Councillor Induction Program

LGI would like to remind CEOs of the requirements set out by section 32 of the Local Government Act 2020 in relation to ensuring councillors complete their induction training within 6 months after the date of taking the oath/affirmation of office.

Councils should also be turning their minds to developing a comprehensive councillor induction program well before the October elections. 

Section 32 states CEOs are responsible for ensuring:

  • induction training is available from the day councillors take the oath/affirmation of office
  • providing reasonable assistance to enable councillors to access induction training either virtually or in person
  • councillors make a written declaration that is signed and dated before them that they have completed the induction training and
  • all requirements of Regulation 6 of the Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020 are met.

Regulation 6(2) sets out the matters that must be covered by the induction program, although we acknowledge that councils cover many more topics.

Our induction handy hints

Through our investigations and governance examinations, we have received feedback that the following steps may optimise councillor induction and an improved understanding of their roles and responsibilities:

  • development of a Councillor Manual that identifies things such as key personnel, key council documents, FAQs and contact details for peak bodies, Ministers and government departments (both State and Federal)
  • facilitated workshops with key staff to help build strong relationships, understanding and constructive working relationships soon after the election
  • development of an ongoing good governance program that supports continued councillor education throughout their 4 year term
  • holding ‘mock’ council meetings soon after the election to aid councillor understanding of your council’s Governance Rules and how meetings run
  • providing the Mayor with a detailed script/running sheet for the first few council meetings
  • Mayoral induction program focussing on conflict management, relationship building and leadership; and undertaking a ‘guided tour’ of key sites and projects to prompt discussion around prominent issues and develop a councillor’s understanding of the broader municipality rather than just one ward so that they can effectively govern for the entire community.