Chief Municipal Inspector's introducton

Michael Stefanovic AM, our Chief Municipal Inspector, notes what we've got coming up in 2024 and reflects on LGI work in 2023.

Even this early out from the election, my office is preparing and planning for the election period ahead.  

My team is liaising with the local government election team at the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to ensure that the elections held are fair, transparent and in line with the various legislation that governs them.

Between now until after the election period the LGI will release regular fact sheets relating to election issues and matters surrounding the role of a councillor.  We hope these fact sheets will provide some guidance and information to assist candidates, councillors and council officers during this period.

As busy as we are expecting 2024 to be, we reflect on a very busy 2023 for our office.

During 2023, we completed or assessed 477 complaints, which resulted in a range of outcomes:

  • no breach of the Act being identified
  • official warnings for breaches of a provision of the Act
  • one prosecution for a breach of the Misuse of Position provisions. 

A number of recommendations were made to councillors to undertake training and reacquaint themselves with specific sections of the Act, along with recommendations to councils to review their policies and procedures.

My staff attended many councils during the year for investigations and compliance reviews, along with a number of presentations to councils relating to the role of the LGI and issues that have come to our attention.

The mammoth task of undertaking the Councillor Conduct Framework Examination has been an important and timely exercise as the conduct of councillors has increasingly been of concern to the LGI and the wider Local Government sector.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the sector, and peak bodies, for engaging with this project through our online surveys and conversations.

A more detailed outline of the examination is included in this newsletter.

Michael Stefanovic AM
Chief Municipal Inspector