What is a Council anyway?
Local Government is about so much more than roads, rates and rubbish. We're pretty proud of what we do, and we want to share that with you. Read on to find out more about Council's work, the people who represent you, and how you can be involved.
Responsibilities of different levels of government
In the State of Victoria, we're represented by three levels of elected government: Local, State and Federal.
The Federal or Commonwealth Government is responsible for national affairs, and holds its formal meetings in Australia's national capital of Canberra. Its areas of responsibility include:
- defence and foreign affairs
- trade, commerce and currency
- immigration and citizenship
- postal services, telecommunications and broadcasting
- air travel
- and most social services and pensions.
It also provides some funding to State and Local Governments to support their work.
One of the functions of the Federal Government is to determine applications for Australian citizenship. If your application for citizenship has been approved, congratulations! The final step in your journey to citizenship will be to attend a ceremony hosted by Council, where you will recite the pledge of commitment and have citizenship conferred upon you by the presiding officer, who is usually the Mayor.
The City of Moonee Valley falls within the Federal electorate of Maribyrnong. Click here to find out more about the Maribyrnong federal electorate and how to contact the current Member of Parliament.
The State Government is primarily responsible for Victoria's:
- conservation and environment
- roads, railways and public transport
- public works
- agriculture and fishing
- industrial relations
- community services
- sport and recreation
- consumer affairs
- police, prisons and emergency services.
In Local Government, we tend to work very closely with the State due to the many common interests we share, such as delivering great sporting grounds, libraries and services. We also have a common interest in building cities where people can get around easily.
The City of Moonee Valley overlaps with the State electorates of Essendon and Niddrie. The State electorate of Essendon includes suburbs such as Ascot Vale, Essendon, Essendon Fields, Flemington, Moonee Ponds and Strathmore. The electorate of Niddrie covers the following suburbs: Aberfeldie, Airport West, Avondale Heights, Keilor, Keilor East, Keilor Park and Niddrie. To read more about your State electorate and get in touch with your State Member of Parliament, click here for Essendon and here for Niddrie.
Melbourne's Western Metropolitan Region is also represented by five Members in the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament. You can read more about them here.
We like to think of Local Government as being the closest level of government to the community. It's the level of government that delivers many of the services and facilities you rely on every day - whether that be maintaining roads and footpaths, collecting rubbish bins and recycling, maintaining parks, open spaces and sporting facilities for the community to enjoy, or encouraging lifelong learning through our library services.
In Victoria, the roles and responsibilities of Local Governments are set out by an Act of the Victorian Parliament, the Local Government Act 2020. The current Act was adopted in March 2020 and will be implemented in four stages, from April 2020 to July 2021. It represents a significant change for Local Government Victoria, which you can read more about here.
The Local Government Act 2020 defines the role of Council as being to provide good governance for the benefit of and well-being of our municipal community. We do this in line with the following principles:
- Council decisions are to be made and actions taken in accordance with the relevant law;
- priority is to be given to achieving the best outcomes for the municipal community, including future generations;
- the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the municipal district, including mitigation and planning for climate change risks, is to be promoted;
- the municipal community is to be engaged in strategic planning and strategic decision making;
- innovation and continuous improvement is to be pursued;
- collaboration with other Councils and Governments and statutory bodies is to be sought;
- the ongoing financial viability of the Council is to be ensured;
- regional, state and national plans and policies are to be taken into account in strategic planning and decision making;
- the transparency of Council decisions, actions and information is to be ensured.
So Moonee Valley City Council is a Local Government?
It sure is! Moonee Valley City Council is one of 79 Local Governments in Victoria.
Each of these Local Governments might look and feel very different, just as our communities have different priorities and needs. A rural Council might represent a very large geographic area, but have only a small number of Councillors; while in inner metropolitan areas, the geographic size of your municipality is likely to be more condensed, while the number of Councillors will be higher. This is because the number of Councillors representing an area is determined on the basis of population. So for example, the Shire of Towong in Victoria's North-East covers a geographic area of 6,673 square kilometres, while here in the City of Moonee Valley, our land area is just 44 square kilometres - however Moonee Valley is represented by nine Councillors, while the Shire of Towong has five! This is because the Shire of Towong represents a population of about 6,000 people, while Moonee Valley's population is around 117,000.
We work with our fellow local governments to get good outcomes for our combined communities. Moonee Valley City Council is a member of bodies like the Municipal Association of Victoria, the Victorian Local Governance Association and LeadWest, who advocate for us and represent us on a regional and statewide level.
