This page is and will probably always remain a work in progress, but will hopefully be of some limited use to those trying to understand the legislative basis behind the services provided and activities undertaken by Victorian Councils.
Table of Contents
Division 4 of the Victorian Domestic Animals Act 1994 defines the powers and duties of Councils with respect to the control of dogs and cats.
Section 42 of the Act gives Councils the power to make local laws for or with respect to all or any of the following:
- regulating the number of dogs or cats which may be kept on premises situated in the municipal district of the Council;
- prohibiting or regulating the keeping of dogs or cats in a specified area of the municipal district of the Council where threatened native fauna are at risk of attack;
- requiring owners of dogs to remove and dispose of faeces deposited by their dogs in public places.
Section 43 gives an authorised officer of Council the Power to destroy animals at large in specified areas.
- If Council has made a local law prohibiting the keeping of dogs or cats in a specified area of the municipal district of the Council, an authorised officer may destroy any prohibited animal found at large in that area.
Section 44 gives Councils the power to require restraint of animals.
- (1) If a Council has made a local law prohibiting the keeping of any dog or cat in a specified area of the municipal district of the Council, the Council may require the owner of any dog or cat kept in that area immediately before the law is made—
- (a) to confine the animal indoors or in a totally enclosed pen on the owner's premises; and
- (b) when the animal is outside the owner's premises, to confine the animal to an enclosed vehicle.
- (2) The Council must give the owner notice in writing of this requirement.
A Council must in respect of each financial year prepare an annual report
(b) audited standard statements for the financial year;
(c) audited financial statements for the financial year;
(d) a copy of the performance statement prepared under section 132; and
(e) a copy of the report on the performance statement prepared under section 133;
(f) any other matter required by the regulations.
Building Regulation Administration and Enforcement
Section 212(1) of the Victorian Building Act 1993 states that "except where otherwise expressly provided in this Act or the building regulations, a council is responsible for the administration and enforcement of Parts 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 and the building regulations in its municipal district."
Code of Conduct
(1) A Chief Executive Officer must develop and implement a code of conduct for Council staff.
(2) A code of conduct for Council staff must include any matters which are prescribed for the purposes of this section.
(3) The Chief Executive Officer must ensure that members of Council staff have access to the code of conduct for Council staff.
Community Infrastructure Provision and Maintenance
Community Services Planning and Provision
Section 125 (1) of the Victorian Local Government Act 1989 states that:
A Council must prepare and approve a Council Plan within the period of 6 months after each general election or by the next 30 June, whichever is later.
Disability Action Plan
Part 4 of the Victorian Emergency Management Act 1986 details the responsibilities of municipal councils with respect to emergency management.
Section 21 of the Act states that:(1) A municipal council must appoint a person or persons to be the municipal emergency resource officer or municipal emergency resource officers.
(2) A municipal emergency resource officer is responsible to the municipal council for ensuring the co-ordination of municipal resources to be used in emergency response and recovery.
(3) A municipal council must appoint a municipal emergency planning committee constituted by persons appointed by the municipal council being members and employees of the municipal council, response and recovery agencies and local community groups involved in emergency management issues.
(4) The function of a municipal emergency planning committee is to prepare a draft municipal emergency management plan for consideration by the municipal council.
(5) A municipal emergency planning committee must give effect to any direction or guidelines issued by the Minister.
(6) Subject to the regulations, a municipal emergency planning committee may determine its own procedures.
Section 5 of the Victorian Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958 notes that "it is the duty of every municipal council and public authority to take all practicable steps (including burning) to prevent the occurrence of fires on, and minimise the danger of the spread of fires on and from— (a) any land vested in it or under its control or management; and (b) any road under its care and management.
Section 18 of the Victorian Graffiti Prevention Act 2007 states that a Council may, in accordance with this section, take any action necessary to remove or obliterate graffiti on private property if the graffiti is visible from a public place. The act does not appear to compel a Council to remove graffiti.
Health Standards Enforcement
Section 24(d) of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 states that "developing and enforcing up-to-date public health standards and intervening if the health of people within the municipal district is affected" is a Council function;
Sub-clauses (1)(c) and (1)(d) state respectively that a Council may:
- approve, assign and change the number of a road and any premises next to a road, and;
- require people to number their premises and to renew those numbers.
Immunisation of Children
Section 24 (f) of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 notes that councils are responsible for co-ordinating and providing immunisation services to children living or being educated within the municipal district.
Land Use Planning
Local Law Enforcement
Local laws are made under Part 5 of the Victorian Local Government Act 1989.
Section 111 of the act (Power to make local laws) states that:
- A Council may make local laws for or with respect to any act, matter or thing in respect of which the Council has a function or power under this or any other Act.
- A local law must not be inconsistent with any Act or regulation.
- A local law is inoperative to the extent that it is inconsistent with any Act or regulation.
- If a planning scheme is in force in the municipal district of a Council, the Council must not make a local law which duplicates or is inconsistent with the planning scheme.
Road Network Provision and Maintenance
Section 34(1)(a) of the Victorian Road Management Act 2004 notes that it is a general function of a road authority to "provide and maintain, as part of a network of roads, roads for use by the community served by the road authority".
Strategic Resource Plan
Section 126 (3) states that: a Council must—
(a) review the Strategic Resource Plan during the preparation of the Council Plan; and
(b) adopt the Strategic Resource Plan not later than 30 June each year.
- Powers concerning parking
- Power to issue special parking permits
- Power to remove unregistered or abandoned vehicles
- Power to move obstructing vehicles
- Power to move other obstructions
- Power to restrict traffic near a construction site
- Power to close road on seasonal basis
- Power to place obstructions or barriers on a road permanently
- Power to place obstructions or barriers on a road temporarily
- Powers concerning shopping malls
- Power to restrict use of road by vehicles of a certain size etc.
- Power to determine speed limits
- Power to prohibit traffic on unsafe roads
Voters' Roll Preparation
Section 24 (2) notes that:
The Registrar must compile a voters' roll containing the prescribed particulars of persons entitled to be enrolled as at the close of the roll from—
(a) the exhibition roll; and
(b) objections received under section 23A(7); and
(c) information received under subsections (4) and (5).
(2) The Council must ensure that—
(a) any public notice required to be given by the Council is published on the Internet website;
(b) a copy of each local law made by the Council and in force is available on the Internet website—
(i) from the date the local law comes into operation; and
(ii) in a consolidated and up-to-date form;
(c) a list of documents of the Council that the Council is required to make available for public inspection under this Act, and how a member of the public can examine each document on the list, is published on the Internet website.