Commission of Inquiry

Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council

In June 2017, the Minister for Local Government appointed a Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council under section 209 of the Local Government Act 1989.

The Commission was established to look at the Council’s governance processes in the development of its budget, including its consultative processes, and the capacity of the Council’s administration to deliver good governance for the Council and the community. Three commissioners were appointed, Frances O’Brien QC who chaired the Commission, John Tanner AM and Mark Davies.

The Commission held a series of public and private hearings, invited the Ararat Rural City community to make written submissions and reviewed relevant documents provided to the Commission during the course of the inquiry. 

Commission of Inquiry Report

The Commission of Inquiry provided its report to the Minister on 1 August 2017 and the report was tabled in Parliament on 9 August 2017.

The report provides a series of recommendations aimed at restoring good governance at the Council, including that the Minister appoint a municipal monitor to the council and that the Council establish an independent Rating Strategy Advisory Group.

The Minister has formally requested that the Council take steps to address the report's findings. A municipal monitor will shortly be appointed by the Minister to assist the Council in undertaking these steps and to report on the Council's progress.

At the Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 Ararat Rural City Council discussed the report and resolved to accept and endorse the Minister for Local Government's recommendations following the Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council.

Municipal Monitor

On 23 August 2017, the Minister for Local Government appointed Ms Janet Dore as Municipal Monitor to the Council for a two-year period. The Municipal Monitor was appointed to monitor the Ararat Rural City Council's governance processes and practices in accordance with the terms of reference and terms and conditions of appointment. Ms Dore worked closely with Council and the Chief Executive Officer on the recommendations made by both the Minister for Local Government and the Commission of Inquiry into Ararat Rural City Council.

The Minister for Local Government, the Hon Adem Somyurek MP advised Council on 2 May 2019 that he had decided to conclude Ms Dore's appointment at the Council as of 2 May 2019. 

At the 25 June 2019 Council Meeting, a final report on the Ararat Rural City Council Work Plan/Action Plan was presented to Council.