The Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) submission on proposed new Local Government Bill reforms has expressed concern over the state’s process and “lack of detail”, which they claim has prevented meaningful consultation on significant reforms that could have negative consequences for communities.
The MAV has called on the Victorian Government to defer the proposed reforms for up to 18 months to enable full examination of the issues including costs, community impacts and other unintended consequences.
According to the MAV, two proposed reforms — mandated single-member wards and community-initiated Commissions of Inquiry — are of greatest concern as they could “fundamentally shift the nature of council governance”.
The MAV say they are significant proposals that warrant further detailed examination.
A third reform, the voter franchise, is also concerning as non- resident ratepayers, which accounted for 16 percent of all voters in the 2016 council elections, would no longer be automatically enrolled to vote in council elections a statement from the MAV reads.
While the Central Goldfields Shire Council does not endorse the deferring of reforms, chief administrator Noel Harvey said the council agrees there has been a lack of consultation surrounding them.
For more on this story see Page 2 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, August 20