After a significant contribution to the local government sector in Victoria over the last 25 years, Ross Millard is retiring. Ross finished in his role as Operations Manager in late November after 13 years with the Local Government Inspectorate.
His previous experience relating to local government has included roles in Local Government Victoria, as Executive Officer of the Victoria Grants Commission and the Local Government Board during municipal restructure in 1994.
Ross has been a contributor to major local government structural reform in Victoria. He had a key role in the Kennett Government restructure of municipalities from the previous 210 councils down to the current 79.
Ross also played a major part in the introduction of modern finance and accounting practice in councils, particularly in the introduction of accrual accounting.
Ross was involved in the implementation and setting up of the Inspectorate, the only state-based integrity agency for local government.
Initially employed as Manager Investigations and Compliance, Ross was Acting Chief Municipal Inspector (CMI) for three years. This CMI role involved building strong relationships with local councils, representative bodies and state government departments, while also ensuring the public profile and perception of the Inspectorate as an independent portfolio agency of the Victorian government.
During his time with the Inspectorate, Ross built a rolling compliance audit schedule which strengthened governance in the sector. Investigations during his time as acting CMI led to outcomes including the inquiry into Geelong City Council and dissolution of the ward funds allocation program; prosecution of councillors for conflict-of-interest offences and referred councillors to Code of Conduct panel for serious misconduct.
Ross established and managed large-scale review and investigations into Geelong City Council, West Wimmera Shire Council, Yarriambiack Shire Council and Hepburn Shire council. He was involved in the scoping, managing the process and finalising the reviews and investigations.
Ross has built a reputation for honesty, integrity and fairness within the local government sector. He is highly respected, and his contribution is acknowledged by senior members of current and former governments and stakeholders outside of government.