Local Government is a distinct and essential tier of government consisting of democratically elected councils having the functions and powers that Parliament considers are necessary to ensure the peace, order and good government of each municipal district (Section 74A(1) of the Constitution Act 1975).
Council governs for and on behalf of the Glen Eira community. Good governance is accountable, lawful, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive.
Council’s role, powers and functions are primarily governed by the Local Government Act 1989 (Act). Under the Act, the main objective of a council is to endeavour to achieve the best outcomes for the local community having regard to the long-term and cumulative effects of decisions. Under the Act, the role of Council includes:
- acting as a representative government by taking into account the diverse needs of the local community in decision-making;
- providing leadership by establishing strategic objectives and monitoring their achievement;
- Maintaining the viability of Council by ensuring resources are managed in a responsible and accountable manner;
- advocating the interests of the local community to other communities and governments;
- acting as a responsible partner in government by taking into account the needs of other communities; and
- fostering community cohesion and encouraging active participation in civic life.
Council is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the municipality, establishing and guiding policies, setting service delivery standards and monitoring the performance of the organisation.
Glen Eira’s nine Councillors are elected as representatives of all residents and ratepayers within the municipality.
Their broad roles and functions include:
- strategic planning for the whole of the municipality and a sustainable future;
- representation on behalf of all citizens;
- advocacy on a broad range of issues;
- co-ordination with other spheres of government, the private sector and non-government and community sectors;
- stewardship of the community’s assets; and
- facilitation of community participation.
Not all decisions are made at Council Meetings. Most decisions of an operational nature are delegated to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who, in turn, may delegate responsibility to other Council staff, ensuring Council’s activities are carried out effectively and efficiently. This system recognises the CEO’s statutory responsibility in managing the day-to-day operations of the organisation. Decisions under delegation may only be exercised in accordance with Council policies.
Glen Eira is divided into three wards — Camden, Rosstown and Tucker — each with three Councillor representatives. Each ward currently contains more than 34,000 voters.
Pursuant to the Act, the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) is required to conduct an electoral representation review at least every 12 years. The last review was in 2011 and resulted in minor boundary changes between Camden and Rosstown Wards. The new boundary took effect for the 2012 Council elections.
The last general election was held on 22 October 2016. Councils across Victoria held a general election on that date for a four year term.
The Glen Eira election was conducted by postal voting in accordance with Council’s resolution of 2 February 2016. The Victorian Electoral Commission conducted the election.
A wide range of documents and publications are available to the public on Council’s website at www.gleneira.vic.gov.au These include community plans, annual reports, annual budgets, the Local Law and Council-adopted policies and strategies.
In addition, certain documents and information are available for inspection by the public in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989 (Act ) and Local Government (General) Regulations 2015 as listed below.
Documents available for public inspection include:
- 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 of the overseas or interstate travel.
- A register of the interests of Councillors, members of special committees and nominated officers consisting of the last three returns that those Councillors, members and officers were required to submit under this Section.
- 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 Act.
- A register of delegations kept under Sections 87(1) and 98(4) of the Act, including the date on which the last review under Section 86(6) and 98(6) of the Act took place.
- Details of all leases involving land which were entered into by Council as lessor, including the lessee and the terms and the value of the lease.
- A register of authorised officers appointed under Section 224(1A) of the Act.
- A list of donations and grants made by Council in the previous 12 months, including the names of persons or bodies, which have received a donation or grant and the amount of each donation or grant.
- Copies of election campaign donation returns.
Where documents are not available for public inspection or available on Council’s website, then access to them may be sought in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act ). The FOI Act grants the public the right to seek access to all Council documents.
This general right of access is limited by a number of exceptions and exemptions, which have been prescribed to protect public interests and the private and business affairs of the people Council holds information on. The FOI Act has four main principles:
- The public has a right of access to information.
- Local governments are required to publish information on the documents they hold.
- People may request that inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date or misleading information in their personal records be amended.
- People may appeal against a decision not to give access to the information or not to amend a personal record.
