Acts and legislation

The local government sector in Victoria is administered under the Local Government Act 1989. In addition to this Act, there are several pieces of legislation which are relevant to the work done by Local Government Victoria and councils across the State.

Visit the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website to search for the latest versions of these acts.

Local Government Act 1989

The local government sector in Victoria is administered under the Local Government Act 1989, which provides a framework for the establishment and operation of councils.

The Act is the main legislative instrument for Victoria's 79 councils. It commences with a preamble that restates the constitutional recognition of local government as a distinct and essential tier of government.

Part 1A of the Local Government Act contains the Local Government Charter, which describes the purpose, objectives and functions of council.

In addition to these matters, the Local Government Act also includes provisions for:

  • entitlements for residents and ratepayers to vote in council elections
  • the conduct of local council elections, nominations and vote counting
  • independent electoral representation reviews by an electoral commission
  • council governance requirements, including codes of conduct and disclosure of conflicts of interest
  • council decision making, including records of meetings, confidentiality and limits on decisions during election periods
  • levying and payment of council rates and charges
  • preparation of council plans, budgets and annual reports
  • councils' powers to make and enforce local laws

Read the Local Government Act 1989.

Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014

The regulations set out the content and preparation of the financial statements of a council, the performance indicators and measures to be included in the budget, revised budget and annual report of a council and information to be included in a council plan, strategic resource plan, budget, revised budget and annual report.

Read the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014.

Local Government (Rural City of Wangaratta) Act 2013

Dismisses the Wangaratta Rural City Council, provides for the appointment of a panel of administrators for the Wangaratta Rural City Council, and provides for a general election for the Wangaratta Rural City Council.

Read the Local Government (Rural City of Wangaratta) Act 2013.

Local Government (Brimbank City Council) Act 2009

Dismisses the Brimbank City Council, provides for the appointment of a panel of administrators for the Brimbank City Council, and provides for a general election for the Brimbank City Council.

Read the Local Government (Brimbank City Council) Act 2009.

City of Melbourne Act 2001

Provides for electoral arrangements of the City of Melbourne, and provides for greater coordination between the State Government and the Council in relation to matters of significance to Victoria.

Read the City of Melbourne Act 2001.

City of Greater Geelong Act 1993

Restructures certain councils in the Geelong region, constitutes the City of Greater Geelong, and abolishes the Geelong Regional Commission. Part 5 is administered by the Minister for Planning.

Libraries Act 1988

The operation of Mechanics' Institutes in Victoria, particularly in relation to the sale or transfer of land, comes under Section 4 of the Libraries Act 1988, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Local Government.

Read the Libraries Act 1988.

Victoria Grants Commission Act 1976

The Victoria Grants Commission Act 1976 is the governing legislation for the Victoria Grants Commission (VGC). The VGC is an independent statutory body which falls within the portfolio responsibilities for the Minister for Local Government. Its primary function is to allocate revenue provided by the Commonwealth Government to municipal councils in Victoria.

Read the Victoria Grants Commission Act 1976.

Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995

The Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 sets out many of the provisions through which the Federal Government provides grants to local government. The term "Financial Assistance grants" describes both general purpose grants and identified local road grants.

Read the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act (PDF, 50.6 KB, 21 pp.).

Constitution Act 1975

Local government is recognised in Part 2A of the Constitution Act 1975 to be:

'a distinct and essential tier of government consisting of democratically elected councils having the powers that the Parliament considers necessary to ensure the peace, order and good government of each municipal district'

Part 2 of the Constitution Act gives the Victorian Parliament the power to make laws it considers necessary for local government, including laws relating to the constitution of councils, council elections and the powers and duties of councillors and council staff.

The status of local government in the constitution is protected. Amendments to the Constitution Act in 2003 prevent Part 2A from being repealed or amended unless the change is approved by a majority of Victorian electors voting in a referendum.

Read the Constitution Act 1975.

Municipalities Assistance Act 1973

Provides financial assistance to municipalities in respect of rates deferred or excused under Section 298 of the Local Government Act 1958.

Municipal Association Act 1907

Incorporates an association called the Municipal Association of Victoria.

Prahran Mechanics' Institute Act 1899

Provides for the incorporation and government of the Prahran Mechanics' Institute.

Page last reviewed on 12 February 2015

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