As of Friday 18 October 2019, the Local Government Act 1995 requires gifts (including contributions to travel) received by Elected Members and CEO’s, valued at (or cumulative value within 12 months) over $300 and received in their capacity as Elected Members or CEO, to be disclosed and included on a publicly available register.
Prior to the amendments to the Local Government Act 1995 proclaimed on the 18 October 2019, local governments were required to maintain a register of gifts and travel contributions received by the Mayor, Elected Members, Chief Executive Officer and relevant employees. This register is now redundant but is required to remain publicly available.
For the purposes of Section 5.96A(1)(i) of the Local Government Act 1995, it is a requirement that the name of each Council Member and the position title of each Employee who lodged a primary or annual return needs to be published on the City’s website.
On 29 June 2019, the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 came into effect. The Amendment Act recognised the unique and challenging role that Council Members have, and introduced six key reforms for the Local Government Act 1995. One of these reforms focused on providing Members with the skills and knowledge to be an effective Council Member. As such, all Councils are now required to report on training undertaken by Council Members.
Section 5.126 of the Act requires that a Council Member must complete training in accordance with Regulations. For the purposes of Section 5.126, training is detailed in Regulation 35 of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996.
Section 5.127 of the Act states:
5.127. Report on training
(1) A local government must prepare a report for each financial year on the training completed by council members in the financial year.
(2) The CEO must publish the report on the local government’s official website within 1 month after the end of the financial year to which the report relates.
The Report on Training is to list each Council Member and the training each has completed in the financial year.
Regulation 30G(5) of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 state that a local government’s website must publish an up-to-date version of the electoral gift register.
In accordance with the Local Government Act 1995 s 5.96A. and the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996:
Regulation 29C (2) for the purposes of section 5.96A(1)(i), the following information is prescribed –
(f) the type, and the amount of value, of any fees, expenses or allowances paid to each council member during a financial year beginning on or after 1 July 2020.