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CEO sets his sights on improved governance

Thursday 13 February 2020

Chief Executive Officer, Phil Cantillon believes that recent events have highlighted the need to continue strengthening governance functions across the organisation.

Mr Cantillon will address the public on Monday 17 February at the commencement of the Ordinary Council Meeting, highlighting his concerns and commitment to improving Council’s governance and transparency to its community.

Mr Cantillon said an error in the process for making the Short Stay Accommodation Local Law, the failure to enact the implementation of Council’s October 2019 Green Wedge resolution in a timely manner, along with recommendations arising from the Municipal Monitor’s report, have all contributed to a heightened need to ensure internal processes are examined and improved.

“To address Councillors’ concerns, and ensure good governance and transparency, these matters will be referred to the Audit and Risk Committee for full review and oversight,” Mr Cantillon said.

Following Council’s endorsement of the Short Stay Rental Local Law in January, Council officers identified an oversight whereby a requirement for a public notice to be included in the Victoria Government Gazette at the commencement of the consultation process was missed.

“The result of this is that Council is required to consult with the community on the proposed Local Law for a further term of 28 days, and take into consideration any further public submissions received during this time.

“This is an unfortunate outcome, particularly given the high level of community engagement undertaken to get to this point. However, I am committed to ensuring our governance processes safeguard against any future reoccurrence.

“Councillors and the Executive Team are working to develop a robust approach to improving transparency and accountability across the organisation — to ensure we are achieving not just good, but exceptional governance outcomes,” said Mr Cantillon. 

Mr Cantillon also cited the recent Municipal Monitor’s Report, which references the need for Council to continue to find mechanisms to improve organisational governance. This builds upon the progress already being made against the recommendations contained within Council’s Accountability and Transparency Reform Package.

“Following Ms Digby’s report, Council is required to provide a written submission to the Minister for Local Government, outlining its commitment and actions taken to address the Monitor’s recommendations listed in the report, of which the need to strengthen governance is one,” the CEO said.

“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure our community is better informed and consulted, and that officers are aware of our governance requirements,” said Mr Cantillon.

Mr Cantillon also explained governance improvements were being complemented by an organisational restructure — currently being implemented — which aims to strengthen alignment and collaboration across service areas, and build a high performing organisation, where staff are both empowered and accountable.

Further areas of benefit include streamlining decision making, service delivery and the experience residents have when interacting with Council.

It is expected that the draft Short Stay Rental Local Law will be available for residents to view and provide feedback on following the Monday 17 February Ordinary Council Meeting.  

Residents who have previously provided a submission will have their feedback reconsidered prior to adoption by Council, however are allowed to provide further comment.

Once endorsed, the document can be viewed at: and hard copies will be made available at all Council Customer Service Centres. 


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