December 29th, 2023Council adopts new policy for property management
The Hepburn Shire Council has adopted new policies governing the way it manages leases, licences and the disposal and acquisition of land.
The council adopted the Leases and Licences Policy and Disposal and Acquisition of Land Policy in recent days, at its last scheduled meeting for 2023
The Leases and Licences Policy applies to leases and licences for all council property assets.
This includes land and facilities on crown and freehold land, occupied by community groups, not-for-profit organisations, private individuals and commercial entities.
Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said the council manages an extensive property portfolio and it is important to do so in a responsible and transparent way.
“Council owned and managed land is a valuable community asset. It’s essential that we manage it carefully to maximise the social, environmental and economic benefits to our community,” said Cr Hood.
“At the core of both policies is the intention to maximise the community benefit and public value from the management of council’s property portfolio with a consistent, equitable and transparent approach to decision-making,” he said.
Both policies have been designed to exceed minimum standards of the Local Government Act and take into account recommendations from past audits and reviews.
“The Leases and Licences Policy governs our approach when considering, negotiating and finalising all occupancy agreements for the use of public land.”
“The policy ensures that the use of council owned or managed land is formalised through binding agreements,” he said.
The Disposal and Acquisition of Land Policy provides a framework to guide decision making in relation to the sale and acquisition of land and applies to all council freehold land or land vested in council.
“Council may buy or sell property in response to community or organisational needs. From time-to-time we may sell surplus land or strategically acquire additional properties,” Cr Hood said.
“The policy outlines council’s principles and is intended as a framework to assist us in making these important decisions,” said Cr Hood. The policy also sets out mandatory processes for council to follow.
The policies are available on the council’s website.