In an effort to reduce red tape and duplications, Loddon Shire Council will replace all its local laws with one over-arching single local law document.
It follows a review of council's existing and expired local laws and it proposes to replace them with a simpler and more user-friendly Community Local Law.
The document covers a range of laws, including council land, streets and roads, private property, animals and pets, waste and recycling, permits and fees, and enforcement.
Council has now released its Community Local Law 2022 document for public comment and invited community feedback over a six-week period.
In a report to council, local laws/planning compliance officer David Price said the review was undertaken in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020.
"Duplication in administrative processes from having multiple local laws are removed and a more user-friendly format is created in a single document," Mr Price said.
"Changes to various state legislation in recent years have also meant that some previous local law clauses are no longer necessary, as a local law cannot duplicate or contradict a federal or state law."
Once approved, the Community Local Law would be adopted for a 10-year period.
At council's June meeting, Cr Wendy Murphy sought clarification on several aspects of the Community Local Law.
This included the keeping and grazing of animals on council roadsides of high conservation significance and stock movement grazing exemptions with regards to native vegetation.
Cr Gavan Holt said it was a "fantastic idea" to consolidate all the shire's local laws into one.
"it's a far more readable and workable document," Cr Holt said.
"There's a lot in here and there are things that do warrant further discussion.
"I wouldn't be surprised if there is considerable community feedback on this."
Cr Holt said one of the responsibilities of being a councillor was they were making decisions that impact people's lives
"And certainly this community law has a very direct impact on people's lives, probably more so than many of the policies and strategies we adopt here which tend to be overarching and directional strategy and policies for our officers," he said.
"So these are directly impacting laws and I can see some of them contradicting each other, such as issues around unsightly premises and the burning of rubbish could be seen as counterbalancing each other.
"My suggestion is to wait for community feedback before adopting this; we would need a bit of time to discuss a few of the issues here.
"There will be disagreement on parts of this which council is going to have to take into consideration before council formally adopts these laws and then expect our council officers to enforce them."
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Cr Holt said council was also the responsible authority for enforcing state statutory laws as well as its own local laws.
"In a very good move, if it is a law covered by a state law we have removed it (from the new document)," Cr Holt said.
"There are many, many laws other than our own local laws that we have statutory responsibility for enforcing.
"Which is often problematic for us because when we and our staff live and work in the community, we then have responsibility of enforcing laws on our community that we have imposed.
"So it's important we give the public of Loddon the opportunity to respond here."
Cr Holt said in a councillor's life, he would spend more time responding to issues that appear in this local law document than any other.
"On a daily basis I would field an issue or complaint on matter pertaining to local laws," he said.
Mayor Dan Straub said Cr Holt's summary identifies the seriousness of this document and he encouraged all community members whenever a document is put out for public consultation that they take the opportunity and provide feedback to council.
Cr Linda Jungwirth agreed totally.
"This document will impact people and I also ask people to be more involved in all the policies we put out," she said.
"We are doing what the community wants us to do and these laws are in place to make sure people can enjoy where they live and to make sure everybody is having equal rights in enjoying the shire.
"I'd like people to realise that once implemented, if they are not following these laws it may come back and bite them so it might be worth having a look."
For more information about the draft Community Local Law, and to view a copy and submit a comment visit loddon.vic.gov.au/Our-Council/Documents-for-public-comment
A copy of the draft local law is available for inspection (or can be printed on request) at the council offices, 41 High Street, Wedderburn during business hours. A copy can also be posted to you by calling council's customer service on (03) 5494 1200.
A number of drop-in sessions will also be held across the shire in the coming weeks for community members to discuss the draft Community Local Law with council officers.
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