Introduction and first reading

Ms HUTCHINS (Minister for Local Government)—I move:

That I have leave to bring in a bill for an act to amend the Local Government Act 1989 to improve the governance standards of councils, amend arrangements for local government elections and provide for other matters, to amend the City of Melbourne Act 2001 to repeal part 4A of that act and to consequentially amend the City of Greater Geelong Act 1993, the City of Melbourne Act 2001, the Electoral Act 2002 and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 and for other purposes.

Mr CLARK (Box Hill)—I ask the minister to provide a brief explanation of the bill, further to the long title.

Ms HUTCHINS (Minister for Local Government)—This bill will raise the standards of behaviour by councillors and generally improve——

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER—Order! I remind members to remain silent while the Chair is on his feet. That applies at all times during parliamentary proceedings. I request members to comply with that.

Ms HUTCHINS—The bill will raise standards of behaviour by councillors——

Mr R. Smith interjected.

The SPEAKER—Order! I warn the member for Warrandyte!

Ms HUTCHINS—It will generally improve council governance in Victoria and improve the conduct of the general council elections to be held in 2016.

Motion agreed to.

Read first time.


SouthernMetropolitan Region

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan)—My constituency question is to the Minister for Education, Mr Merlino. Recent reports have suggested that a local councillor is campaigning for a third secondary school in the Glen Eira area, very close to two existing secondary schools. The land which the Labor mayor of the City of Glen Eira, Cr Jim Magee, is campaigning for the government to acquire in order to build a secondary school is in Virginia Park. Virginia Park is only 500 metres from the existing Bentleigh Secondary College.

The shadow Minister for Education, Nick Wakeling, and I visited Bentleigh Secondary College only last week to meet with the newly appointed principal. Bentleigh Secondary College has an excellent reputation and we were both fortunate enough to meet the dedicated teachers and a number of students. It was confirmed to Mr Wakeling and myself that Bentleigh Secondary College has capacity for further student enrolments. Nearby McKinnon Secondary College also has additional capacity and the principals of both McKinnon and Bentleigh secondary colleges do not think a third secondary school in such close proximity is necessary.

Constituents are confused and concerned about comments from the mayor. Does the government support the campaign by Cr Magee and what is the government’s position on acquiring the land at Virginia Park, as suggested by Cr Magee?

NOTE: no response to this query from Minister Noonan (Minister for Police)