A new draft local law to replace the existing local law that governs the conduct of Greater Bendigo City Council meetings and special committees will be considered at next week’s Council meeting.
The Local Government Act 1989 requires Victorian Councils to maintain a local law for the key procedural matters of Council, including the conduct of meeting, election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and the use of the common seal of Council. The current Local Law 8 expires on 31 December 2019. Creating a new law is a routine process.
Director Corporate Performance Andrew Cooney said Council was required to have a new local law in place once the existing law expired at the end of this year.
“The existing Local Law 8 came into operation on January 1, 2010 and automatically ceases to operate on December 31, 2019. It cannot be extended,” Mr Cooney said.
“We know that the Victorian Government is preparing to introduce a new Local Government Act into Parliament later this year.
“The City has been advised that this new Bill will require Councils to adopt new Governance rules, to take effect in late 2020, which will replace and expand on existing meeting procedures covered under local law.
“That means that any new local law adopted will only be in effect for a relatively short period and will not be needed when the new Local Government Act takes effect.
“With that in mind, we propose that the new Local Law will mirror the existing Local Law to cover the interim period – between the existing law expiring on December 31 and the introduction of the new Act.
“If Council provides approval, we advertise the new Draft Local Law – Process of Municipal Government (2020) and invite the community to make submissions either in writing or in person.”
If adopted, the new Draft Local Law will cease to operate on 31 December 2024 unless revoked earlier. It is intended that this Local Law would only remain in place until:
- A new Local Government Bill has been enacted in 2020 and the requirements on Councils for regulating meeting procedure are clear
- Council completes a comprehensive review of this Local Law
- Council has prepared a new local law reflecting current thinking in good municipal governance in consultation with the community.