Summer 2023 - Local government integrity matters

Summer 2023 issue of the quarterly newsletter, featuring improvements at Yarriambiack, policy review results, a councillor is suspended and the Inspectorate completes more than 200 investigations in 2021-22.

21 Feb 2023

Welcome to the summer issue of our quarterly newsletter.

I would like to congratulate the Victorian councillors who were elected to State Parliament.

The following councillors were elected to the House of Representatives: Kim O’Keeffe (Shepparton), Gabrielle de Vietri (Richmond), Paul Mercurio (Hastings), and Jade Benham (Mildura).

The following councillors were elected to the Legislative Council: Sarah Mansfield and Joe McCracken (Western Victoria), Kat Copsey (Southern Metropolitan), and Trung Luu and Moira Deeming (Western Metropolitan).

These elections have resulted in a number of by-elections to fill vacant roles.

In this issue, we take a look at an issue that continues to trouble the public, councils and councillors – should councillors express public opinions on a matter that will be considered by the council?

In January, my office released a report on councils’ compliance a requirement for policies and documents to be create or updated under the Local Government Act 2020.

Earlier this month we also released our annual report with details of our work during the 2021-22 financial year and finalised our governance examination into Yarriambiack Shire Council. This examination was to check the council’s progress in implementing the recommendations of a report we released in 2019.

Unfortunately, it has not all been good news from councils this month. We had to take action against a former mayor for failure to disclose a conflict of interest and step aside from the decision-making process.

And finally, we have published new fact sheets to help explain some of our work and processes. We are often asked if we can stand down a councillor and have now set out the procedures we follow in a fact sheet. Another fact sheet explains the process of assessing a public interest complaint.

We have also published two fact sheets about our interview processes. These fact sheets can be found on our website – along with other resources for councils.

Michael Stefanovic AM
Chief Municipal Inspector