Requests for access to Council documents should initially be discussed with the relevant section of Council. Staff will attempt to provide the documents where permitted. Further enquiries concerning document access should be referred to Council’s Freedom of Information Officer. Written requests for documents under the FOI Act must be sent via email to email@example.com marked for the attention of the freedom of information officer, or mailed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Glen Eira City Council
PO Box 42
Caulfield South Vic 3162
The request must specify the document required or, if unable to do so, give sufficient detail to enable the relevant document to be located. The request should indicate the form of access required (eg. view original document under supervision or obtain copies) and include details of the applicant’s name, address and telephone number for contact.
Applications must be accompanied by the prescribed fee. Other charges may also apply as prescribed by the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014. Information about making an application is available on Council’s website.
Freedom of Information requests received 2012–13 to 2016–17
|Total number of new requests
|Requests determined not to be Freedom of Information Act requests
|Access granted in full
|Access granted in part
|Access denied in full
|Requests still under consideration
|Number of decisions referred to the FOI Commission*
*The right to request an internal review was abolished on 1 December 2012 and replaced with a referral right to the recently established FOI Commission.
|Appeals lodged with VCAT
As required by the Protected Disclosure Act 2012, Council adopted a policy and a set of procedures relating to protected disclosures in August 2013. A full copy of the policy and procedures can be downloaded from Council’s website at www.gleneira.vic.gov.au or obtained from Council’s Service Centre.
The Act is designed to encourage and facilitate the disclosure of information about improper conduct by public officers, including Council officers or Councillors. The Act protects those people who disclose information and provides a framework for investigation and rectifying action.
The procedures adopted by Council establish a system for reporting disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by Council, its employees or Councillors. Disclosures relating to Council or its employees may be made to either Council’s Protected Disclosure co-ordinator or directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), the Ombudsman, the Victorian Inspectorate or the Chief Commissioner of Police. A disclosure about a Councillor must be made to IBAC or the Ombudsman. Disclosures may be made by Council employees, Councillors, councils or the public.
Council is committed to the Act’s aims and objectives. Accordingly, Council:
- does not tolerate improper or corrupt conduct by its employees, officers or Councillors;
- supports disclosures being made that reveal corrupt conduct, conduct involving a substantial mismanagement of public resources, and conduct involving a substantial risk to public health and safety or the environment; and
- will protect people who make disclosures from reprisals and give natural justice to the person who is the subject of the disclosure.
During 2016–17, there was one disclosure made to Council as required to be reported pursuant to the aforesaid legislation.
The Best Value model is a key component of Council’s continuous improvement program. Best Value principles allow Council to benchmark services, assess its efficiency and gauge the extent to which it meets community needs. The aim is to improve the responsiveness, quality, efficiency, accessibility and value of the services Council provides to the community. The State Government introduced Best Value legislation in 1999 to replace compulsory competitive tendering. Best Value Victoria aims to ensure Local Government services are the best available and that they meet the needs of the community.
The Local Government Act 1989 requires the six Best Value principles be applied to all Council services since 31 December 2005. These are:
- Best quality and value-for-money.
- Responsiveness to community needs.
- Accessibility of services to those who need them.
- Continuous improvement of services.
- Community consultation on all services and activities.
- Regular community reporting on Council achievements.
The downloadable PDF table indicates the services provided to the community by Glen Eira City Council during 2016–17 and how these performed against the adopted budget.
Each activity is described including the persons or sections of the community who are provided the services. The net cost of service can be influenced by community demand, government policy, expected income from grants and other factors not always regulated by Council.
1. People in care relationships who receive Council services; to people in care relationships; and to the wider community by:
- distributing printed material through relevant Council services;
- displaying posters on the Act at Council community venues; and
- providing links to State Government resource materials on Council’s website.
2. Council staff, Council agents and volunteers working for Council, who are informed about the principles and obligations of the Act by information on the care relationship included in:
- Council induction and training programs for staff working in Home and Community Care; and
- induction and training programs for volunteers working directly with the community.
Council has reviewed and modified policies, procedures and supports to include recognition of carers and has provided additional activities and resources to recognise the importance of the care relationship.
