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Moonee Valley City Council

Governance

Freedom of Information

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.

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.

  • How to Apply

    Your request for information will need to:

    1. Be in writing
    2. Be accompanied by your application fee (see below)
    3. Clearly describe the documents you are requesting access to.
  • What to Provide

    1. 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'.
    2. 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.
    3. 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

    You can lodge an FOI request using our online form.

    Alternatively, you can also download the Freedom of Information Application Form.  Return your completed form to foi@mvcc.vic.gov.au or by post to:

    Freedom of Information Officer
    Moonee Valley City Council
    PO Box 126
    MOONEE PONDS 3039

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

Protected Disclosures

If you have reasonable grounds to believe that improper or corrupt conduct has occurred within Council, you can make a protected disclosure.

The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 aims to ensure openness and accountability to encouraging people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector, and protecting them when they do.

Council's Protected Disclosure Procedures provide a full definition of what constitutes improper conduct.  You can find our Protected Disclosure Procedures here (LINK).

 

Who do I disclose to?

If you wish to make a protected disclosure about a Council employee, you should contact Council's Manager of Governance and Communications, Allison Watt:

  • By telephone: 9243 1073
  • By email: awatt@mvcc.vic.gov.au
  • In person: visit the Civic Centre, 9 Kellaway Avenue, Moonee Ponds
  • In writing: marked 'Protected Disclosure' or 'Confidential' to:
    Allison Watt
    Manager Governance and Communications
    Moonee Valley City Council
    PO Box 126
    MOONEE PONDS VIC 3039

If you wish to make a protected disclosure about a Councillor, you should directly contact IBAC:

  • By telephone: 1300 735 135
  • Online: www.ibac.vic.gov.au
  • In person: Level 1, North Tower, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne
  • In writing:
    IBAC
    GPO Box 24234
    MELBOURNE VIC 3000

 

Confidentiality and Protection

You can make a disclosure anonymously.  We 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.

Next steps

If your disclosure is considered to be a protected disclosure, you will be kept informed of action we take in relation to your disclosure, and the timeframes that will apply.

If your disclosure is not considered to be a protected 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 other laws or internal policies and procedures.

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Place Naming

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 (LINK).  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
  • Instrument of Delegation to the Place Naming and Civic Recognition Committee
  • Naming rules for places in Victoria - quick guide (LINK)
  • Naming rules for places in Victoria - information for residents (LINK)
  • Naming rules for places in Victoria - consultation diagram (LINK).

Contact Us

If you have any queries about place naming and civic recognition, you can contact our Governance team on 9243 8888 or email council@mvcc.vic.gov.au.

Tenders and Public Notices

Council currently has no tenders or public notices requiring advertisement.

Committees of Council

Council has a range of Committees which help us to make decisions and ensure the community is represented.

Section 86 Committees

'Section 86' refers to the section of the Local Government Act 1989 which allows Council to form special committees.  These Committees may be comprised of any combination of Councillors, Council staff, and other persons.  Council may delegate certain functions, duties or powers to this special committee.  Moonee Valley's Section 86 committees are:

  • Chief Executive Officer Special Committee
  • Grants Assessment Special Committee
  • Land Acquisition Committee
  • Leadwest Committee

Portfolio Advisory Committees

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee is an independent advisory committee of Council established in accordance with Section 129 of the Local Government Act 1989.

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 Committee Charter (LINK).  You can also find a current list of Audit Committee members here (LINK).

Land Acquisition Committee

The Land Acquisition Committee of Council has been established in accordance with Section 86 of the Local Government Act 1989.

In accordance with good governance practice, Council has constituted the LAC to facilitate:

  • Acquisition of land that fulfils the requirements set out in the Open Space Strategy
  • Strategic acquisitions where the acquisition will enhance the value and/or useability of already owned Council properties and/or will support other endorsed strategic endeavours

The LAC has the authority to purchase any land which is or may be required by the Council for open space and/or strategic purposes in accordance with its Instrument of Delegation.

Meetings of the LAC are closed to members of the public in accordance with Section 89 of the Local Government Act 1989.

The membership of the LAC consist of eight members: three Councillors (one representative for each Ward) and five members of Council staff.  Members are appointed by Council on an annual basis or for a Council term.

Current Council Members:
Cr Nicole Marshall
Cr Narelle Sharpe
Cr John Sipek.

Transparency

In this section you will find links to a range of information about recent Council decisions, our publications, our Budget, our Councillors and much more.  It's all part of our commitment to good governance and transparency!

Most of what is covered by this section responds to requirements set out in the Local Government Act 1989.  You can read the Local Government Act here.

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.

Council sets our Annual Budget and Strategic Capital Works Plan (LINK) every year in June.  This includes determining our rates and charges, which are set in line with Council's Rating Strategy.

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.  We're also required to prepare, approve and comply with a 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.

There is also a Councillor Reimbursement Policy which sets parameters for what expenditure can be reimbursed to Councillors and the process for reimbursement.  Council's Election Period Policy sets out how Council's ordinary business will continue to operate throughout Council election periods.

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.

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 (LINK)
March 2019 - North Essendon Junction (LINK)
March 2019 - ANZAC Horse Ramp at Essendon Station (LINK)
March 2019 - Advocacy for Increased Tree Canopy (LINK)
March 2019 - Review of Secondary College Zones (LINK)
April 2019 - CCTV on 57 and 59 Trams (LINK)
June 2019 - Newmarket Bridge (LINK)
July 2019 - Sharing Library and Shed of Things (LINK)
July 2019 - Flemington Hub (LINK)
July 2019 - Essendon Fields Airport Draft Masterplan (LINK)

Registers

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 register records all declarations of Council-related gifts, benefits and hospitality received and kept by a Councillor since 1 November 2016.  Council also maintains a register of Conflict of Interest declared by Councillors.  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 2016.

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 members of Council staff in order to effectively and efficiently carry out its business.  It can also delegate to Special 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.  Authorised Officers are given the power to administer and enforce Acts, regulations or local laws on behalf of Council.

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 sets out all major service contracts awarded by Council of $750,000 and above, over the past financial year.  We are required to go out to tender for contracts with a value of over $150,000 for the provision of goods and services, and over $200,000 for works.  We maintain a register of these Tender Opportunities, as endorsed in Council's Budget.

Council receives Open Space Contributions (LINK) 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 (LINK) for non-Open Space contributions received by Council through a planning process.

We also maintain a Register of Corporate Sponsorships (LINK).  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.

Council also maintains a Register of Interests consisting of the last three returns that Councillors, special committees and nominated officers have submitted as outlined under Section 81 of the Local Government Act 1989.  This Register is used to record things such as directorships, land ownership and trusts which may raise the potential of a conflict of interest.  You can apply to view the Register of Interests by downloading this form (LINK) and emailing it to council@mvcc.vic.gov.au.