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.
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.
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.
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:
- Community Engagement (DOCX, 1.5 MB)
- Strategic Planning (DOCX, 1.5 MB)
- Financial Management (DOCX, 1.5 MB)
- Public Transparency (DOCX, 1.5 MB)
- Service Performance (DOCX, 1.5 MB)
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*Note that the Local Government Act 1989 is being progressively repealed.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.
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.
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