Councillor expenses and code of conduct

Councillors are provided with support to serve, engage with and represent the Merri-bek community. 

The Councillor Support , Expenses and Resources Policy (DOC 119Kb) outlines the support expenses that are paid by Council as well as those expenses Councillors are entitled to claim reimbursement for. These expenses are all related to Councillors undertaking their duties.

In the Mayor's Speech 2006, Council committed to place Councillor expenses on its website, in line with other Councils, ensuring greater transparency.

Councillor Code of Conduct

The Local Government Act 2020 requires all councils to review and adopt a Councillor code of conduct within 4 months of an election. The resolution to adopt the Code of Conduct must be passed by at least a 2/3 majority of elected Councillors.

A code of conduct sets the standards of conduct expected and to be committed to by
Councillors and provides mechanisms for Councillors to work together constructively. It
also provides fair and respectful processes to respond to disputes and conflicts
between Councillors should they arise.

The Councillor Code of Conduct was last reviewed in 2019. This review resulted in the
inclusion of a Child Safe Commitment statement, a clause addressing compliance with
Council Policies and provision for no reprisals following an allegation of a breach. This
review focussed on adding clauses to identify known gaps rather than a review of the
clarity and purpose.

The Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to replace the previous
councillor conduct principles with the Standards of Conduct as set out in the Local
Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020.

Council unanimously adopted the Councillor Code of Conduct at its Special Meeting held Tuesday 23 February 2021. 

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