Aboriginal plus council building, mother and child looking at book, plus mountain landscape

The most ambitious and comprehensive reform of local government in Victoria for 30 years, the Act will improve local government democracy, accountability and service delivery for all Victorians.

The Act received Royal Assent on 24 March and the first phase of reforms will be proclaimed on April 6 – see below for more information.

Read The Act

Implementing the Act

The Act will be implemented in 4 stages, delivering to the 5 key reform themes.

Local Government Victoria is working with councils and sector peak organisations to implement the Act.

To find out more about engagement and co-design opportunities, visit the Local Government Act 2020 webpage on ENGAGE VICTORIA.

Engage VIC

Reform themes - 1. Improved service delivery 2. Strong local democracy 3. Improve conduct. 4. Community confidence. 5. A new relationship

Electoral structure changes

The new Act supports closer relationships between councillors and their communities through changes to council electoral structures.

The summary table (DOCX, 292.2 KB) outlines how the changes will affect your council at the 2020 and 2024 elections.

2020 local government elections

For the 2020 local government elections, 10 councils will be changing to a single member ward or unsubdivided structure.

View the map of council electoral structures for the 2020 elections (PDF, 924.8 KB)

For more details view the electoral structure changes for the 2020 election

Supporting material and information

A range of guidance material and support for councils is under development and will be made available via this website once finalised.

Read the Council implementation timelines

Principles

The new Local Government Act 2020 has been developed through and extensive consultation process to revitalise local democracy, boost council innovation and efficiency and establish a clear, simple and accessible act. To achieve this five primary principles have guided the development of the Act. These principles are:

The 1989 Act and regulations prescribed many details about how councils could make decisions, public consultation processes, notices of meetings, meeting rules and the information made available to the public, amongst many other things. Over time it has become apparent this level of prescription is unnecessary for modern councils, it impedes a council’s ability to manage their affairs in a responsible and organised way that meets the particular needs of the community and limits their ability to innovate and improve engagement with communities. 

*Note that the Local Government Act 1989 is being progressively repealed.

Information about Regulations

As a general principle, while the Act provides for a number of heads of power, it does not mean that there is an intention to make regulations with respect to each of those heads of power in the Act. 

Read about the types of supporting information available.

Ministerial Good Practice Guidelines

Under section 87 of the Local Government Act 2020, the Minister for Local Government may issue Good Practice Guidelines for or with respect to any matter under the Act or the Regulations, and compliance by a council with the Guidelines can be used as evidence that the council has complied with the corresponding requirement under the Act. Guidelines issued under section 87 are not mandatory but provide guidance on how councils can best meet their obligations under the Act.

Ministerial Good Practice Guideline 1: MGPG-1: Virtual Meetings

This guideline provides information to support councils and regional library corporations implement virtual meetings; council meetings; a joint meeting of councils; delegated committee or joint delegated committee meetings; a meeting of a governing body of a regional library; or special committee meetings.

Minister's Good Practice Guideline MGPG-1: Virtual Meetings

How we got here

The Local Government Act 2020 is the result of a four year review of the Local Government Act 1989.

The new Act was developed through rigorous consultation with councils, peak bodies and the community.

Read about the Local Government Act 1989 review process

Page last updated: 15/05/20