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Role of an Elected Member

Elected Members are required to represent the views and interests of residents and ratepayers to Council and, in turn, explain Council policy and decisions to residents. The role of an Elected Member is to serve as a bridge between residents and the Council.

Elected Members have no authority to act or make decisions on behalf of the Council. This may only be done at properly-constituted Council meetings.

Elected Member obligations

Formal obligations of Elected Members are set out in the Local Government Act and include:

  • attend and participate in Council meetings and other functions
  • prepare for Council meetings
  • attend planning days, workshops, and training programs
  • represent Council on committees and other bodies.

What does an Elected Member do?

  • represents the interests of residents and ratepayers
  • provides community leadership and guidance, and facilitates communication between the community and the Council
  • possess an awareness of the wants and needs of the local community as a whole
  • always prepared to review and initiate new Council policies and activities as these needs change and evolve
  • is familiar with the entire Council area.

Elected Member experiences

Staying in touch with electors and residents is an important role of an Elected Member, and because of this they are encouraged to experience the following:

  • attend meetings of local organisations
  • participate in a range of local activities
  • be available to residents who want to discuss concerns and ideas
  • respond to residents when they raise issues
  • follow up on any inquiries or complaints which they may receive
  • keep informed about state and national current affairs which will give you a broader view of issues that may affect the Council.

Elected Members meet as a Council to set policy and strategy. As a Council they can direct the Chief Executive Officer, however, they cannot direct any Council staff member.

Liability

An Elected Member is not personally liable for an honest act or omission, when they are exercising, performing or discharging their powers or Council’s powers, functions or duties.

Elected Members are required to follow the Code of Conduct for Council Members.

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