Council is responsible for promoting compliance with, and enforcing, a range of laws and regulations. These laws come from a number of places including the:
- Murrindindi Shire Council’s Community Local Law
- Local Government Act 1989 (the piece of Victorian Parliament legislation which sets out the role and responsibilities of all councils)
- Planning and Environment Act 1987
- Health and Wellbeing Act, and many more
The purpose of these laws is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all community members and to facilitate a harmonious community life.
Council aims to be fair, consistent, timely and transparent in enforcing these laws and regulations.
Our Compliance and Enforcement Policy ensures Councillors, Council officers and community members are on the same page about their rights and obligations, how best to meet their obligations and the process for compliance and enforcement.
Download the Compliance and Enforcement Policy.(PDF, 188KB)
What gets enforced?
While Council officers are always happy to discuss compliance concerns with members of the community, it is worth keeping in mind that there will always be a greater demand for compliance action than resources available to deliver them. Priority is given to issues that impact public health, wellbeing, safety or the environment or those which may result in significant commercial gain for the offender (e.g. stockpiling waste). As a result, not all alleged compliance issues will be investigated in detail or within the same time-frames.
Council will be transparent about its compliance priorities and prioritisation decisions. The Compliance and Enforcement Policy sets out the principles Council will use in its compliance decision making.
What is Council’s approach to compliance?
While everyone needs take responsibility for complying with the law, Council’s approach to is to help individuals and businesses be aware of their compliance responsibilities and support them to meet their obligations. From time to time, based on the risk of harm and the culpability of the offending, a sanction (such as a fine or prosecution) may be used as a deterrent, but this isn’t the first step in Council’s compliance process.
Promoting compliance starts with information, education and awareness so community members and businesses are aware of their responsibilities, and support, advice and guidance to help people comply.
What happens once I’ve been issued a compliance notice?
Any compliance notice will be clear about what you are required to do and the timeframes for doing this. If you are not clear, then speak to the Council officer. A compliance notice is legally enforceable, so you are required to do the things set out in the notice. Council officers will check that it has been done and will take further action if not.
What happens if you do not agree with Council’s compliance decision?
If you feel that Council’s enforcement action is incorrect or at odds with Council’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy you can request a review. Where the relevant legislation sets out a specific process for a review, that is the process which applies (e.g. application to VCAT for a review of a planning permit decision). In other cases, the first step is an internal review by Council. If you would like to request an internal review, write to the Murrindindi Shire Council’s CEO to do so. The CEO will then appoint a senior Council officer who hasn’t been involved in the compliance action or decision to date to undertake the review. The review will be completed in a timely manner – typically within 30 days. Additionally, you can refer the matter to a relevant external body, such as Ombudsman Victoria.