Local Government Act

The Local Government Act is legislation that describes the objectives, roles and functions of local government in Victoria; this act has recently had a major reform.

The new Local Government Act 2020 replaces the Local Government Act 1989 and is said to be the most ambitious reform to the local government sector in over 30 years. The Act seeks to improve local government democracy, accountability and service delivery for all Victorians.

The Victorian Government set three overriding objectives for the new Act:

  1. Victorians will better understand and value the role of councils as democratically elected bodies that represent their interests; participate more as candidates, voters and citizens in council activities; and contribute to council strategic visions and plans.
  2. Councils will drive reform across the state by being more autonomous and outcome-oriented; and by embracing innovative and collaborative arrangements that increase organisational efficiency and deliver public value for residents.
  3. The Act will be a living document that tells people clearly what councils do and how to get involved, and provide a sound framework for the sector to become more efficient and enterprising in its local governance.

The new Act will be implemented in four transitional stages. Within each stage there are key dates where specific documents are required to be adopted and in place at each Council.

As part of the current transitional stage, the documents due for implementation by 1 September 2020 include:

  • Governance Rules
  • Expense Policy
  • Audit and Risk Committee and Charter
  • Public Transparency Policy

Our Governance Rules and Public Transparency Policy are both in draft form and available for review, prior to formal adoption.

Find out more about the process from the State Government.