Inspectorate staff have been out on the road this quarter, visiting councils for face-to-face meetings and also conducting online presentations. Council visits are an important means for improving compliance with the Local Government Act, engaging with the sector and improving awareness of the work of the Inspectorate. It also gives us a better understanding of the issues faced by councils in metropolitan Melbourne and rural and regional Victoria.
In June, our compliance team visited Yarriambiack Shire Council to check on the council’s progress in implementing recommendations made in our investigation report.
While in the north west, we met with West Wimmera Shire Council. Again, our compliance team wanted to check on the progress the council made into implementing the recommendations of the Protecting integrity: West Wimmera Shire Council examination report. While Covid significantly delayed these visits, it was great to reconnect with councils and chat about the improvements they had implemented since the reports were published.
Chief Municipal Inspector Michael Stefanovic AM said: “The complex investigations into West Wimmera and Yarriambiack discovered a range of issues at the councils, which both councils have been working to address. Our compliance checks will help ensure councils are not repeating the mistakes of the past and that they have the correct foundations to comply with the Local Government Act and better serve their communities. The visits also allowed councils staff to seek guidance and advice from our team.”
Meanwhile, we have continued with our program of giving presentations to increase awareness, engage with councillors and senior officers and provide the opportunity to councils to discuss and to ask us questions about issues that affect them.
We presented to Greater Shepparton Shire Council in person and have also continued offering presentations online at councils including Nillumbik and Murrindindi.