised in submissions PDF, 512 KB
Appendix E - Community of interest and restructuring report PDF, 1841.72 KB
Appendix F - Innovations in local government PDF, 600.33 KB
Appendix H - Victorian Auditor General's Office sustainability indicators PDF, 312.75 KB
Appendix I - Comparative councils PDF, 451.58 KB
Appendix J - Media release PDF, 316.86 KB
Appendix K - Bibliography PDF, 588.17 KB
The Local Government (Councillor Remuneration Review) Panel was convened in 2008 to review councillor allowances. The panel also provided recommendations on appropriate reimbursement of expenses and provision of resources support for mayors and councillors.
Local Government (Councillor Remuneration Review) Panel Report - completed in January 2008 PDF, 273.82 KB
Government's Response to recommendations of the Local Government (Councillor Remuneration Review) Panel Report PDF, 53.46 KB
In April 2008 a new policy was announced to give effect to the recommendations.
The new package and policy took effect immediately after the 2008 council general elections.
On 10 July 2007, a local government panel was appointed to review and recommend whether exceptional circumstances exist that warrant an alteration of the municipal boundary between the City of Melbourne and the Moonee Valley City Council in the suburb of Kensington and that part of the suburb of North Melbourne that lies within Moonee Valley City Council.
On 12 March 2002, a local government panel was appointed to conduct a review of the feasibility and viability of the Delatite Shire Council becoming two separate municipalities, one being based in Benalla and one being based in Mansfield.
On 15 June 2000, a local government panel was appointed to conduct a review of the feasibility and viability of the Hume City Council becoming two separate municipalities.
Attachments 1 - 3 PDF, 571.27 KB
Attachment 4a Sunbury Residents Association Submission PDF, 3846.51 KB
Attachment 4b Shire of Sunbury Indicative Board Budget PDF, 2755.56 KB
Attachment 4c Terms of reference PDF, 2402.46 KB
Attachment 5 - 7 PDF, 2231.6 KB
Attachment 8 - 16 PDF, 1243.31 KB