Governance

Warrnambool City Council derives its role, powers and functions primarily from the Local Government Act 2020.

The Act states that the role of a Council is to provide good governance in its municipal district for the benefit and wellbeing of the municipal community.

Council is responsible for establishing strategic objectives for the municipality, establishing and guiding policies, setting service standards and for monitoring the organisation’s performance.

Local Law - Governance

 

Local Law No.1 Governance (meeting procedures)

 

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act provides the opportunity for public access to certain Council documents. The Act establishes a legally enforceable right for the community to access information in document form held by Council.

Requests for access of information under the Freedom of Information Act should be made in writing specifying the information required.

Download the Freedom of Information Part 11 Statement 2020

Application costs

The application fee of $30.10 is fixed and non-refundable. The only exception is for people suffering hardship.

If you would like us to consider reducing or waiving the fee, include evidence the fee would cause you financial hardship.

Access costs

Access charges relate to the costs incurred in granting access to the documents you have requested. An indication of the costs you may incur are outlined below.

  • search charges -$22.50 per hour or part of an hour
  • supervision or inspection charges -$22.50 per hour to be calculated per quarter hour or part of a quarter hour
  • photocopying charges $0.20 per black and white A4 page (other charges apply for documents larger than A4 or reproduced in colour)
  • providing access in a form other than photocopying - the reasonable costs incurred by us in providing the copy
  • charge for listening or viewing a tape - the reasonable costs incurred by us in making arrangements to listen or to view (supervision charges also apply)
  • charge for making a written transcript out of a tape -the reasonable costs incurred by us in providing a written transcript.

All fees and charges are exempt from GST.

For full details including how to submit an application view the FOI website.

Privacy Statement

If you require access to your personal information or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact;

Privacy and Freedom of Information Officer
Warrnambool City Council
PO Box 198
WARRNMABOOL 3280
Phone 03 5559 4814
Email privacy@warrnambool.vic.gov.au

Warrnmambool City Council is committed to the responsible handling of all personal information in accordance with privacy legislation.

Warrnambool City Council provides a wide and diverse array of services to the local community for which it is required to gather relevant personal information. At times, Council may also collect information in accordance with the Victorian legislation including health and planning. It may also be necessary to collect personal information from you for the purposes of providing you with the services requested.

Council will not disclose personal information to any other party, except as required by law, without the express consent of the person providing the information.

For more information, please read Council's Privacy Policy

Protected Disclosures Act 2012

In February 2013, new legislation was implemented by the State Government to introduce integrity reforms in Victoria. The reforms include the creation of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), a body established to promote integrity and accountability across the Victorian public sector, the Victorian Inspectorate, whose role is to oversee both the IBAC and the Ombudsman, and the new Accountability and Oversight Parliamentary Committee which has oversight over the Ombudsman.

The former Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 was repealed and replaced with the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (the Act). The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector without fear of reprisal. The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.

Who do I contact?

Warrnambool City Council
Disclosures should be made to the Public Interest Coordinator:

Ms Julie Anderson
Postal Address: Warrnambool City Council, 25 Liebig Street, Warrnambool, 3280
Email: janderson@warrnambool.vic.gov.au


Direct phone: (03) 5559 4404
Mobile: 0411 250 328

Alternative Contacts
Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
Address: IBAC, GP Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Internet: www.ibac.vic.gov.au
Phone: 1300 735 135
Note: All disclosures about Councillors should be directed to IBAC.

Victorian Ombudsman
Level 2, 570 Bourke Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Telephone: 03 9613 6222
Toll free: 1800 806 314
Email: ombudvic@ombudsman.vic.gov.au

What is a 'Protected Disclosure'?
A Protected Disclosure is a complaint of corrupt or improper conduct by a public officer or body.

How does Council treat 'Protected Disclosures'?
Council does not tolerate corrupt or improper conduct by the organisation, its employees, officers, members, Councillors nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.
Employees and members of the public are encouraged to report known or suspected incidences of corrupt or improper conduct.

Council will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make such disclosures from any detrimental action in reprisal for making the disclosure. It will also afford natural justice to the person or body who is the subject of the disclosure.

How do I make a 'Protected Disclosure'?
Protected Disclosures may be made by employees or by members of the public.
Part 2 of the Act provides that a person may make a disclosure:

  • Orally;
  • In writing;
  • Electronically; or
  • Anonymously

Protected Disclosures may relate to corrupt or improper conduct by:

  • The organisation
  • Employees
  • Councillors

Council can only address disclosures that relate to our organisation and our employees. Protected Disclosures about Councillors must be addressed by IBAC.

How will Council protect a person making a 'Protected Disclosure'?
Council will take all reasonable steps to protect a person who makes a protected disclosure.
All correspondence, phone calls and emails from persons making a protected disclosure are referred to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator.

The Protected Disclosure Coordinator will take all necessary steps to ensure that the identity of the person making a protected disclosure and the person who is subject of the disclosure are kept confidential. Where necessary, the Protected Disclosure Coordinator will arrange for appropriate welfare support for the person making a protected disclosure.

What happens next?
Once it is determined that the complaint is a Protected Disclosure, Council will investigate the matter. The person making the complaint will be kept informed of action taken in relation to their disclosure, and the time frames that apply.

Alternatives to making a 'Protected Disclosure'?
These procedures are designed to complement normal methods of submitting complaints to Council and existing communication channels between supervisors and employees. Members of the public are encouraged to contact Council with any complaints or concerns about council or council employees.

