What you need to know
Freedom of Information and Transparency
Transparency is really important to us, so we hope you're able to find all of the information you need about Council on this website, or by calling us on (03) 9243 8888.
Council has adopted a Public Transparency Policy which describes our approach to transparency, the kind of information we make available to the public, and how you can access it.
Any information which is publicly available, required to be made publicly available, or which is available for purchase, we can supply to you directly.
If there's information you need that we haven't been able to provide, you are entitled to lodge a Freedom of Information request.
Freedom of Information (FOI) gives you a legal right of access to documents in Council's possession which were created on or after 1 January 1989.
While we'll do our best to provide you with the information you have asked for, there may be some documents which are exempted from access, due to the protection of public interest and private and business affairs.
Freedom of Information and Transparency COVID-19 Update
The City of Moonee Valley has activated its Pandemic Plan and Business Continuity Plan in response to COVID-19.
Many Council officers are currently working from home, including our Governance team. Although we will continue to respond to all requests lodged under Freedom of Information, we may experience unavoidable delays in response time, and decisions may be limited where we are unable to access certain documents due to remote working arrangements. Delays may arise due to documents being harder to access, or as a result of agencies with whom we may need to consult being closed/operating to limited hours.
Council asks you to consider the following:
- Where possible, please consider delaying your request under Freedom of Information until Council’s Pandemic and Business Continuity Plans are deactivated at a future date.
- As always, if you do submit a request under Freedom of Information, please make sure your request is as specific as possible. This will allow staff to locate the information as easily as possible.
- We appreciate your understanding if we contact you seeking an extension to your request, or to advise that some documents may not be accessible in the current environment.
Council is usually required under legislation to make a range of registers and other documents available for public inspection at its Civic Centre during business hours. As part of our Pandemic Plan response, our Civic Centre has been closed for the foreseeable future and as such, it is not currently possible for individuals to inspect documents in person. If you wish to inspect a document which would usually be available in this format, or have any other questions, we invite you to contact our Freedom of Information officers at email@example.com to discuss.
How to Apply
Your request for information will need to:
- Be in writing
- Be accompanied by your application fee (see below)
- Clearly describe the documents you are requesting access to.
What to Provide
- Description: your request should accurately describe what you are seeking access to. Requests should be for specific documents. Avoid phrases like 'all documents in relation to' and 'including but not limited to'.
- Identification: If the documentation you are seeking is about your own personal affairs, you'll need to provide evidence of your identity, such as a copy of your drivers licence.
- Authorisation: If you are seeking the information on behalf of someone else - for example, if you are a legal firm - you'll need written authorisation.
Completing your Application
What happens next
Once we receive your application, our FOI Officer will determine whether it is a valid request. If we have any questions about your request we will contact you.
When our FOI Officer receives a valid request, we will complete your application within 30 days from the date that it was received.
What we can and can't provide
Not everything is able to be released under FOI. There are times when confidentiality rules may apply. Due to copyright laws, some documents (such as architectural plans) may only be available through inspection.
Council's Part II Statement outlines a range of relevant information about Freedom of Information including our functions and decision-making powers, documents maintained and publicly available, subscriptions, mailing lists, libraries, advisory boards and committees, and the procedure for requesting access to documents held by us. This statement can be viewed by clicking here and searching for Freedom of Information - Part II Statement.
Fees and Costs
Effective 1 July 2019, the standard FOI application fee is $29.60. This fee may be waived or reduced if payment will cause hardship.
Where an application for access is granted, costs will be incurred by the applicant in addition to the application fee. These charges are levied under the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2004 and relate to:
- Search charges - $22.20 per hour or part of an hour
- Inspection supervision charges - $5.60 per quarter hour.
Where we anticipate that the costs will exceed $50, we'll advise you as the applicant and request that you pay a deposit. You will be asked whether you want to continue with the request, or whether you wish to narrow the terms of your request to reduce costs.
Public Interest Disclosures
Changes to the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 came into effect from 1 January 2020 when the legislation became known as the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012.
The changes aim to improve access for those making a disclosure, flexibility for agencies investigating a disclosure, and provide for more independent expert bodies to investigate disclosures.
