Global Vision Media Site

The LG Online learning consultation phase has progressed to the group phase as we address the request to create a course to explain the new conflict of interest rules that will affect all council officers from September.

A course outline has been finalised and will address many of the questions and requests from the two Engage Victoria sessions on this topic. It will also cover off a number of recommendations from the Ombudsman.

From September, all council officers will be required to follow a completely new set of rules under the Local Government Act (Vic). The definition of a conflict has been made broader and a ‘Reasonable Person’ test has been introduced.

Consideration will now be extended to embrace family members and other relationships.

To learn more about how the change will impact your compliance training obligations, or to become involved in the training development and claim a discount on the course, contact Zawad Rahman on

Draft structure


  • Learning goals
  • Overview of the course

The Local Government Act 2020 (Vic)

  • What has changed?
    • Why has it changed?
  • Perceived or actual?
    • Defining a conflict of interest under the act
      • Include interactive scenarios that are relatable and provide insight into a variety of COIs
        • These scenarios would demonstrate the importance of considering all COIs as actual and creating comprehensive records regardless
      • Identifying a conflict of interest
        • The ‘reasonable person’ test
          • Include a flowchart that poses questions learners can use to reflect (this could also be attached as a printable pdf)
        • Biases
          • Include a series of reflective questions learners can use to test their own biases
        • What happens next?
          • What should you do?
            • Include a flowchart/diagram of the pathways and actions a person could take after identifying a COI (This could also be presented as a “choose your own adventure” styled series of questions that have varying outcomes. Users would be guided to complete all pathways to see the outcomes of their decisions as well as their potential decisions)
          • Consequences of reporting vs not reporting perceived and actual COIs
            • This could include realistic (or preferably true) scenarios that allow users to first decide what kind of COI is depicted, then choose a consequence before the outcome (what did or could have happened) is revealed.

Preventing Conflicts of Interest

  • Revisit the ‘reasonable person’ test
  • Keeping records
  • Whistleblowing
    • Challenge to “dobbing is un-Australian”, stepping up and looking out for your colleagues before a COI escalates IS Australian
      • Could include true case studies where having a discussion with a colleague, or reporting a COI early on could have prevented or helped to prevent significant, detrimental consequences (i.e. they lost their reputation, job, family etc.) If this were to be done, the scenario would clearly indicate the points at which intervention could occur and could even provide different suggestions for intervention at different points in time.
    • Include flowcharts/diagrams of the internal and external processes that employees can use (these could also be attached as printable pdfs)

Manager’s Toolbox

  • Addressing conflicts of interest with employees
    • Would include tools for asking the right questions (perhaps a guide)
    • Tools for dealing with COIs ethically and compassionately
    • Would include scenarios/role plays demonstrating these techniques
  • Lead by example
    • Would include tools that enable managers to show their workers that talking about COIs reflects positively on their character and demonstrates commitment and credibility

Councillor’s Toolbox

  • Lead by example
    • Include examples of how Councillor’s can demonstrate that they take COIs seriously, and are also willing to be transparent about them
  • Scenarios
    • Include 2-3 practical scenarios
    • Include guides of what to do in these scenarios
  • Gifts and Benefits


(a series of ‘kits’ that learners can download at the end of the course which include all the base resources i.e. the flowcharts, and guides as well as extra resources that are included in the manager’s and councillor’s sections)

  • Manager’s resource kit
  • Councillor’s resource kit
  • Employee’s resource kit