Melbourne Celebrations: International Women’s Day Breakfast
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Run For The Kids
Dragonboat Victorian State Championships
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival
Mother’s Day Classic
National Reconciliation Week
A Taste of Portugal
Statutory responsibility for local government lies with each Australian state or territory. An Act of each State Parliament specifies local government powers, duties and functions. In Victoria, the legal basis for councils is established under the Constitution Act 1975 and the Local Government Act 1989.
The City of Melbourne comprises a Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor and nine councillors.
the leadership team (Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor) is elected separately from councillors
the preferential voting system is used to elect the leadership team and proportional representation is used to elect councillors.
The current Council was elected for a four-year term in October 2012. The next Council election is scheduled for October 2016. More information about local government elections is available from the Victorian Electoral Commission1.
Councillors make decisions at Council meetings and Committee meetings (to which certain powers are delegated by the Council). Future Melbourne Committee meeting decisions are subject to a ‘referral notice process’, meaning that where fewer than six committee members vote in favour of a motion, or the Chair uses their casting vote, members have the option of referring the matter to the next Council meeting for decision.
Melbourne City Council’s powers under the Local Government Act 1989 or any other Act may be delegated to a Committee or Council, to a City of Melbourne officer (including the Chief Executive Officer), or sub-delegated to a City of Melbourne officer by the Chief Executive Officer. Staff members are accountable to the Chief Executive Officer. The Council and its committees make policy, and staff members make decisions in accordance with that policy. The exercise of delegation is subject to the Council’s Delegations Policy.
The City of Melbourne’s Councillor Code of Conduct outlines the role of the Council and provides an overview of councillor responsibilities in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989.
The code includes guidelines for rules of conduct, decision-making and use of City of Melbourne resources. It also includes procedures for disclosure of interests and conflicts of interest that go beyond legislative requirements.
All councillors received training on conflict of interest and misuse of position provisions as part of the new Council induction program, which took place in 2012. They receive regular communication via the City of Melbourne’s Governance and Legal branch and the Victorian Government, in regards to updated information, guidance and tools on these areas.
Councillors are paid an allowance set by the Victorian Government. This allowance is paid in recognition of the demands placed on councillors in carrying out their civic and statutory duties, and for their work on policy development, as spokespeople on community matters and as representatives of the Melbourne City Council and Melbourne in Australia and overseas.
Councillors incur expenses in the course of fulfilling their roles. Expenditure is regulated by the Councillor Expenses and Resources Guidelines, as revised by the Council in May 2015 and consistent with section 75 of the Local Government Act 1989. Councillor expenses are reported in detail every quarter on the City of Melbourne1.
In accordance with section 75 of the Local Government Act 1989, Council is required to reimburse a councillor for expenses incurred whilst performing his or her duties as a councillor. Council is also required to adopt and maintain a policy in relation to the reimbursement of expenses for councillors. The policy provides guidance for the payment of reimbursements of expenses and the provision of resources, facilities and other support to the Lord Mayor and councillors to enable them to discharge their duties. Council also publishes in its Annual Report the details of the expenses, including reimbursement of expenses for each councillor and member of a council committee paid by the council.
The details of the expenses including reimbursement of expenses for each councillor and member of a council committee paid by the Council for the 2015–16 year are set out in the following table.
Conferences, Functions and Training (costs incurred under this category may include those relating to the participation of partners in accordance with the Councillor Expenses and Resources Guidelines)
This category covers registration fees associated with attendance by councillors at local conferences, functions, seminars and one-off or short-term training courses. These are normally held by local government related organisations, professional bodies and institutions, educational institutions and private sector providers on areas and events which impact on the role of councillors and the City of Melbourne in general. This category also includes memberships and subscriptions to bodies and organisations whose activities are relevant to role of councillors and a capital city council.
Travel Local (costs incurred under this category may include those relating to the participation of partners in accordance with the Councillor Expenses and Resources Guidelines)
This category covers costs associated with assisting councillors in meeting the transport costs incurred in attending meetings, functions and other commitments within and outside the municipality. This comprises use of taxi service, reimbursement for use of private vehicle while conducting Council business, car parking fees, access to bicycles, the provision of car parking permits, e-tags and use of Council fleet vehicles as described in the Councillor Expenses and Resources Guidelines. This category also comprises costs associated with accommodation and incidentals incurred when travelling on Council business in outer metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
This category covers communication costs associated with ensuring that councillors are accessible and are able to communicate with constituents, stakeholders, other Councillors, Council officers and family members while conducting Council business. This category comprises costs associated with use of mobile phones, home phones, internet services and festive season cards.
Functions External to Town Hall (costs incurred under this category may include those relating to the participation of partners in accordance with the Councillor Expenses and Resources Guidelines)
In some cases, councillors may need to use external hospitality services when conducting Council business outside Council offices. In doing so, councillors seek reimbursement for expenses incurred. These expenses comprise costs associated with the provision of meals, refreshments and other entertainment (for councillors and their guests) considered appropriate to the nature of Council business being conducted.
