Governance and Transparency

Governance Rules

Hindmarsh Shire Council Governance Rules(PDF, 1MB)

Hindmarsh Shire Council adopted its Governance Rules by resolution of Council on 19 August 2020.

The purpose of the Governance Rules is to provide for:

  1.  the conduct of Council meetings;
  2.  the conduct of meetings of delegated committees;
  3.  the form and availability of meeting records;
  4.  the election of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor;
  5.  the appointment of an Acting Mayor;
  6.  an election period policy;
  7.  the procedures for the disclosure of a conflict of interest by a Councillor or a member of a delegated committee at a meeting of the Council or a delegated committee;
  8.  the procedure for the disclosure of a conflict of interest by a Councillor at a meeting under the auspices of Council that is not a meeting of the Council or a delegated committee;
  9.  the disclosure of a conflict of interest by a member of Council staff when providing information in respect of a matter;
  10.  the consideration and making of decisions on any matter being considered by the Council fairly and on the merits;
  11.  the institution of decision-making processes to ensure that any person whose rights will be directly affected by a decision of the Council is entitled to communicate their views and have their interests considered; and
  12.  any other matters prescribed by the regulations made under the Act. 

Delegations and Authorisations

To carry out its business in an efficient way, Council delegates some powers, duties and functions to Council officers.

The Local Government Act 2020 allows Council and the Chief Executive Officer to delegate certain powers, duties and functions under any Act administered by Council to members of staff, via a written Instrument of Delegation.

Delegations from Council

Council to Chief Executive Officer(PDF, 969KB)

Council to members of staff(PDF, 1MB)

Delegations from the Chief Executive Officer

CEO to Community Asset Committees(PDF, 62KB)

CEO to sub-delegation(PDF, 69KB)

Authorisations

Authorised Officers(PDF, 127KB)

For further information about Council's delegations and authorisations, please contact Hindmarsh Shire Council on 03 5391 4444 or via email at info@hindmarsh.vic.gov.au.

Public Transparency Policy

Hindmarsh Shire Council Public Transparency Policy(PDF, 259KB)

The Hindmarsh Shire Council Public Transparency Policy was adopted by Council on 19 August 2020.

The purpose of this Policy is to give effect to the Public Transparency Principles outlined in section 58 of the Act and to ensure that Council is meeting its obligation in having a Public Transparency Policy under section 57 of the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act).

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 provides individuals and organisations with the right to seek access to documents created or received by Hindmarsh Shire Council after 1 January 1989, and the right to apply for incorrect, out of date or misleading information about them to be amended or removed from documents in possession of the Council.

How to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request

All requests must be in writing (by mail or email) and be accompanied by an application fee (see ‘FOI Fees and Charges’ below).

Freedom of Information Application Form(PDF, 257KB)

An FOI request must clearly describe the document(s) being sought and must include the applicant’s name, address, and contact number(s).

If the request relates to the correction or amendment of your own personal information held by Council, you need to specify how and why you believe the information about you is incorrect, incomplete, misleading or out of date, and detail the amendments you wish to make.

All requests must contain sufficient information to enable the FOI Officer to identify the information requested. Applicants will be notified of Council’s decision (including the release of documents as applicable) and their review rights within 30 days of Council receiving a valid request.

Some Council information is freely available and you may find the information you require can be obtained without making a Freedom of Information request. It is recommended that you make contact with Council's FOI Officer before submitting any request.

You can contact Council's FOI officer via email at foi@hindmarsh.vic.gov.au.

Refusal of a Request

The Freedom of Information Act allows an agency to refuse access to certain documents. These documents are often called 'exempt' documents. The exemptions are applied where it is deemed necessary for the protection of the public’s interest, privacy or commercial reasons. Documents may be exempted in full or in part, in which case the exempted information will be redacted from the document prior to its release.

Examples of documents or parts of documents that may not be released include:

  • law enforcement documents
  • confidential matters considered by Council
  • some internal working documents
  • documents covered by legal professional privilege such as legal advice
  • documents containing personal information about other people
  • documents containing "commercial in-confidence" information or trade secrets
  • information obtained in confidence

Where a decision is made to refuse, partially refuse or defer access to document(s), the applicant will be notified in writing of the reasons for the refusal.

What if my Freedom of Information application is refused?

If an applicant is dissatisfied with Council’s decision to refuse access to a document, defer access to a document, not waive or reduce a fee or not amend a document, they have the right to appeal that decision to the Victorian Information Commissioner. Further details about how to apply for a review are available on the Information Commissioner’s website www.ovic.vic.gov.au.

FOI Fees and Charges

The charges applicable for processing an FOI request are fixed in accordance with regulations made under the FOI Act.

Application fee

The application fee for making an FOI request is $30.60 (as of 1 July 2022). Payment is accepted via cash, EFTPOS, credit card, cheque or money order. If paying by cheque or money order it should be made out to Hindmarsh Shire Council.

If payment is deemed to cause financial hardship it may be waived or reduced. If applicants are seeking a fee waiver or reductions the request must include written evidence supporting the claim, as well as documentary evidence such as a copy of a concession card.

Section 22 of the FOI Act and the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014 set out the charges that can be levied for the provision of information. The key charges are outlined below. (Prices are as of 1 July 2021.)

  • Application fee: $30.60
  • Search and retrieval of documents: $22.90 (being 1.5 fee units per hour) per hour or part of an hour
  • Photocopying of documents (black & white): 20 cents per A4 page
  • Supervised inspection of documents: $5.70 per 15 minutes

If charges are likely to exceed $50, you will be notified. A deposit of half of the estimated fees will be required if you wish to proceed with the request.

