One deputy mayor and the introduction of a public gift register for all Victorian councils are proposed in a Local Government Act overhaul.
The draft bill, which was released last week, also proposes that preferential voting be kept in place for the 2020 election, which has been earmarked for October 24.
Local Government Minister Marlene Kairouz said the draft bill outlined consistent voting methods for council elections across the state and would give councils and the government stronger powers to deal with individual councillors.
The draft bill, which is out for public consultation until February 23, is expected to go before Parliament in mid-2018 and, if approved, will succeed the Local Government Act 1989.
Wyndham council chief executive Kelly Grigsby said last week the council was not yet in a position to comment on the proposed changes.
“Council will be making a submission to the Victorian government about the bill and it is expected that this will be considered at the ordinary council meeting being held on February 6,” she said.
Star Weekly asked the council if it would abandon its plans to review the deputy mayor position in light of the proposed reforms, which outline the role of the deputy mayor as a single councillor. The council is reviewing its local laws with a view to allow for the election of two deputy mayors.
Ms Grigsby said the council was “not in a position to speculate on the impact of future legislation until the full details are known”.
Victorian Local Governance Association chief executive Kathryn Arndt welcomed the proposed changes, but said that in the future the state government should undertake extensive consultation on policies that impact council operations, citing the impact rate-capping had had on councils.
Go to wyndham.vic.gov.au to make a submission.