Local Governments are comprised of two arms: our elected representatives, who provide leadership and set the strategic direction of Council, and our staff, led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Council's operational team
Moonee Valley City Council employs over 1000 staff who keep our municipality running around the clock.
They range from maternal and child health care nurses, to accountants, aged care workers, kindergarten teachers, gardeners, librarians, urban planners, traffic and transport officers, communications staff... the list goes on and on. Leading Council's team is our Chief Executive Officer, Helen Sui.
Want to join our team? You can find current job advertisements by scrolling further down this page.
Learn about your elected representatives
These are the nine people you have elected to represent you and lead our municipality.
Council elections take place every four years. The last Council election took place in 2016, while the next one is scheduled for 24 October, 2020.
In Moonee Valley City Council, the Victorian Electoral Commission conducts our general elections by postal ballot. This means that you will receive your ballot in the mail, along with information about your candidates. You'll be required to return your ballot to the Victorian Electoral Commission by a certain date so they can count your vote.
DID YOU KNOW?
Voting in local government elections is compulsory in the State of Victoria, unless you are over the age of 70.
The City of Moonee Valley is made up of three wards: Buckley, Myrnong, and Rose Hill. In each ward, three Councillors are elected. These are the three people who receive the highest number of votes following the distribution of preferences from their fellow candidates.
With the exception of the City of Melbourne, the public does not directly elect Mayors or Deputy Mayors in the State of Victoria. Every year in late October, Councillors elect a Mayor and Deputy Mayor to lead the Council team. Council can choose to elect the Mayor for a period of twelve months, or two years. Our current Mayor is Cr Samantha Byrne. She will serve as Mayor from October 2019 to October 2020. Her Deputy Mayor is Cr John Sipek.
Buckley Ward covers the City of Moonee Valley's North-East, including the suburbs of Aberfeldie, Essendon, Essendon Fields, and Strathmore.
Myrnong Ward takes in the South-East of our municipality. It includes the suburbs of Ascot Vale, Flemington, Moonee Ponds, and Travancore.
Rose Hill Ward
Rose Hill Ward includes those suburbs in the West of our City. Those include Airport West, Avondale Heights, Essendon West, Keilor East and Niddrie.
I want to get involved!
There's nothing more important to Council, than our community. Getting involved in local government can be deeply rewarding and is your opportunity to make your local area even better. Below are just some of the ways you can get more involved in Moonee Valley City Council.
Council runs a range of consultations throughout the year where you can have your say and influence life in Moonee Valley. Most of these consultations take place on our YourSay page, where you can fill out a survey, take a poll or write us a letter with your views. On this page you'll also find information about how you can get involved in our Advocacy campaigns. Head to yoursay.mvcc.vic.gov.au to find out more.
Arrange a school visit
We have developed a fun and interactive school program for students who are learning about governance and citizenship.
Your class will have the opportunity to visit our Civic Centre, where the Mayor and/or a Councillor will deliver a presentation in our Council Chambers about the role of local government and Council services. Students also receive a certificate and Council show bag.
Our Mayor also loves visiting schools, early childhood education centres and other community services to talk about her work.
If you would like more information or to make a booking, please contact the Councillor Support Office on (03) 9243 8846.
Work for us
Moonee Valley is a great place to live, work and play. We are committed to continuously pushing the boundaries to provide responsive, citizen-focused services, and are after staff who embrace our values and are ready to rise to the challenges of the 21st century. You can view current opportunities to join the team at Moonee Valley at our career portal.
Our volunteers are passionate community members with a range of skills and knowledge, and all share a great willingness to help. The community spirit shown by our volunteers enables us to provide programs, services, policy and strategies that are designed to meet the best interests of our local residents.
To find out more about how you can become a volunteer with Council, visit our volunteering page.
Become an advocate
One of the most important roles of local government is to advocate on behalf of our community for better outcomes from other levels of government. We've consulted with you to establish an Advocacy Strategy 2018-21 which sets out our big goals and objectives for the coming years. To achieve these goals, we need your support.
Our biggest campaign at the moment that you can get involved in is our call for a train station at Airport West as part of the Suburban Rail Loop and Airport Rail Link. Visit stillwaiting.com.au to find out more! But we're also advocating for better youth mental health facilities, a greener Moonee Ponds Creek, and lots more. To find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.