Over the last 12++ months, Monash Ratepayers Inc (MRI), collaborating with several ratepayer groups in the southern east region, had built and reported to the Local Government authorities and the Victorian Auditor General Office, many case studies of transparency, conduct and other poor governance issues in their Councils. This conciliation of concerned ratepayers group was also involved in contributing to the development of future Councils’ Key Performance Indicators (KPI) from ratepayers’ perspectives. The unprecedented community governance feedback has certainly influenced the development of the new Local Government reforms that were passed in State Parliament last week.
Since starting 2012, MRI’s priority 1 is to improve good governance conduct and practices in Monash Council. After eighteen most challenging and often tiring months into this revolutionary “community governance” quest, the hard work is now starting to pay off.
MRI commemorates Minister Jeanette Powell for her resolve to legislate these change making/breaking reforms that are so much needed in many Councils, especially Monash Council.
The community is now ever more resolved to see the next generation of Councillors reinforce the realisation of these reforms sooner than later in Monash. It will be an interesting local government election in 2015/16, especially for presumptuous Councillors who have spent more than 1 term in office. Those running in this year’s state election will also soon realise their past deeds may also haunt them. They will soon realise very quickly that they will have to change their public attitudes, uplift their compliance performance and genuinely collaborate with (not just inform, consult and involve) the Monash community , and bending the laws administration support will no longer be tolerated by the community.
Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell’s new legislated reforms to improve leadership conduct, decision making transparency and accountability, responsible performance and good governance compliance will give every ratepayers the authority to expect and see with clear evidence unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in their Councils. For more details about the reform – click the Feb 10, 2014 Herald Sun’s article to read more.
It is time for MRI to upscale its current capability in community governance to the next capability maturity level. Hence, MRI and other ratepayers groups will continue to lead and expand their already growing strategic network of influence and facilitate the implementation of these reforms in their cities. A major community driven program for consideration will be the development of Internet apps to provide community centered and social media enabled tools that ratepayers and residents can use. These tools will be acquired or developed by ratepayers groups to provide new value add to the “My School” website, including contributing to the building of its open system, cloud service oriented infrastructure platform. The days of cronyism and groupthink influenced, i-centred and lacking governance leadership in Councils are certainly numbered!