Questions on Notice: Local Government Act Review

MR DAVIS — To ask the Special Minister of State (for the Minister for Local Government): in relation to the review of the Local Government Act 1989:

(1)    When is the estimated date of completion.

(2)    What is the cost to undertake the review.

(3)    Who is undertaking the review.

(4)    Will the report from the review be made public.


I am informed that:

The Government will deliver on its election commitment to undertake a comprehensive review of the Local Government Act 1989, the principal legislation governing the role of Victoria’s 79 councils.

The sector has been calling for a review of the Act for a number of years to address perceived weaknesses, for example, ambiguous, inconsistent, unclear and outdated provisions.

The review aims to create a more contemporary, accessible Act that meets current and future needs of the community and the local government sector.

The review will involve extensive consultation with councils, peak bodies and the broader community.

With the exception of forcing councils to amalgamate and abolishing rates as the primary source of income for councils, all issues raised by the sector and community about the effective operation of the Act will be considered, for instance:

–  How prescriptive the Act should be given the need to balance council autonomy with the need to protect the integrity of the sector.

–  The need to remove onerous requirements that impose an unnecessary burden on councils.

–  How to ensure that all of the obligations imposed on councils in relation to planning and reporting, revenue raising and financial activities reflect modern and effective management practices.

Further details on the terms of reference for, and timing of the review, and how the consultation process will occur, will be announced in due course.