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Guide to Councils

Acts and regulations

Local Government Act

The principal legislation in Victoria governing the establishment and operation of councils is the Local Government Act 1989, along with various Regulations made under that Act. This defines the purposes and functions of local government as well as providing the legal framework for establishing and administering Councils.

The 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 Local Government Act includes a preamble to reflect the recognition given to local government in the Victorian Constitution as well as the Local Government Charter.

Victorian Constitution Act

Local government has special recognition in the Victorian Constitution Act 1975. The Victorian Constitution recognises local councils as "a distinct and essential tier of government". Under Section 74 of the Constitution Act democratically elected councils are to ensure "the peace, order and good government of each municipal district". Local government is established under State legislation.

The status of local government in the Victorian constitution is protected. Part 2A of the Constitution Act which covers local government, cannot be repealed or amended unless the change is approved by a majority of Victorian electors voting in a referendum.

Regulations

Regulations made under the Local Government Act include:

The City of Melbourne Act and City of Greater Geelong Act

While generally regulated by the Local Government Act, the City of Melbourne and City of Greater Geelong Act also have their own additional legislation in the form of the City of Melbourne Act 2001 and City of Greater Geelong Act 1993, respectively.

The City of Melbourne Act includes extra objectives that recognise the unique role of the City of Melbourne as Victoria's capital city, and the special relationship that exists between it and the state and federal governments as a result of this position. It also provides a different electoral system for the City of Melbourne.

The City of Greater Geelong Act formally constitutes that council and provides for the direct election of the Mayor.

Other legislation relating to local government

As well as the general powers and responsibilities given to them under the Local Government Act, local councils are responsible for a wide range of services and functions under various other Act of Parliament. These are administered by a number of different Ministers and State Government departments.

Examples, not covered under the Local Government Act and not handled by Local Government Victoria, include land use planning, building control, some public health services, domestic animal control, litter control, parking, roads and traffic.

In fact councils have responsibilities under more than 120 different Victorian pieces of legislation. All Victorian legislation can be viewed at the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.

1. Aboriginal Lands Act 1970
2. Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997
3. Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations 2009
4. Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012
5. Border Railways Act 1922
6. Building Act 1993
7. Building Regulations 2006
8. Carers Recognition Act 2012
9. Carlton (Recreation Ground) Land Act 1966
10. Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994
11. Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003
12. Charlton (Land Exchange) Act 1980
13. Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
14. Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005
15. City of Ballarat Municipal Lands and Buildings Act 1886
16. City of Greater Geelong Act 1993
17. City of Kew (Thornton Street) Act 1933
18. City of Melbourne Act 2001
19. City of Melbourne (Docklands Co-ordination Committee) Regulations 2007
20. City of Melbourne (Electoral) Regulations 2012
21. Coastal Management Act 1995
22. Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987
23. Conveyancers Act 2006
24. Country Fire Authority Act 1958
25. Country Fire Authority Regulations 2014
26. Credit (Administration) Act 1984
27. Crimes Act 1958
28. Crown Lands (Reserves) Act 1978
29. Cultural and Recreational Lands Act 1963
30. Dandenong (Shepley Oval) Land Act 1976
31. Disability Act 2006
32. Docklands Act 1991
33. Domestic Animals Act 1994
34. Domestic Animals Regulations 2005
35. Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981
36. EastLink Project Act 2004
37. Electricity Safety Act 1998
38. Emergency Management Act 1986
39. Environment Protection Act 1970
40. Equal Opportunity Act 2010
41. Equipment (Public Safety) Act 1994
42. Estate Agents Act 1980
43. Fences Act 1968
44. Fire Services Property Levy Act 2012
45. Food Act 1984
46. Forests Act 1958
47. Freedom of Information Act 1982
48. Gambling Regulation Act 2003
49. Geelong Market Site Act 1983
50. Graffiti Prevention Act 2007
51. Hawthorn Returned Sailors and Soldiers Trust Act 1940
52. Health Services Act 1988
53. Heavy Vehicle National Law Application Act 2013
54. Hotham Municipal Buildings Site Act 1885
55. Housing Act 1983
56. Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011
57. Infringements Act 2006
58. Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984
59. Impounding of Livestock Act 1994
60. Land (Goonawarra Golf Course) Act 1988
61. Land Regulation 2006
62. Land (Reservations and other matters) Act 1997
63. Land (Revocation of Reservations) Act 2012


64. Land (St Kilda Triangle) Act 2006
65. Land Act 1958
66. Liquor Control Reform Act 1998
67. Livestock Disease Control Regulations 2006
68. Local Government Act 1989
69. Local Government (Brimbank City Council) Act 2009
70. Local Government (Rural City of Wangarrata) Act 2013
71. Loy Yang B Act 1992
72. Macleod Land Act 1977
73. Maidstone Land Act 1973
74. Major Sporting Events Act 2009
75. Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009
76. Melbourne (Alexandra Gardens) Lands Act 1974¹
77. Melbourne City Link Act 1995
78. Melbourne (Snowden Gardens) Land Act 1975
79. Melbourne (Widening of Streets) (Repeal) Act 1986
80. Melbourne Harbour Trust Land Act 1968
81. Melbourne Lands (Yarra River North Bank) Act 1997
82. Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958
83. Motor Car Traders Act 1986
84. North Melbourne Municipal Buildings Site Act 1963
85. Nudity (Prescribed Areas) Act 1983
86. Oakleigh Land (Bowling Club Lands) Act 1977
87. Pipelines Act 2005
88. Planning and Environment Act 1987
89. Planning and Environment (Planning Schemes) Act 1996
90. Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014
91. Protected Disclosure Act 2012
92. Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
93. Public Records Act 1973
94. Residential Tenancies Act 1997
95. Residential Tenancies (Caravan and Movable Dwellings Registration and Standards) Regulations 2010
96. Road Management Act 2004
97. Road Management (General) Regulations
98. Road Safety Act 1986
99. Road Safety (Traffic Management) Regulations 2009
100. Safe Drinking Water Act 2003
101. Sale (Land Development) Act 1984
102. Sale Station Relation and Development Act 1981
103. Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989
104. Serpell Joint Schools Act 1981
105. Sex Work Act 1994
106. Shell (Corio to Williamstown) Pipelines Act 1964
107. Sheriff Act 2009
108. Shire of Omeo (Tourist Gold Mine) Act 1979
109. Shrine of Remembrance Act 1978
110. Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act 1997
111. Southgate Project Act 1994
112. St. Kilda Land Act 1965
113. Subdivision Act 1988
114. Subdivision (Fees) Interim Regulations 2014
115. Subdivision (Procedures) Regulations 2011
116. Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement Authroity (Repeal) Act 1994
117. Transport Integration Act 2010
118. Urban Reneweal Authority Victoria Act 2003
119. Valuation of Land Act 1960
120. Victoria Grants Commission Act 1976
121. Victoria Park Land Act 1992
122. Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal Act 1998
123. Victorian Funds Management Corporation Act 1994
124. Warragul (Pubic Park) Lands Act 1976
125. Water Act 1989
126. Yarraville (Recreation Ground) Lands Act 1967