East Gippsland Shire Council will write to the Premier requesting the Victorian Government supports a target for local, regional representation on statutory boards, advisory councils, trusts or specific commissioners.
Such boards have been established to undertake a range of administrative, service delivery and/or regulatory functions with the aim of ensuring communities thrive. These entities may include, but are not limited to, water authorities, regional and district health services, Catchment Management Authorities, Ports coordinating boards, specific natural resource authorities, waste management authorities, economic development authorities, educational providers such as TAFE, and others.
Cr Mark Reeves, in moving the notice of motion at Tuesday night’s monthly meeting, said Council believes local representation, governance and skill-specific skills are all essential on such boards.
“The intent of the request is to set an aspiration for representation on boards by suitably qualified people who reside in and have specific knowledge of the local area affected by the appointed board,” Cr Reeves said.
Council will also seek support from the Government for a strategic approach to skills development for local potential board members, e.g. local board directors’ courses.
Cr Reeves said statutory boards, advisory council, trusts or specific commissioners perform essential and valued roles.
“Whether it is local medical services, water and sewage supply to homes, economic development groups, all make our communities better places to live, grow and invest,” he said.
“Such entities should have representatives who bring skills of good governance, financial management, compliance and strategic planning. There is a risk that such entities attract membership that could meet these skills but do not necessarily reside in the locale of the entity.
“Ideally, membership would have appropriate representation: gender, ability-disability, indigeneity and location or postcode residence, among others. Unfortunately, such aspirations do not always result in a real-world experience that matches the expectation.”
Council will advocate with the Gippsland Local Government Network in writing to the Premier.
“Moreover, we will look forward to understanding a review in future of the local membership model to ensure that the best outcomes and decisions result,” Cr Reeves said.