For more information
In accordance with Section 58 of the Protected Disclosures Act, Council is required to have available a Public Interest Disclosure Procedure to support the reporting of disclosures of improper conduct and response to detrimental action taken by Council or its employees, Councillors, officers or members.

IBAC Guidelines
For further information and guidance on the new legislation or any other matters, please refer to

the IBAC Protected Disclosure Interim Guidelines

IBAC website

 

Public Documents

The following information is available for public inspection at the Warrnambool Civic Centre.

For the purposes of section 222 of the Act, the following are prescribed documents if they are not published on the Internet website of the Council—

        (a)     a document containing details of overseas or interstate travel (other than interstate travel by land for less than 3 days) undertaken in an official capacity by any Councillor or member of Council staff in the previous 12 months, including—

              (i)     the name of the Councillor or member of Council staff; and

              (ii)     the dates on which the travel began and ended; and

              (iii)     the destination of the travel; and

              (iv)     the purpose of the travel; and

              (v)     the total cost to the Council of the travel, including accommodation costs;

        (b)     the agendas for, and minutes of, ordinary and special meetings held in the previous 12 months which are kept under section 93 of the Act, other than those agendas and minutes relating to a part of a meeting which was closed to members of the public under section 89 of the Act and are confidential information within the meaning of section 77(2) of the Act;

        (c)     the minutes of meetings of special committees established under section 86 of the Act and held in the previous 12 months, other than those minutes relating to a part of a meeting which was closed to members of the public under section 89 of the Act and are confidential information within the meaning of section 77(2) of the Act;

        (d)     a register of delegations kept under sections 87(1) and 98(4) of the Act, including the date on which the last review took place under sections 86(6) and 98(6), respectively, of the Act;

        (e)     a document containing details of all leases involving land which were entered into by the Council as lessor, including the lessee and the terms and the value of the lease;

        (f)     a register maintained under section 224(1A) of the Act of authorised officers appointed under that section;

        (g)     a list of donations and grants made by the Council in the previous 12 months, including the names of persons who, or bodies which, have received a donation or grant and the amount of each donation or grant.

 

Register of Delegations

Instrument Details Date efffective
S5 Instrument of Delegation from Council to the Chief Executive Officer 19/10/2021
S6 Instrument of Delegation from Council to members of Council staff 3/11/2021

Council delegates some powers, duties and functions to Council officers to effectively and efficiently carry out its business.  This is formalised through a written Instrument of Delegation.

S5 Instrument of Delegation - Council to CEO

S6 Instrument of delegation -Council to staff

The Local Government (General) Regulations 2015 requires Council to make available a register of delegations, including the dates on which the last reviews took place.

Personal Interest Returns

The current summaries are available below:

Cr. Otha Akoch Cr. Debbie Arnott Cr. Ben Blain Cr. Vicki Jellie AM Cr. Angie Paspaliaris Cr. Max Taylor Cr. Richard Ziegeler Peter Utri Andrew Paton David Leahy Luke Coughlan David Harrington Peter Schneider

The Local Government Act 2020 requires Councillors and Nominated Officers of Warrnambool City Council to complete Personal Interest Returns.

A Personal Interest Return must be completed within 30 days of the commencement in their role, and then biannually in March and September of each subsequent year.

The Victorian Government imposes penalties for false and incomplete information provided in any Personal Interest Return, and for failing to lodge the Personal Interest Return within the legislated timeframes.

Council is required to provide public access to a summary of the Personal Interest Returns which have been lodged.

Audit and Risk Committee

Council is assisted by an Audit and Risk Committee.

Audit and risk committee charter - May 2022

The purpose of the committee is to:

  • enhance the credibility and objectivity of internal and external financial reporting.
  • assist in effective management of financial and other risks and the protection of Council assets.
  • advise on compliance with laws and regulations as well as use of best practice guidelines.
  • assist with effectiveness of the internal audit function.
  • provide an effective means of communication between the external auditor, internal audit, management and the Council.

 

Council's Commitment to Gender Equality

Warrnambool City Council is committed to gender equality. Warrnambool City Council commits to ensuring that all employees, regardless of their gender identity are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.

We are committed not simply to the idea of gender equality but to actions that will bring about equality that can be seen, measured and experienced by the people who work at Warrnambool City Council. We will keep informed of these actions and their progress with structured reporting and communication across Warrnambool City Council.

This Statement of Commitment commits to ensuring that gender equity is considered and prioritised in all current and future Council planning, policy, service delivery and practice, and to participating in regional, state and national initiatives that promote gender equality.

Achieving gender equality supports Council’s aim that all forms of gendered violence against women and girls and persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are eliminated.

Council commits that, further to our Council Plan 2021 -2025 and our Councillor Code of Conduct 2021, we are committed to the principles that are at the core of the Gender Equality Act.
 
These principles are:

  1. All Victorians should live in a safe and equal society, have access to equal power, resources and opportunities and be treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
  2. Gender equality benefits all Victorians regardless of gender.
  3. Gender equality is a human right and precondition to social justice.
  4. Gender equality brings significant economic, social and health benefits for Victoria.
  5. Gender equality is a precondition for the prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women and girls.
  6. Advancing gender equality is a shared responsibility across the Victorian community.
  7. All human beings, regardless of gender, should be free to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers and make choices about their lives without being limited by gender stereotypes, gender roles or prejudices.
  8. Gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience on the basis of Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and other attributes.
  9. Women have historically experienced discrimination and disadvantage on the basis of sex and gender.
  10. Special measures may be necessary to achieve gender equity.

Gender Equality Action Plan 2022-2026

* Please note the Gender Equality Action Plan is subject to change following feedback from the Gender Equality Commission.