Commission of Inquiry into Moira Shire Council
On 28 October 2022, a Commission of Inquiry into Moira Shire Council was appointed under section 200 of the Local Government Act 2020.
The Commission was established to conduct an inquiry into the affairs of the Council.
Two commissioners with relevant expertise were appointed:
- Ms Frances O’Brien KC - Commissioner and Chair of the Commission of Inquiry. Ms O’Brien was the Chair of Ararat Commission of Inquiry and a Commissioner for Geelong, and
- Mr John Tanner AM - Commissioner on the Commission of Inquiry. Mr Tanner is a former member of the Ministerial Panel Local Government Rating System Review, former Ararat Commissioner and former Brimbank administrator.
In undertaking the Inquiry, the Commissioners spoke to key people related to Moira Shire Council. In addition, community members were also provided with an opportunity to contribute via private interviews, written submissions and community consultation sessions in Cobram, Yarrawonga, Nathalia and Numurkah.
The Commission spoke with over 150 people, received over 100 community submissions and reviewed over 5,000 evidentiary documents over the course of the Inquiry.
Commission of Inquiry Report
The Commission of Inquiry provided its report to the Hon Melissa Horne MP, Minister for Local Government, on 26 February 2023 and the report was tabled in Parliament on 7 March 2023.
The statement issued by the Minister for Local Government is available at www.premier.vic.gov.au/statement-minister-local-government.
A copy of the Commission of Inquiry Report is available at https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/4a3996/globalassets/tabled-paper-documents/tabled-paper-7105/commission_of_inquiry_into_moira_shire_council_-_final_report_for_tabling_2023_xw0vhwgp.pdf .
The Minister’s Second Reading speech to the Legislative Assembly is available at new.parliament.vic.gov.au/parliamentary-activity/hansard/hansard-details/HANSARD-2145855009-18854.
Moira Shire Council staff or councillors can access confidential assistance to support their wellbeing by contacting the Council’s Employee Assistance Program on (03) 8650 6262 or by submitting a request at https://relationshipmatters.com.au/contact.
Support programs to help address issues relating to depression or anxiety can be accessed by contacting Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/support-service/chat.
- To conduct an inquiry into matters relating to the affairs of the Moira Shire Council (the Council), including through an examination of:
- The confidential advice provided to the Minister for Local Government by the municipal monitor dated 7 October 2022 and the confidential letter provided by the Australian Services Union dated 5 October 2022;
- Any matters affecting the Councillors’ performance of their roles;
- Any matters affecting the Council administration’s performance, including human resource practices;
- The efficiency and effectiveness of the Council's governance arrangements in delivering services to its constituents, including financial management and community engagement practices; and
- Any other matters identified by the Commission of Inquiry that have an impact on the Council’s ability to function.
- To report to the Minister for Local Government in writing on the matters outlined above by 28 February 2023.
- If the Commission of Inquiry determines to make an order for the payment of costs of the Commission of Inquiry under section 214 of the Act, to provide the reasons for any determination that the Council should not be responsible for all of the costs.