What is a Local Law?

    All Councils in Victoria have a form of local regulation called Local Laws. Council can make Local Laws in response to particular issues in its local government area to ensure peace, order and good government.

    The Local Government Act 1989 regulates how a Council amends or makes a Local Law.

    This Act applies a number of restrictions and limitations on Local Laws including: not making unusual use of power and ensuring no inconsistencies with any Planning Scheme or other regulations or Acts.

    Why do we have a Governance Local Law?

    The objectives of the Governance Local Law are to:

    • regulate the use of the common seal;
    • prohibit unauthorised use of the common seal or any device resembling the common seal;
    • regulate proceedings for the election of the Mayor, and Chairpersons of various Committees;
    • regulate proceedings at Council meetings, Committee meetings and other meetings conducted by or on behalf of Council where Council has resolved that the provisions of the Local Law are to apply;
    • describe the nature and procedure for Councillor Briefing arrangements;
    • make provision for related administrative procedures; and
    • provide for peace, order and good government of the municipal district.

    What is a common seal?

    A use of the common seal by Council is legislated by the Local Government Act 1989. The common seal:

    • is a rubber stamp carrying the words ‘Common Seal’ and the name of Council;
    • is affixed to a document to implement a decision made by Council resolution; and
    • when is used, must be authorised by a resolution.

    Why are we changing the Local Law?

    Changes to the Local Law, highlight Council’s commitment to continue improving transparency and upholding good governance principles. The section on meeting procedures will be a focus of the review, with some necessary changes made to how Council involves the community in decision making.

    Other proposed amendments improve clarity and remove out of date requirements and terminology.

    What is the process of adopting the Local Law?

    The final Governance Local Law 2017 document will be presented to Council and community members will be able to come to this meeting, share their views and participate in discussion.

    Once adopted Council gives notice in the Government Gazette and in local media of the adopted local law.

    Following gazettal, the current Governance Local Law 2013, including any amendments will cease to be operational and the new Governance Local Law 2017 will take effect.

    What is the Local Law Review process?

    Council gives notice in the Government Gazette and in local media of the proposed local law, inviting the community to make a submission. The closing date for submissions on the proposed Governance Local Law 2017 is Wednesday 16 August 2017.

    Any person making a submission is entitled to state in the submission that he or she wishes to appear in person, or to be represented by a person specified in the submission, at the Ordinary Meeting of Council. 

    If no person wishes to be heard in support of their written submission Council may decide whether or not to make the local law at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on the date to be determined by Council.

    Following the consultation period, all submissions received will be considered and analysed and, if appropriate, incorporated into a final draft.