Cutting Council Red Tape for Community Volunteers
20 August 2013 at 10:13 am
Victorian is to cut unnecessary red tape imposed by Councils on volunteers who manage rural public halls and sporting grounds.
The Victorian Government has released a new Governance Practice Note to Victoria’s local government sector on special committees that are established by Councils to manage public facilities such as halls, recreation and reserves and undertake business promotion campaigns.
Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell said the new guidelines set a clear expectation that Councils should exempt community volunteers from bureaucratic red tape.
“The Coalition Government wants to encourage and reward community minded people who are prepared to roll up their sleeves to keep community halls open and mow the footy oval; the Coalition Government will not allow Councils to burden these local heroes with filling out legalistic forms.
“Far too many community volunteers have complained of being forced off local committees because of the paperwork burden or invasive nature of application forms.
“There is no need for Councils to require private personal information such as bank accounts, assets, loans, drivers licenses or other personal information regarding volunteer members of hall or grounds committees,” Powell said.
The new practice note recommends Councils adopt simplified requirements for members of committees or managers of public facilities, such as public halls and recreation reserves and:
- Exempt volunteer non-Councillor members of such committees from submitting six-monthly private interests returns;
- Require only name, address, email and telephone contact details of committee members; and
- Allow tenant sporting clubs or community organisations to nominate representatives to serve on committees of management, consistent with historical practice.
“More detailed information and regular private interests returns remain important for members of Council special committees who handle large amounts of ratepayers’ funds such as business promotion bodies,” the Minister said.