Community Compliance and Enforcement Policy

Approval date: 19 June 2017
Review date: June 2021


Local government is required to provide a system under which Councils perform their functions and exercise their powers conferred by or under the Local Government Act 1989, and any other related Acts for the peace, order and good government of their municipal districts. Council shares its responsibility for protecting the rights and wellbeing of the Community with other authorities.

The Community has the responsibility to understand and abide to the standards set by legislation. Council must endeavour to assist the Community to understand these responsibilities by methods including education and encouragement.

Policy statement:

Latrobe City will exercise its enforcement and compliance powers independently in the public interest with integrity and professionalism and without fear, favour or bias.

Decision making should be transparent, equitable and fair.  Consistency in the application of enforcement processes is important and the Community Compliance and Enforcement Policy will provide guidance to our authorised officers in the application of our processes and guide Council’s authorised officers in their decisions.


The objectives of this policy are to:

  • Achieve an acceptable level of compliance with legislation under Council jurisdiction within the municipal district.
  • Foster prompt, consistent and effective action by Council officers in response to allegations/complaints relating to unlawful activities whilst ensuring that the principles of natural justice are respected.
  • Encourage Council officers to proactively manage all compliance and enforcement issues.


This policy describes how Council will respond to evidence of non-compliance and complaints or allegations of non-compliance by the community to matters where Council is the legislative authority.

Principles of Management - Ask, Require, Enforce


Latrobe City Council will provide the community with information in relation to compliance and take steps to guide the community to compliance within reasonable timeframes – as per endorsed departmental operational procedure.


Latrobe City Council will use a range of compliance and enforcement tools in order to encourage compliance to relevant Acts.  In the event that the support provided above does not resolve the matter, Officers will clearly articulate what action is to be undertaken, by when and by whom to achieve compliance.  This may include advice concerning potential outcomes if compliance is not achieved.


Where there is reasonable concern that the party involved is unwilling to provide a satisfactory resolution and compliance is not achieved within an appropriate time frame, authorised Officers of Latrobe City Council consider litigation as the most appropriate way to achieve its enforcement and compliance objectives.

Principle one – Communication

Council will:

  • Actively inform the community of significant changes to laws and regulations. Community engagement processes will be utilised to involve, inform and educate the community on the development of new Local Laws.
  • Communicate with the community about their compliance responsibilities through advertising campaigns, Council’s website and Council Meeting papers.

Principle two – Effective and efficient response

The level of compliance and enforcement action will reflect the level of risk to the community or environment. The level of risk should be determined against the Compliance Risk Matrix.  In the event that extreme risk is identified, Council may need to immediately escalate to prosecution and or third party independent tribunal (VCAT) or take action itself to reduce those risks. 

See Appendix 1 – Compliance Risk Matrix.

Delegated/authorised Council officers will ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to resolve compliance and enforcement issues to the extent that the risk is mitigated to meet legislative requirements or that the behaviour is modified.

For matters where Council is the legislative authority, an appeal process will be in place that offers an independent review of decisions made in compliance and enforcement proceedings. The appeal process will be structured to ensure the principles of natural justice are upheld. Dependant on legislative requirements, the appeal body may be an external entity (VCAT, Appeals Board, Court), an internal committee or senior officer as deemed appropriate by the Chief Executive Officer or his/her delegate.  Dependant of legislative requirements, parties involved in compliance and enforcement action will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of investigations, within the limitations of Council’s Privacy Policy, Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Information Privacy Act 2000.

When an officer identifies that a conflict of interest may exist regarding the Council Officer and the matter being investigated, the matter must be referred to the Officer’s supervisor immediately for assessment and advice.

Principle three – Proactive approach

Enforcement and compliance activities are often reactive in nature. Authorised Officers will:

  • Endeavour to take a proactive approach to enforcement that is informed by data. Focus will be on areas where data indicates there is an emerging issue or potential risk.
  • Utilise proactive approaches that involve education and where possible enable community members to achieve compliance.

Accountability and Responsibility

Accountability and responsibility for this policy is outlined below.

Authorised Officers

  • Comply with procedures developed to achieve compliance with this policy


  • Enforce responsibilities to achieve compliance with procedures
  • Provide appropriate resources for the execution of the procedures

 General Manager

  • Responsibility for compliance with this policy
  • Responsibility for enforcing accountability
  • Responsibility for providing resources
  • Responsibility for performance monitoring

Chief Executive Officer

  • Overall responsibility for compliance with this policy
  • Overall responsibility for enforcing accountability
  • Overall responsibility for providing resources
  • Overall responsibility for performance monitoring


  • Responsibility for the decision to approve this Policy by Council Resolution

Evaluation and review

This policy will be reviewed on request of Council, in the event of significant change in the Executive team, significant changes to legislation applicable to the subject matter of the policy or, in any other case, during each Council term (generally four years).


Authorised Officer: means a person who is authorised by Council or the Chief Executive Officer under delegation to carry out specific functions under this policy.

Community: means residents, rate payers, business owners, visitors and or property owners within the Latrobe City municipality.

VCAT: Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Related documents

  • Latrobe Planning Scheme
  • Latrobe City Council Community Amenity Local Law No 2, 2016
  • Council’s Code of Conduct
  • Council’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy
  • Local Government Act 1989
  • Planning and Environment Act 1987

Reference resources

  • State Government Legislation that Council has jurisdiction to enforce


  • Compliance Risk Matrix

Appendix 1 - Compliance risk matrix

Consequences - refers to the level of risk to the community and environment

Likeklihood Insignificant
No impact to community or environment.
May have a minor impact wider community or environment. Harm abated and some remedial works required.
Has a moderate impact on community or environment. Non-compliance for a short duration (ie days). Harm abated and remedied.

Has a major impact on community or environment.

Almost certain
Intentional or repeated non-compliance.  Deliberate or wilful act to not comply. Past enforcement activity or breaches of related law and no remedial works undertaken.


High Exreme Extreme
Reckless ignorance of law, previous enforcement activity or breaches of related law.
Medium High High Extreme
Non-compliance of medium duration (months). Harm abated and some remedial works undertaken.
Low Medium High Extreme
No history of non-compliance and a genuine lack of awareness or understanding of obligations existed. Non-compliance of short duration (days). Harm abated and remedied.
Low Low