The Council will reimburse the cost of necessary carer expenses incurred by councillors in the course of carrying out their duties. This covers child care and other forms of care needed to support immediate family members.
Schedule of expenses for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor, 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
Schedule of councillor expenses, 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
Conferences, Functions & Training
Travel – Local
Functions External to Town Hall
Subsidiaries and trusts
The City of Melbourne has three wholly owned subsidiaries:
Citywide Service Solutions Pty Ltd – a company established to provide contract services on a competitive basis to local government and other public and private sector clients.
Queen Victoria Market Pty Ltd – a company established to manage and develop the Queen Victoria Market.
Enterprise Melbourne Pty Ltd – a company established to hold the registration for the Enterprise Melbourne Tianjin Representative Office, Tianjin, China.
The City of Melbourne has an interest in other entities including:
Sustainable Melbourne Fund – the City of Melbourne holds all units in this fund, a strategic trust established to support and promote sustainable development.
Regent Management Company Limited – shared with the Victorian Government, the City of Melbourne has a 50 per cent interest in this company, established to manage the historic Regent Theatre in Collins Street, Melbourne.
MAPS Group Limited trading as Procurement Australia – the City of Melbourne is the majority shareholder of this company.
Documents available for inspection
The Local Government Act 1989 and Local Government (General) Regulations 2015 require us to keep certain statutory registers and documents, most of which can be viewed on our website, melbourne.vic.gov.au or, in certain cases, on application. Information on how to go about obtaining information and documents from the Council can be found in the ‘About Council’ section of our website, or by making a request in person at the Melbourne Town Hall Administrative Building, 120 Swanston Street, Melbourne during office hours.
Registers required to be made available for public inspection:
Details of overseas or interstate travel (with the exception of interstate travel by land for less than three days) undertaken in an official capacity by councillors or any member of Council staff in the previous 12 months, including the names of the councillors or members of Council staff and the date, destination, purpose and total cost to the Council of the overseas or interstate travel, including accommodation costs.
Names of councillors and Council officers who were required to submit a return of interest during the financial year and the dates the returns were submitted.
Agendas for and minutes of ordinary and special meetings held in the previous 12 months kept under section 93 of the Act except if the minutes relate to parts of meetings which have been closed to members of the public under section 89 of the Local Government Act 1989 (the Act).
Minutes of meetings of special committees established under section 86 of the Act and held in the previous 12 months except if the minutes relate to parts of meetings that have been closed to members of the public under section 89 of the Act.
A register of delegations kept under sections 87 and 98 of the Act, including the dates on which the last reviews under sections 86(6) and 98(6) of the Act took place.
Details of all property, finance and operating leases involving land, buildings, plant, computer equipment or vehicles entered into by the Council as lessor or lessee, including the name of the other party to the lease and the terms and the value of the lease.
A register of authorised officers appointed under section 224 of the Act.
A list of donations and grants made by the Council during the financial year, including the names of persons or bodies which have received a donation or grant and the amount of each donation or grant.
Additional registers/information made available on our website:
Details of current allowances fixed for the Mayor, Lord Mayor (if any) and Councillors under section 74 or 74A of the Local Government Act 1989 (the Act).
The total annual remuneration for all senior officers in respect of the current financial year and the previous financial year, set out in a list that states:
Ranges of remuneration of senior officers, where the difference between the lower amount and the higher amount in each range must not exceed $10,000; and
The number of senior officers whose total annual remuneration falls within the ranges referred to in subparagraph (a).
A list of all special committees established by Council and the purpose for which each committee was established.
A list of all special committees established by the Council which were abolished or ceased to function during the financial year.
Submissions received in accordance with section 223 of the Act during the previous 12 months.
Agreements to establish regional libraries under section 196 of the Act.
Travel by non-City of Melbourne passengers.
Register of Councillor Conflicts of Interest.
A list of contracts valued at $150,000 or more which the Council entered into during the financial year without first engaging in a competitive process; and which are not contracts referred to in section 186(5) or (5A) of the Act.
Purchase orders of $500,000 or over.
List of land and building assets valued at more than $2.5 million.
A list of the names of the organisations of which the Council was a member during the financial year and details of all membership fees and other amounts and services provided during that year to each organisation by the Council.
List of Authorised officers under section 188 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
Participating in Council
The City of Melbourne welcomes community and stakeholder attendance and participation at Council and Committee meetings. Any person may submit an item of correspondence (to Council or Committee) or a request to address Committee with respect to an item listed on an agenda.
Members of the public may also ask questions (no greater than 90 seconds in duration) at Ordinary Committee meetings. A 15-minute period is provided for questions at the beginning and end of the meeting.
Records of meetings, meeting dates and times and information on how to interact with the Council are available at City of Melbourne2.