Local Government Act

Local Government 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.