- Building relationships
- What is operational vs strategic thinking
The MAV, VLGA and LGPro have collaborated with the input of LGV and the Gender Equity Commission to produce a series of explainer videos for the sector. These can be used for councillor induction or staff training to demonstrate the opportunities arising from the new principles-based legislation.
The new Gender Equality and Local Government Acts that passed into law earlier this year, put gender equality, diversity and inclusion as a key priority for councils and their staff.
There are new requirements of the Local Government Act 2020 which require councils to take an integrated approach to strategic planning and reporting.
The Local Government Act 2020 is a principles-based Act, removing unnecessary regulatory and legislative prescription. In moving away from prescriptiveness of the past the Victorian Government wants to give councils as much flexibility in setting policies, plans and programs that best meet the unique needs of your community.
A look at the leadership and integrity provisions in the new Local Government Act 2020.
Community engagement seeks to better engage the community to achieve long-term and sustainable outcomes, processes, relationships, discourse, decision-making, or implementation. To be successful, it must encompass strategies and processes that are sensitive to the community-context in which it occurs.
A Councillor must complete Councillor induction training within 6 months after the day the Councillor takes the oath or affirmation of office.
Failure to take Councillor induction training and make declaration
(1) If a Councillor fails to
(a) take or complete Councillor induction training as required by section 32(1); and
(b) make a written declaration as required by section 32(3)— the Councillor's allowance is withheld until the Councillor has completed induction training and made the written declaration.
Councillor induction training
(1) For the purposes of section 32(5) of the Act, the prescribed manner for conducting Councillor induction training is
(a) in person; or
(b) by electronic means.
(2) For the purposes of section 32(5) of the Act, the prescribed matters to be addressed in Councillor induction training are the following
(a) the role of a Councillor, a Mayor and a Deputy Mayor;
(b) the role of a Chief Executive Officer;
(c) any practices, protocols or policies in relation to the interaction between members of Council staff and Councillors;
(d) the overarching governance principles and the supporting principles;
(e) the standards of conduct;
(f) misconduct, serious misconduct and gross misconduct;
(g) the internal arbitration process and the Councillor Conduct Panel process under Divisions 5 and 7 of Part 6 of the Act;
(h) engagement and reconciliation with the traditional owners of land in the municipal district of the Council;
(i) giving effect to gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness;
(j) any other matters relating to governance and integrity which the Chief Executive Officer has determined should be addressed.
Any other matters determined by the CEO
The CEO has the option to determine topics, relating to governance and integrity, for the mandatory councillor induction training program (in addition to those in regulations).
The sector has the ability to co-design a list of topics that are not covered by the above Regulations that a CEO may wish to consider for their program. Local Government Victoria has been working with a Think Tank of sector members to produce a priority topic list (in addition to the Regulations). We are now asking the sector to be involved in the development of a resource library for these topics by sharing good practice information.
As a reminder, the co-design process for Councillor Induction Training commenced in June 2020: https://engage.vic.gov.au/local-government-act-2020/co-design-priorities-councillor-induction-training. The support that the sector said they required was 'building sector capability' and 'tools and methods of delivery' .
The tiles below provide a grouped listing of topics that can be considered by the CEO in their delivery of Councillor Induction Training. We have provided resource links and will be looking for Councils to further share good practice examples.
We have produced a Councillor Induction Training declaration template for Councils to use. This will facilitate a Councillors declaration that they have completed the regulated topics and any other matters determined by the CEO.
In planning for onboarding with the new Council, a tasklist for what may need to be considered is provided here.
Councillor Code of Conduct – Feb 2021
Community Engagement Policy – 1 March 2021