Victorian Bills Explanatory Memoranda

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REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT VICTORIA BILL 2002

           Regional Development Victoria Bill

                          Circulation Print

               EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM


                                  General
The purpose of the Regional Development Victoria Bill is to facilitate
economic and community development in rural and regional Victoria by
establishing a statutory body to be known as Regional Development Victoria.
Regional Development Victoria will be a single agency dedicated to rural and
regional Victoria. It will be charged with improving agency coordination
across the whole of Government and will work collaboratively in partnership
with all tiers of government to enhance policy development and program and
service delivery for rural and regional Victoria.
The Bill creates Regional Development Victoria, defines its role, provides for
a Chief Executive and creates a Committee to advise the Minister about the
development of rural and regional Victoria.

                               Clause Notes
Clause 1    specifies that the purpose of the Bill is to establish a statutory
            body to facilitate economic and community development in rural
            and regional Victoria. The body will be known as Regional
            Development Victoria.

Clause 2    provides for the Bill to come into operation on a day or days to
            be proclaimed or on 1 July 2003, if no commencement date has
            been proclaimed by then.

Clause 3    defines terms used in the Bill, including "rural and regional
            Victoria" which means all the municipal districts and alpine
            resorts set out in the Regional Infrastructure Development
            Fund Act 1999 that are able to be funded under that Act.

Clause 4    establishes a body called Regional Development Victoria that
            consists of the Chief Executive of Regional Development
            Victoria and staff employed in a public sector agency under
            Part 3 of the Public Sector Management and Employment Act
            1998 who have been seconded or transferred to, or assigned work
            in, Regional Development Victoria.

                                      1
541319                                         BILL LA CIRCULATION 13/9/2002

 


 

It is intended that staff from the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development will be transferred to the new body to coincide with its establishment. Staff transferred or seconded to, or assigned work in, Regional Development Victoria will continue to be employed under Part 3 of the Public Sector Management and Employment Act 1998. Clause 5 specifies the functions and powers of Regional Development Victoria. Sub-clause (1) outlines the functions of Regional Development Victoria which all focus on the economic and community development of rural and regional Victoria. Sub-clause (2) provides Regional Development Victoria with the powers to carry out these functions. Sub-clause (3) specifies that in performing its functions, Regional Development Victoria may request assistance or information from any other public authority, and may engage consultants. Clause 6 creates the office of the Chief Executive of Regional Development Victoria. The Chief Executive is to be appointed by the Governor in Council for a maximum term of 3 years, and will receive remuneration and allowances fixed by the Governor in Council. A person appointed as Chief Executive will be eligible for re-appointment. The Chief Executive ceases to hold office if convicted of an indictable offence and may be removed from office by the Governor in Council if he or she neglects or fails to carry out the duties of the office, or is inefficient or misbehaves in carrying out those duties. Clause 7 specifies the functions, powers and duties of the Chief Executive. Sub-clause (1) provides that the Chief Executive has the same functions and powers as Regional Development Victoria. Sub-clause (2) clause specifies that the Chief Executive reports to the Minister about policy relating to economic and community development in rural and regional Victoria. Sub-clause (3) specifies that at the direction of the Minister, the Chief Executive may perform his or her functions in relation to a municipal district administered by a Council listed in the Schedule to the Bill. 2

 


 

Sub-clause (4) specifies that the Chief Executive is responsible to the Secretary of the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development for the general conduct and management of Regional Development Victoria. Clause 8 enables the Chief Executive to delegate to staff any power under the proposed Act, except the power of delegation. Clause 9 enables the Minister to appoint an Acting Chief Executive to fill a vacancy in the Chief Executive's office or to act in that office when the Chief Executive is unavailable or unable to perform his or her functions. The appointment may be for a maximum of 6 months and may be terminated at any time. An Acting Chief Executive is entitled to receive the same remuneration and allowances, and has the same functions and powers, as the Chief Executive while acting in that office. Clause 10 provides the Minister with the power to issue directions to Regional Development Victoria. Sub-clause (1) enables the Minister to issue written directions to Regional Development Victoria and the Chief Executive about matters relating to the performance of Regional Development Victoria's functions. Sub-clause (2) enables the Minister to direct the Chief Executive in writing to perform his or her functions in relation to a municipal district administered by a Council listed in the Schedule to the Bill. The nine Councils specified in the Schedule are urban fringe or "interface" Councils that have significant rural areas within their boundaries. This sub-clause ensures that the Minister's power of direction extends to matters affecting rural and regional areas within the municipal boundaries of these interface Councils. The sub-clause does not extend the operation of the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund Act 1999 to these Councils. Clause 11 creates the Regional Development Advisory Committee which is to consist of the Chief Executive, who will be Chairperson, and no more than 6 other members appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister. The majority of Committee members must be from rural and regional Victoria, and have between them skills and knowledge in economic development, community development, finance and marketing. One of the members must represent employers and one must represent employees. 3

 


 

Clause 12 specifies that the functions of the Advisory Committee are to-- provide the Minister with advice about economic and community development in rural and regional Victoria generally and any particular matter referred to it by the Minister; and assist the Minister in promoting rural and regional Victoria as a place to invest, work and live. Clause 13 specifies that a member of the Advisory Committee holds office for a term not exceeding 3 years, and is eligible for re-appointment. Members will be paid remuneration and allowances fixed from time to time by the Governor in Council. Clause 14 specifies that the Committee must meet at least 4 times a year at venues in Melbourne and in rural and regional Victoria to be determined by the Committee. The Chairperson presides at meetings but if he or she is absent, a member elected by the Committee will preside. A quorum is constituted by a majority of members. Clause 15 provides that Regional Development Victoria must submit a report to the Minister on its operations and performance within 3 months of the end of the financial year and that the Minister must table the report in each House of Parliament. 4

 


 

 


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