The application fee and access charges change each year on 1 July.

No charges apply to requests for the correction or amendment of your own personal information.

Other related documents:

Information for Public Inspection(PDF, 194KB)

Freedom of Information Part II Statement(PDF, 1MB)

Gender Equality Policy

Hindmarsh Shire Council Gender Equality Policy(PDF, 393KB)

The purpose of the Gender Equality Policy is to demonstrate Hindmarsh Shire Council’s commitment to promoting and encouraging gender equity and to addressing any gender imbalances that may exist within the Council workplace and within the municipal community.

Hindmarsh Shire Council commits to ensuring that everyone in the Hindmarsh Municipality, regardless of their gender identity have access to equal power, resources and opportunities, and are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.

This Policy Statement establishes the expectation that gender equality is considered and prioritised in all current and future Council planning, policy, service delivery and practice. 

Complaints Handling Policy

Complaints Handling Policy(PDF, 221KB)

This Policy applies to complaints received by Council from residents and ratepayers.

Conflict of Interest Policy

Hindmarsh Shire Council Conflict of Interest Policy(PDF, 106KB)

The Hindmarsh Shire Council Conflict of Interest Policy was adopted by Council on 19 August 2020.

Council is committed to governing in the best interests of the Community and delivering services in a fair, transparent and accountable manner.

The purpose of this Policy is to:

  • give the community confidence in the decisions that Council is making;
  • guide Councillors, members of Committees and employees on what a conflict of interest is;
  • ensure Council’s organisational and decision making processes are transparent and free from prejudice; and
  • ensure that Council is compliant with the Local Government Act 2020.

CEO Employment and Remuneration Policy

Hindmarsh Shire Council CEO Employment and Remuneration Policy(PDF, 151KB)

The purpose of the Hindmarsh Shire Council CEO Employment and Remuneration Policy is to:

  • outline the way in which Council will manage the recruitment and appointment of its Chief Executive Officer;
  • provide consistency for contract content, performance monitoring and requirement for annual review;
  • apply the principles of good governance, transparency and fairness in all matters relating to the employment, management and remuneration of the Chief Executive Officer; and
  • meet legislative requirements under the Local Government Act 2020. 

Councillor Code of Conduct

Hindmarsh Shire Council Councillor Code of Conduct(PDF, 449KB)

Hindmarsh Shire Council's Councillor Code of Conduct was adopted by resolution of Council on 3 February 2021.

The Local Government Act 2020 (Act) requires a Council to develop and maintain a Councillor Code of Conduct. The Councillor Code of Conduct is required to be periodically reviewed. This Councillor Code of Conduct (Code) has been adopted by Council to comply with the requirements of the Act.

A Councillor Code of Conduct:

  • Must include the Standards of Conduct prescribed by the Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020 (Regulations) expected to be observed by Councillors;
  • Must include any provisions prescribed by the Regulations;
  • Must include provisions addressing any matters prescribed by the Regulations; and
  • May include any other matters which Council considers appropriate, other than any other Standards of Conduct.

The purpose of this Code is to:

  • Set out the Standards of Conduct expected of Councillors;
  • Foster good working relations between Councillors to enable Councillors to work constructively together in the best interests of the municipal community;
  • Lift the standard of behaviour of Councillors during Council meetings, Councillor briefings and any other meetings which Councillors participate in from time to time; and
  • Mandate Councillor conduct designed to build public confidence in the integrity of local government. 

Councillor Interaction with Staff Policy

Hindmarsh Shire Council Councillor Interaction with Staff Policy(PDF, 263KB)

This Policy provides a clear framework for how councillors interact with Council staff.

This Policy will assist councillors to comply with their obligations under the Local Government Act 2020

Councillor Hospitality and Gifts Policy

Hindmarsh Shire Council Councillor Hospitality and Gifts Policy(PDF, 404KB)

The purpose of this policy is to establish appropriate conduct in circumstances where Councillors are offered gifts, benefits, hospitality or are granted awards or win prizes, whether part of their official duties or while attending functions as Council representatives.

Summary of Interests Returns

Hindmarsh Shire Council Summary of Interests Returns(PDF, 220KB)

Section 135 of the Local Government Act 2020 requires the Chief executive Officer to publish a summary of personal interests on the Council’s website following the receipt of personal interests returns.

Summary of Overseas and Interstate Travel

Hindmarsh Shire Council Summary of Overseas and Interstate Travel(PDF, 109KB)

In accordance with Hindmarsh Shire Council’s Public Transparency Policy and the Local Government Act 2020, section 57 and 58, Council must provide the public with access to a summary of all overseas and interstate travel undertaken by any Councillor or member of Council staff in the previous 12 months.

Previous Election Information

Hindmarsh Shire Council had 8 candidates stand for the October 2020 Election.

All candidates but one have returned a Campaign Donation Return. The names of the candidates and their declarations for the donation return are as follows:

Ms Debra Nelson: No gift disclosed
Ms Wendy Bywaters:
No gift disclosed
Mr Brett Ireland:
No gift disclosed
Mr Robert Gersch:
No gift disclosed
Mr Ronald Lowe:
No gift disclosed
Mr Ronald Ismay:
No gift disclosed
Ms Melanie Albrecht:
No gift disclosed
Ms Sharon Maloney:
No return received

Hindmarsh Shire Council had 3 candidates stand for the East Ward 2020 By-Election.

The names of the candidates and their declarations for the donation return are as follows:

Ms Wendy Bywaters: No gift disclosed
Mr Costa Di Biase:
No return received
Mr Christopher Johnson:
No return received