A WIMMERA mayor will provide strategic advice to Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell as part of a Ministerial-Mayors Advisory Panel.
Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin was one of eight mayors selected.
Cr Erwin said he was looking forward to the opportunity.
“I thought it would be good to be on a panel and that I might be able to get some change for local government,” he said.
“It is a good, diverse, bunch of people and I guess I’m the representative for the west of the state.”
Other representatives include Robert Doyle from Melbourne City Council, Mary Fraser from Towong Shire Council, Joshua Morris from Ballarat City Council, Darren Pearce from Knox City Council, Rodney Parker from Mitchell Shire Council, Antonella Celi from Mornington Peninsula Council and Amanda Stevens from City of Port Phillip.
Cr Erwin said one issue he wanted to discuss was municipality building surveyors.
He said every council needed to employ a surveyor, though there were only 60 available for the 79 councils.
“I would like to see if there is an easier method so it is not as onerous for smaller regional councils,” he said.
“It incurs quite a cost to council.”
Cr Erwin said this was a good opportunity for the entire Wimmera.
“Any issues that other councils have, they can let me know and I’m happy to take them to the table,” he said.
Five panel meetings will be in February, May, July, August and October.
Cr Erwin said the first meeting would be this week.
Mrs Powell said it was an opportunity to work with mayors to further develop how Victorian councils and the state government worked together on behalf of the community.
“I have no doubt the eight mayors will contribute wide-ranging and expert advice from across rural, regional and metropolitan councils, which will shape how we do business,” she said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is a strong supporter of local government, which we see as dynamic and a vital part of Victoria’s democracy, so the panel’s expert advice to me will be important.
“I will be seeking the panel’s advice and feedback on matters such as our significant local government reform program, reducing red tape, councillor conduct, governance and greater accountability to ratepayers across the state.”
The Ministerial-Mayors Advisory panel is appointed each year with nominations from all Victorian mayors invited at the end of each year.