Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council
In June 2017, a Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council was appointed under section 209 of the Local Government Act 1989.
The Commission was established to look at the Council’s governance processes in the development of its budget, including its consultative processes, and the capacity of the Council’s administration to deliver good governance for the Council and the community. Three commissioners were appointed, Frances O’Brien QC who chaired the Commission, John Tanner AM and Mark Davies.
The Commission held a series of public and private hearings, invited the Ararat Rural City community to make written submissions and reviewed relevant documents provided to the Commission during the course of the inquiry.
Commission of Inquiry Report
The Commission of Inquiry provided its report to the Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, former Minister for Local Government, on 1 August 2017 and the report was tabled in Parliament on 9 August 2017.
The report provides a series of recommendations aimed at restoring good governance at the Council, including that the Minister appoint a municipal monitor to the council and that the Council establish an independent Rating Strategy Advisory Group.
The Minister has formally requested that the Council take steps to address the report's findings. A municipal monitor will shortly be appointed by the Minister to assist the Council in undertaking these steps and to report on the Council's progress.
The Commission of Inquiry is to conduct an inquiry into the adequacy of the current governance and operational structures and processes at the Ararat Rural City Council (Council), with particular regard to the following matters:
- The efficiency and effectiveness of Council governance processes in the development of its rating strategy and budget for the 2017-18 financial year, including its consultative processes with the local community and any relevant interest groups on these matters; and Council’s implementation of the principles of sound financial management under the Local Government Act 1989 in the development of its rating strategy and budget for the 2017-18 financial year.
- interest groups in relation to the Council’s rating strategy and budget for the 2017-18 financial year.
- The capacity of the Council’s senior administration to deliver good governance for the Council and the local community.
To provide a report to the Minister for Local Government containing:
- The findings of the Commission
- Recommendations for action by the Minister for Local Government.