The main objective of the legislation is to encourage and facilitate the disclosure of improper conduct of public bodies, including councils and public officers. The scheme is important to enable people who report improper conduct and corruption to be protected, including keeping their identity confidential and protecting them from reprisals.
Council is committed to integrity in all its operations and all allegations will be regarded as extremely serious. Council's Public Interest Disclosure Guidelines have been prepared in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 and provide a full definition of what constitutes improper conduct, protections for disclosers and how to make a disclosure.
Who can make a disclosure?
- Any individual or group of individuals
- A disclosure cannot be made by a business or company.
Who do I make a disclosure to?
If you wish to make a public interest disclosure about the Council or any of its employees, you may contact:
Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator
Maria Weiss, Manager Legal & Governance
By telephone: 9243 8788
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In person: visit the Civic Centre, 9 Kellaway Avenue, Moonee Ponds
In writing: marked 'Public Interest Disclosure' or 'Confidential' to:
(Name and Title)
Moonee Valley City Council
PO Box 126
MOONEE PONDS VIC 3039
If you wish to make a protected disclosure about a Councillor, you should contact IBAC or the Victorian Ombudsman:
Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Comission (IBAC)
- By telephone: 1300 735 135
- Online: www.ibac.vic.gov.au
- In person: Level 1, North Tower, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne
- In writing:
GPO Box 24234
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Confidentiality and Protection
You can make a disclosure anonymously. Council will ensure your identity and the contents of your disclosure are kept strictly confidential. In appropriate circumstances, a suitable welfare manager will be appointed to protect you as a discloser.
If your disclosure is considered to be a public interest disclosure, you will be kept informed of any action Council will take in relation to your disclosure, and the timeframes that will apply.
If your disclosure is not considered to be a public interest disclosure, then consideration will be given as to whether it should be treated as a complaint, notification or referral to Council in accordance with any laws or internal policies and procedures.
Fraud and Corruption
Council is the custodian of significant public funds and infrastructure. It is important that the public has assurance that these funds are adequately protected from fraud and corruption.
Council has a Fraud and Corruption Policy and accompanying plan in place. This helps to demonstrate our commitment to achieving effective fraud and corruption controls. Our policy and plan outline the approach we take to prevent, detect, report and manage fraud and corruption across the organisation.
If you have any concerns regarding fraud or you would like to report a suspicious matter involving Council, you can contact our Fraud Prevention Officer in the first instance on 9243 8888. You can also seek information from the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) directly - contact information is available on their website.
Did you know that Council is the responsible authority for naming of community assets? This includes roads, parks, localities and other places. It also includes recognising special people from our community through the naming of memorials, plaques and trees.
The naming process is governed by our Place Naming Policy which can be viewed by clicking here and searching for Place Naming and Civic Recognition Policy. This policy allows us to recognise the history and cultural significance of a place or to honour the contribution of a person or group.
Consultation with members of the public is an important part of the process of naming and renaming roads, features, localities and memorials. Council also has a Place Naming Committee which is comprised of three Councillors. This Committee considers and determines naming and civic recognition proposals.
As well as our own Place Naming Policy, we are also governed by the State Government's Naming Rules for Places in Victoria.
You can find more information about place naming and civic recognition in the following documents:
- The Place Naming and Civic Recognition Committee Charter (pdf, 156KB)
- Instrument of Delegation to the Place Naming and Civic Recognition Committee (pdf, 466KB)
- Naming rules for places in Victoria - quick guide (pdf, 231KB)
- Naming rules for places in Victoria - information for residents (pdf, 228KB)
- Naming rules for places in Victoria - consultation diagram (pdf, 124KB)
Council has endorsed the Proposed Budget 2021/22 and Revenue and Rating Plan 2021 for public consultation. The documents can be viewed on Council’s YourSay website here and hard copies are available by request at the Civic Centre. If you wish to make a submission on this document, please do in writing by 5pm on Friday,…
Moonee Valley City Council (Council) is committed to the protection of your right to privacy. We collect, use and disclose personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, the Health Records Act 2001 and other applicable legislation.
What are Council’s obligations?
Under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, Council has obligations in relation to how we collect, store, use and access personal information you provide to us.
