“We are an independent and not-for-profit collegiality of ratepayer groups in Victoria (Australia). We are freewill community leaders advocating for better and community centered reforms in local government. We are not lobbyists and other names that many Councils call us, because we publically reveal their inefficacies and non-compliance to good governance and challenge their decisions, hidden party-politics and groupthink influences, actions and accountability when the liveability and integeneration sustainability of local communities are at risk or being compromised. The challenge of any governance work is being the “bad” policeman tracking compliance. However someone got to do this role, in order to help improve the local government sector.“
Ratepayers Victoria is a community of choice and represents an independent and not-for-profit collegiality of ratepayer groups in Victoria, who advocates for community centred local government reforms. We exist because of too many and growing incidents of poor governance, poor decision making that lacks financial & liveability accountability and inefficacious operations that lead to growing rate hikes; lesser service management; lesser to poor delivery experiences and quality levels; and undesired party politics influenced Councillors and Council Senior Staff who seldom justify with good evidence and own measurable accountability for the consequences of their decisions and actions.
It was incorporated in 2001 (A004092M) and operates according to its Constitution.
In 2012, Ratepayers Victoria is responding to a 21st century world – where citizen democracy and participation in local government will prevail to ensure that local policy and service delivery befits local communities and sustains their present and future quality of life, also known as liveability.
The vision is to have Councillors and Councils become greater community centred leaders and service providers, more individually and organisationally efficacious, committingly responsive to and collaborative with their local communities in planning and implementing policy and service delivery matters, to ultimately result in greater and sustainable local liveability.
Ratepayers Victoria is purposed to:
- Organise to represent Victorian ratepayers and advocate at State Government level for state wide and locally responsive reforms in local government. The reforms aim to ensure local government
- Is financially responsible and accountable to ratepayers
- Demonstrates open government and good governance
- Is social responsible and environmentally sustainable in service delivery and management.
- Facilitate best practices that enable ratepayers to participate effectively in local government reform development, implementation and sustainability.
- Facilitate and empower Councillors to be and act in the capacities of the Board of Directors for Council, not the Board of Directed by Council.
The mission for realising the vision is to enable open government culture and practices in the Victorian local government that support community centered Councillors and enable ratepayers and residents participate in Council policy and service delivery decision making and implementation governance, in order to foster and ensure in local government:
- Good governance, including transparency and accountability
- Fairness and equity
- Efficiency and effectiveness
- Respect for the Rule of Law
- High standards of ethical behaviour
- Strategically value-adding and community centred leadership qualities.
To accomplish the mission, Ratepayers Victoria aspires to:
- Support ratepayers in collaborating with and governing local government in matters that enhance and sustain their quality of life
- Request or source, and share quality information that informs ratepayers about local government and holds Councils to account for decisions and efficacious outcomes that benefit local communities
- Advocate for higher government support and the development of effective community agreement, collaboration and support to help local government better respond to 21st century challenges and opportunities in delivering policies and services that uplift local liveability.
- Provide a collegial network of rich and diverse local community knowledge, skills and talents that Councils can continuously harness to develop and sustain open government capabilities in their operations.
We initiate and manage programs that contribute to achieving our operational objectives and their underpinning constitutional goals. Current programs include:
- Seeking a National Forum to begin reassessment of the roles, responsibilities and relationships between Local Government, State and Federal Government.
- Encouraging formulation of Ratepayers Associations.
- Submissions on relevant issues.
- Reform projects for improving Council operations and community centricity, including better engagement with their local communities.
We also leverage evidence based and best practice networks, such as the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), to help develop a world class local government that is highly capable of:
- Meeting the new challenges of 21st century Victoria and
- Sustaining the present and future liveability of all Victorians.