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Councillors face new regulations Neil Walker neil@mpnews.com.au COUNCILLORS and mayors who seriously misbehave could be suspended for up to a year under new provisions in an amended Local Government Act introduced by the state government. Victorian Local Government Minister Marlene Kairouz introduced a bill into Parliament last Wednesday (23 May) to replace the Local Government Act 1989 in a move the Labor state government says “will modernise” councils across the state. “Clearly defining” sexual harassment has been included in a revised councillors’ code of conduct included in the new Local Government Act. The inclusion of the clause follows a high-profile investigation of former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle amid complaints from female councillors about his conduct.

“We are bringing this Act into the 21st century – helping make councils more accountable and focused on the needs of their communities,” Ms Kairouz said. “Mayors and councillors who behave badly will be gone for a year – the days of them acting with impunity are over.” The Local Government Minister will also have “the power to suspend individual councillors who pose a significant threat to the governance of a council for up to a year”. Councils will be required under the new Act to develop four-year budgets and the mayor of the day will provide an annual update on the budget plan to ratepayers each year. “We want councils focused on the long-term and these changes will help them do exactly that,” Ms Kairouz said. The updated Local Government Act for Victorian councils comes after three years of community consultation.

I sea, I care: Dolphin Research Institute director Sue Mason with students from Lyndhurst and Patterson River colleges at Schnapper Point last week. Picture: Yanni

An eye for marine environment SECONDARY college students were at Schnapper Point, Mornington, last week as part of their research into the resident dolphin population. It was all part of the Dolphin Research Institute’s ‘I sea, I care’ program for secondary schools which follows on from the successful primary school program for grades 5 and 6 pupils from 97 primary schools. The latest project involves 39 Year 10 students from six schools who are either part of an advanced science, technology, engineering and maths class or who are

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regarded as environmental leaders at their schools. The program is an alternative to work experience allowing students to meet others with similar interests. Most aspire to a career in STEM subjects, with many planning to study biology or work with wildlife. They attend six workshops over the school year, led by the marine research and education mentors at DRI, and learn how to collect robust scientific data and present effective science-based presentations. Workshops include a dolphin swim from the tour boat Moonraker – so they

can experience the marine environment first hand – and watching while contractors clean out a litter trap to gain an understanding of the impact of litter in our bays. Students also visit Monash University to take part in a laboratory biology session and hear from academic staff. The Dolphin Research Institute is looking for other schools to join in next year. Those interested can contact research director Dr Sue Mason via email at research@dolphinresearch.org.au or call 5979 7100.

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Mornington News 29 May 2018


Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

29 May 2018  

Mornington News 29 May 2018

29 May 2018  

Mornington News 29 May 2018