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YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR AND ACHIEVING GOOD GOVERNANCE Local Government Division Presentation at LGAT Pre-election Workshops June 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR AND ACHIEVING GOOD GOVERNANCE Local Government Division Presentation at LGAT Pre-election Workshops June 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR AND ACHIEVING GOOD GOVERNANCE Local Government Division Presentation at LGAT Pre-election Workshops June 2014

2 A brief introduction to the Local Government Division Your role as a councillor Working with your general manager Good meeting procedures A brief introduction to complying with the Local Government Act, including the role of the Director of Local Government Some key messages WHAT I WILL COVER

3 Supports the State - local government relationship Framework for Collaboration The Premier’s Local Government Council The Local Government Board Local Government Act 1993, Dog Control Act 2000, Burial and Cremation Act 2002 Guidance and assistance to councils, councillors and the general public THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT DIVISION

4 The mayor as leader of the community –chairperson and spokesperson –liaison with the general manager –oversee councillors in their functions and powers The deputy mayor to act when the mayor absent –exercise the mayor’s powers and functions THE MAYOR AND DEPUTY MAYOR

5 As individual councillors and collectively (as part of the team) As an individual councillor to represent the community and act in the community’s best interests facilitate communications between the council and the community participate in council activities carry out duties and responsibilities authorised by the council accurately represent the council’s policies and decisions YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR

6 Councillors collectively to make decisions develop and monitor implementation of plans and budgets determine and monitor application of policies, plans and programs for services, asset management and treatment of council staff (OH&S) facilitate planning and development in the community's interests monitor the general manager’s performance determine and review resource allocation and expenditure monitor service provision YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR

7 Individual councillors must not: direct council employees in relation to the discharge of their duties; or perform any function of the mayor without the mayor’s approval. YOUR ROLE AS A COUNCILLOR

8 Important for the effective functioning of your council The general manager as council chief executive is responsible for the day-to-day operations of councils Councillors collectively appoint (for up to 5 years) and monitor the performance of the general manager Mayor liaises with the general manager on council activities and performance General manager to implement policies and decisions, provide advice and support the council WORKING WITH THE GENERAL MANAGER

9 Good governance means: Impartial and fair decision-making Councillors act – and are seen to act – in the best interests of their communities Protect the reputation of local government Behave in a professional and ethical manner Maintain public trust and confidence GOOD GOVERNANCE

10 The Director of Local Government is a statutory appointment made by the Minister for Local Government under the Local Government Act 1993 The functions of the Director are to undertake the general administration of the Act subject to the direction of the Minister, and to undertake any other function the Minister may determine. The Director has the power to do anything necessary or convenient to perform these functions. The Director also has roles under the Dog Control, Burial and Cremation and Local Government (Highways) Acts. THE DIRECTOR OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

11 Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005 Council meetings and workshops Chairperson Notices of meetings Closed meetings Motions and amendments Voting It is the councillor’s responsibility to become familiar with the content of the Regulations GOOD MEETING PROCEDURES

12 All councils to have a code of conduct which must cover: Conflicts of interest Use of office of mayor, deputy mayor and councillors Use of council resources Use of council information Giving and receiving of gifts and benefits Relationships with the community, other councillors and staff Representation of the council CODE OF CONDUCT

13 A code of conduct must be reviewed within 12 months of each ordinary election. Codes of conduct sit below the Local Government Act to deal with less serious issues. They aim to deal with behaviours that, while undesirable, do not amount to a breach of the LGA. The Division is currently reviewing the code of conduct provisions of the Act CODE OF CONDUCT

14 Pecuniary interest – section 48 Disclosure of information – section 338A Improper use of information – section 339 Misuse of office – section 339A THE ACT - SOME KEY SECTIONS

15 Anyone can make a complaint to the Director, under s339E, about a failure to comply or a possible offence under the Act. This includes councillors, council staff and the GM, and members of the public. The Director can also investigate even if no complaint is received. If there is enough proof, a matter may be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecution. There is a 2 year limit on offences under the Act (s252A) Possible consequences of a breach are fines up to 50 penalty units (currently up to $6 500), dismissal from office, and being barred from nominating as a candidate for up to 7 years COMPLAINTS UNDER THE ACT

16 An offence to participate in any meeting or vote on any matter where a councillor has a pecuniary interest or should be aware that a close associate has a pecuniary interest include: –Financial advantage or disadvantage –Business profits, land value, employment benefits –Register of interests (kept by the GM) If in doubt, seek advice from the GM, LGD, or a lawyer It is your responsibility PECUNIARY INTEREST

17 A councillor votes on an application for funding submitted by an organisation of which the councillor is a committee member, even if it is a not-for-profit community organisation A councillor votes on a development application alleged to benefit a close family member by creating improved road access to the family member’s property A councillor votes on a development application alleged to benefit or cause detriment to the councillor’s business SOME EXAMPLES OF PECUNIARY INTEREST

18 When elected - Ensure you understand your responsibilities Strive for high ethical standards and good governance Act in the best interests of your community Be open, accountable and transparent Seek advice if you are unsure about anything Visit the Local Government Division website: nt nt Telephone: or WHEN ELECTED – SOME KEY MESSAGES

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