This policy document must be made available to anyone who asks for it.
Who does the Act cover?
The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 covers Councillors as well as all employees of Council. Non-government organisations that work for us under contract may also be obliged to comply, depending on the contract.
Access and correction of information
A person is entitled to seek correction or amendment of a document containing their personal affairs information or health information, where they believe the information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or would give a misleading impression. All requests for amendments are administrated under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and Council will take reasonable steps to ensure that information held by us is correct.
Requests for amendment must:
- be made in writing and addressed to the:
Freedom of Information Officer
PO Box 126,
Moonee Ponds VIC 3039
- clearly detail the matters in respect of which the person making the request believes the personal affairs information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading
- clearly detail the amendments the person wishes to be made.
Who do I contact if I believe the Council has dealt with my personal information inappropriately?
If you believe Council has breached the Information Privacy Principles, please contact our Privacy Officer on 9243 8888 or email email@example.com.
A person may also contact the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) to make a complaint concerning the handling of your personal information by Council.
Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
PO Box 24274
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Committees of Council
Council has a range of Committees which help us to make decisions and ensure the community is represented.
Council may establish Committees to which it delegates certain functions, tasks or responsibilities. These are referred to as Delegated Committees. A Delegated Committee must be Chaired by a Councillor, and must include at least two Councillors, but may include other individuals outside of Council. Currently, Council has a Place Naming and Civic Recognition Delegated Committee.
Audit and Risk Committee
The Audit and Risk Committee is an independent advisory committee of Council established in accordance with Section 53 of the Local Government Act 2020.
The role of this Committee is to:
- enhance Council's external financial reporting
- improve the effectiveness of both external and internal audit functions
- Effectively manage and protect Council assets
- Ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations and consideration of best practice guidelines
- Facilitate the provision of an effective means of communication between the external auditor, internal auditor, management and Council.
You can find further information in the Audit and Risk Committee Charter, which can be found by clicking here and searching for Audit and Risk.
You can also find a current list of Audit Committee members here (doc, 14KB).
Council is committed to being accountable to the community by making information available in a way that is transparent and accessible. You can find out more about our commitment to transparency in our Public Transparency Policy.
Council's Core Documents
At the start of every Council term, Council develops a Council Plan (incorporating the Health Plan) which sets out our strategic direction and focus. This is complemented by MV2040, our long-term plan which was endorsed by Council in 2018.
The Council Plan also includes our current Strategic Resource Plan. This plan sets out the financial framework that shapes our annual budget process.
Every year, we report on how we are tracking against our Council Plan and Budget in our Annual Report.
Policies, Laws and Codes
Under the Local Government Act, each Council has a range of powers and functions, including the power to make and enforce local laws. Moonee Valley City Council has enacted the following local laws:
Council is required to publicly tender contractual procurements over certain thresholds. You can find currently open tenders here. We're also required to prepare, approve and comply with a Procurement Policy which can be viewed by clicking here and searching for Procurement Policy.This encompasses principles, processes and procedures which we apply to all purchases.
Every Victorian Council develops a Councillor Code of Conduct within 12 months following the last general election. This Code enables Councillors to recognise the importance of maintaining the highest levels of integrity and ethical behaviour in order to provide effective governance and leadership for the community.
Council has adopted a Councillor Expenses Policy and Procedure, which sets out the kind of expenses Councillors and members of Delegated Committees are entitled to claim and have reimbursed. Council’s Governance Rules (including the Election Period Policy) set out how Council's ordinary business will continue to operate throughout Council election periods. To view the policy click here and search for Governance Rules.
Under the Public Transparency Policy, Council also publishes a copy of the Chief Executive Officer’s contract which you can find here.
Council Meeting Documents
Our Council meetings are open to the public. If you can't make it along in person, you can also watch meetings on our live-stream. You can find upcoming Council meeting dates, agendas and minutes here.
We provide public notice of any upcoming meetings, elections and proposals where members of the public have the right to make a submission under the Local Government Act. You can find this information at our Public Notices page.
Section 223 of the Local Government Act entitles members of the public to make submissions and provide feedback on a range of Council's decision-making processes, such as the annual setting of the Budget. We maintain a register of these in our Section 223 Register.
