The new Local Government Bill 2019 was introduced into Victorian parliament in mid-November, with the aim of modernising local government regulation.
It closely reflects the reforms contained in the Local Government Bill 2018 which lapsed last year when the State election was called.
From an employment law perspective, key changes include the streamlining of the engagement of senior officers. The red tape relating to senior officer appointments that appears in the current 1989 legislation has simply been removed.
The new legislation will require Councils to introduce CEO Employment and Remuneration Policies consistent with the Government of Victoria’s Policy on Executive Remuneration in Public Entities. This is intended to:
- ensure CEO salaries and allowances align with existing State Government policies for public sector executives; and
- require Councils to obtain independent professional advice on CEO appointments.
Councils will need to adopt a CEO Employment and Remuneration Policy within six months of the commencement of the new Act.
The reforms also cover other Council functions, including the introduction of mandatory training for council election candidates and councillors.
Hunt & Hunt’s Managing Principal, Tony Raunic, routinely provides induction training for new councillors and update training for councillors and council officers on their statutory obligations relating to issues such as conflict of interests, misuse of position, gifts and hospitality.
For further information or assistance with employment law matters, please contact David Thompson or Richard Scougall on 8602 9252.