The Local Government Act 1989 (LGA) contains specific provisions regarding the engagement of Senior Officers. A Senior Officer is an employee who:
- Is the CEO; or
- Has management responsibilities and reports directly to the CEO; or
- Is a member of Council staff who earns total remuneration exceeding the senior officer remuneration threshold.
The release of the exposure draft for the Local Government Bill 2018 (Bill) last year revealed an intention on the part of the Victorian government to remove the complexity around the engagement of senior officers in local government. However, following the recent State election, this Bill has lapsed.
This means that for now local government employers must still comply with the restrictions/requirements concerning senior officers, and also take note that the senior officer remuneration threshold was increased in January 2019.
Senior Officer Remuneration Threshold
Each year, the senior officer remuneration threshold is increased by Government Gazette.
Some confusion may have been caused this year as there have been two increases to the threshold. Initially the threshold was increased to $147,900, then the threshold was updated on 10 January 2019 to $148,000.
Local Government Bill 2018
While the Local Government Bill 2018 has lapsed, we expect that the Bill will be introduced again given there has not been a change in government following the election.
As such, local government employers should continue to meet the existing obligations around the engagement of senior officers until such a time as the Bill (if reintroduced and adopted in its previous form) is passed.