Two municipal monitors will work with the Moonee Valley City Council to help the council better understand its role, improve its performance and serve the interests of its community, Victorian Local Government Minister, Melissa Horne has announced.
In a statement, the Minister detailed the decision to appoint two monitors to the council from today for a period of six months, ending 29 July 2024.
“Governance issues at Moonee Valley City Council must be addressed and the appointment of monitors for the next six months will help bring this about,” she said.
“The council needs to improve and serve its community to the best of its ability – that is the purpose of local government and a role performed by scores of councils across the state.”
“Municipal monitors have proven to be effective at guiding councils to make improvements in governance that ultimately benefit local communities.”
The monitors will provide a report to the Minister at the end of their term.
Phillip Carruthers last week took up his term as a monitor at the Council.
Minister Horne said Mr Carruthers brings wide experience in governance and management in the private and public sectors. He has served in executive roles at the CSIRO, VicRoads, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the Borough of Queenscliffe and is also an experienced board director and chair.
Prue Digby will act as the second municipal monitor following the end of her term in the same role overseeing the City of Greater Geelong from January 2023 to January 2024.
The monitors’ terms of reference direct them to advise and provide any relevant assistance and support to the council in relation to the improvement of the council’s governance processes and practices.
This includes confidentiality requirements, management of conflicts of interest, relationships between councillors and between councillors and council staff, meeting procedures, decision-making processes and the adequacy of governance rules.
Minister Horne said legislation to be introduced this year will elevate governance and integrity standards in the state’s 79 councils, encouraging quality candidates to put themselves forward at elections to be held statewide in October.
Reforms will introduce mandatory training for elected representatives, a uniform councillor code of conduct and strengthened powers for the Minister to address councillor conduct, she said.
The terms of reference for the Moonee Valley monitors is available at localgovernment.vic.gov.au.