The Supreme Court has delivered a decision to confirm that the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal continues to have the power under the Local Government Act 2020 to make orders to have a councillor stood down while a criminal investigation is pending.
Justice Quigley delivered the judgment in response to a request by legal representatives for the Inspectorate and Yarra councillor Anab Mohamud.
During a VCAT hearing on 20 August, both parties agreed that an important question of law regarding section 229 of the Act had been identified and they jointly requested VCAT to refer the question to the Supreme Court to rule on the interpretation.
Her Honour ruled that decisions can be made without first having satisfied the elements set out in the preceding subsections in Division 6, Part 7.
Chief Municipal Inspector Michael Stefanovic AM welcomed the decision, saying 'Once the Supreme Court has made the orders, we will work with the Victorian Government Solicitors Office to return the matter to VCAT.'
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Reviewed 29 November 2021