Councillor Governance

To ensure the highest level of integrity is upheld by elected members, the City of Port Phillip has established good governance policies and procedures for councillors.

Under the Local Government Act 2020, Council members are required to:

  • participate in the decision-making of the Council
  • represent the interests of the ‘municipal community’ in that decision-making
  • contribute to the Council’s strategic direction through the development and review of key Council strategic documents, including the Council Plan.

In performing their roles, Council members are required to:

  • consider the diversity of interests and needs of the municipal community
  • support the role of the Council
  • acknowledge and support the role of the Mayor
  • act lawfully and in accordance with the oath or affirmation of office
  • act in accordance with the prescribed standards of conduct included in a Councillor Code of Conduct
  • comply with the Council’s procedures required for good governance.

Councillor Code of Conduct

The Local Government Act 2020 requires every Council to develop a Code of Conduct for Councillors that addresses principles of conduct and procedures for resolving disputes between Councillors.

The City of Port Phillip's Councillor Code of Conduct (PDF 6.7 MB) was adopted on 17 February 2021.

Council must review its Councillor Code of Conduct within four months after a general election. The review takes place at a special meeting called only for this purpose. At this special meeting, Council must approve any amendments to the Code of Conduct determined to be necessary in the review.

Councillor Allowances and Expenses

Councillor Allowances

Under the Local Government Act 2020, the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal is responsible for setting allowances for the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors.

The Tribunal has classified each Council into one of four Council allowance categories, and the City of Port Phillip has been classified as a Category 3 Council.

On the 7 March 2022, the Tribunal made the Allowance payable to Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors (Victoria) Determination No. 01/2022.

Base Allowances

Category 3MayorDeputy MayorCouncillors
18 December 2021 - 17 December 2022$119,316$59,658$35,972
18 December 2022 - 17 December 2023$122,630$61,315$37,010
18 December 2023 - 17 December 2024$125,944$62,972$38,047*
18 December 2024 - 17 December 2025$132,573$64,629$38,047*

* The determination has set this value as the base allowance for Councillors from 18 December 2023

The values of allowances set in the determination will be annually adjusted by the Tribunal.

The value of the allowance payable to a Council member is inclusive of any Superannuation Guarantee amount, or equivalent, that may be payable under Commonwealth law (for example, where a Council is an Eligible Local Governing Body).

Councillor Expenses and Reimbursements

The City of Port Phillip Councillor Expenses and Support Policy (PDF 1 MB) was adopted at the 3 March 2021 Council Meeting. It outlines the circumstances that a Councillor will be reimbursed for expenses when undertaking their role. Following the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 15 September 2021, revisions were adopted amending the substantive policy.

In accordance with the policy, a monthly report on Councillor expenses and support is published on Council’s website and tabled at an Ordinary Meeting of Council.

These reports outline:

  • the total amount of expenses and support provided
  • a breakdown by category of support
  • details of the value provided to Council and the community.

The report also includes a breakdown of any reimbursements made by Councillors and the broad categories of this support.

Councillors must provide a report to an Ordinary Council meeting within sixty (60) days of return for any interstate and international travel.

The Audit and Risk Committee are provided a copy of each monthly report, and will determine the frequency of internal audits and other reviews.

Reports and Audits

Gifts and Hospitality

The City of Port Phillip Councillor Gift and Hospitality Policy (PDF 338 KB) was adopted on 21 April 2021. The policy outlines the administrative, procedural and reporting requirements for declaring gifts that are below the threshold for disclosure in a personal interests return.

It further aims to provide transparent and accountable practices to maintain the community’s confidence that public resources are being used responsibly and appropriately and that Council makes decisions free of favouritism, influence and conflicts of interest.

The Councillor Gift and Hospitality Register is updated quarterly and contains the details of all gifts accepted.

Conflicts of Interest

Managing conflicts of interest is about ensuring the integrity and transparency of decision-making. Staff and Councillors hold positions of public trust and should work to serve the interests of the community.

Conflict of interest laws are prescribed under the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act) and in the Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations).

The conflict of interest provisions are designed to ensure all relevant persons proactively consider a broader range of interests and consider those interests from the view point of an impartial, fair-minded person.

Councillors and Council staff are required to:

  • avoid all situations which may give rise to conflicts of interest
  • identify any conflicts of interest
  • disclose or declare all conflicts of interest.

The procedures for conflict of interest disclosures are set out in Chapter 5 of the Governance Rules.

All you need to know about conflicts of interest

Personal Interests Returns

The Local Government Act 2020 requires ‘Specified Persons’ of Port Phillip City Council to complete Personal Interests Returns. Specified Persons include Councillors, Members of Delegated Committees, the Chief Executive Officer and Nominated Officers. An Initial Return is required to be submitted within 30 days of commencement in a role. Biannual Returns are required to be submitted in March and September of each year.

The matters required to be disclosed in Personal Interests Returns are prescribed by the Local Government (Governance and Integrity Regulations) 2020. Penalties apply for false or incomplete Personal Interests Returns, and for failing to lodge within the legislated time frames.

Council is required to publish a summary of Personal Interests Returns on its website and make it available for inspection at the Council offices.

The summary must include:

  • Name of the Specified Person
  • Position of the Specified Person
  • Date the Return was submitted
  • All information disclosed in the Return excluding:
    • monetary value or amount of income, shares, any beneficial interests other than shares or income, or any debt
    • the street address and number of any land owned by the specified person, or in which the specified person has a beneficial interest, if the land is the principal place of residence of any person

Summary of Biannual Returns submitted in March 2022 (PDF 376 KB)

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