Victoria’s local government minister has appointed monitors at Moonee Valley City Council to ensure it improves its governance and serves the interests of the community.
“Governance issues at Moonee Valley City Council must be addressed,” minister Melissa Horne said in a statement on Tuesday.
Public and private sector executive Phillip Carruthers and another yet-to-be-named monitor will spend the next six months helping the north west Melbourne council lift its game, and report back to the government after the end of their term on July 29.
The monitors will provide assistance and support to the council in relation to governance processes including confidentiality requirements, conflicts of interest, relationships between councillors and council staff, and decision-making processes, according to the terms of reference.
“Municipal monitors have proven to be effective at guiding councils to make improvements in governance that ultimately benefit local communities,” Ms Horne 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.”
Moonee Valley City Council Mayor Cr Pierce Tyson has welcomed the appointment of the monitors and encouraged staff, councillors and the community to assist them in their duties.
“As the Victorian Government undergoes possible reforms to the Local Government Act regarding individual accountability for elected officials, I trust Moonee Valley will serve as an important case study in professional and positive practices,” Cr Tyson said.
“Locals hold our elected officials to the highest standard, and I look forward to demonstrating that over the next six months.”
The appointment of monitors comes after Melbourne community soccer club The Essenden Royals said last year it had been informed about an ongoing investigation led by the state’s corruption commission IBAC into the conduct of some Moonee Valley City Councillors.
“While the exact nature of the allegations has not been disclosed to us, we understand that these investigations revolve around the potential bribery of Council representatives,” the statement, issued on August 31 said.
The club denied any allegation that the Club had been involved in, or was aware of, any such conduct and said it was actively assisting IBAC in its inquiry.
A spokeswoman for Moonee Valley told Government News questions regarding the investigation should be referred to IBAC.
An IBAC spokesperson told Government News: “As a matter of practice, IBAC does not comment on whether it has a complaint or investigation before it.”
The Victorian government has appointed 10 municipal monitors over the current council term.
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