Council occasionally makes policy submissions to third parties, including the State and Federal Governments. This is one of the ways that we advocate and influence Government decision-making on behalf of our community. Download a list of recent submissions endorsed by Council.
We also write often to Members of Parliament and Government Agencies as the result of Council Notices of Motion. The following is a list of correspondence sent in association with Notices of Motion in the past year:
February 2019 - Review of Municipal Boundaries (pdf, 837KB)
March 2019 - North Essendon Junction (pdf, 1.92KB)
March 2019 - ANZAC Horse Ramp at Essendon Station (pdf, 3.82MB)
March 2019 - Advocacy for Increased Tree Canopy (pdf, 261KB)
March 2019 - Review of Secondary College Zones (pdf, 371KB)
April 2019 - CCTV on 57 and 59 Trams (pdf, 1.37MB)
June 2019 - Newmarket Bridge (pdf, 1.37MB)
July 2019 - Sharing Library and Shed of Things (pdf, 23.6KB)
July 2019 - Flemington Hub (pdf, 28.1KB)
July 2019 - Essendon Fields Airport Draft Masterplan (pdf, 26,3KB)
April 2020 - Planting of Mature Trees along Buckley Street (pdf, 3.95MB)
September 2020 - Potential enclosed dog park (pdf, 9MB)
Council maintains registers of information to help us stay transparent and accountable.
Our travel register sets out interstate and international travel undertaken by Councillors and members of Council staff. Staff travel is approved by a department manager, director or the Chief Executive Officer. Councillor travel is approved at an Ordinary Meeting of Council. We also have a register of the annual salaries received by Council's Senior Officers. This is updated on 30 June and 31 December of each year.
The Councillor Gift & Hospitality register records all declarations of Council-related gifts, benefits and hospitality received and kept by a Councilllor since the beginning of the current Council term. You can also view the register from the previous term of Council which includes the declarations made during the period of 2016-2020.
Council also maintains a register of Conflicts of Interest declared by Councillors – current term of Council 2020-2024 and previous term of Council 2016-2020. We also maintain a register of Political Party Memberships held by Councillors, whether past or current.
Candidates for Council elections are required to submit an election campaign donation return to the Chief Executive Officer within 40 days after the Election Day. You can view the Register of Campaign Donations from the most recent Council election, which was in 2020.
The Donations and Grants Register contains information about grants, contributions and donations made by Council over the past financial year.
Council can delegate some of its powers, duties and functions to Council’s CEO and members of Council staff in order to effectively and efficiently carry out its business. It can also delegate to Delegated Committees to make decisions on behalf of Council. These delegations are formalised through a written Instrument of Delegation. You can read a list of these in our Register of Instruments of Delegation. Council may also appoint people to be Authorised Officers.
Council maintains a Properties Register of all Council land and properties valued at more than $500,000. Our Property Lease Register contains information about any leases managed by Moonee Valley City Council with community groups, sporting clubs, not-for-profit organisations and commercial businesses. Our Major Service Contracts Register lists service contracts above $750,000.
Council receives Open Space Contributions from developers, and we maintain a register of the total amounts received since 1 November 2016, by suburb. There is also an Other Planning Contributions Register for non-Open Space contributions received by Council through a planning process.
We also maintain a Register of Corporate Sponsorships. This lists all sponsorships received by Council from corporate sources, for example to support our community programs or major events.
These documents are also available for public inspection by appointment at the Civic Centre, 9 Kellaway Avenue, Moonee Ponds. You won't be able to take the documents away from the Civic Centre with you.
Summary of Personal Interests
The Local Government Act 2020 requires Councillors and Nominated Officers of Moonee Valley City Council to complete Personal Interest Returns. A Personal Interest Return must be completed within 30 days of the commencement in their role, and then biannually in March and September of each subsequent year.
The Chief Executive Officer must prepare a summary of the personal interests disclosed in the last return lodged. The details that must be disclosed on a personal interest return are in accordance with the Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020.
Council is required to provide public access to a summary of the Personal Interest Returns and have the register available for inspection at Council’s office. To view the current summary click here.