Welcome to the Summer 2021-22 edition of our Integrity Matters newsletter.
It seems that 2022 has started under the same uncertainty and ever-changing conditions that we lived through in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. However, I hope you found some time to recharge, relax and enjoy the company of family and friends over the Christmas and New Year period.
In this newsletter, we look at the topic of councillor conduct and who has the responsibility for dealing with poor behaviour. We often receive complaints about conduct issues that we are not able to investigate because councils must deal with code of conduct matters.
In December we released our 2020-21 Annual Report. The report charts a sharp rise in complaints – largely driven by an increase in complaints during the 2020 council elections. We are also pleased to launch a new resources section for councils on our website. We have fact sheets, summaries of our reports and best-practice council policies available. We hope these tools will help councils improve their compliance with the Local Government Act.
Meanwhile, the "new Act" is not so new and the transition period for councils to move to the 2020 Act has ended. Councils should have a number of policies in place as the deadline for these policies has now passed.
And finally, I ask you to add your voice to a project to improve the culture in local government in Victoria. Consultation on Local Government Victoria’s project ends on 28 February and aims to improve public trust in the sector.
Michael Stefanovic AM
Chief Municipal Inspector
Reviewed 20 April 2023