STRONGER COUNCILLOR CONDUCT STANDARDS TO BE INTRODUCED

The Andrews Labor Government will introduce legislation into Parliament next month to strengthen councillor conduct standards.

The proposed Local Government (Improved Governance) Bill 2015 will clarify expectations of councillors, provide tougher standards against councillors and ensure councils have the ability to respond earlier to misbehaviour.

Councillors will need to agree to codes of conduct before taking office, making it mandatory for councils to establish procedures to deal with alleged breaches, and enabling
conduct panels to suspend councillors for six months in instances of serious misconduct.

The changes will also provide the Minister for local Government with the power to direct
councils to improve governance and, on the advice of municipal monitor, stand down councillors for up to 6 months to allow a panel to hear the matter.

Quotes attributable to Member for Narre Warren South Judith Couacaud Graley

“Residents don’t want to see their councillors misbehaving or misusing ratepayers money so it’s important they know that their councillors will now be held to account through robust conduct laws,”

“These much needed reforms will ensure that councils and the Victorian Government can appropriately deal with councillors who have done the wrong thing.”