Gippsland South South Gippsland Wellington Local Government Council Rates Mayors

Locals invited to partake in council operations review

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien is encouraging Gippslanders to have their say on proposed reforms to the Local Government Act, which are designed to streamline processes and improve the efficiency of councils.

Mr O’Brien said he received a high level of contact from constituents about local government matters and it was important people have their say about future changes.

The State Government has held community consultations over the past year giving ratepayers the chance to comment on the Local Government Act 1989.

“The recommendations made by people at those consultations have been used to form a number of reforms ranging from extending mayoral terms to removing the requirement for non-resident property owners to vote in local government elections,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I am not endorsing the proposals, just encouraging ratepayers to have their say.  Everyone wants all levels of government to be performing as efficiently as possible and these reforms give people a chance to comment on how councils are managed in future.”

The proposed reforms include:

  • Improving transparency of CEO pay, recruitment, conditions and performance;
  • Removing the requirement for non-resident property owners to vote;
  • Extending mayoral terms to two years and providing the option of direct election;
  • Creating a single consistent land valuation system for levying rates;
  • Making council electoral structures, the number of councillors and wards more consistent;
  • Putting communities at the centre of shaping council plans by requiring councils to undertake deliberative community engagement (such as citizens juries);
  • Making voting rules consistent and providing the option for electronic voting for Council elections in 2020; and
  • Giving stronger powers to the Minister for Local Government to deal with individual councillors who compromise council governance.

Mr O’Brien said every aspect of the current Act would be evaluated during the review process.

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