To support community accessibility and inclusivity, the Disability Act 2006 (VIC ) requires Council to develop a Disability Action Plan and to report on its implementation.
Council adopted a new Disability Action Plan in February 2017. A total 95 per cent of 43 actions outlined in the Glen Eira Disability Action Plan — spanning the previous Plan and the renewed Plan — were achieved in 2016–17.
Over 2016–17, Council delivered:
- social support to more than 80 clients and disability respite services to more than 100 clients throughout the Glen Eira community;
- disability awareness in school sessions to 10 local primary schools;
- 17 sessions of the Chat n Chuckle discussion group which connects community members who have acquired brain injuries;
- new multipurpose unstructured recreation facilities at Packer Park, Carnegie and King George VI Memorial Reserve, Bentleigh East, all with a diverse array of all-abilities recreational activities.
- a rolling series of building and local footpath accessibility audits;
- five sensory-friendly movie sessions attended by more than 250 people;
- a program of events in support of Social Inclusion Week;
- a Come and Try inclusive sports day at Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre (GESAC) for International Day of People with a Disability;
- the development of an online disability awareness training program, YouMeUs, in collaboration with neighbouring councils;
- a rolling series of specialised disability awareness training sessions for Council staff and communications training for GESAC staff;
- support for local disability organisations and accessibility initiatives through the Community Grants Program; and
- promotion of local businesses receiving Access 4 All Disability Awards.
Council continued the implementation of its four-year Domestic Animal Management (DAM) Plan. DAM addresses issues such as dogs at large; cat overpopulation; nuisance pets; and registration and identification.
Council has met or exceeded its targets in all but two of the nine performance indicators.
The cat registration target was met, with 458 new cats registered in the current year as opposed to 555 in the previous year — overall cat registration has increased. While we do have a high registration rate, it seems that our registration rate has stabilised to around 84 per cent of the estimated cat population. Consideration of another census in the future as part of the development of the next DAM Plan could readjust the estimates on which this target has been determined.
While the ratio of infringement to official warning target was not met, we note that the total number of infringements issued for the current year is the same as for last year. In the current year, however, officers resolved many complaints without the need to issue official warnings, which contributed to the target difference.
The cat reclaim/return rate is well above the target set and continues to increase steadily. This has been a strong focus for Council’s animal management team over the past few years and is made easier by the number of cats that are now microchipped. However, it should be noted that these figures include cats that have been sold or adopted. Council acknowledges the exceptional work that our current pound provider (RSPCA) does in reducing the euthanasia rates by selling or adopting such a large number of cats.
Domestic Animal Management Plan – Performance Indicators
The following table provides an assessment of the year ending 30 June 2017:
|Dog registration rate:
(per cent dogs registered/estimated dog population)
|Cat registration rate:
(per cent cats registered/estimated cat population)
|Enforcement success rate:
(per cent successful prosecutions/total prosecutions)
|Dog return/reclaim rate:
(per cent total dogs reclaimed-returned/total dogs impounded)
(includes adopted/sold dogs)
|Cat reclaim/return rate:
(per cent total cats reclaimed/total cats impounded)
(includes adopted/sold cats)
|Domestic animal business compliance rates:
|Dog desexing rate:
(per cent dogs desexed/actual registered)
|Cat desexing rate:
(per cent cats desexed/actual registered)
|Infringements versus official warnings rates:
(per cent of infringements/warnings)
1 Registration renewal follow-up is still being conducted. These figures may change once renewal follow-up has been completed.
2 Estimate from most recent animal census (2012).
During the 2016–2017 financial year, Glen Eira City Council did not receive any ministerial directions under the provisions of Section 7e of the Food Act 1984.
During the 2016–2017 financial year, Glen Eira City Council did not receive any ministerial directions under the provisions of the Road Management Act 2004.
During 2016–2017, Glen Eira City Council did not enter into any contracts because of an emergency valued at $150,000 or more, specified in Section 186(5)(a) of the Local Government Act 1989.
Council did not enter into any other contracts valued at $150,000 or more without engaging in a competitive process.