Monday, February 26, 2024

Yarra city welcomes municipal monitor’s final report

Yarra City Council has welcomed Municipal Monitor, Yehudi Blacher’s final report after nine months overseeing Council operations.

Mr Blacher’s finished his tenure with Council on 30 September.

“Yarra City Council remains committed to being a sector leader in good governance and our work with the Municipal Monitor has been positive and productive,” said Mayor, Sophie Wade.

“Mr Blacher has assisted us in ensuring improvements to good governance practices we already had underway were delivered to the very highest standard.

“Council is pleased that this report commends progress on longstanding structural issues.”

The Mayor said also welcomed the Monitor’s recommendation for Council to continue to work with the Auditor General’s Office (AGO).

“We are confident this will prove to be a positive partnership,” she said.

“Like all other councils across Victoria we are facing significant financial challenges with rising cost pressures, rate capping and cost shifting, coupled with increasing pressure and demand on our services.

“We acknowledge that our work to meet the financial challenges faced by local governments will be ongoing.  At Yarra we are committed to ongoing reviews of our operations to drive continuous business improvements so that we can continue to provide our highly valued services and programs to our community both now and into the future,” Mayor Wade said.

Mr Blacher was appointed as Municipal Monitor to Yarra City Council under section 179 of the Local Government Act 2020 in December 2021. He was appointed to guide good governance and provide regular updates and recommendations to the Minister for Local Government. His six-month appointment was extended by three months in June.

Initiatives Council has already implemented to support best practice governance and organisational sustainability as part of day-to-day continuous improvement process include:

  • Adoption of a new Councillor Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy;
  • Review and adoption of new Governance Rules to further enhance and improve government practices;
  • A new Commitment to Respectful Community Relationships charter.

Mayor Wade said Council was also soon to commence a service review of its Strategic and Statutory Planning branches and functions, with a focus on continuous improvement and community engagement to ensure Yarra is well placed to meet the emerging and future community needs.

“On behalf of Yarra City Council, I would like to extend my thanks to Mr Blacher for the support and guidance he has provided to the Council over the past nine months,” Mayor Wade said.

Download the Municipal Monitor’s report (PDF)

A copy of the report is available at https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/council-governance/independent-reports.

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