Council is proposing minor changes to the Governance Rules relating to the election of the Mayor and virtual attendance at meetings.

The Governance Rules support Council to make merit based, fair decisions. They establish decision making processes to make sure any person whose rights will be directly affected by a decision of the Council is entitled and able to communicate their views and have their interests considered.

All Council's are required under section 60 of the Local Government Act 2020 to adopt and maintain Governance Rules.

They also provide for Council to make decisions fairly and on merit. They assist with decision-making processes to ensure that any person whose rights will be directly affected by a decision of the Council is entitled and able to communicate their views and have their interests considered.

Governance Rules cover the following:

  • the conduct of Council meetings
  • the conduct of meetings of:
    • delegated committees
    • community asset committees
    • joint council meetings
  • the form and availability of meeting records
  • the election of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor
  • the appointment of an Acting Mayor
  • public participation at Council meetings
  • the use of Council’s Common Seal
  • an election period policy in accordance with section 69
  • the procedures for the disclosure of a conflict of interest in respect of a matter:
    • to be considered at a Council meeting; to be considered at a meeting of a delegated committee
    • to be considered at a meeting of a community asset committee
    • that arises in the course of the exercise of a power of delegation by a member of Council staff; or
    • that arises in the course of the exercise of a statutory function under this Act or any other Act

The proposed amendments to the current Governance Rules are limited to Chapter 3 – Meeting procedure for Council meetings. The changes are driven by:

  • the Regulatory Legislation Amendment (Reform) Act 2022 (the Amendment Act), which received Royal Assent on 29 March 2022 and includes reforms relating to virtual council meetings.
  • from 2 September 2022, councils and regional libraries will be able to conduct virtual meetings in accordance with their relevant Governance Rules (or Local Laws in the case of regional libraries) on a permanent basis.
  • section 25(4) of the Local government Act 2020 directs that “the Mayor must be elected by an absolute majority of the Councillors.”

What are the proposed changes?

Council's current Governance Rules were adopted on 25 August 2020. Below is the list of proposed changes, all of which are limited to Chapter 3 - Meeting procedure for Council meetings.

Election of the Mayor


Section Description of change
Determining the election
of the Mayor
revision to rule 8.4(f) to remove the option for the Mayor to be determined via a lot in the event that two
or more candidates have an equal number of votes and provisions to conduct a new election at a later date and time under this
scenario

removal of rule 8.4(g) that describes the process for drawing a lot.


Virtual Meetings


Section Description of change
Meeting roles insertion of new sub rule, 4.6 to clearly state that attendance or presence at a meeting may include virtual attendance

Apologies and absences amendment to sub rule 5.1 to include allowance for virtual attendance

insertion of new sub rule 5.3 to include protocol for virtual meeting attendance;


insertion of a new sub rule 5.4 to minute the mode of attendance;

Method of voting

amendment to sub rule 7.1 to include allowance for virtual attendance
Dates and times of meetings
fixed by Council
amendment to sub rule 12.1 to include allowance for virtual attendance

insertion of new sub rule 12.2 to including virtual mode;

insertion of new sub rule 12.3 to enable Council to hold a meeting that is solely face-to-face or virtual;
Alteration of meeting dates amendment to sub rule 13.1 to include virtual;
Meetings not fixed by Council amendment to sub rule 15.2(a) to include virtual;
Inability to obtain a Quorum inclusion of a statement when determining a Quorum to include virtual attendance;
Public Participation inclusion to sub rule 57.2(d), 58.3, 59.11 and 60.11(a) to allow for members of the public to attend virtually


You can provide feedback in the following ways:

Please complete the form below, or get in touch with us via email or phone. All submissions will be considered and feedback from the consultation process incorporated into a final draft as appropriate. The amended Governance Rules are scheduled to go before Council on 23 August 2022.

Name The Governance team
Phone 1300 368 333
Email mail@yarraranges.vic.gov.au
In writing

PO Box 105, Lilydale Vic 3140